Lucid Fly – buzzing around my lemonade
As I write articles and interview bands it boggles my mind that, to this point in time, most of these hard-at-it bands aren’t more nationally or internationally known. Breaking Benjamin has been my favorite band with Chevelle a close second in the mainstream list. They are also just behind Alice In Chains on my all time favorite list. But I am finding it harder and harder to keep them at the top of the list. Now, these 3 bands are going to have another thing to worry about: Lucid Fly.
It’s not the fact that they are fronted by a beautiful and powerful vocalist, Nikki Layne, or that Doug Mecca, guitarist, and Go Nakabayashi, bass, work poetically together while Aaron Ficca, drummer, emphasizes the sound with punctuality. While those are all good reasons I think it’s their sound. Take that hard rock vibe sorely lacking in mainstream today and sprinkle that dark and epic sound they rightfully deserve and you have a tasty dish.
Their websites would say that they sound “like Evanescence meets A Perfect Circle.” Maybe that’s true but they can stand on their own two feet, or eight feet rather (maybe not the drummer since he has to sit down to play the drums.)
I like how the band came up with the name so I’ll tell you that now, thereby omitting that question from the interview. “The name came from a newspaper featuring an article on American astronaut Shannon Lucid, who set a new world record for spending 188 days in space. The headline “Lucid Flies Into The Record Book” stuck, and Lucid Fly was born.”
Also, to avoid another obligatory question, although interesting, I will go ahead and tell you that the magic began in 1998 when Doug and Nikki joined forces in the state most noted for oranges. In 2007, singer Nikki and guitarist Doug headed out to Los Angeles where they teamed up with Aaron and Go. This meeting of fate launched Lucid Fly’s song writing into something even more powerful than ever. Now they are happily playing the recent release of their 2nd EP, The Escape Stage.
I want you to check this awesome female fronted progressive alternative rock band out, especially if you like your music heavy, groove oriented, distinctive and often times melodic. First though, let’s get into the heart and soul and mind of this sure-winner band, Lucid Fly, with a little interview action from smokin’ hot front-woman Nikki.
Daniel/AR: Thankfully, for a fly, Lucid Fly has been around a lot longer than any other lifespan of a fly. What keeps you all going and what is that eventual goal you want to reach as a band?
I know Coffee Bean keeps us going lol! No really… writing… and the excitement for new songs. My favorite song is almost always the newest one that we’re working on as a band. Seeing a song evolve from a seed of an idea into what we eventually perform live, and the fans’ reactions to it, and how it touches them – seeing how each song will turn out.. there’s always more songs, more ideas, so there’s basically just no desire to stop.
Also, performing every show is unique, so every one of those experiences ends up being something more than we think it’s going to be. There’s always some unexpected chain of events that makes that particular show memorable for us, either the people, the venue, the traveling, the <ahem> technical problems.. yea each one is pretty much a story of its own! And we’ve got stories…maybe we do it for the stories!
Eventually I think we all just want the ability to travel and tour the world and do this, with a team or actually a family behind us. We want to get inspiration from people we don’t know yet, and places we haven’t been yet, and experiences we’re going to have and write and record all those ideas. Just constantly grow and evolve…every artist’s dream I guess!
Daniel/AR: What major goals both obvious and not so obvious have you reached thus far?
We’ve all taken a risk and left where we’re from and moved across the country — and even the world (Go has) — to be here in L.A., ‘thee’ place to be for music, and here we are making music and performing it. Even the fact that the 4 of us are together, that we met and defined our sound, that was a pretty major goal! and then we’ve been fortunate enough to record at some really amazing studios and have those songs played on the radio, in other countries too, that’s beyond cool. We’ve performed at some venues that almost every band knows and respects and are legendary. We’ve traveled a good chunk of the country too, places I might’ve never visited otherwise. And of course, getting interviewed by Alternative Revolt magazine JI-YEA! Really that’s a big accomplishment for us.. we get to reach people and tell our stories!!
Daniel/AR: Speaking of goals, can any of you shoot hoops worth a crap?
Ya know, there are lots of long arms.. tall band members, so maybe! If you count Wii then yeah! Aaron’s the tallest and he’s like the Wii master, pretty much every game. Is that a drummer thing? All that hand-eye-foot coordination?
Daniel/AR: In other goal related things, do you think you would be better at kicking a field goal, scoring a goal in hockey or coming up with 5 words that rhyme with goal?
I can roll some soul down the ol’ mole hole?!? Wait what was the question?
Daniel/AR: It’s a quick wit like that which makes me think you guys are no dummies to success. If you had a birthday cake with 3 candles and you made a wish for each candle of a major act you would love to tour with, what would that be?
Man, first I’d probably wish that some bands were still together! Like A Perfect Circle –although I might settle for Puscifer, Maynard can put a project together AND a show . And definitely the Deftones! There’s so many more to pick from but for the third wish I’m gonna have to say Mute Math. Their live energy is sick I love it. Damn there’s more.. can I wish for more wishes?
Daniel/AR: Lyrics are about what the writer knows, observes, or feels. Sometimes, they’re even funny. In the grand scheme of things it seems that most people know about struggles. What themes in your lyrics would people pick up on?
