JANUARY 2022 INTERVIEW with Multi-Platinum Selling Artist, LUKAS ROSSI, who RELEASES HIS MOST IMPORTANT RECORD TO DATE!
Lukas Rossi’s album Autonomic (ft. Matty Shreds) leaves a huge impact on fans as they generate awareness for nervous system disfunction called Dysautonomia. Lukas takes the lead on helping raise awareness of the “Invisible Illness” that’s impacting millions around the world. This album is comprised of 12-tracks, featuring guest appearances features many great artists: Dave Buckner (Papa Roach), Marcos Curiel (P.O.D.), Matty Shreds, Sunnie Days, (Solo Artists) and Stereo Satellite!
In an exclusive interview, I got to send some personal and introspective questions in the direction of Lukas Rossi and Matty Shreds, who are 2 of the hardest working brilliant music minds on the alternative scene today.
Good morning gentlemen, I trust your Christmas holidays were superb? Welcome back to The Wire MEGAzine, which has been on the music industry scene since 1989 as 1 of the longest-running Canadian Entertainment tabloids.
I am thrilled to shine a few highlights on Lukas’s career which has spanned 26 plus years. Born to be a star, raised in Toronto, and currently resides in Nashville. Lukas is a Gold and Platinum-selling talent who is an internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist. He is not only known as one of the most recognized voices in the industry. but he is also a successful producer, mixer/master, & vocal coach with a rare voice that has ranges of 7 plus octaves with the flexibility to swing from deep guttural baritone to soprano riffs. He has remained a solid household name in this realm, never idle, constantly with his hands deep inside the music in various facets and forms since starting out at 19 years old back in Toronto in 1995. He formed a multi-award-winning act, Cleavage, who won both the Best Canadian Unsigned Band from 2000 NXNE Music Festival and 2006, himself, Mike Fox and Gavin Brown won People’s Voice International Songwriting Competition for Lukas’s song Drive, which gained 3rd place in the Top 40/Pop category and 7th overall. In 2004, Rossi entered into a publishing deal with EMI Music Canada, and after acquiring this deal, he went on to work with producer Dave Tyson in L.A and later recorded demos with producer Gavin Brown. Following in 2005, Lukas partnered with guitarist Dominic Cifarelli and drummer Maxx Zinno along with his longtime friend, Jay Cianfrini, to form his 2nd Canadian band, this time in Montreal, called Rise Electric. In 2006, Lukas competed in L.A. for Rock Star Supernova (18 million viewers worldwide) and won, becoming the lead singer for Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Jason Newsted (Metallica), and Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses) and traveled the globe in 2007 with his song Headspin which was included on their platinum-selling album. Following the tour in 2007, Lukas returned to Los Angeles and began writing and recording new music. with The Love and Lust EP (June 2007) released and completed a solo acoustic Love and Lust Tour.
In 2008, Rossi debuted his next project, Stars Down, which consisted of German Briseno of Vim Furor on bass, Lou Dawson on keys and guitars. The year 2010 kicked off with a mini East Coast tour and Lukas working on his first full-length album. Hollywood was released (July 2010) and debuted live at West Hollywood’s famous Viper Room. The all-acoustic Hollywood Stripped followed in August 2010. After moving to Nashville, in addition to local and out-of-town gigs, Lukas wrote, recorded, produced, and released six additional recordings. The first three were Seed EP (December 2010), Story Teller (January 2011), and Super, Sex, Magic (February 2011). He also co-wrote, provided vocals, and recorded several music videos for a side-project, Switchblade Glory (April 2011) The album was engineered and co-produced by Andy Johns, and produced by Gary Hoey and Steve Polin with lyrics and melodies by Lukas Rossi. The band featured Kenny Aronoff on drums, Steve Polin on guitar, and Josh Esther on bass. Lukas released Prophecy (November 2011) and Christmas Collection (December 2011) to complete a very busy year. But he wasn’t finished, releasing the album 8 Days (April 2012) soon after.
Lukas teamed up with Evanescence’s co-founder/lead guitarist Ben Moody and formed a new project called The Halo Method In September 2012, and the band released an introductory track, Beauty is the Beast, and performed their debut show aboard the rock and roll cruise, Shiprocked, in November. In 2013, the band released a lyric video of Toxic and Reset, an EP that features four songs: Toxic, Beauty Is The Beast, Porcelain, and Crutch. The EP was available as a free download at The Halo Method Soundcloud. Later in the year, the band appeared at Rock The River, a benefit festival for Angel on My Shoulder. Following their second appearance on Shiprocked (SR14). The band released a video for The Last Astronaut as performed aboard the ship. Rossi’s impressiveness continued in November 2015, when he released a rock cover rendition of Adele’s song, Hello, which has amassed well over millions of views. 2016 saw Rossi joining forces with Neil Sanderson of Three Days Grace from Peterborough, to form a duo known as King City with 1st single entitled Neurotic. 2018, he formed Stereo Satellite featuring guitarist Jared Cannata (J. Rad), bassist Erik Leonhardt (Tantric), and drummer Jordan Cannata (Adrenaline Mob) who have elements of many genres and debuted this act live on Shiprocked Cruise followed by opening for Bon Jovi.
