Thursday, May 24, 2007

Evanescence Signs Two New Band Members for Extended Summer Tour

Wind-up Records (Canada) announced that with the continuing success of their multi-platinum, sophomore album, The Open Door, Evanescence has welcomed drummer, Will Hunt and guitarist, Troy McLawhorn (both formerly of Dark New Day).

I am a big fan of Dark New Day and can’t wait for the fans to see what the guys bring to our live show, says front woman, Amy Lee.

Evanescence will debut their new line-up on Saturday, May 19th at Columbus’ sold out, Rock On the Range Festival, along with ZZ Top, Hinder, Velvet Revolver and Buckcherry. Their next gig will be at WMMR’s BBQ Festival, in Philadelphia, on Sunday, May 20th at Camden’s Tweeter Center. Then Evanescence will be on a one-month Tour in Europe performing in Belgium, France, and Russia at various festivals and headline dates.

On July 20th in St. Louis, Missouri, Evanescence will co-headline the U.S. leg of The Family Values Tour with Korn.

(Evanescence consists of Amy Lee (vocals, piano), Terry Balsamo (guitar), Tim McCord (bass), Troy McLawhorn (guitar) and Will Hunt (drums). Fallen, their major-label debut, was released in April, 2003, to critical and commercial success and has sold more than nineteen million copies world wide. Their second major label debut, The Open Door, debuted at Number One on the Billboard charts and reached platinum status in just over a month. For more information, please visit Evanescence or Wind-up Records

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Al Gee Bra By: Sashi

Check out Sashi’s site.

I found this email from a friend in my Inbox today - an “Ooh! This is cool! I’m SURE my friends would love to read this, no matter how many times they might have already seen it, and regardless of how much they hate such spam mail!” email.

Yeah, one of those.

Anyway, here are the contents of said e-mail:


Don’t tell me your age; you probably would tell a falsehood anyway - but your waiter may know!



It takes less than a minute.

Work this out as you read.

Be sure you don’t read the bottom until you’ve worked it out!

This is not one of those waste of time things, it’s fun!

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would “like” to go out to eat.

(more than once but less than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1757 …

If you haven’t, add 1756.

6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number. The first digit of this was your original number (i.e., how! Many times you want to go out to restaurants in a week.)

The next two numbers are YOUR AGE!


Ok, here’s one of those mathemagical formulae that people like to use to say, “Whoa! Check it out! Maths rules! It can predict your age! It can read your mind! It can predict the future! It can change the universe!!”Of course, all that is true (Ask me how! Call now at 1-866-RICH-SUCKA and change your life! Calls will be charged RM500 at all hours) but in this case, it’s just a simple con.

A play with numbers, if you will. Allow me to explain, in mind-numbing detail, how.

First off, you’re asked to pick a single-digit number (more than 1, less than 10). Let’s call this number x.

Then you multiply x by 2.

Result = 2x

Add 5 to it.

Result = 2x + 5

With me so far? Good.

Let’s now multiply the result by 50.

Result = 50(2x + 5) = 100x + 250

You can use a calculator to double-check what I’m stating here, in case you don’t believe me.

Next, we add one of either 2 numbers to the result depending on if you’ve had your birthday this year. I’ve just had mine a couple of months back, so I’m adding 1757. Add 1756 if your birthday is still to come.

Result = 100x + 250 + 1757 = 100x + 2007

Oh wow, what a coincidence! This is year 2007 as well! Well, not really a coincidence, is it?

If you added 1756 instead, you would have had 2006. I’ll explain the minor difference in a bit.

Anyway, moving on….

You’re now asked to subtract your birth year. Let’s say your birth year is y.

Result = 100x + 2007 - y

Now, if you subtract 2007 (this year) from y (your birth year), what do you get? Your age, duh! Let’s say your age is zz.

Thus result would be = 100x + zz

And since x is a single digit number, multiplying it by a 100 would mean the number would look like ‘x00‘. Adding your 2-digit age (unless you’re really old, you centenarian, you!) would result in a 3-digit number looking like xzz… .e.g 525, with x being 5 and zz being 25.

