The Effect, a new band featuring guitarist Trev Lukather and drummer Nic Collins, has just released their newest single, "Toxic Envy." You can watch the video below.

The group, which also features vocalist Emmett Stang and keyboardist Steve Maggiora, are early in their journey. But its members have already been well-seasoned by heavy road work and adventures in the recording studio.

Lukather laughs early in a conversation with UCR, as he compares the experience of playing in front of rock fans to his time on stage with EDM superstar What So Not. "The EDM crowds, make rock crowds look like Sesame Street," he chuckles. "Those people are crazy! But in the best way. There's no middle finger going at you, too."

Collins toured the world behind the kit for Phil Collins on his final solo tour -- followed by an enviable moment handling those same duties for Genesis as they played out what will likely be their last moments on the concert stage. Though the pair have famous lineage in their bloodline, they're proving with The Effect that what they're doing musically cuts through the noise of the competition on its own merits.

"Toxic Envy," their newest offering, arrived today (Mar. 22). It melds an intense hard rock feeling with progressive elements and an instantly memorable anthemic chorus that will translate well in the live setting. They'll hit the road this summer to play festival gigs and a string of shows opening for Toto beginning in June . Lukather and Collins joined UCR to discuss music from their forthcoming album, which was recently completed -- and some of the classic rock that helped get them here.

"Toxic Envy" is the newest song that people are hearing. What can you tell us about it?
Nic Collins: It's probably the most hard rock tune on the record. And it’s definitely my favorite drum song on the record too. Trev’s riffs and arrangement ideas made it a field day for me when writing the parts and I wanted to match that energy with what I was doing behind the kit. After laying my parts down, I couldn’t have been happier with what Steve and Emmett laid down on top. It’s another example of The Effect being able to write heavy songs with big riffs, while having a memorable melody and pop sensibility.”

Trev Lukather: Every member of the band shines throughout the song. We chose "Toxic Envy" as the next single and our album opener because we felt this song best sets up the overall ride our debut album will take you on. "Toxic Envy" shines a light on the dark side of people. Those that want to throw you off your path. Those who dream bash and project their own insecurities on to you. People you feel don’t want you to succeed because they are not where they want to be in their own life. If they are not happy, you are not allowed to be happy. We have all encountered people like that and that is "Toxic Envy."

Watch The Effect's Video for 'Toxic Envy'

The stylistic range of material on this upcoming album is really great. "Unwanted" feels like it might have some EDM influence, which would be understandable, considering the gigs you played with What So Not.
Lukather:
You know, that's a funny, funny comparison, because it's so true. I can see how you'd think that. My wife Madison [Cain] directed the video and it was really last minute, because we were at Mates [Rehearsal Studio] and were just like, "What if we tried to do a video thing?" It was really spur of the moment. Madison is very on the move and the chaotic nature of the video really seems very similar to something like that when I was with Whatsonot. Those shows, I've got to say, the EDM crowds, make rock crowds look like Sesame Street. Those people are crazy! But in the best way. There's no middle finger going at you, too. Everyone's just smiling, wanting to hug you. I always say, "Hey, man, we played in front of a sea of owls." All you see is the pupils. It's really funny that you say that, but no, that wasn't intentional. I like you saying that though. That's a cool outside take to that.

What was the moment where you felt like this could all hang together as an album?
Collins: I think it's just the songs were different enough where we weren't doing the same exact thing every time. There's definitely a cohesiveness and similarities to the tracks, I mean, that's what makes up the band's sound. The good thing is that we never have to talk about it. We never sat down and were like, "Okay, what kind of band do we want to sound like? What do we want to be?" That just happens to be what the [sound is] with the four of us as individuals when you put us [together]. It was weird, I didn't realize that until a couple of months in.

Lukather: We kind of went into it, basically saying that every song we're doing should be a single. In a singles world, it's like, let's not just throw out ideas and be like, "Oh yeah, that one's okay." Whenever we put all of our brains into a tune, it's like, "No, this one's the single." By the time the 10 songs are done, we're like, "We've got an album, man." We're proud of every single song on it. We think every song is super-strong. With the whole album, when you put everyone in on something, you get to listen to it. Even me producing it and being part of a band, I felt like what's so important and what I love about this band too is that you get to listen to the song as a listener, even if you're a co-writer. Because everyone's bringing so much to the table.

Nic, players like your dad -- and John Bonham, they were really methodical, expressive players. They also weren't afraid to get outside of whatever box they were supposed to be in stylistically.
Collins: I think the thing about studying my dad's playing as a kid and then obviously being able to tour with him -- and guys like Bonham, I mean the list goes on of different drummers that I've idolized. But to be able to see their different approaches [is so important]. With my dad, it was almost like three different drummers, his solo stuff, the Genesis stuff and Brand X, those are three different types of approaches. To me, it was cool to put different hats on, depending on who you are working with. With this band, it's a different approach to what I did when I was touring with Genesis or other projects that I'm in.

There's always the confines of, like, what's appropriate for the genre and how can you stretch those a little bit. You don't want to go too far. Because then it's not what's right for the song anymore. Being able to be comfortable with, "Okay, this is not about me, this is about the song." If the song calls for the Brand X fusion thing, then I'll do it. If it calls for the big drums for this band specifically, it's almost like, less is more and the big notes are what's important. It helps make every scenario fun in its own way [with] different approaches to each kind of song. But that came from being able to be around my dad -- and [hearing] people like Bonham. At the end of the day, for drummers, I think the most important thing is to listen to other drummers.

Trev, you and I have talked about David Gilmour. He's one of the guys who showed that you can do a lot without playing a ton of notes.
Lukather: Gilmour is God, man! You know, because there's so many shredders in this world. I'll even post on my Stories -- I'll see a nine-year old out-shred 99% of the world. I'm like, "If a nine-year old is already shredding, what am I going to do?" I have a voice with my guitar with how I play. I'm not going to try to be something I'm not. Like, I'm not this face-melting shredder guy. I can do some cool stuff. I can do some licks. But you know, my Pop [Steve Lukather], when I picked up the guitar, he said, "Focus on rhythm and focus on songwriting. You know, the solo stuff can come later, but I'm going to tell you right now, if you want to have a long career in this business, focus on rhythm, pocket and writing. That's what it's all about."

So I didn't even try to solo until I was 19 or 20. That really stuck with me and I just started writing songs. I'm very grateful that I did. Because now seeing the world of Instagram and TikTok, you see all of these shredders and it's like, "Okay, I'm so glad I didn't sit down with a metronome [and shred away needlessly]. I really appreciate Gilmour. David really stuck out to me the most. Especially in the '70s and '80s where everyone was like, "Who's the fastest gun in the West?" Gilmour just held one note for eight bars and people's souls left their body.

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Gallery Credit: UCR Staff

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