Lycia

Lycia

Profile:
American darkwave band formed in 1988 in Tempe, Arizona.

1988
May: Mike VanPortfleet forms Lycia, initially as a solo project, in Tempe, AZ.
Summer: Will Welch joins as an occasional collaborator.
November: John Fair joins Lycia. Will Welch's involvement fades.

1989
January: Lycia's guitar/bass style develops.
March: WAKE is recorded, and released as a 6 song cassette on Orphanage Records.
Fall: Lycia's sound begins to move towards a more synth/guitar direction.

1990
May: John Fair leaves Lycia and joins Caterwaul.
Summer: Will Welch rejoins. Lycia's sound moves in a harsher/industrial direction.
Fall: Work begins on Lycia's first release for Projekt.

1991
Spring: Lycia's first release, to be called BYZANTINE, is determined to be unmixable and is aborted. Will Welch quits Lycia. Mike VanPortfleet gathers song fragments from the previous year and works them into what becomes IONIA. Lycia's style becomes more darkly ambient.
August: The initial A DAY IN THE STARK CORNER songs are recorded.
September: IONIA is released by Projekt.

1992
Summer: Will Welch briefly rejoins Lycia then quits. Before leaving he collaborates on a few acoustic based songs.
August: A DAY IN THE STARK CORNER is finished.
Fall: Work starts on acoustic material that eventually evolves into disc one of THE BURNING CIRCLE AND THEN DUST.

1993
April: Lycia plays first live show, in Scottsdale, AZ. David Galas assists with the live performance.
May: Mike VanPortfleet asks David Galas to assist with the upcoming STARK CORNER tour.
September: A DAY IN THE STARK CORNER is released by Projekt. A short California tour follows.
October: WAKE is re-released by Projekt with additional out takes.
November: Mike VanPortfleet forms Bleak to explore the noisier, more chaotic side of Lycia, and asks David Galas to join as an equal collaborator. The work on VANE begins.

1994
February: VANE is completed.
March: David Galas joins Lycia as a permanent member. Work starts on THE BURNING CIRCLE AND THEN DUST, a release that hearkens back to Mike VanPortfleet's guitar based roots.
Summer: LIVE, recordings from 1993's STARK CORNER tour, is released by Projekt. Mike VanPortfleet and John Fair form the instrumental side project Dust. Dust's sound is comparable to the early, more up-tempo Lycia style. A full length release is recorded, but the final mix is muddy and sounds incomplete. The project is put on hold, with the better songs being parted out to comps.
August: THE BURNING CIRCLE AND THEN DUST is finished. Originally planned as a single disc (disc one).
September: Additional material is recorded for possible inclusion on THE BURNING CIRCLE AND THEN DUST. The new material returns to the synth/guitar style.
October: Tara Vanflower travels from Ohio to sing on two new songs, and is asked to join Lycia.

1995
January: More new songs are written. THE BURNING CIRCLE AND THEN DUST becomes a double disc, with the newer material slated for disc two.
February: VANE is released by Projekt.
April: THE BURNING CIRCLE AND THEN DUST is released by Projekt. The BURNING CIRCLE tour starts.
May: Lycia relocate to Streetsboro, OH during a break in the BURNING CIRCLE tour.
June/July: The BURNING CIRCLE tour continues.
September: David Galas quits the live band.
October/November: Lycia finish up the BURNING CIRCLE tour opening shows for Type-O-Negative.
December: Works starts on COLD, a release that Mike VanPortfleet states will return Lycia to it's STARK CORNER style.

1996
January: Mike VanPortfleet develops health problems, and soon after Lycia enter a period of inactivity. Tensions build within the band.
February: COLD is completed.
Spring: A rift develops within the band. Mike VanPortfleet and Tara Vanflower form the treated acoustic side project Estraya, and David Galas starts work on his Snowblind project. Both projects are soon abandoned. A second Bleak release is started, but also abandoned. Mike VanPortfleet later revamps his Bleak contributions on the ESTRELLA release.
Summer: Mike VanPortfleet plays a solo Bleak show in Chicago, a day after a Lycia performance at the first Projekt festival.
August: David Galas leaves Lycia and moves back to Arizona.
September: COLD is released by Projekt.
October: Mike VanPortfleet and Tara Vanflower get married.

1997
February: Mike VanPortfleet and Tara Vanflower end Lycia's period of inactivity. They agree to extensively tour in support of COLD. They prepare a live set of mostly instrumentals and unreleased songs.
April/May: The first leg of the COLD tour.
Summer: Lycia play several one-off shows, including Mexico City. The live set is revamped with new songs.
October: The second leg of the COLD tour.
November: The work on ESTRELLA and the EL DIABLO E.P. begins.

1998
January: The ESTRELLA sessions are completed.
Spring: The initial work starts on Tara Vanflower's first solo release, called THIS WOMB LIKE LIQUID HONEY.
May: ESTRELLA is released by Projekt. Mike VanPortfleet describes the sound as a mixture of COLD and WAKE.
July: Lycia plays the three Projekt festivals, assisted by J Bennett on synth. Soon after, Mike VanPortfleet states that Lycia will never perform live again. The EL DIABLO E.P. is put on hold.
Fall: After struggling with health problems for over two years, Mike VanPortfleet quietly ends Lycia. Plans for a new all electronic project (to be called Polaris) and a Mike VanPortfleet solo release are also aborted.