If you had added 1756 to the equation earlier instead of 1757, you would have subtracted your birth year from last year, which would be your age if you hadn’t reached your date of birth this year. Makes sense, innit?

So there you go. Mathemagics demystified. Not that anybody was wondering, I’m sure…

Oh, and that last bit in the e-mail where it says this will only work this year is obviously stupid. To make it work next year, just add 1758 or 1757 in step 5. Duh.

I so need something to do on the weekends……

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Update from Baba Brinkman - Chaucer’s “Rap” re-incarnation

Gentle Folk,

Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote... er, that is, in April there are supposed to be sweet spring rain showers, but due to climate change there is now a perpetual draught of March, the hottest and driest spring on record here in England. At any rate, in April, when the spring offers up all its goodness, that's when people people long to go on pilgrimages, and wend their way to Canterbury-ward, to seek the shrine of some martyr, perhaps the result of a medieval jihad or something. Out the train window to my right I can see the mighty Thames river, first of many landmarks on the journey between London and Canterbury, where I am now writing on a rail-bound iron horse.

The last time I was in Canterbury was in the fall of 2000, but I hadn't managed to successfully fashion myself into the modern re-incarnation of Chaucer back then, so I was skeptically received. The Vancouver Sun published a story about that first ill-fated trip to Canterbury when I put on my show at the Fringe back in 2003, which you can read here, if you're interested: This time I'm going to perform at the University in Canterbury by invitation, part of a six-week tour of the UK that began a few days ago.

Many things have been happening recently that seem worthy of mention, so I will try a brief recap, with some glances to the future. The day before yesterday I had the honour of performing at the London Chaucer Conference for an audience of medieval professors, the cream of England's Chaucerian crop. My presentation followed a paper by the Chaucer specialist from Yale, described to me in a hushed tone by one of the other professors as "the top Chaucer-man in the world". Harumph. My vote goes to James Simpson at Harvard.

Chaucer, Chaucer, Chaucer... in other news, I've been getting some emails recently from some New Yorkers who heard me interviewed on a WBAI NY Radio show called "Non-Fiction", which wouldn't necessarily merit a mention except that the host of the show is Harry Allen, famous as one of the original founders of Public Enemy, whose name is immortalized in their song "Don't Believe the Hype" when Chuck D raps "I gotta talk to my Media Assassin / Harry Allen, I've got ask him / Yo Harry, are we that type? / 'Don't believe the hype!'" When I was in New York back in January, Harry and I rapped about rap and poetry for an hour straight in the studio, and he played some of my songs on air as part of the mix. (April 20th broadcast).

After that I will keep the Mp3 on my website in perpetuity on the Audio page under "Miscellaneous".

Speaking of rap and poetry, I put on another successful "Rap is Poetry" showcase in Vancouver this spring before heading off on tour (the fourth annual!), featuring Vancouver rap artists Aspire, Junk, Ndidi Cascade, East Side Magic, and myself, all performing lyrically-heavy material at the Media Club. The show was sponsored by a new website that recently launched called "RapSpace.TV", which is a networking website for rap artists. The site allows you to record raps into a webcam and post them online for free, so that other people can comment on them and rate them, building a community of supporters and hip-hop peers globally through the web. Check out the promo video I recorded on RapSpace for my show, featuring the only rap ever to reference Epictetus, Lao Tzu, and Thomas More, both lyrically and visually: Rapspace

We also set up a webcam and laptop system at the show and recorded many of the performances, broadcasting them live to the web after each set. They are still posted on the site, so if you missed the show and want to know how it went, there's plenty of great videos, including some of Junk and Aspire and me in a freestyle cypher, and also footage of my brother Erik getting up stage and freestyling for the first time in his life. Check out all the videos.

