Luke Cyca and Devon Lougheed are a strange and wonderful combination. Individually, Cyca is a therapeutic protein molecule designer and electronics recycler and Lougheed is a doctoral candidate and comedian. Together, they are Beekeeper – an irreverent indie band breezing into Vancouver’s music scene.
Cyca, a prairie boy from Swift Current, Saskatchewan, began his musical career at home, singing with his father and sister. After a prototypical string of garage bands in high school, Cyca moved to Vancouver and bought a drum set. “I was in a band called The Kitchen, I played in a couple other projects, and I play with Piper Davis now. That brings us to Beekeeper,” says Cyca.
Lougheed followed a similar musical vein, always instilling his trademark cheekiness. While in his home province of Ontario, Lougheed was in Tomate Potate — a band known for their onstage martini consumption. “Fans started sending us martinis and it turned into this game of ‘How many martinis can these guys drink in a twenty minute period?’ Then one day the bassist, Nich, came up to me and said, ‘Just so you know, I don’t really like martinis,’” Lougheed smiles. “So that’s why I’ve got a bandmate now who likes martinis!”
Beekeeper melds high-energy beats with unconventional time signatures, appealing to both light-hearted listeners and music nerds. Lush earnest vocals are balanced with playful melodies. “It’s indie-rock made by reformed hard-core kids who are suckers for male/female harmonies and singalongs,” says Lougheed.
Cyca and Lougheed keep things interesting for themselves with constant experimentation. “Devon writes two new songs every week, so there’s no shortage of challenges,” Cyca explains. “An mp3 comes to my email box and it’s got the shittiest synth instruments playing drums — they’re not sequenced, just played live. I listen to it a few times, we jam on it and it changes a bit into a real song. And that’s how they’re made.”
The recording of Beekeeper’s first album, BE KEPT, was an adventure in itself. Recorded throughout Canada, from parties to bedrooms to studios, the resulting poshness of the tracks surprised the band. “We did everything wrong in terms of how you’re supposed to record,” says Cyca. “And then we dumped everything on Colin Stewart at Hive Studios,” laughs Lougheed. “He’s the godfather of the Beekeeper baby.”
Lougheed means this quite seriously. “Interviewing us about the album is like interviewing new parents about their first baby. I like everything about it! I even like when it poops!” Cyca nods in agreement, “Normally, after making an album, I’m totally sick of it, but this one I can actually listen to and enjoy still.”
BE KEPT follows the narrative of a man searching for something to keep. While Beekeeper’s core consists of Cyca and Lougheed, they often feature musical guests in their live performances and a variety of female vocalists, a violinist, and saxophone player were recruited to fill their sound on the album.
“I’m the most proud of Beekeeper,” says Lougheed. “My mom has been driving around with a copy and singing along, every once in a while she’ll call me and say things like, ‘What is this song about? I just like it so much! This is such a significant improvement!’”
Photographs by Tina Krueger-Kulic.