2021, has been no different, your nonstop contribution to the industry, wearing your heart on your sleeve as you released, on December 21st, your birthday, the newest album, Autonomic along with the new music video for this title track, and is your first release under the new label, Seventy7 Records. This album is a record influenced by an “Invisible Illness” called Dysautonomia. The owner of Seventy7 Records, Amanda Nail, her daughter, Lexi Nail, (Seen on Autonomic’s album cover) was diagnosed with Dysautonomia as a teenager, as well, featured artist Matty Shreds also suffers from this condition. Throughout the years of touring, meeting fans, collaborating, and self-reflection, the urge to do more with his music is higher than ever. Autonomic was born. This record was influenced by an “Invisible Illness” called Dysautonomia and this condition compromises a person’s nervous system, impacting almost all areas of their body — all the while looking like healthy people. After learning how crippling this illness is, Lukas took immediate action to help join those raising awareness. In addition, a portion of album sales will go to the Dysautonomia International Foundation which is a charity that funds research and provides resources for those living with the condition. Listen to Autonomic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4Ls-yiy840 (This music video was edited by Lukas Rossi himself; filmed by Adam Sanner, Amanda Nail, and Matty Shreds.)
DEB: Q. 1. Lukas, when you look back to 1995, did you ever think that your career would unfold the way it has and that your songs would influence the world as they have?
LUKAS: “I couldn’t have possibly imagined having the life that I do. It’s one of those things that you fantasize about as a kid, but having it actually happen is unfathomable. My career and my lovely fans changed my life forever. From this point on, it’s all dedicated to trying to give back.”
The current album, Autonomic, DEB: Q. 2. Lukas, take us on a stroll and introduce the songs off your new album and share your unique songwriting process, As well, how long did this album take from start to finish?
LUKAS: “A few of the songs were written quite a while ago. I’ve been hanging on to My Last Words for a really long time. It never felt right to release it, but this album felt like the perfect place. “
“The song I Fall Apart was written with Dave Buckner, a former member of Papa Roach. This was a special song that he wrote the lyrics for. It’s not often that I have songs on my record that I don’t write, but this song has always had a soft spot in my heart and it needed to be on this record.”
“The music for Proof of Life, Oceans, & Autonomic were written by my brother Matty Shreds, we’ve had a few of them on hand for over 4 years. It’s another one of those things where the timing just wasn’t right, but this album is different. It’s special, I’ve called it the predecessor to Prophecy.”
DEB: Q. 3. Matty, share with your fans how you are coping as you live daily with this disorder, Dysautonomia?
MATTY: “Oddly enough, at this point, it’s almost difficult for me to remember what a “normal life” is. I’ve been living in such extreme conditions for the past 3 1/2 years, it’s almost mentally tormenting to think about the fact I used to be a normal person. I have 3 overlapping conditions, which is basically the worst-case scenario because all of them are either unknown or incurable. My day-to-day is predominantly bedridden aside from the necessities. I have to be in the cold at all times, or my body will freak out & symptoms will overload me, I’d be lying if I said this hasn’t been mentally destructive. I’m a very mentally disciplined/strong person, so coping with this has been difficult, however, my heart goes to those who are not in the same place as me, and can’t handle it.“
DEB: Q. 4. Some of the most historical and revered music has always played a deep role in the transformation of society. Some consider how their art relates to the current social-political landscape or how their music can address these themes. Lukas, does your music touch on social or political issues?
LUKAS: “Honestly, I don’t have much interest in any of that. If social media wasn’t such an important part of the music business, I wouldn’t even have it. I feel politics are the primary reason the world is so divided. I want my music to be an escape for everyone that’s sick of the drama and negative shit that goes on in this world. For awareness topics like illnesses, if I can use my voice to help with that, I’m 100% on board, but I won’t ever use my status to persuade or push my ideologies onto anyone. We’re all born with a brain, I feel we all should discover the world/life on our own without being forced to believe something.”
From the impressive list of songs, you have ever penned during your in-depth career, you were quoted as saying, “Autonomic is special. I’ve stayed active throughout the lockdowns and wrote from places inside of me that I haven’t visited in a very long time. This record includes the most personal songs I’ve ever written, some that I’ve been hanging onto for the right moment.. That time is now.” DEB: Q. 5. Lukas, which song from this stellar album is your favorite to perform and why?