I also recently got into the world of podcasting, and launched the Lit-HopCast, a cross between a radio broadcast and a mix-tape, which I will try to put out every few weeks from now on. Each twenty-minute mix will feature new music I am working on, artists I admire who I collaborate with on my tours, remixes of my songs, mash-ups, commentary, exclusive new verses I have recorded, and generally all things Lit-Hop. You can subscribe to these podcasts for free through the iTunes Music Store, and if you are into that kind of thing they will be automatically downloaded to your iPod or Mp3 player every time I release a new episode. So far there is only one, and I invite you all to download it at this link:

The Lit-HopCast is, of course, named after my recent album, Lit-Hop, which I have been promoting in Canada through a Vancouver-based company called Frontside. This publicity campaign saw copies of the album sent to every newspaper and magazine in the country for reviews, and to every college and co-op radio station in Canada for their hip-hop shows. The good news is that the album is now on rotation at about a dozen radio stations across the country. The bad, or rather ambiguous, news is that the reviews so far have been pretty mixed, and some critics have been having a jolly time taking the piss out of me. One called the album "boring" and one said that listening to it was "like chewing tinfoil", but I try to keep a sense of humour about it all. I mean, if I were just a lousy music reviewer I'd probably be sour-faced too. Us rock stars have to be understanding, you know. The best review came from an online Music and Arts site called Lucid ME, who gave the record 4 out of 5 and heaped on some nice praise. If you want to read this lovely review, hit the following link.

If you want to read the bad reviews, go find them yourself.

Well, the train will be approaching Canterbury shortly and I think I've said enough for the moment. I will try to write more frequently and less capaciously in the future. If any of you get indignant about critics bullying me, one thing you could do in response is go to or the iTunes Music Store and submit some positive customer reviews about my book or albums. If you simply find my woes amusing, then I guess we're in synch.

'Til next time, I'll leave you with some of the best lines of poetry ever written, which are rather topical for me at the moment,


Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote

The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,

And bathed every veyne in swich licour

Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth

Inspired hath in every holt and heeth

Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne

Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne,

And smale foweles maken melodye,

That slepen al the nyght with open ye

(So priketh hem nature in hir corages);

Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,

And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,

To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;

And specially from every shires ende

Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende,

The hooly blisful martir for to seke,

That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Finger Eleven Reign At Radio! Posted by Christine Albrecht

"Paralyzer" shatters the record for most consecutive weeks at #1 on the Canadian Rock Radio Charts.

Finger Eleven made their triumphant re-entry to the music scene on March 6, 2007 with their fourth Wind-up Records release 'Them vs. You vs. Me'. Since the album's release Finger Eleven have experienced their highest sales debut to date reaching #2 on the Canadian Soundscan Top 200, completed successful US tours with Chevelle and Evanescence, embarked on their own sold out Cross-Canada tour, chalked up a #1 video on Much Music and as of last week smashed the Rock Radio record for most weeks for a single by a Canadian band at #1.

According to BDS/Neilson Soundscan the music industry's official air-play monitor, the band's hit single 'Paralyzer' has held the #1 spot at rock radio across the country for an astounding fourteen weeks, breaking the record of thirteen weeks previously held by Nickelback with their single 'Someday'. The song is also gaining momentum at Pop Radio and combined air-play from all formats making 'Paralyzer' the #1 song in the country.

From the multitude of song ideas collectively written by the band, twelve finished tracks made it on to 'Them vs. You vs. Me' with 'Paralyzer' becoming the unquestionable lead single. The infectious song quickly caught the attention and support of listeners and programmers across the country resulting in 'Paralyzer's' rapid climb up the charts, reaching #1 at rock radio in six weeks and sitting comfortably at its peak for a record breaking fourteen weeks.

The accompanying video to 'Paralyzer' is also receiving tremendous acceptance at video outlets across the country. This week it is perched at #1 on MuchMusic's Top 30 countdown.

Finger Eleven is currently six shows deep into their 14 date headlining National Tour with sold out shows across the country. The band's Cross Canada tour with label mates STRATA and special guests Inward Eye runs until May 14th.

