Los Angeles-based roots reggae band, Lucid Phase, have released a trippy and transportive music video for their latest single, "Roots Enterprise" (featuring Sensi Trails) from their forthcoming album, "Orchid Thief."
"’Roots Enterprise’ came together with the thought of combining the upbeat sounds of ska with the psychedelic breakdowns of jam and roots reggae music," said Garret Laver, lead vocalist for Lucid Phase. "The lyrics paint a colorful picture of a roaring locomotive full of people, places, and sounds. The idea sparked during a late-night session to develop a mode of transportation to symbolize the energetic and free-spirited nature of our music."
The trio of Garret Laver, Jacob Flack (background vocals/percussion), and Cyrus Maleki (lead guitar) met when they were students attending the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) between 2010 and 2014. Flack and Maleki majored in Sound Design while Laver focused on Film and Television, but when the friends reconvened in Los Angeles, they were able to apply the skills they learned at art school to the SoCal reggae music scene.
"I always got along better with the sound guys anyway, so it naturally turned out that way," said Laver about his connection to friends outside his field of study. "We’ve been able to stay close in Los Angeles. It’s been good to have this tight group that we all went to school with and come to this city, know good people, and have a little community out here."
Maleki, who has worked for Epic Records in Atlanta cutting records for B.O.B. and Pusha T, cultivated a love for reggae with his friends while attending SCAD.
"In college, we three rolled in the same circles and that kind of reggae feel was always there and a good vibe for us all, especially with the beach vibe in Savannah," explained Maleki. "Then in L.A. it seemed like the move to jump into reggae."
Flack spent his high school days in Florida surfing and making reggae music on his laptop.
"Then I went to school and studied sound and I got really into the sound for film, but it’s all almost the same methodology — we use the same program. I always had that music instinct in me, so when I got together with Garret and Cyrus it felt like the right move. All the resources were there and it was a better space—more collaborative."
The members of Lucid Phase all work in the film and television industry in Los Angeles when they’re not making music. Maleki works for Showtime, Flack has been nominated for an Emmy Award for his sound editing, and Laver directs music videos for other bands in the SoCal reggae scene for his YouTube channel, Video Kitchen.
Of course, Laver directed the video for "Roots Enterprise."
The video features the band traveling across the desert in a Mad Max-like rig, picking up partiers along the way. The converted dump truck was built by one of Maleki’s Savannah friends who drove the bizarre vehicle from Colorado to Los Angeles with the intention of living in it — until COVID 19 ended those plans.
"I worked out a deal where he could leave it at my uncle’s ranch in the Mojave Desert," said Maleki. "Coincidentally we wanted to shoot the scene in the desert and we have this crazy rig here. It was almost serendipitous to the point where it feels like he drove it out here for us to make the video."
The bacchanalian interior scenes were shot in a stationary caboose at a dog sanctuary, but the transitions from smoke spouting dump truck to psychedelic party train are seamless thanks to clever production and editing.
"The only reason we reached out for another location was because we wanted to just go onto the rig and use the inside of that thing, but it was so ridiculous — the inside is not very luxurious," Flack explained.
Lucid Phase were able to record and release their debut album, "The Crop", amidst the pandemic thanks to unlimited access to Dub Room Studios on Sunset Blvd. The studio’s owner went out of town during the city’s shut down and left Maleki in charge.
"He put the keys in our hands for two months and in that time we were able to produce another album," said Laver. "We finished the first album and then put down the blueprints for all twelve songs of our new one. We’ll never forget that is was during corona virus that we were able to hunker down, put in tons of hours, and make some cool music."
Although Maleki has worked in much bigger and more professional environments, he appreciates the skills he and his band mates learned at SCAD and are able to apply to their own projects.
"In the recording studio it’s been a lot better in the production process because we have all these creatives in the studio," said Maleki. "Jake and I can jump on and off of the board...Being from SCAD and having this creative palette…
"...translated into our studio work and video," Flack finished.