LUKAS: “I love I’m Getting Better and Proof of LIfe. IGB is a special/emotional song that is a reflection/reminder that life can always get better, even when we struggle to believe it. Proof of Life on acoustic has a very haunting translation, and I’ve been playing it at every show on StageIt.”
DEB: Q. 6. Lukas, who would you say influences your songwriting the most then and now?
LUKAS: “I am constantly being influenced/inspired by new artists. Whether it’s artists that I am working with directly or artists on the radio. I have a wide range of musical interests, ranging from Prince all the way to Deftones/Smashing Pumpkins. Lately, I’ve just been writing from the heart and singing what I’m feeling.”
DEB: Q. 7. Some artists are reluctant to talk about how tough the music industry is let alone add COVID-19 and its restrictions, yet, this still didn’t slow you down. Playing live Stage It ticketed online shows for your global legions of fans, you also released a 2020 album Summertime, and the popular music video for Summertime that featured Tommy Lee and a litany of superstar cameos followed up with October 2020, being featured with your 2 songs on Tommy Lee’s album Andro and You Dancy which is a rendition of Prince’s When You Were Mine. Lukas, share with your fans, how you have endured throughout the last 24-month worldwide pandemic, how you stayed creative, and the unique ways you kept in touch personally with your fans.
LUKAS: “I do miss meeting the fans, and hearing their stories in person on the road, however, I feel like the pandemic has introduced a new way to the industry that hopefully can continue even post-pandemic. Touring is stressful/exhausting. It’s also expensive and so much that goes into it that most people don’t get to see. For me, having my fans login to a website to watch me perform in my studio, is such a creative encouragement. I go to my shows online and am fully rested, excited, and energized, tour drains you, half the time you’re just fighting to get through the show and back onto the bus, all while hoping you don’t screw the show up for everyone and introduce the wrong city because you’re 30 shows deep and don’t even remember what day it is.
On an emotional/personal level, my heart has been touched deeply by this for those who lost their lives, jobs, or family members. A lot of writing I have done during this time reflects that. It’s a very difficult time for everyone, and I hope we can become stronger at the end of it all.“
DEB: Q. 8. Lukas and Matty, both your passions and drive are rare in this industry, you never cease to amaze. Lukas, in 2022, you have huge collaborations in the works to be co-writing with & being featured on Three Days Grace’s upcoming record Explosions? What else is next on the horizon for you Lukas and the same question, what is next for Matty Shreds?
LUKAS: “As amazing as it is to work with known names in the industry, I don’t feel it changes my approach to music much. I don’t really care for fame or give additional attention to who it is I’m working with at the time. The goal should always be about making good music, and writing something that has the ability to impact the listener. I hope the next year has lots of amazing writing sessions, love, and loyalty. It should and always will be about the music. I plan to release a record at some point in 2022. Also, I am going to be doing some singing on Matty’s upcoming album!“
MATTY: “Thank you! I’m glad my music has been able to have a positive impact on you. Our collaboration on Autonomic was incredible, it set the pace for what I hope for this year. Beyond the collaboration, Lukas & I are closer than ever, and a lifelong friendship was built from all of this. That to me is the power of music. It’s more than just sounds/words mashed together. It creates a family. This year I am releasing my first solo Rock/Metal album called Mind Games, it’s a very deep/personal record – It’s the first solo rock/metal album that I’ve released since getting sick. The process is strenuous, and very physically challenging to make it happen, but I am doing everything possible to make it happen. Lukas is going to be doing vocals on a song or 2, so I am excited that the fans who enjoyed our work on Autonomic will have another collaboration to look forward to! The Rossi Posse is probably the most welcoming fanbase ever, so I have nothing but love for them!”
DEB: Q. 9. Lukas and Matty, what does success mean to each of you?
LUKAS: “Matty and I have had this conversation multiple times, so I can answer this for both of us. The deeper you get into this industry, one thing becomes clear, music has far more power/ability than we ever could’ve imagined. While individuals are glorified for their art, it’s so much more than individual recognition. To me, our success should be measured by how inspired, motivated, touched, and loved our fanbases are.. How we treat others, how others view/treat us in return. Using music to change the lives of others, and help them pursue/crush their own dreams is far more successful than someone that has a fat bank account and is popular among the world for the wrong reasons.”
Lukas, you have been a trailblazing music troubadour just over a quarter of a century and going strong with your richly textured, and nostalgic 90s sound union which guarantees to excite all ages, as you continue to lead the adoration of new/younger generations who are appreciating the ’90s resurgence, You are truly an impressive phenomenon, Happy Birthday, cheers & congratulations!.