April 26 2007 Capitole Québec, Québec

April 27 2007 Theatre Granada, Sherbrooke

April 28 2007 Le National Montréal, Québec

April 30 2007 Capital Music Hall Ottawa, Ontario

May 1 2007 Kool Haus Toronto, Ontario

May 6 2007 The Outpost, Thunder Bay

May 7 2007 Burton Cummings Theatre Winnipeg, Manitoba

May 8 2007 Prairieland Park Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

May 10 2007 Events Centre Edmonton, Alberta

May 11 2007 MacEwan Hall Calgary, Alberta

May 13 2007 Curling Club Victoria, BC

May 14 2007 Croation Cultural Centre Vancouver, BC

From Wind-up Records Canada Media

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Artists Unite in Donating Tracks to Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign To Save Darfur

By Christine Albrecht

Release Date: June 12, 2007

More than 20 John Lennon songs recorded by top selling musicians are being released on June 12, 2007. The proceeds of this united effort will go to Amnesty International’s Darfur campaign. Canadian artists on the CD include Finger Eleven, The Waking Eyes, David Usher, Barenaked Ladies, and K-os.

In an effort to mobilize activism around the human rights atrocities occurring in Darfur, Sudan, international musicians and record labels have united behind Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. The collection features songs written by musician and peace activist, John Lennon.

Yoko Ono provided the generous gift of Lennon's solo catalogue to Amnesty International. The funds raised will be directed to saving the lives of innocent women, children and men who are dying by the thousands, and to restoring peace in Darfur.

As well as the rights to Lennon’s songs, Yoko Ono has also donated all music publishing royalties.

Give peace a chance, indeed.

Well done, Yoko.

For more information about Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur or Amnesty International, please visit

The full track-listing for Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur is as follows:

Disc One:

U2 - "Instant Karma"

R.E.M. - "#9 Dream"

Christina Aguilera - "Mother"

Aerosmith - "Give Peace A Chance"

Lenny Kravitz - "Cold Turkey"

Los Lonely Boys - "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night"

Corinne Bailey Rae - "I'm Losing You"

Jakob Dylan featuring Dhani Harrison - "Gimme Some Truth"

Jackson Browne - "Oh My Love"

Big & Rich - "Nobody Told Me"

Disc Two:

Green Day - "Working Class Hero"

Black Eyed Peas - "Power to the People"

Jack Johnson - "Imagine"

Snow Patrol - "Isolation"

Matisyahu - "Watching the Wheels"

Ben Harper - "Beautiful Boy"

Postal Service - "Grow Old With Me"

Jaguares - "Gimme Some Truth"

Avril Lavigne - "Imagine"

The Flaming Lips - "(Just Like) Starting Over"

Regina Spektor - "Real Love"

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Eric Volz - Nicaraguan Miscarriage of Justice

I have often wondered how judges, lawyers and other principal players involved in a highly profiled court case are able to objectively carry out their duties under the media glare. Does the intense public scrutiny, and demand for an immediate conviction, ever find the key players wavering, or second guessing their course of action? Has an accused individual ever been falsely convicted as a result of media demand?

In the case of the murder and rape of 25 year old Doris Ivania Jimenez, it appears that the Nicaraguan public determined the fate of ex-boyfriend, Eric Volz, rather than the judge presiding, Judge Ivette Toruno Blanco.

It is unnerving enough that outside influences could affect a trial’s outcome, but it is incomprehensible that a judge’s ruling could be handed down with blatant disregard of key evidence exonerating the suspect. On February 21st, Eric Volz was sentenced to 30 years in jail for the murder of Doris Jimenez.

Doris was murdered in San Juan, Nicaragua, on November 21st, 2006, some time after noon. Eric was in the city of Managua; a two and a half hour drive away. In total, four suspects were arrested: Julion Martin Chamorro, Armando Llanes, Nelson Lopez-Danglas and Eric Volz. Eric was arrested after Lopez-Danglas alleged he had seen Eric in the store on November 21st and that Eric had paid him 50 cordobas to move some bags. In exchange for his confession, police dropped all charges against him.

