Ruby Cikada

Ruby Cikada

 Toronto, Ontario, CAN

Formed in 2012, Ruby Cikada is an alternative/psyche-rock band based out of Toronto, ON. The sound of the band has been described as esoteric, taking influence from elements of funk, folk, grunge, and jazz to create an experimental, albeit catchy, collusion. Suiting a range of tastes, the band takes a 'variety' approach to live music in its 'psyche pop' oriented songwriting and progressive arrangements. The band released its first EP in 2015, and as of June 2017 has released it's second EP.


Ruby Cikada is the brainchild of Lennox Campbell-Berzins, a multi-instrumentalist from Toronto, ON. Having played in multiple bands in his teens, his love of of songwriting took over in late highschool, however relegated to private quarters for years under the obscure name ‘Silver Cicada’, later ‘Ruby Cikada’. He studied Music at York Unviersity, graduating with an Honours BFA in 2013. During his studies, he collaborated with fellow classmates James Atin-Godden, and Aniqa Qadir (members of 'Copycat') which set the ground work for Ruby Cikada's arrival in the spring of 2012. In need of a drummer, Lennox enlisted the help of recent band-mate Dan Staples from then recently disbanded psyche/hard rock band, 'Zenith IV'. Together, the band played their first show at an 'Elvis Monday' event at the Drake Underground in 2012.  

After their official debut at the Drake, Lennox was introduced to Aaron Corbett  - a recording engineer/musician who had recently finished recording/mixing James' indie collective brainchild, 'Copycat'. In January of 2013, plans for recording a demo-album were initiated at the Staples' family home in Richmond Hill with assistance from Aaron and Kieran Maraj. In the fall of 2013 the band entered a period of non-gigging, returning in July of 2014 to fine tuning their set in anticipation of their album release.

Over the course of a year and a half, the album was finalized in the summer of 2014 and released Oct 11th online, followed by a CD release at Rancho Relaxo (now the Old Laurel) - one of many mainstay venues for the band in its early shows.

The debut album ‘Magicikada’ spans multiple genres in its half-hour play time, traversing folk rock, grunge, psychedelic pop, acoustic, hard rock, jazz, and vaudeville. . The theme of the tracks are varied and cleverly juxtaposed,  ranging from psychedelic nightmares to romantic dreamscapes, children songs to anti-war anthems, raunchy riffs to ragtime rhythms.

In early 2015, the band took time from gigging to record a follow-up EP at Slaughterhouse Studios - a seminal production, punctuated with full textures and a wealth of stylistic variety that includes blues rock, psychedelia, folk punk, and jazz fusion in its 16 minutes. The EP was released online on July 11th, followed by an EP release show at the Silver Dollar July 18th. 

As of June 2017, Ruby Cikada has released its second EP in June with a brand new lineup including recently joined band mates Aaron 'Jam' Corbett on keys and Emory Martin on drums. Their album launch is scheduled for June 8th, 2017 at the Piston in Toronto, ON.


Stranger House

Written By: Lennox C.B.

The other day, upon the stair, I passed a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today, I wish that man would go away.
We sat alone, between the two, neither us knew what I knew
Nor knew north from south Peru, I swore we were but we were who?

Stranger House, Gotta get outta sight! Stranger House, Can’t sleep here tonight.

I watched a man alone tonight, chase shadows by candle light
When candle snuff they go to die - Find a back on which to lie.

All these walls tell me to run.
All these halls Rumble like a gun.
And worst of all I missed the setting sun

I tripped around a treasure mound, my precious thing could not be found.
I stumbled down and fell astray - I wish that thing would lose its way.

Stranger House, Gotta get outta sight.
Stranger house, can’t sleep here tonight.

It'd Be Nice

Written By: Lennox C.B.

I saw her today as I looked the other way.
Down in the subway she held my gaze in sway.
Seconds stopped and took in a breath.
All the world seemed stunned frozen in death

It’d be nice to meet you. I would like to know you.

I saw her again this morning - passed her by the crossing.
I smiled and blushed as the traffic hummed to a hush.
Couldn’t place her face nor match her person.
Though I knew those eyes that much I’m certain.

I saw her again drifting through my restless dreams
Her vision had seemed to break in between its shallow seams
Sleepy eyes could’ve let me dream away.
When I did I must have missed today.

It’d be nice to meet you. I would like to know you.

Love In Transit

Written By: Lennox C.B.

Four eyed girl looking both ways on the corner of a four way street.
The swirl to her eyes made me fantasize of a passion so discreet .
I spun around on sturdy ground and asked if she had the time.
‘I would if I could’, she laughed, ‘but I got not a watch or dime’.
‘That’s too bad’, I said, ‘say how do you get around’?
‘I’m uptown, goin downtown, got no ride going homeward bound’.

