A Conversation with Christian Lane
by Pete Crigler
It seems for the longest time in the '90's that every time you threw a rock, 9 times out of 10, you'd end up hitting an alt rock band out of Illinois. You had your Local H, Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair, Veruca Salt, Hum, Material Issue, Urge Overkill and Triplefastaction. One band that managed to stick out from the rest of the pack was Loud Lucy, formed by singer/songwriter/guitarist Christian Lane. After playing around for a couple months, the band signed a deal with DGC Records, home of Nirvana and Weezer and released their debut album, Breathe in 1995. Hot on the heels of the charting single "Ticking" and the great album cut "Down Baby," the band toured for months on end building their reputation before breaking up in 1997. In 2014, I emailed Christian some questions about the band's short lifespan and below is the transcript of that conversation.
PSF: How did you become involved with music?
CL: I started playing "drums" on the back of my dad's big chair along to the Monkees on TV when I was about 3 1/2. One day he walked in and saw me and asked if I wanted to take lessons. I'd never thought about it, but said yes! I had a few lessons, and got a drum kit but then I saw The Buddy Holly Story when I was around 6 and I HAD to play the guitar. After that, I discovered the Beatles and learned about writing songs. But the songs came a little later.
PSF: How did Loud Lucy come together and what was the scene like?
CL: I had known the bass player, Tommy since 1st grade. I moved to Chicago after high-school and wrote the name Loud Lucy on the back of a flyer. I don't know why, other than my grandma's name was Lucy. After Tommy moved up to Chicago, about a year later, I asked him to be in my new band. He moved in and a saw the "flyer" and asked if that was going to be the name of the band. I said 'yes,' but that was the first time I thought about it.
We weren't part of any scene initially. We were from a really small town and didn't even know where to play at first. We got the hang of it pretty quick, and just really started to going to a lot of shows. Once all the local bands started moving up a little, we all got to know each other.
PSF: How did you come in contact with Jack Endino?
CL: Our friend Shaun was the guy who video-taped all the bands who came through town. He taped Jack's band once and told Jack he'd send him a copy. He did and he stuck our 4-track demo tape in with it. About a year later Jack listened to it and really liked it. By the time he called me, he'd already sent it to his manager, who also wanted to work with us, and who put us in the studio to make a proper demo with Jack. It was really natural and organic, and he's a sweetheart.
PSF: How did you get signed with DGC and what do you think about it now?
CL: Jack's manager started playing people our demo and I guess a lot of people became interested in Loud Lucy. It seems like we talked to every label out there. But, in the end, we really wanted to be on a cool label with other cool bands, and at the time DGC was the coolest major label.
I still think it was a great learning experience and one of the highlights of my early career.
PSF: What was 'success' like and how did the band react?
CL: "Success" is relative, but I will say that selling out the Metro in Chicago for the first time, seeing the country and making a living playing music--that felt like success and we loved it. We were really excited for every step up the ladder. And we loved meeting all the bands we were into.
PSF: Did the band get dropped or disband first?
CL: Loud Lucy disbanded and I kept the deal as a solo artist, and songwriter.
PSF: There seemed to be a lot of bands on Geffen/DGC at the time that just disappeared like Hog and Linoleum. What was going on at the label?
CL: I can't really say for sure what was going on at the label at the time, but I think in general a lot of bands got signed in that era, and a lot of records didn't get the attention they may have needed.
PSF: When did the band actually break up and do you regret anything from that time?
CL: I think we broke up in early 1997. I had hurt my back and we had stopped touring. My only regret is that I would have paid more attention to my health at the time.
PSF: What is everyone up to and you keep in touch?
CL: Mark [Doyle] is playing drums in a couple local bands in Chicago. Tommy [Furar] went to NYC and played bass with a lot of his punk rock and glam heroes, and now is in Nashville playing in his band American Dream.
PSF: Any plans for a reunion?
CL: No plans, but you never know. Life's short. And crazy.
PSF: What have you been up to the last couple of years?
CL: I've been writing songs and playing on other people's records. Some of my songs have been placed on TV and in movies. I'm making a new pop rock record right now and will hopefully release it in the fall.
PSF: What do you hope Loud Lucy's legacy will be?
CL: One time this kid crowd surfed up to me in Chicago and handed me his demo-tape. I listened to it and really liked it. He was really young. I saw him a few months later and encouraged him to go write for a year and then put together a band. He did, and they became the Plain White T's. A young kid goes out and does it, because we could, I think that spirit is our legacy.
Also see Christian's MySpace page
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