It was soon apparent that the trial was not going to be fair when the judge would only allow four defence witnesses (out of ten available, including Eric himself) to testify. Furthermore, there wasn’t a court stenographer; the trial was tape recorded and the judge would not provide copies of the transcript to Eric’s attorneys. Then Judge, Ivette Toruno Blanco, went on to refuse medical examiners’ testimony as well as cell phone records and instant messaging documentation.

Here is a list of evidence given (and eventually dismissed by the judge) during the proceedings:

• Doris’ friend, Gabriela Vanessa Sobalvarro stated she phoned Eric, in Managua, at 2:43 p.m. (to inform him of the murder)

• Rossy Aguello, Eric’s hairstylist, testified she had cut Eric's hair at about 2:00 p.m.

• Hertz provided a receipt showing Eric rented a car at 3:11 p.m (to drive to San Juan)

• Ricardo Castillo, a Nicaraguan journalist, met with Eric on the day of the murder from about noon until 2 p.m.

• the prosecutor’s medical experts examined hair, fluid and blood samples, and determined that none of the physical evidence linked Eric to the crime scene

• Nick Purdy, an American journalist, had a conference call with Eric and Ricardo from 12:19 to 1:14 p.m.

Eric is currently doing his time in El Modelo, a maximum-security corrections institute east of Managua. A site has been developed to allow others to be kept aware of Eric’s progress and his recent communication with his parents notes,

"At times, the despair is so overwhelming that there are no words.  There is pain so deep it does not have a name, and the fear is so powerful we cannot paint his face.  Yet, as a result of those who love and support me, I see beauty above it all.”

(image and quote from

$$ For B.C. Musicians - Apply before May 25/07

Taken from the Georgia Straight onlineThree times a year, the B.C. government serves notice that it's willing to spray money at the province's touring musicians. And for the most part, the hundreds of struggling artists in British Columbia pay little attention.

Music BC recently announced that $100,000 in funding has been earmarked this year for its Music Industry Travel Assistance Program. Artists have until May 25 to apply for grants designed to offset the costs of hitting the road. While three such deadlines are announced over the course of a year, there's hardly a rush for what amounts to free money. “It's hilarious. Maybe people think it's too good to be true, but we only get around 30 applications for each deadline,” Music BC spokesman Nathan Stafford told the Straight . “We'd love to get more because the higher the quality of the applicants, the more money we can ask for next year.”

Under the program, artists planning European tours are eligible for grants up to $4,000, with $2,000 available for Canadian tours and $1,000 for showcase events like CMW or South By Southwest. When deciding where MITAP money is going to go, Music BC gives priority to applications that look professional and well thought out. “The music is half, but your marketing plan is just as important as your music,” Stafford said. “We need to know why you are going on tour—are you promoting a new album?—and where the tour falls into your overall scheme. Having a well-put-together press kit works as well—nothing handwritten.”

To help make your next cross-Canada jaunt—or working European vacation—a little more tolerable, visit .

Like a Storm - Buffalo Club Gig May 5th/07

I determined two things last night at the Buffalo Club: 1) Audience determines the success of a set and 2) Talent and popularity don’t always go hand in hand.

We popped into the Buffalo Club to view a portion of Like A Storm’s gig. We arrived a bit early and managed to catch the latter half of Kill Rhythm. The crowd loved this group. The majority of (male) fans sang along to each and every song and did the customary head bang in unison. But, the band couldn't carry a tune to save their life! To be fair, this was probably an off night for the singer, and the acoustics in the Buffalo Club are atrocious, but c’mon, even giving these ‘outs’ the gig still came up short. I imagine their recorded stuff is amazing, given the fan reaction.

Like A Storm, Canadian born, but hailing from New Zealand, hit the stage with guns a blazin’. But try as they might, they could not stoke this crowd into a frenzy. It just wasn’t happening. Singer, Chris Brooks, even joked (after urging the crowd to yell something) “Great, that was ... about three of you... okay, maybe one with a loud voice.” The Brooks boys (Chris Brooks: guitar, lead vocals, Kent Brooks: bass, vocals, Matt Brooks: drums, vocals) are definitely appealing when it comes to eye candy requirements, but even shirtless, speaker jumping enthusiasm wasn’t moving this stunned lot.

