KILLSWITCH ENGAGE drummer Justin Foley has launched LYBICA, a dynamic and instrumental three-piece force from South Florida that seamlessly blends flavorful guitar melody with powerful metallic crunch. LYBICA take you on an epic musical journey of peaks and valleys where the possibilities are endless.
Today, the band has announced its signing to Metal Blade Records and has shared the virtual performance video for the song "Ferment".
"After recording, we were just hopeful to generate any kind of label interest," LYBICA says. "Having Metal Blade come forward and believe in us was unexpected and, quite honestly, thrilling. We couldn't be more excited to be a part of such an amazing roster."
LYBICA was first conceived in 2020 when it became clear to Foley that he wasn't going to be spending much time with his KILLSWITCH bandmates for a while. Quarantine days still needed to be time well spent, and he'd been working on some demos that he finally decided to share with a few local friends in South Florida.
"I'd written a bunch of stuff that didn't quite fit into traditional song structures," Foley says. "And I've always been drawn to bands where the instruments provide hooks, rather than relying on a lyric. It seemed like a good time to start something new and see where it could go."
Foley met fellow musicians Doug French (GRAVEL KINGS) and Joey Johnson (GRAVEL KINGS, BARRIERS NOW BRIDGES, DAYS SPENT) back in 2016, and they had repeatedly talked about jamming together but never actually got around to it. Foley and French — both drummers by trade — often spoke about trying something different that allowed them each to get out from behind the kit.
"I've always wanted to play a stringed instrument," French shares. "And bass felt natural, since it is the other half of the rhythm section."
Johnson grew up playing shows all over Florida, heavily influenced by early punk and then both hardcore and metal. "[People at] all the good places to get a beer kept asking me if I had met Justin, since they know I play music," he recalls. "I heard about him in our town for about a year before we actually met through mutual friends. We hit it off when we started talking [about] instrumental music."
When French and Johnson eventually received the demos from Foley, they really liked what they heard. For several months, the three of them e-mailed music back and forth while learning the parts, especially Foley and French on instruments — guitar and bass, respectively — that they weren't experienced playing. They eventually started playing together with the drum tracks from the demos blasting through the PA speakers. Before too long, they had enough music for a full record and the direction of the band was taking shape.
The trio soon discovered that they had something else in common besides music.
"The three of us are pretty big cat people," Foley points out. "So it only made sense to call the band LYBICA."
Named after a small wildcat species native to Africa that is widely considered the godfather of the modern house cat, LYBICA is the first known feline species to be tamed and domesticated by humans.
Justin Foley: Guitar, Drums
Joey Johnson: Guitar
Doug French: Bass
Photo credit: Zack Jones