I think I can write a song about anything… usually introspective… any thing or experience that has meaning to me, and of course relationships. Life boils down to relationships and that’s what I feel you really know the most about. I tend to sing about the duality of those topics and I throw nature in there a lot too. I’m sometimes deliberately vague in my lyrics…where they mean something to me and can mean whatever the listener gets from it – it’s open to interpretation for anyone to find personal meaning for them.
Daniel/AR: As I’m thinking about these questions I am eating Munchos. These chips are awesome and only two bucks a bag. If you could be eating chips right now, what would you eat?
Secretly we moved to L.A. because I love Mexican food, so chips and salsa and guac. But I do totally dig these Calbee snap-pea crisps – they’re like cheetos made of snap peas! I’m addicted! Don’t ask Go this question though, he’ll probably say shrimp chips… ew!
Daniel/AR: Chips are freakin’ tasty for the most part. Your sound is tasty too, as I’ve described earlier. Even though most comparisons are to Evanescence and Perfect Circle who would you consider to your biggest influences, musically speaking?
We all (in the band) have a wide range… but some of my influences in no particular order I’d say Ann Wilson/Heart, Stevie Nicks, Pat Benatar, Steve Perry/Journey, Imogen Heap, Brandon Boyd from Incubus, Maynard James Keenan in all his projects. We’re constantly finding new music! We share everything we find with each other in the band, and in all different styles. Every time I discover something new it pretty much becomes part of those influences too.
Daniel/AR: Who would be your personal inspirations or role models?
Definitely my parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles for raising me in such a creative environment (musical and otherwise).
As far as famous people, other musicians… I’m inspired by women like Madonna for being able to reinvent herself and Gwen (Stefani) for having her own fashion line and being able to combine music and fashion. Both have a business sense and they created something way bigger than their music. Maynard too… the inventiveness of each new musical project he’s involved in, and the live shows, then his other passions like the wine and film, and bringing that creativity out in other avenues beyond the music. And they do it kinda classy, even if/when they’re somehow being offensive to society!
Daniel/AR: When people want Go to leave do they simply say “away” or the whole “go away” phrase?
We just say ‘GO’, firmly.. and we point at the door! No no we never do that. We can’t be mean to Go because when we go to Japan, we hope the Japanese words he teaches us won’t get our ass kicked. Circle of trust in this band. Right.
You do hear some funny sounding stuff around us though.. like ‘where’d Go go?’ Really he’s like a ninja, he just disappears.
Daniel/AR: If you could go anywhere in the world to play music then stay or go somewhere else to retire, where would those places be?
Uhhh, no intention of retiring anytime soon.. definitely want to try and hit every continent a few times first so I can research! Actually I intend on being one of those loooong career types like the rolling stoneses, the john paul joneses, the stings… I’ve been to a couple places that are good candidates. Amsterdam is on the list. Japan for sure.. I haven’t been yet but I know we’ll be playing Germany and Australia where rock is received really well and I’m lookin forward to bringing it there frequently!
Daniel/AR: How about some discography facts?
Our latest recording “The Escape Stage”, named after the exact point at which a rocket is leaving the gravitational pull of the Earth. We recorded these all together with Brendan Dekora at Glenwood Place Studios here in Burbank. Can we say ‘lucky’?
EP “The Escape Stage” -available February 2009:
o Dramatis Personae
o Back and Forth
o Means To An End
Our first release was really a collection from 3 different studio sessions with 2 different engineers Adam Barber and George Spatta at various studios, oh and lots of stories!
CD “Adapting To Gravity” -available January 2005:
o No Sleep
o Center of Your Space
o 11th Hour
Daniel/AR: Where are some places people can go to read more about Lucid Fly and listen to some tunes?
We’re on myspace, facebook, twitter.. you can go straight to www.lucidfly.com for links or search “lucid fly” and we’re real easy to find J The music from both releases is available on iTunes and Amazon, as well as directly through our website. There are so many websites out there helping bands get the word out now too.. we have songs on quite a few internet radio and music sites like Last.fm, Jango, Reverbnation and OurStage.com.
Daniel/AR: Right now, if people wanted to see you live what radius would they have to attend?
Right now we’re playing pretty much Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. But we’re definitely planning to tour the west coast and beyond!
Daniel/AR: Is there anything else you would like to add that you want fans and would-be fans to know?
Uh, let’s see… yeah the official band dog is a Shih Tzu. His name is Chuzzle and he’s the bomb. And we’re kinda obsessed with the whole peanut butter + chocolate thing.
Daniel/AR: This is the last question. By now you probably know what to expect so let us dive in. If your vehicle had enough gas to get 3 more miles and mile 1 was the site of reported alien abductions, site 2 was reported to be devil worshipping grounds, and mile 3 was where the vomit of animals were stored but leaked its hazardous stench into the wind which mile would you prefer to stop at and how would you decide to protect yourself from the would-be threats?
Hey. This sounds suspiciously like one of those algebra word problems. you didn’t say there was gonna be math on this test.. but I’m gonna have to pick the aliens. They’re real smart but they’re probably evolved to be real small and weak with big brains so we can take ‘em and escape in their UFO. Plus we have a ninja with us. Ain’t skeerd.
Lucid Fly, you can be a fly in my ointment any time. I wish you the best in all you do.
Daniel C. Morrison