An Interview with Drew Fortier of The Lucid

The present-day hard rock and heavy metal scene don’t seem to beckon “Guitar Heros,” in the same way that past waves have. Still, in the eyes of sing-string star, Drew Fortier, that trend may as well be damned.

For Fortier, his path to the world’s biggest stage was not the same as most. While Fortier always loved the guitar, and cut his cops from a young age, it wasn’t until his work on the documentary, Attack On Life: The Bang Tango Movie, that Fortier took the next step toward rock and metal immortality.

Fortier’s connection with Bang Tango was strong, and before long, he found himself a member of the band, forming a duel guitar attack alongside guitar maestro, Rowan Robertson.

While Fortier is no longer a member of Bang Tango currently, he remains close with the band and went on to work with the fallen Chuck Mosley, and along the way, met bassist, Dave Ellefson, which eventually led to Fortier forming his newest project, The Lucid, alongside Ellefson, who are also joined by Vinnie Dombroski on vocals, and Mike Heller on drums.

In an age where guitar heroes are seldom seen, Drew Fortier is a throwback in the image of Jimmy Page, and Jon Hudson. If you’re curious, or simply are one for nostalgia, look no further than Drew Fortier, with his Les Paul slung low, and his ferocious riffs, and searing solos, he’s not one to miss.

We recently caught up with Drew, where, among other things, we dug into The Lucid’s self-titled debut, his origins in music, joining Bang Tango, his filmmaking and acting career, what’s next for The Lucid, and a whole lot more.

If you would like to learn more about Drew Fortier, head over to his Twitter page, and dig in. And of course, be sure to keep tabs on the Lucid via their Bandcamp, Facebook, and Twitter pages for news regarding their newest music, tour dates, and more.

Andrew:
Drew, thank you for taking the time. Before we dig into your career, let’s touch on current events first.
The Lucid’s self-titled album was released in October of 2021. If you can, paint a picture of the writing and recording of the album.

Drew:
It was really easy, to be honest. Mike, David, and I demoed out about thirty instrumentals and sent them to Vin in a Dropbox, and the next thing we know, we had eleven songs and whittled it down to nine for the album. Everything was so smooth and natural, and everything unfolded organically. Our drummer, Mike Heller, procured the album wonderfully, and we had Lasse Lammert mix, and master it, and we are all super proud of the outcome.

Andrew:
What has the reception for the record been like so far? Considering the band’s pedigree, how would you best describe the album’s sound? How do the members of The Lucid come together to form what we heard on the album?

Drew:
It has actually been super positive! People seem to get what we were doing with it musically. It’s sort of an alternative and grungy throwback to the 90s, but there are really no genre restrictions with The Lucid. As a matter of fact, we’re in the midst of writing a country punk hybrid song right now that I think people are going to get a big kick out of. Everything just unfolds organically with us as I was mentioning. Everything feels right, and in place, and it’s such a fruitful group of creatives, and we all get along wonderfully, which is the most important part in my opinion. 

Andrew:
How did you come to meet Dave Ellefson leading up to the eventual formation of The Lucid?

Drew:
I met David while I was performing with Bang Tango. We opened up the mainstage at Rocklahoma 2016 and Megadeth was set to go on a few bands after us. I met David in the backstage area, and just hit it off. We had a lot of mutual friends and from there, we ended up writing a book together called Rockstar Hitman, as well as making a $0 found footage horror movie together for fun called Dwellers, which actually ended up in a ton of film festivals, and won way too many awards for what it was. We then naturally knew we would collaborate on music at some point, and that became The Lucid.

Andrew:
As I mentioned, you’ve formed The Lucid in 2020, alongside Dave Ellefson, Mike Heller, and Vinnie Dombroski. Take me through the formation of the band.

Drew:
The band started from a leftover instrumental demo from a band Mike and I had years prior. I sent the demo to David, and he laid down a bass track. We then decided we should rope in a vocalist to write to it, and for some reason, the first name I thought of was Vin from Sponge. None of us knew him, so on a whim, I sent his website an email, and it actually made its way to him, and he was up for collaborating and turned that instrumental demo into what is now the song “Hair.” We knew we had something, and it all developed from there.

Andrew:
Taking a journey back now,
what were some of your early leanings which gravitated you toward the guitar?

