Lucid Sin Interview


Nick Lotz

            ​I met this guy while working at Papa John’s over the holidays. I was outside smoking a cigarette and so was he. Turns out he was in a band. Turns out he would end up becoming one of my good friends during the months to follow. Turns out his band is pretty freaking sweet also, and lastly, well, it turns out they released an album this past month.

            Lucid Sin is like if Animal Collective and Godsmack had a baby and it came out of the womb and just beat your ass ten shades of purple. Their new album (note: also their premiere album) hits several high notes, with my personal favorite tracks being ‘Neolithic’ and the final track, ‘Wormwood’, which features some really freaking creepy church choir satanic chanting (like Gregorian monks if they all wore the mark of the beast).

            When I arrive at their music cozy nestled in the beautiful foothills of the ghetto of Akron (ha), Kyle Sickler (lead vocals, bass) and Ryan Wood (lead guitar, backup vocals) are jamming away, playing some new songs (they’re apparently already working on a second album). After watching them play for a while we sat down to discuss their new album, Seat in Limbo.
How are you guys? More importantly, how is your couch (I sleep on it quite often)?
Kyle: The couch is going through a pretty rough divorce right now, but we're doing all right. 
Ryan: Yeah, I don’t really feel good making his situation a public thing
Lucid Sin is an interesting name for a band. Where did you come up with it?

Kyle: Well we kind of just made it up one day back in high school when we made up the name we were kind of heavy into spiritual Satanism.
Ryan: We were going to start a cult too (to go along with the album) but it sort of fell through so were just doing music now.
Where'd you guys get that crazy album cover?
Kyle: We just made it in some free photo editing software we found online
What the hell is it?
Kyle: It's a picture of a spirit or a ghost I guess. Our friend took the picture so we just photo-shopped it out of the picture he took and put it on a black background, then threw Satan's sigil over it
The music: there are a lot of heavy guitar riffs; metal double bass drum stuff, thrashy screaming vocals. There's also some tracks with more experimental vibes, something I'd call a dark take on Animal Collective.

How'd you come up with such a diverse repertoire?
Ryan: We didn’t.
Kyle: (Indiscernible noises)
Ryan: We all really tried to reflect the music we were all listening to when we were writing the album, which has changed over time since we've been at it for at least 3 to 4 years now. When we started the band I was really heavy into bands like Death and Tool, Kyle was into The Pixies and Modest Mouse whereas now I listen to stuff like Sonic Youth and Electric Wizard, and Kyle waits for the garbage truck to get here every Tuesday morning and just listens to that.
What direction do you think you'll take with your music in the future?
Kyle: Whatever direction we feel like taking I guess. It's kind of volatile right now since we've (sic.) got new recruits that have slightly different influences than we do. We're making black metal and adding more tribal sounds at the moment, but it's more of a waiting game really.
Ryan: Honestly I’d like to keep following the experimental route. I want to incorporate a lot of metal elements but also dabble in opposite sounding genres to keep the sound as open and organic as possible. Honestly there's a part of me that's somewhat apprehensive towards going the metal route too hard because I think its really easy for metal bands to become another part of a collective scene rather than stand out as their own thing. I'm not all that worried though, because for the most part everyone here has tastes ranging from random ends of the musical spectrum and when we come together and jam I think it’s going to turn out its own thing (whether we want it to or not). Whether it’s going to be good or shitty is just up to the listener, I guess.
Tell us the story of how you got the church choir on your record.
Kyle: I gave myself a clean shave, tied my hair back in a ponytail, tucked in a dress shirt and sat through a service. At the end I told the church choir dude I was from a different church and that my uncle is a missionary in Africa and I told him that our church choir had children too young to be organized to sing, and the older kids were too old to sound like little kids and I really wanted the sound of young children singing this song in this documentary I’m making while the kids are being converted to Christ.
Ryan: <indiscernible>
Kyle: I got him to come on Wednesday---
He scheduled a day?!
Kyle: Yeah, after I told him the story, he gathered them all in the classroom [ . . . ] he told them to sing ‘like a choir’ and they all bust out with a beautiful choir sound.
<Kyle walks me through how he directed the children to sing more slowly and more creepy while the choir teacher watched unaware>
Kyle: after all that I told him I was going to my car for a surprise. I went out to my car and I think the preacher thought I was either coming back with a gun or with an actual surprise.
<Ryan is really worried that their band is violating copyright with the church choir recording. Kyle and I talk him down>
What did you come back with?
Kyle: A bag of Willy Wonka candy bars. Those kids were so happy!
Your lyrics deal a lot with heavy material i.e. Satanism, brainwashing, etc. Why is that?
Kyle: There are a lot of reasons for it, mostly though because of my own personal experiences growing up, going to church every Sunday for the first 14 years of my life (etc.). I still haven't examined the Muslim faith as thoroughly as I would like to, but Abrahamic religions really are just brilliant brainwashing mechanisms to instill the fear of God in people. And some people need it, and that's ok. But I feel like there are a lot of people that don't need that to be decent human beings, and that being trapped in a psychological mechanism like that is holding them back from tapping into their true potential. As for the Satanism, it's just a part of the story. Like I said, we were spiritual Satanists in high school.
Satan, on a scale of one to ten: lame or rad?
Ryan: Tubular
Brainwashing, on a scale of one to ten: lame or rad?
Kyle, what do you think?
 The answer is *Bangs gong*
*Nods and urinates*
Have you ever considered joining the Church of the Latter Day Saints?
Ryan: There was this one time I was trying to leave my girlfriend’s house and these 2 Mormon missionaries showed up. They were heading up her driveway as I was walking out the front door and I didn't have any escape at all. So since me and my girlfriend (sic.) had made a day out of watching all of our neighbors slam doors in their faces, I thought I would spare her family by pretending to [ . . . ] be nice to them.
They didn't leave for 4 fucking hours.
In hindsight, I’m pretty sure that our meeting wasn’t actually part of their holy crusade, but their long-awaited revenge. My girlfriend came out to see why I was still there and got trapped in the shit with me eventually. It was sundown when they showed up and it was creeping on midnight when I finally decided enough is enough, and I converted right there in the driveway to get them to leave. Been practicing the faith for about 5 years now: Absolutely worth it. I'm told in a few weeks I'll be ready to begin my first pilgrimage to Utah.
Okay, just wanted to check. Any news, shows, or album releases coming up?
Kyle: Yeah actually, our first show is coming up at the Stone Tavern at their new location in Kent on Saturday, May 20th. We've also got a show coming up July 1st at The Empire in Akron. Will probably book more in between then I'm sure but for now that's what we've got set up.
Lucid Sin’s new album Seat in Limbo can be found on YouTube   ( or Spotify.