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Lucid Fly Interview

Lucid Fly Interview By: Sam Grant
With: Nikki Layne of Lucid Fly

Interview Info
By: Sam Grant
With: Nikki Layne of Lucid Fly
April 2006

Sam:  Maybe I’m not the first person to ask this but it has to be done. Why the name Lucid Fly? I imagine it doesn’t relate to the insect but more to the sensation of movement, as the album title hints at.

Nikki: Lucid Flies into the Record Book...The name "Lucid Fly" came from this newspaper headline about America's most experienced astronaut, female pioneer Dr. Shannon Lucid. We felt we had exhausted all the names and got tired of pulling randomly out of the dictionary, so when a friend saw the headline, the name just kind of stuck!

Sam:  My favourite song by far on the album is Center Of Your Space – it’s certainly the most progressive. Artists generally don’t like to reveal the meanings behind their songs – care to break the mould?

Nikki: The song "Center Of Your Space" is one of our earlier songs, and it basically envelopes the thoughts about relationships and people coming in & out of your life and what lessons you might learn from these experiences.

Sam:  I would describe Lucid Fly very much as progressive rock – what other genres of music do you have an interest in and you think might have influenced you sound?

Nikki:  To me our style has been very difficult to categorize because we all have such diverse influences. I would definitely describe the music as progressive hard rock. My favorite types of genres would have to include Rock (of all types), Metal, Ambient, Pop, Folk, Trip Hop, Soul, Jazz. I draw from anything that moves me.

Sam:   Adapting To Gravity has been out for about a year now – what was the response of the album in the media and what expectations did you have of the album’s reception prior to its release?

Nikki:  The response of ATG has been awesome, we most often get that people can’t take it out of their cd player...which is great! I have always felt like our music is edgy and has an unexpectedness to it that grows on you. We have been lucky enough to sell cds all over the world! Prior to its release, we really had no expectations - we just wanted to have great recordings of our songs and something to sell to our fans…we feel very lucky that we were able to accomplish that and that people are listening and buying it!

Sam:  In Collide there is a philosophical hint of inevitability in the desires for two people to get romantically involved. Do you believe in the pull of fate or do you think that everything is indeterminate and we all have the sole power to decide our own courses?

Nikki:  From my own experience, I feel that everyone we meet and everything that happens is for a reason. I feel we choose our fate based on the experiences that are beyond our control. I don’t feel there are coincidences…life is about choices-its all in the mindset.

Sam:  The rock that Lucid Fly makes is certainly very assured and skilful but are there any other avenues of composition you would like to explore or is rock an undying passion for you?

Nikki:  Well, my first passion is definitely rock, but I am really not limiting myself to just one genre. I really feed off all types of music…like I love drum n bass grooves, I love soulful music, so I guess I will just continue to play from the heart, and whatever comes out will come out!

Sam:  The singing on the album is very adept. What training and experience have you had vocally over the year? When did you first start singing?

Nikki:  Lucid Fly is the first band I have ever been in, I grew up in a very creative environment full of musicians, painters, artists etc. so I was destined to become an artist myself. I have never really had any formal vocal training but I have been singing my whole life (but I kept it to myself until about 8 years ago). My main influences (vocally) are: Maynard James Keenan, Imogen Heap, Ann Wilson, Chris Cornell, Pat Benatar...just to name a few!

Sam:  I notice you have quite an intense gigging schedule – what kind of reaction do you generally get at gigs and what have been the most memorable gigs so far and the ones you’d least like to remember?

Nikki:  Yes, we have been keeping a steady gig schedule. We get a great response at every show, building a solid fan base all over. I think our best, most memorable show was the most recent tour we played. We travelled to Austin, TX for the SXSW Music Conference. We played at the infamous "Coyote Ugly" for a Music Gorilla Showcase. The crowd was very responsive, the venue was fun and intimate (and quirky J) We played tight and the sound was huge!!! Any time we travel is a great band bonding experience, but when we play well and get great feedback it just motivates us that much more to keep doing what we love…

Sam:  You have only played inside the US, it seems. What is the best country you have been to on a personal level and which country which you most like to play in as a band?

Nikki: Yes, so far we have played mostly in the Southeast & Midwest Regions of the US: FL, GA, KY, LA, TX, OH, PA. On a personal level, I have been to the tropical regions: Aruba, Bahamas, Grand Cayman, Mexico, but my passport is here and ready for use, lol!!! As a band we would love to play in Europe, Australia, Japan. We are ready for world domination, haha..

Sam:  I think that Lucid Fly definitely has the ability to be signed to a label. Is this something that you’re geared towards and are interested in making a commitment to?

Nikki:  We are very committed as a band, and work very hard to write good music, be professional and put on the best live performance possible. We absolutely would love to get signed to a major/indie label..but "making it" to us is pushing our personal limits as musicians, being as creative as possible, and also playing our music for as many people as possible, everything else is icing on the cake!

Sam:  Has Lucid Fly been through various incarnations? Can you tell us a little about the band’s history?

Nikki:  The band originated with Nikki (vocals) and Doug (guitarist) in 1998 and after a few member changes we came across Derrick (drummer) in 2002 and Justin (bass)...we got together and worked on some ideas and at that point we knew we hit on a winning combination...we’ve been collaborating ever since J

Sam:   Tell us more about your personal formative years. Would you say you had a normal upbringing? What elements of your youth do you think have influenced and become integrated in your music?

Nikki:  Well, I would say I turned out pretty normal, lol but growing up it was never a dull moment. I was immersed in music (mostly southern rock, classic rock, gospel & country) My father was in a southern rock band...he played guitar, harmonica, and sang, and my grandparents, my aunt and my uncle were in several country bands. They played everything from banjo, guitar, piano, and of course sang. I was very fortunate to be surrounded with such talent. I was very shy and although I knew I had a voice, I never revealed it until about 8 years ago…sure glad I did! I think the fact that my family was so open to all music is what gave me the courage, and the power to be to create my own music.

Sam:  I imagine music is not your full-time job. What do you do when you’re not spending your time in a band? What are your interests, day activities and obsessions?

Nikki:  I do work at an entertainment industry related media arts college, but Lucid Fly is pretty much 2 full time jobs wrapped into 1 for me. In addition to rehearsing and writing at least 3x’s a week, I manage and book all the shows which keeps me very busy. When I do find time for R&R, I listen to new music, I love to travel, I love fashion/makeup, I like reading and hanging out with friends. Oh, and I can always go for some good sushi or Mexican food!

Sam:  Have you started working on any new material and what future enhancements can we expect from Lucid Fly’s sounds in the future?

Nikki:  Yes, we have been working on lots of new material...that is our focus for the time being, we also gearing up for a video shoot for the song No Sleep, and looking forward to that.

Sam:  Before you go, do you have any word for the devoted and obsessed Sonic Cathedral faithful?

Nikki:  Well, be sure to check out our music on the upcoming Sonic Cathedral compilation series called "Sirens". Also, thanks for being such great fans who support our music...keep spreading the word…hope to see you at a show in the near future! Keep rockin’.