Sunday, 19th August 2018. 2:16:05am ET
Interviews Ethereal Interview- Lycia

 

Band: Lycia
Interviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 10/26/03

I recently interviewed Tara Vanflower of Lycia and got the scoop about Lycia's recent label change and the upcoming release of Lycia's long-anticipated Empty Space album. Enjoy! -Josh

Hey, thanks for taking the time to answer my rambling questions. I hope you're both in good health these days and things are going well for you guys down there. It's already snowed here in western NY.

I suppose I'll start off with the burning question that most fans have had in the back of their minds for a few years. For those that don't know.a while back, you were working on an album called Empty Space with sort of a reunion lineup featuring past Lycia members. The album was abandoned during Lycia's temporary retirement and partially released in mp3 format, but later secretly completed along with 2 videos planned for a multimedia section on the CD. However, the album, despite being highly anticipated by Lycia fans, has been sitting on a shelf gathering dust. Are there any current plans to release Empty Space?

YES! Empty Space is due out on Silber Records December 2nd. It's on pre-order right now. The album wasn't really "secretly completed"...it's in the very form it was the day we quit working on it. There will be no videos on the cd.

Having worked with changing lineups through the years, which have you found easier/more productive/more memorable: working with a larger group like on Empty Space or Lycia's current two-member lineup?

I guess this is more of a "mike question" but i think i can answer for the both of us. It's obviously nice working with other people because they have fresh ideas and have a way of looking at a song that you wouldn't even consider, but by the same token, working alone is a lot easier because you don't have to worry about conflicting schedules and fighting and all that good stuff. We had some real fun times working with other people, but by the same token it could also be very frustrating. Both ways have positives and negatives. It's easier for us to work alone at this point (and we're not really working on anything anyways!).

Now a few questions about your latest release. How did the production of Steve Roach effect the overall sound of Tripping Back into the Broken Days? Were the original recordings radically different? If so, in what ways did they change and how did they evolve from their original incarnations into the album versions?

Steve basically just added a few FX here and there for the most part. He made the album a little more lush sounding. He did the pre-mastering....not really any song writing. He did some cool little tricks on a song or two and added some nice FX. The songs pretty much sound just like they originally sounded....just a little spicier.

If memory serves me right, Tripping Back into the Broken Days was originally intended to be an album by your processed acoustic side-project, Estraya. On the next Lycia album (if there is one), do you think you'll continue in a minimalist processed acoustic direction or return to more of a layered, percussive Lycia sound?

The reason "tripping" came out under the Lycia name was because we were told if it didn't it was getting no promotion and it would only be available on the Projekt website. We felt the album was too strong and we'd worked too hard for it to get such a lack of consideration. So we decided just to call it a "Lycia" record. The joke was on us though because it still got virtually no promotion whatsoever. Empty Space IS the last Lycia record. It was Mike's decision to make "Tripping" a Lycia release. He regrets that decision but thought it was the best thing to do at the time. To this day we both see it as an Estraya release.

I highly doubt there will be another Lycia record, but we've said that before. More than likely it will be solo material from here on out, and lord only knows what that will sound like.

How has technology impacted Lycia's evolving sound? Has the move from analog 4-track recording in the early days to 8-track recording to today's full digital recording and sampling technology had a large impact on your songwriting methods and production techniques?

I think the heart of creation is the same as it's always been. Technology just makes recording easier and sound cleaner. It's obviously impacted Mike in the way he goes about recording, but he was making brilliant albums on 4 track and could've continued to do that without all the new fangled equipment. He's just got more toys to play with now.

Last year, a number of songs from Cold were licensed for use in the film Lana's Rain, but Mike also wrote 6 new instrumental tracks for consideration that were never submitted. Are those tracks likely to show up anywhere in the future? Are you interested in doing original film soundtrack work in the future?

We would LOVE to get involved in soundtrack work, unfortunatly that's a hard thing to get into. The extra songs will eventually come out in one distorted way or another I would assume.

You originally released Estraya's The Time Has Come and Gone EP under your own label, Lycium Music. Things, however, didn't quite go as planned. Are there any plans to revive Lycium Music and release your own material in the future, or is that a something of a dead horse?

Dead horse. We have no plans to add extra work to our already overworked backs. It would've been cool if we'd been able to devote the kind of time, energy and money it would've required. We're content to release music on Silber.

If I'm not mistaken, nearly a full album's worth of material was completed or partially finished under the Lycia side project Dust? Five of the tracks were featured on Compilation Appearances Volume I. Is the remainder of this material still in existence? Will the unreleased songs ever see the light of day?

I doubt those songs will ever see the light of day. I'm never going to say "never" though as we've been known to change our minds on occasion. It's highly doubtful.

I know that fans of the bands you've toured with didn't always like/understand Lycia. Any particularly interesting memories of being heckled.or being surprised by receiving a positive response when one wasn't expected?

I think Syracuse NY stands out because of the ferocity of the crowd. Angry, skinhead, Type O Negative fans make for a scary performance! We were spit on and had things thrown at us. All I could do was say to myself "do NOT cry!do NOT cry!". It was really frightening. We had never performed in front of angry crowds before that tour. On the other hand, a few shows on that tour the crowds were really supportive (even chanting "lycia"! which was SUPRISING to say the least!) It makes for good stories now. We were fortunate in that generally speaking people were either into us, or were bored...not usually violent! ;)

Former Lycia member David Galas is currently working on a new solo album. Have you heard it? Any thoughts? Any secret guest appearances on his album that we should know about? Hhhmm?

I've only heard one track, so I can't really make any real judgement. No guest performances from the Lycia camp. Dave is a very competent musician, so I'm sure his release will be very professional and affective.

Have you given any thought to a follow-up to This Womb Like Liquid Honey or is a second Tara Vanflower solo album unlikely? Ever thought about releasing some type of poetry book?

I hope to begin working on a new solo release within the next year. I assume it will sound more like the "this old hag" portion of This Womb... as opposed to the dancier goofy tracks of that release. I can't say for sure though until I start working because things have a tendancy to change. I would love to release a book of poetry, I'm just not sure how to go about it and haven't dedicated the time to try and find out yet!

Well, I suppose I've bothered you long enough...heh Any final thoughts or things you'd like to share?

I just want to thank you for your interest! Please check out Empty Space at http://www.silbermedia.com

 

Thanks again for doing the interview. Best of luck with everything!


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