Her voice was cocked, knotted to snap and trap my innocent ears
My clumsy walk and bumbling talk gave away a feast of fears

She said it softly, quite sincerely ‘Hey do you got a car?’.
I felt disease when she said please I didn’t think we’d gone that far.
Got my ride and let her inside while she strapped in for the kill.
Engine growled, gave a howl and rumbled on down the hill.
Stopped for gas with mind on task as I stepped into the store.
Heard an engine hum and the shot of a gun as she drove off with a roar.

Love in transit, railway bandit, renegade on a rocket,
Played the part when she stole my heart and tried to make a profit.

Violent Violet

Written By: Lennox C.B.

Violent Violet
Caught my eye through a one way window.
Her reflection was all she could see
As she stared right back at me
As a smile struggled to break free.

Violent Violet
Exchanged dirty words on the phone
With a friend at the end of the line,
She thought she could beat her design
When she caught a drop of mourning in her eye.

Violent Violet don’t run, sleep where your fruits are won.
We will meet anon - be reunited as one.

Violent Violet
Waits under a streetlight, reserved for two.
A rendezvous with something new,
Shadows shrink from her poison hue,
As a figure stretches into view.

Violent Violet don’t run, Sleep where your dreams are sung
Though your days are done you still carry the sun.

Wishing Well

Written By: Lennox C.B.

I’ll wait for you, my dear, by the wishing well, it knows a thing or two.
If you want me to I’ll throw a coin for you, and I’ll tell it just what to do.
But if you think its dumb or not quite fun, I can always spare the change.
Though the world is strange, with an odd refrain, I’ll still wish you well.

Wish you well, I’ll wish you well, with shooting stars and sacred shells.
Wish you well, I’ll wish you well, with alchemy or mere fantasy.

So throw a penny down and you’ll hear a wondrous sound, your dreams will sing and soar.
But if you’re looking bored and not quite up for more, I’ll still wish you well.

Wish you well, I’ll wish you well, with chicken bones and sacred stones.
Wish you well, I’ll wish you well, with birthday cakes from outer space.

But if you’re too old for chance or old romance and magic is a thing of the past,
I’ll be sitting here without an ounce of fear – I’ll still wish you well.

Maggot Rhyme

Written By: Lennox C.B.

Dead Man’s blues along a trench line, hear the bullets hiss and shrapnel whine
How bout a chorus for the firing line? Put em to tombs just a matter o’time.
Spinal rupture from a thunderclap, fallout burned a hole in the sack.
Feel the love from your M16 – once she gets a purring she’s a mean machine.

Maggot rhyme, death bell chime, crows are fine, over to dinner at the losing side.

Brewing bloodbaths with the toxic rain,
Pour it over till it bleach the stain.
Hell incarnate and the court of heat,
Be like a rock or be quick on your feet.

Light the match, itch the scratch. Burn the wick, make it quick.

Burp or choke now, won’t be for long. Bombs burn up now, blot out the sun.

Sour Belching from the sea of fire licked the sky as the flames grew higher.
Spectres out marching on parade, stole a tank for a motorcade.
Lullabies for lulling slaughter, factory guns seduce the martyr.
Chemical coated intermission saved my skull from inhibition.

Maggot rhyme, death bell chime, crows are fine, over to dinner at the losing side.

Dub me filthy, club me dumb,
Nothings new under this sun.
You play cat, I’ll play mouse,
Only takes two to burn down the house.

Fan the flame, never wane. Flick the switch, break the stitch.

Cough or toke now, won’t be for long. Blood stream up now, smoke from a gun.

Riders backing up the rear today – horsemen watch the battle sway.
Fly no banner on the shooting ground, waiting on the final trumpet to sound.

Summer Sunset

Written By: Lennox C.B.

When we see the blue birds fly, we can’t help but kiss and sigh.
We’ll never find out why, we’ll never find out why.
Silver streams and ethereal beams don’t always seem outside of a dream.
Love works magic it seems, love works magic it seems

Summer Sunset, bleed the sky,
Fry my mind, kiss my eye,
Flowers bow to your goodbye
Frozen in a cry.

I could never have known from the start, that you’d one day reap my heart.
How could we grow apart.

When we see the autumn leaves, silhouetted in the sunny trees
Our hearts silently grieve.
I know you’ll take your leave.
Leave me a memory to weave
Leave me a memory to weave

In A Fantasy

Written By: Lennox C.B.

I found safe harbour in the old parlour. We talked for hours till night took power.
Her eyes gave flower, when day turned sour. Voices chirped laughter my bones turned coward.
We walked by daybreak, her hands started to shake.
Trees swayed and danced then found quiet romance.
Bask in the morning light, breathe the dew from mythic heights.

In a fantasy we could come to be, waltz a gentle breeze together.
Making distant plans, kissing in the sand, in a fantasy, you and me.

Back by the city bar creak old streetcars - Never loved nor had desire kindled by electric fire.
Sidewalks fluorescent display dead presents,
Young men clutch a cigarette, shave a year off past regrets.
These halls now whimper, echoes in slumber. I make a new bed, sleep on what we said.
There I first met you by the morning dew -too shy to shiver, to bold to quiver.


'Magicikada' - 2014, Independent.
'EP' - 2015, Independent