The audience was not your typical indie crowd. Perhaps the New Music West acts performing throughout the city determined the atypical crowd. I am not sure. I just seemed to noticed that no one looked as if they ‘belonged’ anywhere. It was an eclectic mix of young to old, poorly dressed to tackily dressed. Not an original thought to appearance was in the crowd.

During LAS’s performance, I noted the typical good signs: the crowd got thicker during their set, more were pushed to the front, no one left... yet the audience remained as bland as milquetoast. I had one fellow beside me turn to his companion and say, ‘Gee, they sure like to swear.’ I can honestly say I’ve never heard that comment at a gig. Always time for a first.

LAS’s performance was fine - a little over the top for the venue, but I like to see that. It shows me that they give the full show whether they’re playing an arena or a pub. Their vocals are spot on, given the venue. Their sound system was lacking, having various parts of the songs become amplified, and parts of the vocals seemed to drop off. As well, the tape loop/backtrack was out of sync with the general sound. They obviously have ability and talent, but something kept striking me as not quite right.

When they launched into their new song, Generica it struck me. LAS’s ‘look’, sound, and logo are in conflict with each other. The recently recorded song, Generica, goes with the LAS logo, and seems to be a good direction for the band (given the reception to the song). However, their ‘look’ doesn’t match their sound, or their logo. I think the band needs to revisit their look, along the direction of dressing ‘down’ coupled with their great belts and other accessories. Otherwise, they will be in danger of being dismissed as a hair band - a shame - as they do have talent. (As well, those scary, simple, vacant audiences won’t be as mesmerized and preoccupied with the bright and shiny things on the band members.)

Last note - I despise ice machines/ smoke machines etc.

great image from

poor images from

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Christine's Mini Family Brag - Christine Albrecht

Here is my mini family brag - You know how events (be they good or bad) often occur in batches of three? Well, the Albrecht household received a hat trick of good news.

In April, my 11 year old's (Ian's) Atom team, The Flames, won the Langley Cup for the second year in a row.

On May 1, my husband was awarded 'Coach of the Year' from the Langley Minor Hockey Association. This is the highest honour a coach can receive and Paul was shocked, humbled and very pleased about the award. (I call it the Oscar of minor hockey involvement.)

Lastly, my husband's (Huskies') recreational hockey team won their season's playoff tournament last night.

Truly a year of hockey and honours in the Albrecht household.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Cliks: Online Interview with Singer/Songwriter, Lucas Silveira By: Christine Albrecht

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Swanktrendz Myspace Home
The Cliks were kind enough to respond to an online interview with Swanktrendz. I have to say, this interview is definitely up there amongst my ‘favourites’, despite not getting a chance to meet them and my naivety showing in some of my questions. I think Lucas’ personality shines through in his answers. As well, we’d like to remind our readers that The Cliks’ debut CD, Snakehouse is on sale now!

Swanktrendz: Your debut cd, Snakehouse has been a huge hit with the media. You also have various celebrities praising your sound, including a quote of appreciation from Cyndi Lauper. (" and exciting acts. A band like The Cliks are all that and more. They are a force to be reckoned with and I am really excited to be sharing the stage with them." ) What was your reaction to Cyndi's endorsement (and were you familiar with Lauper's prior popularity)?

The Cliks: We’re just beyond flattered. I mean, it’s Cyndi Lauper. I used to listen to her music when I was a kid and dance around my basement singing, ‘Girls just wanna have fun’; so yeah, I’d say I’m pretty familiar with her prior popularity. She was a very impactful artist of my youth.

