For those of you Cyndi Lauper fans you might remember The Cliks from her True Colors tour several years back. Well lead singer/songwriter (and sometime actor and artist) of the Cliks is non other than Mr Lucas Silveira. And if you have been a fan of The Cliks you might remember Lucas a little different. Well Lucas Silveira is a new man. In the past several years Lucas has transitioned into a man. Of course Lucas was always a man it just took his physical body some time to adjust. New man, new year, and new music. The Cliks prepare for the release of their new EP titled Black Tie Elevator out in the spring of 2013. A new more rock/soul sound you will get. You can hear a sampling of the EP now on youtube and listen to the first single Savanna as well. And for those lucky fans in NY you can catch him performing February 16th at the Branded Saloon in Brooklyn. But for those who can’t make it here is a really deep soulful conversation with Mr Lucas Silveira.
Samara: How does it feel to be back with new music in 2013?
Lucas: It feels fantastic. After playing the same songs over and over again, it feels really exciting to think about getting into rehearsals
to play all new songs. I’m sure we’ll still play some of the old tunes but this is going to be a really big change for us live.
Samara: What can fans expect from this new album?
Lucas: Change and a lot of it. I feel like I’ve really hit a different place as a songwriter and a performer. I’m no longer feeling tied to what’s expected of me and I was willing to fight for it. I spent a long time trying to be something I wasn’t in many respects and so with this album I think fans can really expect to see me for the first time. My true self as a songwriter and the kind of artist I’ve always envisioned myself to be.
Samara: Is this your first album since you started transitioning?
Lucas: It’s the first Cliks album but not my first album since. I did a solo record of covers called Mockingbird back in early 2011 that also had a couple of originals. It was in itself a transitional album.
Samara: Has that transition affected your music in any way?
Lucas: More than I ever could have imagined. It completely changed me and my artistic expression. I know this is going to sound strange but I truly feel hormones changed my emotional pathways and how I was able to express myself. The first time I noticed I hadn’t cried in over a year I was really thrown. That’s when I really started to pay attention to how I was connecting to creating. It was so different that I still have a hard time explaining it. All I can say is that something as visceral as crying being a connection to emotion being suddenly unavailable was something that also translated into other parts of my emotional process. It’s not that I couldn’t access my sadness, which I write from a lot, but it was definitely a new and different route from point A to B now. That happened to be the case with many other emotions. And also, the change in my voice made a huge difference in what I was suddenly comfortable singing. I got pulled back to my blues and soul roots. Music I always listened to when I was younger but somehow thought that in my “female” voice I couldn’t pull off. I mean, have you ever heard a woman singing The Doors’ Been Down So Long? I know it’s ridiculous to say but to me, it just didn’t sound authentic. Now, I feel like I can sing songs like that and capture that part of myself and truly “sound” authentic.
Samara: Did you ever feel you were born in the wrong body? Or do you think you were born to be transgender?
Lucas: That question has never been phrased to me like that. I like it. Yes, I think I was born transgender but not in the way that a lot of people have been told transgender is. I think the transgender/transexual movement needs to loosen up their ideas of trans-ness as much as the mainstream needs to let go of binary gender. It’s not the same for everyone. In fact, it’s so different for almost everyone I meet. I mainly at this point see myself as a man who used to be a woman, and even though I know by definition I will always be seen as transgender it’s not my identity as a person.
Samara: How have the fans reacted to your transition?
Lucas: For the most part, quite well. Transitioning is strange because there are so many levels of it that would really take me forever to go into in a simple interview which is why I also do public speaking at universities and colleges to touch on all of the aspects of my personal experience. For example, I found it quite strange that some lesbian fans made it vocal that they preferred my old voice. It was actually quite hurtful. I don’t think they intended it as such but it would have been the same as someone saying to them “I liked you better when you dated boys.” or “I liked you better when you didn’t talk about your girlfriend”. Most people don’t see a statement like that as a partial rejection of your identity but it is, wether it’s intentional or not. I also need to understand that a lot of my lesbian fans identified with me because of how I looked because they saw a representation of themselves in me but much like my mainstream fans, neither side saw me for who I really was. For some people that may be neither here or there but for me, I need to be seen. Feeling invisible is one of the most difficult feelings I think any human being has to deal with. I also think there was a lot of resentment when I shed the last female members. To us, we were a band but to fans, we were a “female” band and a queer one at that. When you revolt against something your fans hold you up to as an extension of their identity, it’s really complicated as a musician because it feels to them like you’re alienating them or selling out, but to us, we’re just moving in the paths of our truths. So ya, it’s been really complicated.
Samara: What is the first single of the new album?
Lucas: The first single is a song called Savanna. I wrote it with my Producer Hill Kourkoutis and it was the first real co-write that I had done in years. We are really good friends and it just felt really comfortable with her because she’s a genius at everything she does. It happens to be my favorite song on the record.
Samara: When can we expect a video?
Lucas: I’d say in the next couple of months if we can get our hands on the right funding. This is an indie outfit here now so we have to really be creative about how we move forward with such things but we have some really fun ideas already for it so I’m really hoping it comes to fruition.
Samara: Where can we find you online? facebook, twitter, etc…
Lucas: We have a website of course www.thecliks.com and yes on Facebook and Twitter.
Samara: Any last words to your fans?
Lucas: Hmmm. Well, I guess I’d like to say to the Cliks fans who will hear this new record and think it’s really different to listen to it for the music and the songwriting, not for what they remember me being in the past. You can’t grow yourself if you don’t allow those around you the opportunity to do the same.
By Samara Riviera – VivaLaRiviera.com