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Springfield, MO | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Springfield, MO | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo Pop Synth




"LUX: Building a small empire of drums, synth, songs"

LUX — the high-energy band with the giant sound — makes you believe your ears but doubt your eyes: the music is coming from just two people.

They embrace the label of synth pop, and much of their music harks back to that 1980s style, but they’re capable of raising a ruckus that breaks that mold. Their next show is March 20 at the Dugout.

Part of their roar comes from sounds designed with software and triggered from laptops, and the rest of it comes from the thunderous drumming of Ivy Schulte and Jake Wesley Rogers’ keyboards. And, at times, they can suddenly turn into a mostly acoustic duo, with Schulte switching to guitar.

They have been working as a duo for about two years, an offshoot of the band Posh Maverick. Rogers has received accolades for his songwriting and performing, including quarter-finalist on “America’s Got Talent 2012.” Schulte, who plays drums at Ernie Biggs’, said her high-energy style comes in part from playing at North Point Church. Together, they have opened for Ingrid Michaelson, Andy Grammar and “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips.

Whether the music is loud or soft, intense or subtle, they are writing original songs that explore fragile emotions, and the teamwork is paying off, Rogers said.

“Before, when I wrote by myself, she would add the stuff that made people want to listen to it,” Rogers said. “But lately we’ve been working together, and we’re both writing from personal experiences, whether good or bad.”

When Schulte took her first attempt at songwriting, “Away My Heart,” to Rogers for help with lyrics, he made the words flow, she said. “He’s so great at lyrics. Musical genius, in my opinion, with lyrics. He just pieced it together.”

When they write songs, they aren’t thinking about the arrangement, Rogers said. They perform “Away My Heart” as an acoustic duo, while “Boy Wonder,” another original about the pain of love lost, receives a synth treatment.

“I can write lyrics, and it will mean something completely different to someone else. I love music for that reason,” Schulte said.

In their quest for a big sound, they use laptops to compose and present all the parts that they don’t perform live, as well as loops that they generate onstage.

“At first it’s terrifying using a computer onstage. Everyone can relate to how computers cannot be reliable sometimes,” Rogers said, adding that operator error also can cause unpleasant surprises. It’s just a matter of learning from experience, he said.

“Now I think a computer is one of the most powerful musical instruments there is. You can do anything,” he said.

Looking ahead, Rogers and Schulte have a few goals for their music: Make an EP, play festivals, keep writing songs and play music full time.

“I think it’s attainable for us,” Schulte said, putting on a little grin. “We just have to keep building our small empire.”

Ed Peaco writes about locally grown Ozarks music for the News-Leader. Contact him at 417-413-9029 or - Springfield News-leader

"Springfield-based LUX releases a new pop album, 'Pax"

LUX is a pop duo, and though the members wear trademark matching outfits and complete each other's sentences, they live in two different cities: Springfield and Nashville.

In a few weeks, Ivy Schulte and Jake Wesley Rogers' long-distance collaboration will come to fruition with the release of their first full-length album.

Though LUX members said they didn't sit down and declare "it's album time" until several months ago, they got started four years ago.

It happened not long after singer and keyboardist Rogers earned a stint on "America's Got Talent," the NBC reality competition show.

At age 15, he was judge Sharon Osbourne's darling.

"Oh, Jakey, Jakey, Jakey," Osbourne said after Rogers performed an arrangement of a Lady Gaga song during the quarterfinals — just before the show sent him home. "You sang very well. You should be very proud."

Even Howie Mandel, who panned Rogers' performance, told him he had a future in singing.

Four years later, Rogers has teamed up with vocalist and drummer Schulte, and that future is becoming reality.

Last weekend, clad in sparkly black-and-gold looks that Schulte described as "if Beyoncé had more clothes on," the two threw a crowded pre-release concert for LUX's new album, "Pax," at Classic Rock Coffee in south Springfield. The album goes on sale on iTunes and elsewhere Oct. 7.

"Pax" is the Latin word for "peace." Rogers said they chose the word because he and Schulte were interested in the "kiss of peace," an ancient Christian greeting. He had also studied the Pax Romana period of the Roman Empire in class at college.

"It's very reflective," Schulte said of the new album.

Rogers summed it up this way: "After the storm, it's like devastation, but peaceful."