Swanktrendz: I want to thank you giving Canada yet another thing to be proud of - The Cliks' musical talent.' Complicated' and 'Back in Style' are my (Christine's) personal favourites that I repeatedly play while driving. While listening to the entire cd, I've notice a continuous theme of alienation, betrayal and pain throughout the songs. What was the impetus behind the lyrics to Snakehouse? Were these songs written over a short period of time or is this years in the making?

The Cliks: You hit it on the nose. Yes, this album is very much about all of those things. I started writing the material for this album after the end of a 6 1/2 year relationship. And the end was ugly. Along through a whirlwind of bad luck, having both original band members quit, my father had a stroke, my best friend rediagnosed with cancer... it was just insane. And through all of this, I finally realize that I’ve been in years of denial and that I was transgendered. It was a tough time but I did the only thing I knew I could do to get me out of it. I wrote songs. The material took me about 10 - 12 months to write, so no, not years in the making.

Swanktrendz: What made you choose to cover Justin Timberlake's 'Cry me a River' song? Have you received any feedback from Justin in response to your cover?

The Cliks: I connected to the lyrics because I had my own ‘Britney’. I just loved the song as well and really, more than anything, used it as a therapeutic way of lashing out my anger. It’s cheaper than therapy (ha ha).

Swanktrendz: What was your and Clint McLean's (photographer) thinking, conceptual approach, behind the album's photo shoot? What is the 'story' behind the photos?

The Cliks: The album cover concept was Morgan’s. We all really loved it because it left a sense of mystery. With Clint, the rest of the photos are just him and his madness and his love for funny expressions. He likes the look of ‘surprise’. I think he did a great job and I’m not just saying that because we’ve become good friends.

Swanktrendz: How did you come across (or did he come across you) Moe Berg?

The Cliks: He came to one of our shows, bought the first CD and contacted me right away. He expressed interest right from the get go, but we had just recorded an indie release and I had no funding to go forward at that point. We kept in touch and when I was ready, I contacted him and next thing you know, we had a great record on our hands.

Swanktrendz: What exposure did you previously have to The Pursuit of Happiness band?

The Cliks: When I was a kid, they were a pretty big band in Canada so I knew all bout the music and him.

Swanktrendz: How much trust does a singer/songwriter have to offer up to a producer while making a cd.? Was it an equal collaboration, or did you completely trust his prior experience, and therefore his decisions, for the direction of the band's/cd's sound?

The Cliks: It was extremely difficult for me to give up the so-called ‘control’ of my songs, but after one session with Moe, I was so impressed that it actually became extremely liberating to have someone do the work and have an outside perspective. I wrote all of the songs so I guess you could say it was partially collaborative in production, but really, Moe is the one who made the songs come together the best they could. He has an amazing knack for taking something good and making it better. I loved working with him and I look forward to working with him again.

Swanktrendz: I've noticed you have four members listed on the Snakehouse CD that make up The Cliks. The CD’s pictures and notes show Jordan B. Wright as The Cliks' bassist, yet the band's site makes no mention of her as a member. Could you please provide us with The Cliks 'official' lineup?.

The Cliks: This is the confusing part. The original line up for the band in 2004 was Ezri Kaysen and Heidi Chan. They both left for different reasons - actually, when I was in the middle of my entire life crumbling. I then met Jordan, the bassist on the album, and Morgan Doctor who is in The Cliks now. When we started to plan to tour, we added Nina Martinez to fill out our live sound, and then loved her so much that she is now an official member of the band. Soon after the album release, Jordan decided to leave the band to pursue her own projects. That is when Jen Benton came on board as our newly beloved bassist.

Swanktrendz: How does it feel to be playing to your old stomping grounds (Toronto) in light of your new popularity? Has Toronto's media been responsive to your CD's positive reviews? Was the media supportive of your music prior to the release of Snakehouse?

