The successes of Kyle Lucas have not come overnight and he’ll be the first to admit it. As not just a solo artist but also the frontman for Alternative Hip-Hop group Vonnegutt, Lucas has had his fair share of ups and downs over the years.
Things do however seem to finally be falling into place and with the recent release of his new solo project, It’s Always Sunny In Marietta 2, Lucas has a fresh outlook on the industry and the things he needs to do to conquer it.
AllHipHop.com spoke to the Marietta, Georgia native about his most recent offering to the fans, the status of his relationship with Purple Ribbon founder Big Boi, what he’s working on currently and much more. Check out our exclusive interview with Kyle Lucas below:
How do you find the time to juggle all the projects you’re a part of and prioritize one over the other?
Kyle Lucas: Well honestly from the outside looking in it looks way more hectic and crazier than it really is. You know Vonnegutt just released a project in December so I’ve had some time and while I was touring with the group and recording our album for the past few years I had been doing a track here and there so [It’s Always Sunny In Marietta 2] is just a collection of songs and emotions from the past year and a half.
I didn’t just sit down and bang out 17 songs for the project. It was just something I was doing on the side and turned out to be way iller than I thought it would be. So right now that’s kind of been the focus.
Congrats by the way on releasing the Vonnegutt album last year. How does it feel to finally have that out in the fans’ hands?
Kyle Lucas: Man it’s been incredible because as a band, like four members of a band, that album was everything to us. We spent like four years on it doing different pieces here and there on tour and doing stuff with [Big Boi] and just piecing together that album. Unfortunately it didn’t do well but to us it’s such a milestone because behind the scenes and the amount of struggle that we all went through to get an album out, it’s just a labor of love. The day that it came out was just like a four-year weight off my shoulders.
You said it didn’t do that well which I assume means sales wise. How does that affect the process of working on a follow-up to Falling Up the Stairs?
Kyle Lucas: I mean to be honest we haven’t really worked on anything new. Two of the guys got other gigs so they can’t tour as much so me and Taylor, the drummer, just started doing my solo stuff and touring on that. So it was never like we broke up or anything, we just financially and emotionally were kind of drained by the time it came out. I know Neil who plays guitar in the group sent me a bunch of demos so when the time comes we’ll be at a better place to release another album. [Falling Up the Stairs] just kind of drained us to get it out there.
What about your association with Big Boi’s Purple Ribbon imprint? Is that just a deal that was struck with Vonnegutt or are you signed as a solo artist as well?
Kyle Lucas: No I never signed a solo deal with Big Boi, that was just a deal for Vonnegutt, which was a joint venture with Average Joe’s. So the Vonnegutt album only came out under Purple Ribbon/AVJ. I’m kind of just being independent right now.
How hands-on was Big Boi during the process of creating that album and what’s your current relationship with him like?
Kyle Lucas: Oh yeah he was very hands-on. He told us what he liked and what he didn’t like and he definitely gave his two cents. I haven’t really spoken to him in a couple months to be honest. I know he’s doing his thing, but there is definitely no bad blood. That’s the homie for life and he’s my favorite artist. If I ever need anything he’s got me and vice-versa.
Recently you released a new solo project, It’s Always Sunny In Marietta 2. For someone who might just be discovering Kyle Lucas, what would you say is the definitive track that they should be checking for on that?
Kyle Lucas: I think musically I’m at my best on that project. I think “Red Wine and Xanax” would be the track because it represents a true story and I’m very big on being super honest and you can tell when you listen to my music that I’m super self-deprecating and super honest. Lyrically, I think “Coffee Break” flow-wise is pretty on-point and then “Worth It,” the song I did with Johnny Craig kind of set off the whole vibe for our project so I’d probably say those three. You can definitely bounce around though too.
Specifically on It’s Always Sunny 2 you worked with someone like STS who I am a huge fan of as well as people like Pretty Lights, GLC and Boi-1da. What other collaborations have you done recently that people should get excited for?
Kyle Lucas: Man this stuff I’m doing with Johnny Craig… We’re about to light s### up right now with this one. I haven’t really worked with anyone else recently aside from being in the studio with him recently ‘cause that’s my main focus and then I’m probably going to work on a solo EP to sell on iTunes sometime during Warped Tour this summer. That’s dope you like STS though, he’s like my family and homie.
I saw him open for Travis Barker and Mix Master Mike a couple years ago in New York and the crowd didn’t really get into him for whatever reason but that was the moment I became a fan of his for sure. I think he’s dope as hell.
Kyle Lucas: I feel like STS’s career has unfortunately been like that ‘cause he’s just too good. I was just listening to a new project he sent me and as an MC myself, my mind if just blown. This guy should be the biggest thing ever but I think the average person just doesn’t get it. He’s too good for himself almost. Everything he does is just phenomenal and he’s one of my favorite rappers. I mean come one people he’s on The Roots album! [Laughs]
It’s just over peoples’ heads I guess but he’s definitely due to break soon.
Kyle Lucas: Yeah that’s what it is; it’s over peoples’ heads. The average person is not wired to think how STS is. If you ever talk to him he’s just a genius.
Kyle Lucas: Yeah 100% we are definitely doing that. That’s what we’re working on right now. Johnny and my homie who produces my solo stuff, Captain Midnite, is producing Johnny’s full-length album and then we’re doing the EP while he’s here in Atlanta. It’s going to be dope.
Aside from “Worth It” is there any other music out there featuring the two of you?
Yeah we just released a new single the other day called “The Party and The Dream” which is really just something for the fans. It’s not going on anything, we were just in the studio and kind of knocked it out on a whim and it turned out way doper than we thought so we gave it to everyone online.
How has the response been to the music you two have released so far?
Kyle Lucas: Oh man it’s been crazy. I feel like his fans are super receptive because he’s a super soulful singer from that Warped Tour alternative crowd and I rap for that Warped Tour alternative crowd so everything’s been turning out perfectly and the reception has been crazy. He’s got hella fans and he’s been doing this forever so his fans have been coming towards me and feeling everything so the response has been more than I ever thought.
I know you also have a good relationship with artists like G-Eazy and Mod Sun. I have to ask, is an entire collaborative project from you three a possibility?
Kyle Lucas: Hell yeah it is! I’ve been on tour with them multiple times. G-Eazy produced on my album so yeah 100% that’s a possibility. I’ve already put money on it that G-Eazy is going to be the biggest thing in music by the end of the year. He’s only getting bigger and with his music production and the way he raps with intelligence. He’s going to be the next big crossover artist up there with someone like Macklemore. His talent really speaks for itself.
Being that this is AllHipHop, I’d like for you to fill readers in on what exactly Joe Budden did for you as an artist?
Kyle Lucas: Man, Joe Budden changed my life [laughs]. He was the artist when I was like 15 that made it cool to be emotional, not on some corny s###. He made it cool to be honest. Joe Budden is the reason I changed my name to my real name. I used to rap under the name Double, which is so corny, but I just loved how he used his real name and poured his heart out on every single song. If you’re going to be that honest in your music than why hide behind a moniker?
I actually got to meet him a couple SXSW’s ago in Austin and he was super cool. I was trying to not to get choked up ‘cause I don’t think he understood what he did for me as a person when I was that age going through drugs and relationships and just growing up. I don’t think he knew how prominent his music was to me so it was cool man. We had an awesome conversation and he’s definitely in my “Top 5.”
That’s a dope story that I’m sure the readers will appreciate. Any last words?
Kyle Lucas: For everyone who’s been supporting me, it’s been a long road. Things are kind of hitting now but it hasn’t been an overnight thing. To all my fans that have been there forever, it means the world to me.