The Cliks | Dirty King
Silver Label / Tommy Boy Ent. (US)
US/UK/EUR Release Date: June 23, 2009
12.01.09 | The Cliks' Lucas Silveira Introduces His Fierce New Band
11.09.09 | The Cliks, Reloaded to Rock Brooklyn, Cambridge December
11.06.09 | The Cliks Lucas Silveira To Host MTV's Subterranean Nov 8/9!
9.14.09 | Chicks Split Cliks, King Lucas Reveals the Script...
8.24.09 | The Cliks Rock N Rule with "Dirty King"...
The Cliks' Lucas Silveira Introduces His Band's Fierce New Line-Up
The Cliks Lucas Silveira is here to introduce his band's stellar new members (Brian Viglione of Dresden Dolls and Tobi Parks), hypes their upcoming December shows and invites you to join him on MTV's Subterranean this Sunday. Read–and rock–on!
You have a new band with an exciting new line-up. Tell us about the new recruits. How are fans reacting to the news?
Yes, it is indeed exciting, especially seeing as I will share the stage now with the amazing Brian Viglione on drums and Tobi Parks on bass. I met Brian on the first True Colors tour when he played with the Dresden Dolls and was blown away not only by his mad skills on the kit but also by his stage presence. And with Tobi, we had actually met in New York when we played the old Knitting Factory and her band was the opener. What ended up happening was The Cliks had a show in Washington DC and we were just looking for a sub player at the time so a mutual friend told me she had someone if I’d like to meet her, I agreed and when we met I was like “Hey, I’ve met you before!” Before you know it, the three of us are in our first rehearsal and man, it was like that magic you have when it just all fits into place. I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time. It was just right and I knew it.
As for fan reaction, this will be the first time I officially announce the new line up but for the people who were at the Washington, DC show at Phasefest I can tell you that it was nothing but positive. I actually walked away from that show feeling it had been one of the best performances in my career.
You’ve been stalking Brian Viglione for a few years now, what’s it like to finally have him at your side and tell us about Tobi Parks?
Stalking, yes. Brooding over, casting spells, yes. To have Brian on is beyond amazing. The thing about Brian is that he’s the kind of person that when he’s in a project, he’s in it 110%. He not only gives his all on stage, he does it off stage as well. He has this positive energy that’s extremely difficult to shake. I’ve never been around the guy when he’s not always looking at the up side of things and that’s the kind of attitude I need around me. It makes me feel in so many ways that I don’t need to worry about anything.
The best thing about Brian is that I feel like he’s going to take the level of our performance through the roof. He’s not just a drummer back there beating on the drums, he’s a showman and when he gets going, I have a feeling I’m going to start getting jealous of the audience who can watch him while my back is turned to him. I think there will be a lot of turning around in my performances now. Ha ha.
With Tobi, it was a complete surprise. Tobi is like the most mellow, chill person I have ever met. It’s this solid energy, grounded, calm. You ask questions and you get one word answers that mean more than one word, because it seems that if there is nothing more to say, why bother. That sort of thing, which I love because I talk too much. Then we get on stage and I was like “What the fuck!?” Tobi went crazy, thrashing around the drum kit, making cymbal stands fall over. Brian’s looking at me as he stands up to catch the stand with this HUGE grin on his face because we were both stunned. I think Tobi stores up all the energy she needs and saves it for the stage where she let’s it all go and as a musician, there is nothing better than to see someone leave it all on the stage.
Can we expect new music or maybe a live recording with your new players?
Absolutely. I think the plan is to get a live EP of some new songs out in the Spring. I already have quite a few new songs under my hat.
Any national tour plans for early next year?
The plan is to go everywhere we didn’t go between the release of the album and now, due to the other members leaving. It might have put a stop to the touring momentarily but now it’s time to catch up. We have a lot on the go and as soon as it’s concrete the fans will be told.
You’re also about to tour with Hunter Valentine?
Yes, indeed we are.
Have you played together before?
Funny question. We’ve played together on stage and off stage. Ha ha.
Were you familiar with Kiyomi and the gang before you guys were signed to the same US label?
Oh yes. Me and Kiyomi go WAY back. I’ve known the gals for a long time. They are all from Toronto and we were all on the same scene so to speak. I’ve partied a lot with them and let me tell you, once you get a few drinks in Laura, well, it’s all fun and games until she’s walking around in high heels and her underwear. Thank god those 3 have Adrienne around to keep them in check. She’s like the tolerant parent with the crazy kids.
Any surprises in store for the shows? Group jam on stage?
Well if there were, I wouldn’t tell you because then it wouldn’t be a surprise now would it. You never know.
