If Evanescence meets A Perfect Circle.
Interview: Lucid Fly
Interview made by Shanti (Julie Pavlova)
September 30, 2014
Do you like female fronted rock and metal bands? I am honored to know one with perfect vocalist and great music style. Let me introduce you Lucid Fly and their beautiful vocalist Nikki.
Shanti: Hi, Nikki, thank you for taking time and answer on the questions. The name of the band has the interesting story* but what does it mean exactly for you?
Nikki: Yes, the name Lucid Fly came from a newspaper headline about Shannon Lucid, a female astronaut who broke several flight and space records, and who recently was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame. I have always been inspired by space and I was particularly drawn to her story which I feel is one of exploration, overcoming obstacles, breaking boundaries, and pushing limits. Lucid Fly, to me, encompasses all of those things, and is ultimately about finding light within the darkness.
Shanti: Do the names of the songs depend of the band’s name? Tell me about a process of creating new songs?
Nikki: The article our band name originated from has definitely been at the root for naming our releases. The title of the EP “Adapting to Gravity” refers to a quote by Lucid on returning to Earth after living over 6 months in space, and our second CD release, “The Escape Stage”, refers to an object escaping a gravitational pull. The titles of our songs develop mostly from introspective lyrics, personal experiences, song them es, catchy phrases or even sometimes inside jokes, lol.
As for the process of creating new songs…that’s different every time! It’s a collaborative effort and we are always trying to evolve, but we don’t necessarily have a “formula.” Sometimes we jam at rehearsal and random ideas morph into a song, and other times someone brings in a “seed” of an idea with a basic arrangement and we experiment and build our individual parts until we all find and agree on what’s best for the song. I write all of the lyrics and melodies, but musically we definitely all contribute! It’s important to us to write music that we love, while always trying to find the balance between the contrast of heavy distortion and the light melodic, ambient parts. We just hope that others enjoy the end results!
Shanti: Lucid Fly is on its way to the new album. You released two tracks with art – work video from three that you promised to release this summer and autumn and we can not wait for October and the last one. What is the meaning of art – work videos?
Nikki: Yes, in August, we began releasing 3 New Singles, 1 per month on our new Negativesp8ce radio show on www.LuckyStarRadio.com
The original purpose of recording those singles was to create a demo to help the band find a producer to work with us on our up and coming full length album. It was a process of experimentation, and we felt these songs were a good representation of our style and the direction we were heading musically. So…we had 3 different engineers (Brendan Dekora (CA), Forrester Savell (AUS), and Adam Barber (FL)) work on those songs. We also wanted to put the songs out for the public to hear, so we decided to create something out of the ordinary for us – a visual interpretation of our music through a different artistic medium. We teamed up and had a 36 x 48 commissioned painting done by Nikki’s former classmate, Adam Kiger, who is based out of Columbus, OH. The common thread that runs through the artwork and videos of the 3 songs is patience and growth. There are up close and personal views of the artwork and also glimpses into the recording process. It’s all about the contrast, depth, and details.
Shanti: Tell us everything about work on the new album and about your trip to Oregon in August too. I know you worked there a lot.
Nikki: As far as recording for the new album goes, we had been in pre-production for a while – fine tuning the details, but you know, a song is never really done until it’s recorded! HA! So, in August we got the opportunity to go to Ashland, OR to record in our drummer’s father’s recording studio. The whole experience was more a retreat/vacation…eating, sleeping and breathing music!…we even took some band bonding time to go to see Crater Lake, an amazing dormant volcano and also the deepest lake in the US – so stunning and very inspiring! We are happy to report that we made a ton of progress and just so happened to track and edit all the drum parts for 14 new songs!! Now, we move on to finishing the bass, guitars and vocals – stay tuned 🙂
Shanti: Can you choose the most important or personal song by Lucid Fly?
