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Interview: Lead Singer Reveals Cliks Break-Up

A week ago Tuesday, founder and lead-singer of Toronto's The Cliks, Lucas Sliveira posted an announcement on the band's MySpace blog that The Cliks' drummer (Morgan Doctor) and bassist (Jen Benton) were leaving the band. Read it here. We followed-up with a quick, frank and exclusive interview with Lucas about what went down, his feelings about the change and the future of The Cliks.

QCh-ch-ch-changes! For most, change, in the end, is good. A time to renew, grow, move on. Is this the case for The Cliks?

Without a doubt in my mind, this is actually a good thing. I see ends as a new beginning. People grow together; people grow apart. That's all that happened here. This just as a part of growing up. When a songwriter grows, the music grows. I once again have that great sense of freedom that comes with songwriting. Only good can come from this.

QHow did you get the news that Jen and Morgan were leaving? Quiet sit-down, drunken brawl, ooh-snap drama? What went down?

Ooh snap-drama and drunken brawls we're the initial stages pretty much. The final decision came through technology. Morgan was sensitive enough to do it through a text on her iPhone. Ha-ha. Jen quit one day after and she and I had a sit-down. It was emotional and difficult. Not many people understand the relationship band mates have with each other. It's like a marriage and just as in marriages, when you stop growing together, you know it’s time for divorce.

QObviously, from your post, we see that this was not a total surprise. When did you sense that change was gonna come?

We'd been having problems for almost two years. I think initially we all had it in us to try to make it work but in the end there were issues that could not be ignored. I knew it was over a long time ago. I just didn't understand why Jen and Morgan kept hanging on, so I left in their hands. The last night of our New York Dolls tour (in Denver) was what really sealed it. Yes, there was a drunken brawl in a hotel room and I asked Morgan the question, "If you're so unhappy, why don't you just leave?" Morgan's answer was "I quit!" She didn't mean it then, but she meant it later, via iPhone.

QWhen you first conceived the band, did you have a beginning to end vision in your mind? A plot you’d hoped to follow? And if so, did it involve change and what kinds of changes did you or do you continue to foresee?
I definitely had a vision and I still do. I am driven by creating. That has always been the most important thing. As far as a band was concerned, I just wanted to be surrounded by players who loved, wanted to be a part of and who supported what I created; my vision.

For Jen and Morgan, it started out that way, but over time they stopped seeing my vision and started seeing their own. It became a battle. I understood their talent and tried to validate them as much as I could, but unfortunately, I don't feel they could find it within themselves to validate me as the creative force behind the band. With that attitude, we would have destroyed each other. So now the open road is in front of me. I need to–and know I will–find musicians who support my vision.

It’s often true, that, as they say, change is good. With a nearly clean slate, aside from the band’s history and several great tours, what’s next?

Change is always good. Scary, but good. I'm no stranger to it. Right now I want to focus on what's important: the music and getting it to the fans. But I want to do it right. The fans are really important to me, so I don't want to just slap together a loose line up for the sake of touring. I have more respect for my audience than that. They pay to see a good show and that's what I intend to give them. My main focus right now is to find a killer line up. With this band's history that it should be a breeze. Then, world domination of course. At least, that’s always been the plan!

QAs you’re eyeing new band members, give us your ultimate band line-up, doesn’t matter how famous, or if your choices are already in other bands.

I really have my eye on Brian Viglione of Dresden Dolls fame. He's doing a show with The Cliks in Washington, DC. I'm hoping to reel him in but that may take some work–as he is in another band–but with witchcraft and voodoo, anything is possible. As for a bass player, maybe Kim Gordon or Divinity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qggBaJ_SpEk&feature=related who plays with Beyonce: She can bring it! But I think I may have already found someone who can knock everyone's socks off.

QYou’ve been through several line-ups as The Cliks, ever considered going solo as Lucas Silveira?

Oh hells yes! All the time! It’d be so much easier, than to deal with the personalities–and egos–that come with a band. Ego is part of the essence of being a creator. That ego drives you, it helps you write, it gives you confidence on stage and it’s what connects with the audience. In a band situation, it can be difficult to do your job as a front person, when people see your ego as a negative thing. That's when the battle comes. I hate that shit. Good bands happen when everyone knows their place and is confident that their place is as valid as anyone else's. Going solo can be so liberating, because you don't have to waste your energy with this stuff. On the other hand, there is nothing like being on stage with musicians who you know are there for you and know you’re there for them. That team feeling is really amazing, but when it goes sour, it's ugly.

The Cliks "Dirty King" album is out now. The "Dirty King" video can be seen on MTV's Logo channel and website.






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