Interview – Lance Lyon/Robot Snake


There are times when one doesn’t have to look for inspiration, it finds you right when you need it and it comes from the most unexpected people. That’s what happened to me when I listened to Absent Friend off Did I Just Score? album, for the first time.

Lance Lyon, the artist, sent it to me so, I checked it out and loved how much passion and feeling was put into the whole album. So, I thought I’ll share this new finding with you all and invited Lance for an interview. Lance has been around with different music projects since very early in 2006, when he got out his first ambient, electronic, industrial release called, Before I Knew I Was Me.

Hi Lance! You ready for this?

Lance – Bring it!

CrossWhen did you get into making music, I’m sure it’s long before 2006?

Lance – Well, like a lot of 90s kids the grunge bug got me. I already listened to classic rock and metal that my dad introduced me too but grunge was like the first music of my own I discovered. I LOVED Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden and Nirvana. A buddy of mine got a guitar and we learned a bunch of power chord songs and thought we were the shit. Then I found out about PanterA! I pretty much gave up on guitar after I heard Dimebag. He was just sooooo good I knew I would never compete. In the background of all of that I was getting into electronic and industrial bands like NIN, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly and Aphex Twin so as I basically quit guitar I got more into synthesizers, samplers, drum machines and all aspects of programming. I would say this happened slowly from 1996-99. I think? To this day that is what I am into. I am a total gear junkie now!

CrossThat’s my exact thoughts after I saw Dimebag playing. (laughs)
Sir. London Clean-Lily is the name you used for your first releases. What does the name mean?

Lance – Haha, well that goes back to the classic rock love. If you didn’t already know Mr. Mojo Risin is Jim Morrison rearranged. When I was in middle school I did that with my name Lance Dillon Lyon. Sadly all I came up with was London Clean-Lily. Years later I made all these tracks and did not have a name for the project and I remembered that. That was not corny enough so I added the Sir. It at least abbreviates well to SLC. Honestly most of that stuff is anywhere from 10-20 years old. I am not embarrassed by the name but I am just kind of done with it. Anything coming out from now on (except one final compilation of older stuff coming soon) will just be Lance Lyon or Robot Snake.

CrossI know about the Mr. Mojo Risin anagram. Never would have thought you did the same for SCL. What catches the eye when it comes to the albums you released as Sir. London Clean-Lily is that each of them, but the mix album, are part of a Realm. Was it something to sort of connect with the project’s name or does it have a much deeper meaning?

Lance – Yeah I was just ripping off NIN with the Halo system. It’s a good way to keep track of chronological order.

Cross“Did I just Score?” was first released in 2011 as Sir. London Clean-Lily as Realm 2 but you released it again in 2016 under your name. This album is a bit different from the rest of the Sir. London Clean-Lily releases. Especially Absent Friend and the Outro. Is that why you decided to release it again?

Lance – Yeah, basically it was the only thing that really was comparable to my current direction. As I said before I was moving away from that name and wanted to take some of that sound with me. I will let you know if you download the full Realm 2 on bandcamp it has some extra remix tracks not mentioned.

CrossThat’s interesting! What inspired you for that one song Absent Friend and that Outro? There’s so much sadness, pain and soul in those two songs. (The whole album is great actually but, those are my favorites, Ugly Dungeon too.)

Lance – Absent Friend was about a couple things. A friend of mine was incarcerated for a while and that sucked but it was also just about losing anybody you care for. There was a family friend that passed as well. Just channeling all that. The others were less personal. I was just channeling horror scores my own way. The whole idea of that release was a soundtrack to a film that did not exist.

CrossI’ve had the pleasure to listen to a couple other materials you’ve been working on, different projects. I’m not sure if you’d like to talk about those but, what I want to know is, is there more of that style for the fans to explore like the ending of Did I Just Score?

Lance – I do have some songs similar in vibe. I need to get something together. I have this weird philosophy about writing music. I feel like good songs or tracks just are kind of out there in the ethos and if you work enough and make enough then every now and then you will tune in and kind of channel one of them. For example, I’ve written like 400-500 or more over the years and I only really, REALLY like about 40-50 of them. So like 1/10th?

CrossWhen can we expect something to come out from those other projects of yours?

Lance – Well, all previously spoken work was basically me solo but I do have a more traditional rock/metal band that I am in with my brother Jared. Our name is The Disease is The Same (TDITS). We are about half way through recording our debut. Maybe something by the end of the year?

CrossOh you sent me a couple songs of TDITS. Great stuff. Also, your brother is a great guitarist. Looking forward to TDITS debut release.

What gear was used for Did I Just Score?

Lance – I used a computer mostly with Reason but I did use an SP-808 Sampler, a Dave Smith Instruments Evolver and a Kawaii K3.

CrossThere are different guitarists mentioned in Before I Knew I Was Me. Do you still collaborate with those guys?

Lance – Well, I do stay in touch with Ryan but he lives far so we don’t collaborate and the other dude was just a guy I knew my freshman year of college (2001) and I have no idea what happened to him.

CrossYou do vox too on your songs right? Can you tell us a bit more about it?

Lance – I have but I think my solo stuff will be just instrumental from here on. With TDITS I share vocal duties with my brother. I mostly do metal/screaming but I have a few songs where I sing. It is not my strong point!

CrossAny new surprise collaborations for the upcoming releases?

Lance – Well, there are a couple maybes and one in the works. Mostly drummers as that is one thing my brother and I cannot do. One of them that is in the works has done the “20 questions with Cross” before. Another one that has already recorded was the drummer of one of my favorite bands. I will just give a tiny hint. The first word in their name is Type and the last was Negative. Maybe that hint would help. Hehe

CrossHmm, hmm. They probably gonna guess ’em both.