Though Rogers and Schulte describe LUX as "synth-pop just like mom used to make" on their Facebook page ("well, if your mom was Annie Lenox"), they said they're evolving away from that style, characterized by relying on synthesizers.

Not every song on the new album is candy-flavored pop. Schulte recalled a moment in her creative process: “I’m trying to write happy pop songs and I said, I hate this."

“Pop is anything popular, really,” Rogers said. "We didn't worry too much about style. We just let it happen."

Because Rogers goes to college in Nashville, the two wrote their lyrics and music over "countless Skypes," Schulte said, plugging their lines into Google Docs.

They worked on the new album while juggling their weekend tour schedule, which includes private gigs and college shows located in cities between Springfield and Nashville. When they were ready, they took several days in Springfield to record the music.

As bandmates, Schulte and Rogers said they make the long-distance collaboration work partly because they've developed a trust bond.

They also have an unusual age gap, of more than a decade. The two met in 2012, not long after Rogers finished his time on "America's Got Talent."

Schulte was putting together a benefit event for her employer and she asked Rogers to sign on as entertainment.

Rogers — who was keen to keep his career momentum going after coming off national television — responded by asking Schulte if she wanted to be in a band.

They met at the Mudhouse, a downtown coffee shop, to discuss. Rogers was chaperoned by his mom. ("I'm much older than he is," Schulte explained.)

"He was maybe 15," mom, Valorie Rogers, recalled. "I was like, who is this woman?"

Rogers, interviewed by the News-Leader as she sold tickets the night of the album release concert, said that everyone calls her LUX's "momager" to this day.

"I used to do more than I do now," she said: Her son has taken on more of his own logistic legwork since he went off to college.

Schulte said she left that first meeting at the Mudhouse thinking, "He's a kid, but this guy's serious business."

They started playing together in bands with other musicians, but it wasn't very long before they tired of organizing a bunch of other people. They decided that two was the best number. "Within two months, we opened for Andy Grammer," Schulte recalled.

"We're both very strong-willed," Rogers said, "but it works well. We both make each other think about decisions." - Springfield News-Leader

"LUX, Pax"

The sophomore release from LUX is a perfect piece of pop. The duo’s powerful on-stage chemistry bleeds over to the album as Ivy Schulte and Jake Rogers pass the vocal lead back and forth among powerful harmonies and flawless vocal interplay. Pax delivers a menagerie of styles, from the emotional piano ballad “If I Can” to the synth-heavy “Abstract”—ready for couple’s skate. Good luck shaking off the closing refrain of “Good Times.” The song builds slow with wonderful use of dynamics, something noticeable throughout Pax. The incredible vocal presence allows for simplicity in production, and the low-key “Faded” is a prime example. Pre-order Pax on iTunes before its official release Friday, October 7 on digital outlets. - 417 Magazine


LUX EP - May 15, 2015

PAX - October 7th, 2016



With their age difference over a decade and their height difference over a foot, LUX is an uncanny duo of synths, drums, and explosive harmonies. Both from Springfield, MO, Ivy Schulte and Jake Rogers began playing together in 2012. After two years of experimenting with full bands, Schulte and Rogers discovered an exclusive energy as a duo. The sound of LUX is influenced by the spirit of the '80s and the beat of the blues, weaving acoustic drums and vocals with a wall of self-produced synth, organ, and piano layers. In the midst of the massive sound, the songs and lyrics still radiate through, carrying themes of hope, loss, reflection, and introspection. 

LUX crafts their stage performances to engage and move the crowd. At a recent show in Springfield, MO, an audience member said, "[LUX's] shows are emotional roller coasters; you'll laugh, scream, and jump around so much you can't believe how sweaty you are, then you'll cry because something they've written will touch you and will remind you of everything you've even through, then you'll do it all over again." At any given show, the duo is clad in identical, vibrant outfits and an unequal person-to-instrment ratio, with Schulte on the drums and guitar and Rogers on three keyboards and a keytar. 

Over the years, LUX has had the opportunity to open for artists such as Andy Grammer, Ingrid Michelson, and Phillip Phillips. In addition to performing, the duo released a self-titled EP in 2015. LUX released their debut album, PAX on October 7th, 2016. The album is the outcome of four years of carefully crafting their sound and reflecting on life, youth, and the aftermath of devastation. 

Band Members