Lucas Silveira is the lead singer and guitarist from the Canadian rock band The Cliks. They released their major label debut Snakehouse in 2007 and recently released another amazing album called Dirty King last year. Last night I had the pleasure of sitting down with him for an interview. Perched side stage at The Studio at Webster NYC, I indulged in an intimate conversation with him about music, touring the US, and what’s in store for The Cliks. I would be remiss in not mentioning how open, kind, and charming Lucas is. No wonder he has fans stealing kisses from him…
First of all I want to thank you for taking the time to speak with me.
Lucas: No problem, I always tell people, you guys take the time to come here, you’re, like, you’re helping us, so it’s my pleasure.
Thank you. So as you said outside you’ve been touring for how many weeks now?
Lucas: 6 weeks
How’s it been?
Lucas: It’s been great. This is actually, probably the one of the most fun tours I’ve ever done and we’re touring together with Hunter Valentine. Before we started I was like, ‘I don’t know, it’s going to be 6 people in a van, this is going to be insane, we’re going to go crazy, we’re all going to lose our minds,’ but it was actually really fun and everybody was so cool and respectful and, you know, there were times when we were sharing 6 people to a hotel room and, I don’t know, It was really great, it was fun and they’re such great gals. The shows were great. Some of the highlights, I would say, were San Francisco, Los Angeles, and I’m hoping New York will be as well because I love playing here.
Yeah New York loves you guys.
Lucas: Yeah! That’s the thing, we’ve had such amazing luck here and, yea, this time around I’m like ‘I just want to move here!’ but we’ll see how it goes.
You should! I saw you guys play last time in Brooklyn, and you had Tobi Parks (from Bambi) and Brian Viglione (Dresden Dolls) join you..
Lucas: Oh yeah, that was last year at The Knitting Factory. That was a fun show! Tobi’s coming tonight.
Lucas: Yeah she’s coming, she was, one of the reasons she didn’t do the tour was because she’s in another band called Bambi and they had a summer stage show so she couldn’t do it. But the I found Jungle…
Lucas: Dude, you should see him play! He’s fun. He’s a good guy.
Looking back on the tour and the places you’ve been, what moments stick out most?
Lucas: Um, well the good moments that stick out, I would say are Columbus, Ohio. We had such a great crowd and people there are just so welcoming. The other thing that sticks out is that this tour was done in a very do-it-yourself kind of, like save as much money as possible kind of way and we certainly did a lot of couch surfing. I met some of the most amazing people who were so generous, who didn’t know us from anything but through music connections and knowing people in certain towns, they took us in, let us sleep on their couches and, you know, their extra beds, extra rooms. They were so nice to us.
A weird moment that I had on this tour was in Denver were a fan bought me a drink at the side of the stage and it was, like, a shot of Whiskey and she made this gesture for me to kiss her on the cheek, which I was like ‘okay that’s cute, I’ll do it.’ Then I turn around to go give her a kiss on the cheek and she turned her head around and stuck her tongue down my throat. (laughs) I was like, ‘That’s not cool, I don’t know about you but, that’s not cool.’ So I was a little annoyed by that. But other than that, it’s been totally great. People are fucking weird. (laughs)
Oh I know. (laughs) How did you come up with the current line up that you have now?
Lucas: Literally, it was just searching through musician friends and yeah, it was weird. Jungle, I’ve known him for a long time but we’ve sort of come in and out of each others lives because he lives in Montreal. Which is why he has a cute French accent and but yea, I ended up putting up this post that I was looking for a new band and he wrote me an email and I was just like ‘great!’ and Jeremy, the drummer, was the same thing. It was just like we knew friends, through friends.
That’s awesome. Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Lucas: (laughs) Um…at this point, not really. I think, what I’ve been doing, people ask me this all the time, and I just kind of like chill out in my head and, it’s finding a space in yourself almost. But my pre-show ritual this tour has been to watch Hunter Valentine perform every time, and it’s funny because I know them from Toronto and I’ve seen them so much there and they’ve grown as a band so much. It’s like watching a little sister grow up. So that’s what I’ve been doing. Not much, I haven’t been drinking so there’s no getting drunk or anything like that (laughs), which I would never do before getting on stage anyway.
How is is being a Canadian band touring in the US and opposed to being a Canadian band touring in Canada?
