Wednesday, August 8, 2007


The Cliks defy stereotypes with smart songwriting and a kick-ass attitude

photograph by: Clint McLean

by Olivia Ware

The Cliks frontman Lucas Silveira doesn't shy away from discussing his sexuality. As a self-described transgendered male, he is adamant about opening people's minds—not just to the idea of gender, but to the idiosyncrasies of identity. But he also doesn't let it define him, or his music.

"I don't sit down and think about how I'm going to write as a transgendered male," says Silveira. "It's who I am; I have a certain perspective. People are curious because it's something different, but no one's going to stick around because I'm transgendered. I think they are more intelligent than that. We have a growing fan base, and I'm stoked it's because of the music."

Silveira is right. As guests on Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Tour 2007, which was intended to champion universal equality and celebrate the LGBT community, the Cliks have gained some fans with big names, like Margaret Cho and Cyndi Lauper herself. Their latest album, Snakehouse features a new lineup—Silveira on guitar and vocals, Nina Martinez on guitar, Jen Benton on bass and Morgan Doctor on drums—and Silveira says it's the strongest album he's ever recorded. Songs like "Oh Yeah" and "Complicated" have wailing guitar riffs and savage vocals, creating a raw ecstasy that's almost addictive. And audiences will agree; the Cliks have become known for high-energy performances, one of their many fortes.

"The people who know us as a band and as musicians aren't surprised, but people who haven't heard us—we blow them away," says Silveira. "They see us as an ‘all-girl band,' despite the fact that I identify as a male and the other band members identify as queer, and there's not a lot of expectation for female musicians."

Fans might be surprised by one track on Snakehouse: a cover of Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River." Silveira identified with the lyrics and picked up his guitar to play the song himself, and as he describes it, the rest of the band joined in. Although it wasn't intended to go on the album, the Cliks decided to use it because it follows Snakehouse's "breakup" theme—and it sounded great. That's only more proof of the band's unwillingness to fall under any labels or stereotypes; they aren't too good for a little pop music.

After all, as Silveira says, "I have my own Britney."

The Cliks play Martyrs' (3855 N. Lincoln, 773/404-9494) Aug. 10