Well into a decade & a half of the 21st century, for me to describe Autonomic it is like capturing an infinite measure, both a creative workbook & an authoritative musical reference. Rossi’s newest material, featuring a familiar Wire Megazine artist, Matty Shreds, is an album so relatable, a true masterpiece, profoundly moving & a pertinent one laced with perfected rhythm and plays a crucial role in defining the sounds of today’s music culture. A melodious introspective delight to the ear as Rossi’s vocals and Matty’s guitar totally engage & hold strong to their status as 1 of the most successful collabs in the music industry today.
DEB: Q. 10. Matty, what is it like to collaborate with 1 of the world’s most hypnotic minds known as the magnificent Lukas Rossi? Lukas, what is it like to work with Canadian multi-instrumentalist Matty Shreds?
MATTY: “Man, it has honestly been a pleasure. With any ongoing collaboration, there will be challenges, disagreements and conflict of interest, however, working with Lukas, we rarely run into these issues. I’ve worked with people in the past that made me want to rip my hair out, but, after Lukas & I crush a new track, it’s immediately inspiring us to keep writing! Lukas & I both pay great respect/appreciation to the creation/musical process. We write from a place of realness, which paves a wonderful path for solid chemistry. Working with Lukas was also inspiring because where I’m from, there’s a lot of lazy musicians, so seeing someone else that grinds day & night in the studio, hyped me up so much. It’s safe to say that every 1-2 days, I can look at my phone with a new audio clip of something he’s been working on, and it’s always just a complete banger. I’m proud to call him a brother of mine.”
LUKAS: ” Working with Matty always brings out a creative side of me. When I first heard his music, it was super refreshing. The first thing I thought of was “Damn, this dude really cares and respects the music.” This is something that’s missing these days, people are so focused on writing the next big hit, yet consequentially, soul, emotion, and passion is lost in all areas. I’ve even been guilty of this in the past. It’s actually inspiring how disciplined Matty is to the emotional connection with music. He’s like incapable of faking emotion on a track. While working together, it was almost unexpected to have someone send me notes on things that may not have conveyed a certain emotion. Usually, I am the one that’s pretty strict with what I hear, so working together it always keeps us alert & forces us to dive deep and stay true to the music. I feel our songs together reflect this.”
DEB: Q. 11. Lukas and Matty, you are both constantly reinventing your mesmerizing sounds. Always deep inside the industry while recording & producing not just your own music, but lending your hearts and hands while collaborating with the best in the biz. What do you think is your secret to longevity inside this music realm?
LUKAS: “When you walk into a position of fame basically overnight, you’re introduced to a whole slew of things you never could really imagine. At a certain point, it was hard to know who really cares for me as a person, or because of my status.
Staying true to the music and what matters most will always be my way out of any negativity I may find myself in. At the end of the day, popularity comes and goes, but music/realness will always be transparent. Staying true to yourself and cutting ties with people that aren’t suitable for your life is probably the best advice I can ever give.“
MATTY: “The depth of my career is minimal compared to Lukas, however, I’ve discovered a few things along the way… Most people will take but rarely give back. You almost have to set yourself up for the expectation that the effort you put into it, will rarely be returned. Music is an emotional investment. You have to love and be devoted to it for life, otherwise, you’ll never survive. It’s like a real healthy relationship – sometimes when things get hard, your go-to is RUN, but in your soul you know that’s never an option. My advice to anyone, if there’s something in your life that you love that much, that’s not toxic or damaging, never let it go. There will always be a time in life where the “Wow, this is what I’ve been fighting so hard for.” Moment comes.. For me, that moment is Autonomic. It’s not only been an incredible outlet musically, but it’s for a cause that is far bigger than any of us as individuals. It’s part of something bigger, that hopefully will go down in history, and lead to research that can someday put an end to this crippling condition.’
Thank you BOTH for your time today and best wishes for a superb 2022!
Matty, please take care. I know firsthand what it is like to be sick. I am currently with 2 spinal fractures that are compression fractures from an untreatable brittle bones condition, and along with it comes severe swelling in my legs, weakness, and massive chronic pain head to toe and add in Fibromyalgia on top of it all, pretty scary, and my days are limited like yours my friend, I truly feel for you and others suffering daily with Dysautonomia and hope others around the world will buy this album and support this much deserving cause.
God bless you both for sharing your talents all the while helping others in need, truly commendable.
Fans can now order & dive into your album, Autonomic, making this Lukas’s 25th Album/or EP. Fans can stop by https://lukasrossimusic.com or they can stay in tune by stopping by:
Look forward to future interviews with both of you when both your future albums drop in 2022.
Deb, an 8 year volunteer Photojournalist, Music Editor Columnist-The Wire Megazine & Lukas Rossi fan!!