I’ve seen a couple pics of your studio, where you come up with all these great sounds. How long did it take you to get all the stuff you need for your art?

Lance – Over 20 years really but in the last 10 it has really taken off because I have gotten my life together a bit more financially. What better thing to do than blow money on music!

Cross(laughs) I agree. You have one other passion that I know of, 3D. How is that going?

Lance – I just got into 3D printing but yeah, it blows my mind what technology can do. Stuff like that and VR was what I dreamed of as a kid. I still want to know when the flying skateboards are coming.

Cross(laughs). What else does Lance like to do when there’s free time, other than getting drunk and losing balance in the house security camera? (laughs) That’s epic!

Lance – (For reference check the video here.)

Well, I am married and have two kids and that is a large part of my life. #1 actually! But I still do plenty else like go to concerts, play videos games (anything from NES to PS5), make comedy videos and occasionally do stand up, sometimes fly a drone, microdose, listen to tons of music. I rarely watch tv but if I do it is comedy or horror.

CrossStand up too, nice. Five albums which built your music taste? Go!

Lance – Shit…I cannot settle on 5, I have to do 10 and even then that is going to be different tomorrow.

NIN – Fragile,
Pantera – TGSTK,
Front Line Assembly – Epitaph,
Black Sabbath – Sabatoge,
En Minor – When the Cold Hard Truth….,
Tool – Undertow,
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Vol 2,
Down – 2,
The Black Queen – Fever Daydream,
Telefon Tel Aviv – Fahrenheit Fair Enough,
Coil – The Ape of Naples.
Whoops, even then that is 11.

Cross(laughs) The more the better.
This is a MUST question on “20 Questions With Cross”. Not sure if you’re a horror fan but you kinda said you are. Name a couple favorites if you have any?

Lance – The Original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I like part 2 as well. Who doesn’t like Bill Moseley? Speaking of, gotta plug this. I worked on a couple tracks with Drew and Lyric from Warbeast and Bill Moseley on a project called Mr. Machine. I honestly don’t know what the status of that is but here is a link to the page: Mr. Machine

Sorry, got sidetracked…back to the horror. I freaking LOVE horror and live it. Some other favorites include Phantasm, The first few Hellraiser films, The Devil’s Rejects, most anything Marcus Koch put’s his name on. If you have not seen 100 Tears check that one out. There really is just soooo much! I love anything with Vincent Price. He is AMAZING in the Alice Cooper – Welcome To My Nightmare flick. I can’t believe I just now mentioned Alice Cooper! I freaking love that guy! But yeah, Love horror and the horror con scene too. You will find me and my family at Texas Frightmare Weekend every year fucking shit up! Maybe another time we can talk about Hit (The Game).

CrossLove Bill. Mr. Machine are a great band, awesome to know you’re part of it too. Love all those you mentioned but would have to check out 100 Tears.
What have you been listening to lately?

Lance – It changes all the time but I have been on an electronic or industrial kick lately. Some John Carpenter, Boy Harsher, 3Teeth, Author and Punisher, OhGr, FLA, The Black Queen, Coil, more John Carpenter, Telefon Tel Aviv, Coil, Atari Teenage Riot, Skold, NIN, David Bowie.

Cross I’m sure you attended many live shows. Are there any that left a mark? (You should mention the pic you have with Oderus’ cheeks. Laughs.) 

Lance – Oh yeah, hundreds over the years. That’s a tough question. I know Black Sabbath/PanterA was up there in 99. Two of my all time favorites! Also NIN at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin. I went to the first 2 Housecore Horror Festivals. I have a ton of great memories from those. The first one I made a deal with the late great Corey Mitchell (RIP) to win a fake contest to “introduce Down” but in reality I just proposed to my wife on stage beforehand. So, I got engaged and then saw one of my favorite bands ever. Top that off with Author and Punisher, EYEHATEGOD with Dale Crover, Goblin, Portal, Gwar (there is an interesting picture with me and Brockie out there), Superjoint, Corrections House, Skrew, Pig Destroyer, Honky, Danzig doing a half Samhain set and half his solo material. Phil came out TOTALLY wasted and sang Mother with him! But yeah, those where special! I’ve seen so many great bands I could talk about this all day long really! Music is my life plain and simple. I will leave it at that.

Cross Lance and I are probably the only people who have an En Minor tattoo. What’s your next one going to be and do you have a favorite from those you already have?

Lance – Yes we are as far as I know! I rep it with pride. I have also been listening to their record and Live at the Orpheum! My next logical tattoo should be a good ole fashioned CFH right? That is where a lot of who I am today started!

Cross Oh I need that too!
Anything else you would like to add Lance?

Lance – Thanks to anyone who checked this out. Look out for Lance Lyon, Robot Snake and The Disease is the Same on all the major download and streaming services! That old SLC shit is out there too if you know the google. Now that the self promotion is done I want to add one final thought:

Ahem, The world has flipped the fuck inside out over the past decade and there is a WHOLE lot of bullshit out there. DIVISION is the goal of most all mainstream media on both sides of the court. Every day there is something new we are supposed to be mad about or want to cancel. This will continue for as long as we allow it! The only way out of this is by unifying! Find the love! THEY CANNOT STOP US ALL! DOWN WITH THE MAN!!!!

Sorry, that just needed to be said as it is something I myself forgot for a little while. Anyways, PEACE!

Cross Thanks Lance, it’s been a real pleasure!