Any guest vocalists or musicians joining you on stage? (We all remember Cyndi Lauper’s pop-up appearances!)
Again, if it happens it happens. No plans but I always love having Cyndi at our shows and if she wants to come up again, well The Cliks are like that band that Cyndi can make herself at home with. We all have ties to her. Tobi as well, as she played with her. So we’re all just a big family.
Anything you want to say to fans anticipating the tour?
Come, come, come. Tell your friends to come. You won’t be sorry. We will be giving you the best shows the Cliks have ever performed. This is the energy I’ve always wanted on stage and when you come, there will be no looking back. We’re gonna kill it.
Finally, you're hosting MTV's "Subeterranean" show this Sunday night/Monday morning. Whatcha got planned for us?
Well, I had a great time shooting Subterranean at a shop called Brooklyn Tattoo, where I got tattooed by an amazing artist named Willie Paredes. Tune in to see what I got done, me and my cocky self in action, and The Cliks video for "Dirty King." Now what else could you ask for at 2 a.m. on a school night?
Composed from a place of deep turmoil, lead singer Lucas Silveira began work on the Cliks' second album following the highly successful tours behind sophomore release Snakehouse. The band's incendiary live shows became the calling card by which they were known, and in short order, musical heroes Ian Astbury of the Cult and Cyndi Lauper hand-picked the band for their respective tours. Late-night bookers were listening too, and soon the Cliks found themselves on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, not to mention a very special performance Lucas did with Cyndi Lauper on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The band picked up momentum and fans when Logo awarded them the NewNowNext Artist On the Brink Award which ultimately led to an appearance on teenybopper mecca TRL to discuss their plans for the future.
Though critically lauded and publicly adored, Silveira returned road weary and emotionally shattered. Having spent 400 days on the road touring behind Snakehouse, Silveira was eager to return home, but home wasn't the reprieve he'd hoped it would be. "The album is based around defeat, lies, deception, loss of trust in others and yourself," explains Silveira. "I wrote the album coming from a really lonely place." Indeed, the album plumbs difficult depths in the form of relationships and identity politics, as did the band's Warner Music debut, Snakehouse, but here, there is a redemptive quality absent from the band's previous output. The price of that, however, is eternal vigilance. "Dirty King is more about having risen out of the ashes, being on your feet, but constantly having to dodge people trying to knock you down," says Silveira.
With their rise out of the ashes comes new sonic territory for the band. Their most adventurous album to date finds the band teamed with producer-engineer Sylvia Massy (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tool) at her Weed, California based Radio Star Studios. "She's my kind of producer," says drummer Morgan Doctor. "She doesn't come from a singer-songwriter background, but an engineering background, so she's more about creating sound and texture in the studio." Massy's studio -- filled with enough amps, effects and instruments to make it a veritable playground for musicians – served as the band's bedrock to create the full range of the album's sounds and correlating emotions, from the jagged rock of its denials to the soulful balladry of its admissions.
The album's namesake, and perhaps the clearest distillation of Silveira's emotional state during the writing of the album, is "Dirty King." Based on the gulf between how Silveira felt and how he was perceived, the song slides in on a surf guitar riff as Silveira alternates between a vamp and growl, teasing out the chorus in a voice that manages to sound menacing and seductive at once. Elsewhere, the band changes gears on the mournful "Not Your Boy" and "Emily," the catchiest evidence of the band's expanding sound. "'Emily' is definitely a big leap for the Cliks as a band, but for myself as a songwriter, I have lots of songs like this under my belt. I just never introduced them to the band because I didn't feel like it was ‘Cliks' material," says Silveira of the waltzing, string-laden track that's more dulcet than biting. The song's inclusion is a testament to the direction of Massy, who encouraged Silveira to continue writing after he'd played her an early version. The song also demonstrates Massy's analog approach, and the adventurousness of the band. Where most producers would have downloaded the sound of glass breaking to use on the track, the band and producer headed out onto the streets of Weed to procure their own found noise. "We were out late at night on the main street of Weed, breaking a huge piece of glass and recording it live," says Doctor.
Dirty King also sees the band writing together, as well as playing. After bassist Jen Benton wrote the bassline for "Career Suicide" while on tour, she began playing it at soundcheck. Doctor suggested she continue developing it, and ultimately all three would collaborate to write it. "On tour Lucas and I came up with the pre-chorus together, [and] we put together the chorus and the bridge, which was written to a very rhythmically defined beat Morgan came up with," says Benton. "It was a great experience for [us]."
Despite themselves, the Cliks couldn't help but make a record that made order out of tumult and sense out of turbulence. With pop hooks lacing the rock spines The Cliks are known for, the songs inhabit the specificity of the circumstances under which they were written, all the while appealing to broader audience. •
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