“Naked… That’s how we’re all born, right?”
In this week’s Remedy Jam Session, we are thrilled to have a no holds barred discussion with Canadian Rocker Lucas Silveira. He has had quite an amazing journey both professionally and personally. In the midst of a tour promoting his brand new solo acoustic record “Mockingbird,” Lucas holds nothing back in our interview. Let’s begin our chat with the lead singer of The Cliks!
LUCAS SILVEIRA: L-Beach was pretty amazing. It was their second year running and there were over 4000 people there so it’s obviously a much needed festival in the area. The show went really well and I just had a lot of fun. We were treated so well which makes for a completely successful performance. We had a lot of fans there and that was really inspiring as I haven’t been back in almost 3 years since the last European tour.
I am currently touring solo in Canada opening for Hunter Valentine and Sick Of Sarah in support of my new acoustic album. As far as preparation goes, well, there is no way to prepare for touring so I’ve given up on that idea of to be honest. You just get yourself out there and run with it. Touring is a beast and the nature of it is that it has no stability as far as being mentally prepared. It can be great or it can be a nightmare. It really depends where your head is at in your life. You just try to do your best. The best part of touring is performing and meeting fans. That’s why I do it. All the travel, junk food, I could do without.
RJO: Congratulations on you new solo acoustic record “Mockingbird!” (Buy your copy here!) What inspired this acoustic record?
LS: About 2 years ago I started posting covers that I did on The Cliks YouTube channel. I got an amazing response. I also did it because vocally I was transitioning and I thought it would be interesting to hear the evolution of my voice. I started getting requests for covers all the time and then requests for MP3′s of the covers I did.
As I evolved in my transition, my artistic expression did as well and it just felt like the right time to go back to the roots of my songs and bring them from the ground up.
RJO: Knowing that you are the lead and the one consistent figure through the years in your band “The Cliks,” what prompted the decision to release this new record as a “Lucas Silveira” recording as opposed to an acoustic “Cliks” album? What is in store for the future?
LS: The Cliks is one side of me and this is just another. With everything that went down with the band losing members, becoming an indie artist again, changing over from a scum bag manager to amazing management, and all the back and forth, I just wanted to do something that was easy and felt true to me. I didn’t want to deal with all the negotiation that I had before in compromising my artistic vision. I also felt it was a good way to ease people into changes I’ve gone through and do it at it’s most naked. That’s how we’re all born, right? The Cliks is an ongoing and ever evolving project, like me. If you love The Cliks, you have to be a person who accepts growth and change. I hate stagnant bullshit. My thought was that I’d rather lose fans who won’t accept the changes and gain new ones who embrace it, but I feel lucky that my fans have stuck around and grown with me. That is a great feeling of accomplishment.
RJO: I want to commend you on being an inspiration for ANYONE who is faced with the most challenging of obstacles and still striving to achieve. You have not only had quite the ride, from music industry challenges, constant band changes to personal gender identity issues. Major congratulations for being the first Trans-man fronted band to get signed by a major label. Firstly, how can you sum up that strength to push forward through the lowest times? Secondly, knowing your successes in both countries, do you feel there is a difference between the acceptance from the American music industry and the acceptance from the Canadian music industry?
LS: First off, thank you for the kind words. Secondly, yes, it’s been more of a challenge than I like to admit. It still continues to be on a daily basis but the reality is that my life is challenging and I can either give up or keep moving forward. Although there have been many times where I just want to completely throw in the towel, I know that would make me more miserable than anything. It’s hard to find joy sometimes but I’d rather be who I am, as I am, so I just tell myself that I have no other choice.
The industry is a funny place. It’s volatile. I like where I am right now because it works best with my artistic development. Oddly, I was accepted more by outsiders than my own camp. My old band members were pretty cruel to me at times, outside of Nina, my old guitar player who was completely accepting of me. My old manager, after firing him, I can’t tell you all the stories that came out of the woodwork. I also had a horrid experience with the president of Tommy Boy who sent an email regarding the cover of Dirty King, making a reference that this was a rock band, not an episode of “Nip Tuck”. That shit killed me inside. I was distraught. Oddly, I was treated with the most kindness by the major label Warner Music Canada. I never had one issue with them. Kind and respectful. Always. I don’t sense much of a difference in the US and Canadian music industry outside of the fact that there is so much more out there in the US so you get lost in the shuffle. I don’t really strive for that main stream success so it doesn’t really bother me anymore, although I would completely accept it if it came my way. I’m not that dumb. Haha!
RJO: Can you share one of your Remedy Jams with us?
LS: I think a song that has always killed me is Jeff Buckley’s Last Goodbye. It’s why I chose to cover it on my new record. There’s just something about that song that after experiencing the loss of love, which to me is the greatest ache in life. It just hits you in places that can make you feel your hurt all over again. Sometimes you need to go to those places in music to feel like you’re not alone. When I hurt the most over love, that song has been my emotional remedy.
RJO: On stage you are this passionate, strong, serious, in-the-moment performer with this voice that has an endless depth. You exude intimidation! What is Lucas like in the silliest of moments and what is one guilty pleasure TV show that fans wouldn’t expect you to watch?
LS: I always find it so interesting when people think I’m this super serious guy. Yes, I can be an intense person but I can also be a big nerd and I seriously like to laugh a lot. Also, you’d totally change your mind if you saw me with an animal, particularly dogs. I become a total goofball. Squeaky baby voices and all. It cracks people up but I can’t help myself. And I have an obsession with watching The Cosby Show. Not sure if it’s a guilty pleasure or me just taking myself back to my childhood crush on Lisa Bonet.
RJO: Thank you so much for being a part of our Remedy Jam Session series Lucas! Have a great time on tour and hope to see you back in NYC soon!
LS: You are so welcome. Thanks so much!
Check out Lucas Silveira and The Cliks’ music video for “Dirty King.”
Lucas Silveira is currently touring the US and Canada. He will be performing a solo acoustic show in Brooklyn, NY at Branded Saloon on May 27th, 8pm. For tour details, click here!
Interview by Rich Overton for Remedy Jam Outburst