1999
January: THIS WOMB LIKE LIQUID HONEY is completed. The style is quite experimental, and very unlike Lycia. Only months after making the decision to end Lycia, Mike VanPortfleet resurrects the band. Former members John Fair and David Galas rejoin Lycia, and the initial work starts on the band run label Lycium Music.
Spring: Work on the first Lycium Music release starts (the treated acoustic side project Estraya).
August: THIS WOMB LIKE LIQUID HONEY is released by Projekt.
September: The Estraya recording sessions end, and Mike VanPortfleet wraps up the final mix. The E.P. release is dubbed THE TIME HAS COME AND GONE.
November: Work starts on ESTRELLA's follow up, EMPTY SPACE. With the return of both David Galas and John Fair, Mike VanPortfleet refers to the restored band as "the Lycia reunion".
December: Mike VanPortfleet abruptly ends Lycia as the EMPTY SPACE sessions fall apart, and retires from music.

2000
January: Estraya's THE TIME HAS COME AND GONE is released as a limited edition by Lycium Music.
June: Five songs from the EMPTY SPACE sessions are briefly released as a mp3 only EP release on mp3.com.
July: Tara Vanflower performs two solo live shows, including the Cornerstone Festival in Illinois.

2001
January: COMPILATION APPEARANCES VOL. 1, featuring songs recorded in Arizona during the early 1990's, is released on Projekt.
Spring: Mike and Tara VanPortfleet relocate back to Mesa, AZ.
July: COMPILATION APPEARANCES VOL. 2, featuring songs recorded in Ohio during the mid to late 1990's, is released on Projekt.
Summer: Mike VanPortfleet mixes the four unfinished "instrumental" EMPTY SPACE songs, thus finally completing the nine song Lycia EMPTY SPACE release. Mike and Tara VanPortfleet secretly record Estraya's TRIPPING BACK INTO THE BROKEN DAYS.

2002
Spring: Several songs from 1996's COLD are licensed for use in the independent film Lana's Rain. Mike VanPortfleet is asked to write additional music for consideration. Six all synth instrumentals are written, but never submitted.
July: The treated acoustic/ambient TRIPPING BACK INTO THE BROKEN DAYS is released under the Lycia name by Projekt.

2003
October: Lycia leaves Projekt.
December: EMPTY SPACE is released by Silber Records.
Sites:
Members:

Lycia Discography

Albums

Lycia Wake (Album) Orphanage Records US 1989 Sell This Version
Lycia Ionia (Album) Projekt US 1991 Sell This Version
Lycia A Day In The Stark Corner (Album) Projekt US 1993 Sell This Version
Lycia Live (Album) Projekt US 1994 Sell This Version
Lycia The Burning Circle And Then Dust (Album) Projekt US 1995 Sell This Version
Lycia Cold (Album) Projekt US 1996 Sell This Version
Lycia Estrella (Album) Projekt US 1998 Sell This Version
PROJEKT 134 Lycia Tripping Back Into The Broken Days(CD, Album) Projekt PROJEKT 134 US 2002 Sell This Version
silber032 Lycia Empty Space(CD, Album) Silber Records silber032 US 2003 Sell This Version
none Lycia Bleak ~ Vane(15xFile, MP3, Album, RE, RM, 320) Lycium Music none US 2009
HBDIS-066 Lycia Quiet Moments(CD, Album, Ltd) Handmade Birds HBDIS-066 US 2013 Sell This Version
HBDIS-085 Lycia A Line That Connects(CD, Album, Ltd) Handmade Birds HBDIS-085 US 2015 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

none Lycia Transition(2xFile, MP3, Single, 320) Lycium Music none US 2001
Lycia Fifth Sun (EP) Lycium Music US 2010
Black Mare / Lycia Black Mare / Lycia - Low Crimes / Silver Leaf (Single) Magic Bullet Records US 2015 Sell This Version
none Lycia The Time Has Come And Gone(7xFile, MP3, EP, RE, 320) Lycium Music none US Unknown

Compilations

PROJEKT 108 Lycia Compilation Appearances Vol. 1(CD, Comp) Projekt PROJEKT 108 US 2001 Sell This Version
PROJEKT120 Lycia Compilation Appearances Vol. 2(CD, Comp) Projekt PROJEKT120 US 2001 Sell This Version

DJ Mixes

none Lycia Sonic Cathedrals Vol. CVI(File, MP3, Mixed, 320) Cvlt Nation none US 2013

Miscellaneous

none Lycia The Ghosts Of Lycia(8xFile, MP3, 128) Lycium Music none 2004

Reviews

Add Review

DarkSouljah

DarkSouljah

April 2, 2004
The gothic darkwave that is Lycia was originally a one-man band for the most part, until Tara Vanflower joined in (and later married Mike VanPortfleet) to help with the vocals. The end result is numbing music with hypnotizing drum programming, fuzzy guitars, creepy synths, and chilling vocals. Add that to the top-notch production of the label Projekt, and Lycia become a must-hear group. Their music engulfs you, fucks with your mind, and spits you back out - begging for more.

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