Lucas: Well, the great thing about the US is that there is a lot in a very small distance. The problem with Canada is that it’s such a big country but the population is not even close to that but in the US, it’s very far and a few in between. So here we get to cover a lot of ground. Also, culturally, there is a lot of differences. Like, for example if you ask for a small drink here it’s like an extra large in Canada (laughs). Everything here is super-sized. So yea, but I’ve toured this country like , I don’t know, for the last 4 years, so it feels very…it doesn’t feel foreign to me anymore and whereas Toronto and in Canada, we barely tour it because it’s too expensive to tour and when we do, it’s short runs.
What kind of music and artists have you been into lately? Outside you were saying that you are really into Robin.
Lucas: Yeah I’ve been listening to Robin!
That’s an amazing album.
Lucas: It’s funny because I play rock music but I listen to a lot of like mainstream R&B so, I’ve actually, it’s so funny because I was talking to Jungle about Beyonce and he was like ‘I don’t know, it’s Beyonce’ and I was like ‘Dude, as if!’ So I had him listen to it and now he’s been listening to it nonstop. Now he’s like ‘I’m going to go out and buy a Beyonce album,’ so that’s what I listen to a lot. I listen to, like, you know, pretty mainstream stuff. In the van we were just listening to the new Stars album, the new Arcade Fire album, which are both really, really good, and Robin nonstop. And Rihanna! (laughs)
I love Rihanna!
I know, as if, (sings) hottie, and she’s a fucking amazing singer.
For me, the summer of 2008 was, I remember that summer was all about your Snakehouse album. I was doing an internship at a music supervising company at the time and I was organizing CDs and if there were doubles I could take one home. I remember, I saw the cover and it was just the cover first of all that drew my attention, so I took the CD, listened to it, and I remember that summer was all about The Cliks.
Lucas: Were you going through a break-up? (laughs)
(Laughs) No, just going through shitty employment. I was in LA at the time and on summer break from school and I was working the overnight shift stocking shelves.
Lucas: That’s hard work.
Yeah, and that album is what got me through. That was my summer album for 2008. So my question to you is, do you have a specific period in your life that you can associate with a particular album?
Lucas: Oh hell yeah. Last year, I was going through this like, sort of, you know the band left and stuff was happening in my life and everything was renewing. I started listening to Adele and that album stuck with me for quite some time. But probably one of the biggest albums that sticks that way for me is Jeff Buckley Grace. That, like, if I had one album that I could take with me for the rest of my life, that would be the one. So that carried me through a very difficult time in my life.
As a musician, what are the 3 things that you would still like to do?
Lucas: I would love, and this has always been a dream of mine, to do an opening slot for David Bowie. That would be, I would probably pee in my pants if I did that. Top three…that’s one of them, that’s for sure. I think, I would love to record a really experimental acoustic, sort of album, that’s not so heavy rock. And now, I’ve just started transitioning physically with testosterone and my voice is changing, so I’m really excited to record an album where I hear my voice as the way I hear it my head, for the first time. So that’s something I really want to do. I also want to record an R&B album, because I love soul music and it’s something that I’ve always loved so much. I love the blend of soul and rock which is, when I was growing up, that’s all I listened to and Lenny Kravitz was my biggest hero, because of that. He knew how to blend rock and roll and soul. So like, something like that I would love to do.
That would be amazing!
Lucas: Fuck yeah!
Last question, what’s in the works for The Cliks for the end of 2010, beginning of 2011?
Lucas: Well, I want to record an album by the end of the year, another one, and essentially The Cliks has become me at this point. I have rotating members right now and I think I’m going to keep it that way because it seems like a can’t keep a monogynous relationship with my band (laughs) so that’s sort of the plan. To mainly go out and record a new album and start touring again. That’s all you have planned. It’s just like, tour, record an album, tour, record an album, tour…so I’m really excited for this next album so, I already have a lot of stuff written for it. That’s what I’m hoping for. I know that we are most likely going to be doing a European tour next year in March so I’m really excited to go.
That is so awesome, I’m actually planning on going to Europe in March so I’m going to have to catch up with you guys.
Lucas: Right on! Go to Germany because we’re playing this festival called L-Beach and we’re going to plan a tour around it.
Awesome! Man, that’s so exciting. Thanks so much, I really appreciate you sitting and talking with me.
Lucas: No problem Nya.