Justin Foley: Guitar
Joey Johnson: Guitar
Doug French: Bass
Chris Lane: Drums
Meet Lybica, a dynamic instrumental band from south Florida that seamlessly blends flavorful guitar melody with powerful metallic crunch. Lybica will take you on an epic musical journey of peaks and valleys where the possibilities are endless.
Lybica was first conceived in 2020 when it became clear to Justin Foley (drummer of Killswitch Engage) that he wasn't going to be spending much time with his normal dudes 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," explains Justin, "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."
Justin had 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. Justin and Doug, both drummers, 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", says Doug, "and bass felt natural since it is the other half of the rhythm section."
Guitarist Joey Johnson grew up playing shows all over Florida, heavily influenced by early punk and then both hardcore and metal. "All the good places to get a beer kept asking me if I had met Justin, since they know I play music. 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 instrumental music."
So, when Doug and Joey eventually received the demos from Justin, they really liked what they heard. For several months the three emailed music back and forth while learning the parts, especially Justin (guitar) and Doug (bass) on instruments 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 starting to take shape.
The trio soon discovered that they had something else in common besides music. "The three of us are pretty big cat people" Justin 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.
Fast forward 10,000 years, and today Lybica the band are as addictive as catnip. With the recent addition of drummer Chris Lane (A Brilliant Lie) to the line-up and plans to release their debut self-titled full-length album later this year, Lybica is poised to make some serious noise in 2022 and beyond, fur-real!