The Cliks: We haven’t really been playing Toronto lately as we are touring outside of home, but I’m really looking forward to it. We have a show at Lee’s Palace in May. The media, overall, has been very positive and has been really supportive, outside of a bizarre review we received in Xtra! magazine which insinuated we were sell outs because we worked with Moe Berg and Jake Gold, but then went on to say that the album was still good. Huh? It’s kind of funny that the dude’s perception was so completely off as Jake Gold only started to manage us after the album was completed and had nothing to do with the process. But I guess that’s what happens when you don’t do your research and it was a great lesson to learn that everyone’s perception is different based on personal bias.

Swanktrendz: Will you continue signing your name as Lucas or will you eventually return to Lilia? Or is Lucas the 'real' you, as opposed to your given birth name? (I love both names - perhaps a marriage of the two ie: Lucas Lilia? )

The Cliks: I’m transgendered and this isn’t a name game I’m playing. I changed my name as I identify as a transgendered male and I loved the name Lucas as it was my uncle’s name who has passed on. There will be no marriages of names. The real me... is who I am.(Editor’s note - it was a stupid question I asked in that I phrased it totally wrong - email questions are hard to phrase as the intent can become muddied. I did not mean to imply that being transgendered is a passing phase - I meant that Lucas’ original name sounded good with Lucas and did he intend to ever use it again. I assumed an ‘attachment’ to the first name which was unrealistic on my part. Again, my question is stemmed in ignorance, As for the: ‘the real you?’ statement ... duh, is there any other way to be.? (Rap on the knuckles for yours truly.) Hopefully, Lucas won’t hold the inane questions against me. I almost didn’t include the questions in my final copy because of my embarrassment, but that would have been misleading. So now the world can view my ignorance.)

Swanktrendz: Do you see your band progressing to an arena-style rock feature, or would you prefer a smaller, solid and loyal group of fans?

The Cliks: Never really though about it, but really, if want to marry anything - it would be a solid,loyal group of fans that fill arenas.

Swanktrendz: Fame is notorious for bringing/attracting fairweather friends or hangers-on. Since your entrance into the fame arena, have you found your circle of friends changing/evolving, or have you found yourself questioning the motives behind some friendships?

The Cliks: Darlin’, I’m not that famous and really, I have good friends and am glad to say that I haven’t encountered any negativity, thus far.

Swanktrendz: There appears to be a lot of interest in the band's, especially Lucas' sexuality. Does the media's interest in the band's sexuality hamper the band's progress, or does it provide a platform (or segueway) for personal and political beliefs?

The Cliks: It hasn’t, so far, (hampered our progress) and as far as it being a platform, well the media will take any story to create a platform and we really have no control over that. I think the fact that I’m transgendered and out is something people are interested in because it’s unusual, but really, I think after all the talking is done and people hear the music, they will come to the conclusion that these songs have a universal theme about them and we have no boundaries or boxes in the studio.

Swanktrendz: Could you please provide a brief musical experience background for each of the band members.

The Cliks: Everyone is a trained musician with the exception of me, I’m self taught.

Swanktrendz I've noticed that Morgan Doctor is also with Aporta Records. Does this present any problems when touring or recording? How does Morgan attempt to appease all those involved in her recording career?

The Cliks: It’s Aporia Records, BTW, and no, no problems whatsoever. We have a really well oiled machine here and we all work together in everyone's’ best interests.

Swanktrendz: Swanktrendz has a tradition of asking interviewees to give publicity to some lesser known musical acts whom they appreciate. Could you please name some bands whom you feel deserve more public (and media) acknowledgement. Swanktrendz will provide links to their websites.

The Cliks: : Great bands... Well... I don’t think she is that well unknown, but I have been tripping out to (Amy Winehouse) and can’t stop listening to it.

We also played with this amazing band at SXSW called, ‘The Breastfeeders’ or (Les Breastfeeders) as they are known in Montreal. There are also some amazing bands in Toronto... (Scandalnavia), (Dance Yourself to Death) ... Uhm... (The Smears) from Vancouver. I think that’s it for now.

Swanktrendz: We at Swanktrendz wish you great success with the release of Snakehouse, as well as an endless supply of material for your next chart-topping album. And thank you, in advance, for taking the time to answer these questions.

The Cliks: Thank you as well!

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