When you first walk into a Guitar Center store what do you usually see? You will probably see numerous flyers posted on the wall stating “guitarist wanted” or “bassist needed for established band”. What are the odds that these bands ever get noticed or even signed? What do you think the odds are that any of these bands end up playing at Lollapalooza? I would say slim to none.
Those odds though did favor Atlanta rapper/emcee Kyle “Double” Lucas just less than two short years after posting his flyer at his local Guitar Center saying “MC starting a band”. After seeing the flyer while working at G.C., guitarist / vocalist Neil Garrard responded to Lucas’ ad and the two started to put together the band Vonnegutt. Vonnegutt is named after famed American novelist Kurt Vonnegut who as Lucas stated to me “changed my perspective on everything”. Vonnegutt features hip hop drummer Justin Tolar and funk rock bassist Brown Gage as the other members.
Vonnegutt’s many influences and musical inspirations can be heard in their body of work. Blending together the sounds of rap, funk, rock, R&B into a whole sounds like a daunting task but Lucas and his mates pull off the sound brilliantly. If you haven’t heard any of their songs, you should really check out “Bright Eyes”.
I had the chance to meet and talk with Lucas and Vonnegutt at Lollapalloza. The band’s personality is very humble. To me they just generally love to play and want to play for their fans. Check out my interview with Kyle “Double” Lucas.
Evan J. Thomas- How did you guys meet?
Kyle “Double” Lucas- Me and Neil met because I am a rapper and wanted to start a band so I put up a flyer saying “MC Starting a band”. I put it up at guitar center where he was working at the time and then he called me and the rest of the guys kind of came in as we started progressing the band.
Evan- So how did you meet the other guys?
Kyle- Our drummer Tony grew up with Neil and they all have kind of known each other since the third grade and we met Pat through our producer who did the album.
Evan- What would you be doing if it wasn’t for music?
Kyle- (Laughs) That’s the best question I have heard all weekend. I’d be a porn star, ok, seriously… I would be in the industry. I would be good, I think in an organizational aspect I would be a good management person or something in marketing maybe.
Evan- Or you can do what I do — interview and photograph
Kyle- Yeah, that is pretty good too.
Evan- Where do you get your inspiration from writing your lyrics?
Kyle- Mine just comes from personal experiences and what I am doing and what I am going through.
Evan- Is there anyone you want to collaborate with?
Kyle- I want to collaborate with the Roots, I would love to rap on one of their songs or have them rap on one of our songs or we can have Quest Love fill in on drums or something, that would be a dream come true.
Evan- What would you change about the music industry if you could?
Kyle- I think the music industry and the entertainment industry and some of the people we have come into contact with are cliche, especially when we started the band. You know, they tell you that you would have a contract by Monday and you automatically give them 2 weeks (Till you actually get it) If you were to do that in any other profession you would be fired, right?
Evan- Where do you see Vonnegut in 5 years?
Kyle- I think Vonnegut is going to be touring, I want to tour the world. We haven’t even been out of the country so I want to tour the world and get a solid fan base and just continue touring.
Evan- Who are you looking forward to seeing at Lollapalooza?
Kyle- Actually it was just playing, I just wanted to play so bad and since the fact was it went very well yesterday and we had some very important people, industry people there to see us so my nerve factor level went up a little bit and the fact that it went over very well was such a relief.
Evan- Going back to a previous question, you said something about the Music industry being cliché, does it seem like you have to be in a click to be in it?
Kyle- It’s definitely like a boy’s club thing. When we first started, I always kind of compared it to Entourage and Artie’s office and how full of shit everyone is and how everyone is such a snake. Luckily we have just recently found incredible management. It took a minute, but we weeded through the snakes in the grass.
Evan- Being a fan of Kurt Vonnegutt, you pull a lot of inspiration from him so why him?
Kyle- Well, I read the book Cat’s Cradle and it changed my perspective on everything and I love the fact that he is so sarcastic and its not so in your face and he underlines everything. When we started the band, it was like 3 or 4 months later when he passed away and we caught a little bit of flack from the media for naming our band Vonnegut but his daughter Lilly actually hit me up and she said she was a fan of the music and she said if her dad was alive he would be super proud that we named it and it gave me the chills when I heard that, it was cool.
Evan- Your on Big Boi’s record label, how is it working with him?
Kyle- It’s a dream come true and not to mention but Outcast is the only reason I rap, I always said I would have been in a Blink 182 type band or N’Sync or boy band so Outcast is the single reason why I rap and for him to sign us and put so much into us that it means the world to us and its still surreal. It’s been a year and half or so and I still kinda catch myself thinking oh my god, I’m gonna bust it out with Big Boi or that I’m gonna get on stage with Big Boi its still surreal.
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