In December I received an invitation to attend a show at the historic Whisky A Go Go to see 90’s powerhouse Sponge and one of the opening bands, a band from Portland, Oregon called Ill Lucid Onset (ILO).
The invitation came from Edgar Baltazar, an accomplished guitarist in the Portland music scene who had recently joined ILO.
I received a link ILO’s ReverbNation page so I could listen to the band’s music and I was very intrigued by what I heard. I heard a fusion of heavy guitars, with melodic keyboards, a soulful voice and rich harmonies and lyrics that talked about love and relationships but with a high energy rock vibe and I am not talking about the cheesy rock ballads that we often hear on the radio, the music complimented the feelings that the lyrics were describing in a very passionate and soulful manner.
At the show at the Whisky, I was blown away by the energy the band emanated from the stage, lead singer, guitarist and founder of the band, Ryan Aiello, led the band through a powerful set that showcased the talents of the individual musicians like Jason Henderson on keyboards and vocals, which showed a great synergy between Jason and Ryan, especially when they sang harmonies; and with that same type of synergy, Drummer Gian Herrera and Jim Beriault on bass seemed to play off each other as they held down the groove all the while, newcomer, Edgar Baltazar weaved in an out with rich melodic guitar leads that took the music to a higher level.
After the show, I had the chance to talk to the guys in the band backstage and here’s a little bit of what we talked about:
Al Borde: How did it feel to play in such a historic venue?
ILO: It was beautiful, especially for us coming from Portland, besides the glamour of playing in Hollywood, there’s such history in this place, Jimmy Hendrix and The Doors played here along with so many other historic artists, and being that Ryan is originally from southern California, we also had family and friends here so it made it all that more special.
How long have you guys been together?
Ryan – Originally the project began in 2005, but as the current lineup we have been together since 2008, but we have all known each other as friends for many years and now we have Edgar joining us on guitar.
Having a brand new member in the band, how does it affect the band?
Ryan – There’s definitely a good vibe on stage and with the music and there’s a great chemistry evolving with Edgar’s guitar playing.
Edgar – I also think that with Gian and me being Latinos, it adds another layer to the sound, and for me, because the current songs are already so well structured, there’s only so much I can add to those songs, so I am really looking forward to working on new material and seeing where that takes us.
Tell us about the name, “Ill Lucid Onset”?
Ryan – I wanted something different, a name that had some king of meaning and not just some random word, so I took “Ill” which back in the day was the slang word for “cool”, “Lucid” for transparent and “on set” for something new, so it basically means, “cool, transparent and new” and it fits with our philosophy as we are always trying to do something new and different.
What are the musical influences of the band?
Ryan – I think we all have some common ground like U2, R.E.M., Radio Head and others, but we also have our own varied tastes in alternative music, classic rock and other sounds.
Ill Lucid Onset has a new album out titled, You Say and it is available for download on iTunes and it can be streamed on Spotify and ILO can be followed on their official website at http://www.illlucidonset.com and can also be followed on facebook, Reverbnation, Twitter and Youtube.