By MIKE CHAIKEN
On April 3, the sounds of Bristol will fill The Space in Hamden when local band Lucid Empire steps onto a stage that has seen its share of national acts through the years.
The band, still relatively new on the Constitution State scene having launched just last October, already has an EP of its own to promote at the talent-packed gig.
The Observer caught up with the members of Lucid Empire, which is Michael Garcia on lead vocals/emcee/guitar; Noel Roberge on drums and backup vocals; Larry Casey on bass; Jamille Matos on emcee duties; Ian Skelskey on guitar; and Ruben Soto on keyboard and saxophone. Garcia handled the questions from the Observer on behalf of the band.
Observer: First of all, how did Lucid Empire come together… how did you guys meet?
Lucid Empire: It’s funny three of us went to (Bristol Eastern High School) and the other half of the band went to Bristol Central High School. I met two members at BEHS and the rest through community theater. However, it wasn’t until the summer of 2013 that what first started as the usual group of people I collaborated on my solo material, quickly became the tight knit circle of friends we are today. As a result, collaborations became more and more frequent and it was only a matter of time before assembling what we know today as Lucid Empire was on the back of each member’s mind.
O: What was it about this combination of musicians that you guys said, hmmm, we’ve got something here?
LE: Although we were always happy with the music we were making, it didn’t truly hit us that we had something until three things happened. For one, we were getting calls, texts and messages from everyone we showed snippets of our music every day, asking when our music was coming out. Secondly, the overwhelmingly positive feedback and of course, simply sitting back and listening to the finished product as a whole from a listeners standpoint instead of simply hearing it at practice where everyone is more focused on their individual parts.
O: How would you describe your sound and who are your musical influences?
LE: There really is no other way to explain our sound other than very mixed. Each song varies in its influence of several genres but you will always be able catch traces of reggae, blues, soul, and hip hop.
Sublime, Passafire, Max Bemis from Say Anything, Slug from Atmosphere, Hall and Oates, Jason Mraz, Allen Stone, John Mayer, Immortal Technique, Outkast, Maynard Ferguson, Wax, Herbal T, Billy Joel, Dub FX, Reeps One, Reggie Watts and IceJJfish (are our musical influences).
O: Talk to me about the EP. Is it all original material? As fans of music, stepping back as if you weren’t the ones playing on it, what do you like about how Lucid Empire sounds like on record?
LE: The “Cool Beans” EP is entirely composed of original material, some songs of which were written months even years before the band’s assembly, and some more recently developed.
As fans of music, each individual comes from a wide spectrum of influences and enjoys seemingly every genre. The band members and I would agree one of the favorite things about this record for the person sitting back and listening has got to be that each song is like a “Melting Pot” of genres so to speak. The “Cool Beans” EP is the perfect combination of a smooth blending of genres and not ever knowing what to expect. Most importantly, it is what many people are considering to be a successful attempt to going back to our musical roots and creating catchy but powerful meaningful music in a generation where many consider such a thing to be a dying art.
O: You’re going to be playing at The Space. What can folks expect from Lucid Empire on stage.
LE: Ultimately Lucid Empire hopes to create a very comfortable atmosphere. We want each listener to feel a connection with us and feel as if they’re simply watching group of their friends jam out and most importantly have fun in hopes that they watch the show with as much energy as we will be exerting through our music.
Lucid Empire plays The Space, 295 Treadwell St., Hamden. Thursday, April 3 at 6 p.m. The bill also includes soloists Miranda Bishop, Kyrell Clemons, Dan Czlapinski, and lead singer Isabella Riccio and bassist of the band Cruel Metrics.
For more information, go to TheSpaceCT.com or to lucidempire. bandcamp.com/album/cool-beans-demo