Drew:
I’d say definitively being young and having my older siblings always watching Headbanger’s Ball on MTV made an impression on me growing up that leaned me toward a future in wanting to be in music.

Andrew:
What bands and guitarists most influenced your style toward its current progression?

Drew:
Definitely, Jimmy Page without a doubt was my prime influence as a guitarist. The way he produced himself and layered his parts was just gorgeous. As for bands, I’d have to say Faith No More. They weren’t afraid to tackle any genre, and I’ve always been attracted to their fearless approach. They’re amazing.

Andrew:
What were some of your earliest gigs in which you cut your teeth?

Drew:
I believe my first show was at my high school’s battle of the bands, where I played clean guitar, while my girlfriend at the time sang. I also played in a Led Zeppelin tribute band for a while too prior to hooking up with Bang Tango.

Andrew:
How did your documentary, Attack On Life: The Bang Tango Movie, lead to your indoctrination into Bang Tango in 2015.

Drew:
To be honest, I just got along with those guys so damn well. We hit it off from the beginning, and we all knew I’d end up hopping on stage with them at some point, and it was such an incredible time to do so. 

Andrew:
Both yourself and Rowan Robertson were a formidable duo for Bang Tango, but it didn’t last very long. Ultimately, what caused this version of the band to come to an end?

Drew;
I think Joe Lestè, Bang Tango’s singer, just wanted to switch things up a bit along with the fact we ended up getting busy with a few other things. Either way, he knows I’m always there when or if he ever needs a guitar player. 

Andrew:
You mentioned Rowan Robertson, who is a true talent. If anything, what did you learn playing alongside him over the years?

Drew:
I absolutely love Rowan. He is an amazing human being and is one of the greatest guitarists ever. I learned so much from him, and he built so much confidence in me while we were in the band together. By the end of it, we were switching off solos for everything, and just having a blast. Rowan is wonderful.

Andrew:
You also worked with Chuck Mosley of Faith No More fame. How did you come to meet, and eventually, work with Chuck?

Drew;
I met Chuck via Thom Hazaert, which led me to Doug Esper, who was Chuck’s percussionist and manager. We hit it off wonderfully, it felt right and made each other laugh a ton.

Andrew;
We, unfortunately, lost Chuck in 2017. What do you remember most about him, and if you can, comment on his legacy and contributions.

Drew:
Chuck was such a unique artistic soul. He had such an impact on me as a human being, and it’s still incredibly hard for me to hear his voice in any way. I miss him so much. His legacy is truly legendary, and his effect on music will last forever. He was amazing all around.

Andrew:
How do you, as an artist, reconcile your film and music careers? How do they influence each other, and play off one another? If you had to choose, where does your truest passion lie?

Drew:
You know, I really just go with whatever gives me butterflies in that frame of time. Both are a lot of fun, and very rewarding. If I had to choose between the two, I’d have to say that at the moment I’ve been having a blast acting. There are some cool flicks on the horizon that I’m honored to be a part of, and it definitely feeds the creative monster that lives in my soul. For now. [Laughs].

Andrew:
What’s next for you in all lanes, Drew? The Lucid has a tour planned. Are more shows to be announced on a grander scale?

Drew:
We have been getting a ton of show offers, and really, it’s just a matter of when we’re all available to do them. There will definitely be more shows on a grander scale. For now, we’ve decided to do a handful of intimate shows to sort of kick things into gear and let the people decide if they want more.

As for what’s next for me, I’m involved with a few upcoming film projects acting-wise, including a slasher film called Late Checkout, a psychological horror film titled Dementophobia, and a revenge horror thriller called Trivial.

Interested in learning more about The Lucid? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full catalog of VWMusic Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interviews

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found VWMusic in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Idle Chatter. Over time, the column grew into a website that now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process. Some of Andrew’s favorite artists include KISS, Oasis, ACϟDC, Elvis Presley, Ace Frehley, The Rolling Stones, Rush, The Pretenders, Led Zeppelin, The Gaslight Anthem, Iron Maiden, John Lennon, The Melvins, Noel Gallagher, Regina Spektor, Rory Gallagher, The Stone Roses, The Strokes, Thin Lizzy, Elvis Costello, Van Halen, Neil Young, Blur, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and many more.
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