The band burst onto the scene in the mid ’90s during a creative bedlam that shifted the search for the next big thing from Seattle to Chicago. With the success of groups like Smashing Pumpkins and singer Liz Phair, Loud Lucy was in the right place at the right time.
The group was blessed with Lane’s knack for writing catchy “bubble-grunge” tunes, collaborations with super producer Brad Wood and Louise Post of Veruca Salt and a tour with Alanis Morissette. As with all great love songs, Loud Lucy’s would eventually come to an end. After a premonition that the music industry was about to experience a shift in another direction, the members of the group made the decision to disband.
“We didn’t blow up that big anyway,” says Lane. “We didn’t have a lot of people standing around telling us to make another Loud Lucy record.”
The split couldn’t have come at a better time. A shift of another kind had been in the offing when Lane, a long-time enthusiast of classic rock gods like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, began to change personally.
“I’d always loved the fact that we were a three-piece band, but I started writing some stuff that was different. We were really cool for what we did, but that moment ended,” he says.
This redirection in styles was largely precipitated by a disdain for some of the trappings of fame and the more disparaging aspects of the recording industry. Lane eludes to witnessing death, drug use and the self-destruction of others during this time in his life.
“Maybe it was a survival thing,” he confesses. “There was a little sadness, but I was looking to get out of that whole scene.”
Since Loud Lucy had been on tour so much, Lane had no home of his own back in Chicago. This minor detail, coupled with the fact that his manager, record label and booking agent were all located in Southern California made his next move a no-brainer. He relocated to Los Angeles.
He comments, “I wanted to see what was in the water out here that made everyone cool, vibrant and crazy.”
Lane began the arduous task of acclimating himself to his new home. “I think I spent a great number of years out here sort of finding myself,” he explains.
After tinkering around with his sound, Lane finally settled on the perfect lineup for his new band, Watson. In 2002, he played a showcase at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood unveiling newer, edgier and more cultivated tunes. However, just when things looked as though they were taking off, fate stepped in once again.
Lane’s father, a documentary filmmaker living in Los Angeles, fell ill during this crucial time. Instead of pursuing his own career path, Lane dutifully put his own dreams on hold in order to lend support to his convalescing father.
As a form of therapy, he would visit his dad and the two would sing old Hank Williams and Willie Nelson songs. Lane calls this period in his life “a big reality check.” “It was the first time in years," he says, “that something hit me, and it felt real.”
Pretty soon his desire to listen to the latest song from Oasis was replaced with a need to hear his father’s classic country influences. An alternate path had been forged.
“I found my true hillbilly voice!” he exclaims, with a chuckle. Nowadays, Lane’s part of the great alt-country revolution. He joins the ranks of artists like Wilco, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, as well as former Jonathan Fire*Eater lead singer Stewart Lupton’s band, the Childballads.
Lane’s current songwriting has a maturity and a lushness all its own. He has evolved from a 20-something hipster into a truly gifted musician. His focus is on spirituality and family instead of money, chicks and fame.
“I definitely wanna write songs with a definite amount of authority behind them,” he says.
Lane has accomplished this with tunes like “I Believe” and “As Young as You.” Lane and his new music are very much rooted in his present life. He splits his time singing, songwriting, scoring television and film projects and settling into married life with his wife, Janda. He is philosophical about his gifts and where he hopes they will take him.
“I know that it’s a young man’s game, but for what I wanna do, it’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon.”
Christian Lane will perform June 27 at the Mint in West Los Angeles and July 11 at Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/christianlanemusic.