Interview by Rich Dodgin/All About The Rock
I recently reviewed Building Castles In Air, the debut album from alternative / progressive rockers Lucid Fly, saying that “… listening to the album is an incredible experience…” and “If you’re a fan of progressive or alternative rock then you definitely need to check out Building Castles In Air, because Lucid Fly have created an absolute cracker of an album!“
I was therefore delighted when the band agreed to be interviewed for All About The Rock !
Hi guys! First of all, a huge thank you for agreeing to this interview and giving our UK readers a chance to learn some more about Lucid Fly!
The new album, Building Castles In Air, is due out on the 11th November, and the initial reviews seem to be really positive. Are you happy with what people are saying? How are you guys feeling now that we’re getting closer to the official release date?
We’re absolutely stoked.. we haven’t even performed these songs live which is something we’ve never tried before, so we had no idea what kind of response we’d receive. We definitely went a bit deeper with how we wrote and even recorded this album, and it’s been really cool to hear all the different adjectives and genres used to describe it. It’s like we’ve been nursing this thing until it was ready to be released, and the next few days will be pretty surreal as it gets out to the world and leaves the safety of our nest!
The album was funded following a very successful campaign on Indiegogo. Could you tell us a little about the reasons for crowd funding the album, and how the process was for you? Is this something you would do again?
We all grew up on albums, the kind that you sit and listen start to finish, holding it in your hand and looking at all the artwork, reading every word printed on the jacket and following along with the lyrics. Every band we deeply identify with has at least one iconic album like that, and in a way it defines the band even if just for an era of their music. This time we just knew that was what we wanted to make for Lucid Fly, and the songs had been evolving and becoming a unit that all went together and somehow it was time to capture that as one cohesive album.
We realized pretty early on that our funds would run out and really limit us — in a way we felt the songs couldn’t be completely “finished” properly on the budget we had. We knew we wanted to get the album out to everyone with the quality we imagined, like the ones we grew up on, and crowdfunding as a pre-sale seemed like a real possibility to get a sort of advance.
We had no idea at first how much effort that would entail!! It happened right in the middle of tracking because we needed to know if a new budget was possible, and so literally had to stop all production for several months to coordinate and pull off the campaign. We got to have a lot of fun creating the rewards, which were the kinds of things we’d love to get from bands that we support in their campaigns. It was extremely time-consuming and full of doubt and hope and ultimately gratitude. Our fans were amazingly responsive, and we’re more than thrilled that we reached the goal! I think it’s possibly the way of the future of the music business, since people can directly help release the music they want. So we’d absolutely do it again… and plan way ahead.
I know Lucid Fly has been together for fifteen years or so, but would you mind giving our readers a history of the band? Could you tell us a little about each member of the band?
Lucid Fly started officially when Nikki and I found each other in a classified ad, both looking for members to start a rock band back in Florida. We both had very different musical history at that point – it was Nikki’s first band, but she’s a natural-born singer from a family of many musicians while I had been in rock bands since high school. We easily wrote a slew of songs right away while refining our style, our gear, and a revolving lineup.
Several recordings, quite a few gigs around the southern US, lots of musical growth and a bigger vision ultimately led us to Los Angeles, where we had to regroup with new members. We hooked up with Aaron on drums, who also has musicians in the family, who was fresh out of band and still touring here and there with other acts. We immediately began developing the songs that would end up on our EP “The Escape Stage”, and playing them around LA before expanding the gigging route further around the southwest.
The band seems to always be writing or in the process of recording, probably because we love experimenting with the band’s sound and the arrangements and manipulation of ideas. This resulted in our “Stasis” EP coming out in 2015 when we were already deep in-progress creating what would become “Building Castles In Air”. We spent so much effort on the development of the material that we put performing on the back-burner and have only appeared acoustically since starting the album, and we’re actively looking into options for the members to perform live with the latest material.
What is the writing and recording process for Lucid Fly? Do you guys prefer the experience of playing live, or the recording / studio side of things?
Obviously we spend a lot of our time making the music – everything can be variable and there’s so much imagination between the 3 of us that makes the hardest part just deciding when a song is complete! The studio seems to be the only sure thing that will end the writing and rewriting path which then gives us the fire to get out and recreate that music live. We prefer it all – but it has to be all of it! Taking away any of those would not be ok although we’ve been through some long stretches of only 1 or 2 of them and that gets painful! We’re basically dying inside right now to get on stage to play more new songs than we’ve ever debuted at once.
How would you describe the attitude / vision of the band ?
I think we’re always looking to take ourselves to something beyond our previous work.. whether it’s writing, recording, or the live show, we’re always getting ideas of how to add, enhance, twist, upgrade, or expand on something we did last time! It keeps everything moving forward in a way and I think that gives us an attitude of, we’re going to just keep on doing this because we’ll run out of time before we run out of things to do. Part of that vision is absolutely expanding our reach, and connecting with more and more people that dig the depth of music that we feel and that means other bands as well as music fans. We just want to travel the world and find them all and share music!
What’s next for Lucid Fly? Any plans for a tour? I’d love to see you guys play live, so I’m hoping you make it to the UK sometime in the near(ish) future!
The plan is to take “Building Castles In Air” on the road as soon and as much as we can. The UK is a huge goal for us with such a list of talent pouring out of that progressive rock and metal scene. It’s quite a ways from L.A. but we’ll just work harder to build whatever momentum it takes to get us across this country and an ocean and bring the music to Europe!
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Everything! Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook, tell us who your favorite bands are, where the best music venues are, where the best tacos are… Seriously though we thrive on new music, people, and places to experience. Also we host the Negative Sp8ce Radio show where we play the coolest bands that we’ve come across every month and you can find out how similar our taste is by checking out an episode or 20. But most importantly keep supporting bands you dig by going to concerts and shows, participating in crowdfunding, and simply sharing them with people you think have similar taste. It’s rewarding for everyone involved, and it’s currently the best and possibly only way a band can continue to exist and make more music.
Many thanks for your time today!