For musician Lucas Ray Exp, words are just as powerful as the notes that make them. This is most definitely imminent with his new and most recent music video for “SPHINX,” the title track from his debut EP, which features a collection of songs featuring instrumental guitar compositions, and other guitar-driven songs with Lucas’ solid sound driven from classic progressive rock and metal composers he’s influenced by.
Lucas was born in São Luís, and was raised in various cities throughout the US and Brazil. Being around many different cultures in different cities led to Lucas’ influence crafting songs on his guitar. In our interview with Lucas, he chats about his very first introduction with guitar and what that was like emotionally for him, his debut EP, how his upbringing influenced him, and his “fun favorites.”
Do you remember your first introduction to the guitar, and how you felt when you first played?
Lucas Ray Experience: It was through my younger sister. We were preteens and she was taking acoustic guitar lessons with a private tutor.
Some months later she stopped taking classes and was bored, so she left an acoustic gathering dust in our home back in São Luis, state of Maranhão.
I always was a highly curious kid, so naturally I started messing around with the acoustic and fell in love immediately. It wasn’t easy in the beginning at all.
You recently released your debut EP, SPHINX. What was the writing and recording process like for it?
Lucas: I had recently left my abusive job at a bank to pursue music full time and I took two weeks off to go to my hometown and visit family.
After that, I locked myself three weeks in my mini-home studio and wrote all guitar parts, demos and lyrics in that time. I had some riffs I made in the beginning of 2018 that I recycled but not that much material before though.
The recording started late August and it was kind of a learning experience because it was my first official recording. Huge learning experience.
How did growing up in Brazil and various parts of the US, contribute to your love of the guitar and composition?
Lucas: For once, listening to progressive rock, jazz and blues at a fairly young age. My father worked in a US subsidiary from a Brazilian company and didn’t have any extended family and a small social circle (this was at the beginning of the ’90s) so there were bunch of CDs and laser discs around that we listened to on the weekend. Growing up in Brazil, we have such a diverse musical experience that there is bossa nova, to Brazilian funk, to Brazilian popular music playing in the radio (and American tunes) that its impossible to not have enormous influence of a diverse style. That definitely!
Other positive aspects of travelling around as a kid:
By far the fact that English is my native language. I think in English, I dream in English and I’d rather read anything in English than in Portuguese (although I do find Portuguese a beautiful language too).
I am very grateful for this traveling experience and I know that’s not quite normal or even recommended for kids growing up, but for me it was an awesome thing to be part of and helped me develop my culture.
Did you know what your vision for your new music video “Reveries” was going to be before you started filming, or was it an organic process?
Lucas: I wanted something spacy and something trippy, but not too much. The rest of it was pretty much on the fly and organic.
We wanted to really give a feeling of daydreaming and spacing out.
Do you have anything music-related planned for 2019 that you can share with our readers?
Lucas: Definitely. I’m planning for 2019 about four releases, one that I already recorded most of it (it’s a cover of a famous Brazilian tune) and three others that I’m still coming up with. I’m still not sure if its going to be an EP or just a bunch of singles.
For 2020, I would love to make a debut full length album, with a strong concept and many cool and ground breaking stuff, we can dream!
Who was your first concert? Do you have a favorite one, so far?
First show: Angra, Rebirth tour.
Favorite show: George Benson, Live at São Paulo
What was your first album on cassette, CD and/or vinyl?
First album ever: Blink 182 – Enema of the state
First Vinyl: Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
Which five albums and/or artists would you not want to live without?
1) ELP – Tarkus
2) Dream Theater – Scenes from a Memory
3) Chick Corea – Light as a feather
4) Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
5) Best of Tom Jobim
What are you currently listening to in rotation?
Eminem – “Kamikaze”
Tool – 10,000 Days
Toninho Horta & Arismar do Espírito Santo – Cape Horn