Nikki: There are a couple songs that I wrote in memory of my mother, that hold a special place in my heart. One is a song I wrote back in 2004 titled “All Her Right” – it was one of those songwriting experiences where all the lyrics and dynamics just came out organically. So far it’s only been played acoustically, but I would LOVE to record it! The other song “Alohum” is off our EP “The Escape Stage” and is about how our memories keep people alive and you never really have to say goodbye. The songs written at or about pivotal times in my life tend to hold the most meaning and power.
Shanti: Did you feel a lot of changes when relocated from Florida to California? What is difference between be the alternative band in California and Florida?
Nikki: Doug and I started Lucid Fly back in 1999, and we had built a solid following in and around Orlando, FL – we had toured the south, southeast, and Midwest regions, but we wanted to expand our opportunity and take our music to the next level. The biggest change was taking the risk, selling all of our belongings and uprooting our lives – moving to the opposite side of the country! Musically, we were well prepared and eager when we moved to LA. We met Go and Aaron (who had previously been in a band together), 2 months after we relocated (2007), and we had a batch of songs written, so we were able to adapt fairly quickly. The difference between Florida and California is that there is just more of everything here in CA…diversity, opportunity, and so many more bands! We quickly found out that even though it’s a pretty tight knit community – we needed to work that much more to find our place in the LA music scene.
Shanti: Do you feel support from other underground bands in Los Angeles area?
Nikki: Absolutely! The network of bands that are here in the LA alternative/progressive/rock/metal scene are very supportive of each other…I see a lot of bands cross promoting, going to support each other at live shows, musicians doing guest appearances or playing in multiple bands. Personally, we love to support and go to shows, and the simple truth is we are all trying to build a stronger musical community between the artists and fans – rock music (in all its forms) can be and is very much alive and well, if we come together \m/
Shanti: Would you like to collaborate with someone?
Nikki: Collaboration is always something we are open to. It’s fun and challenging and it brings in a whole new realm of sounds and possibilities…which is very exciting to us! Right now we would love to collaborate with a team of producers/engineers who can help us grow artistically and creatively, and whose ideas help capture the sound and vision we are going for with our new music. We want to push ourselves further than we ever have in the past – and we want to create something that has to be ‘experienced’, something that grows on the listener and has longevity.
Nikki: When I first started out in the band, there were definitely those moments where people (club owners, other bands etc.) thought I was just “with the band” – so I had to work a bit harder to “prove myself” as a serious musician, but these days it’s more common to see females in rock…and kicking ass too! I think any musician (regardless of gender) has to work hard, be patient, stay honest and create for the love of creating to make it in this industry.
Shanti: Will we see Lucid Fly on tour this year?
Nikki: Unfortunately, there is no tour in the works for this year, but a “one off” show is never out of the question! Our main focus is to finish the recording that we started in Oregon this summer and to release and tour in early 2015.
Shanti: Does your partnership with online Lucky Star Radio help you share the music?
Nikki: Most definitely! Lucky Star Radio, Diggy Kat and Miss Mouse have always been so supportive of Lucid Fly and the entire music scene actually 🙂 We got the opportunity to become hosts of a monthly radio show called NegativeSp8ce where we showcase 8 bands from all over the world (on the first Tuesday of each month). Teaming up with LSR was perfect timing too… it’s been a great way to debut our brand new singles, as well as, introduce fans to music we discover, believe in, and that inspires us!
Shanti: What or who inspires you now?
Nikki: My inspiration comes from everywhere…music, beauty, nature, life experiences and just the act of creating. Currently, some bands that really inspire me are: Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus, Katatonia, Tesseract, any project that Maynard James Keenan, Daniel Tompkins or Chino Moreno are involved in… 🙂 They are all creative geniuses, at the top of their game…IMO 😉
Nikki: Thank you so much! We are looking forward to sharing our 3rd new single! We will be debuting it on NegativeSp8ce on Lucky Star Radio on Tuesday, October 7th at 5pm PST. See you there!!
* a friend stumbled over an old newspaper with a headline that read “Lucid Flies Into The Record Book”, featuring an article on astronaut Shannon Lucid, who had broken the record for the longest duration in space by an American, as well as by a female. From that headline, Lucid Fly was born.
Lucid Fly – What Winter Was Like