|It was the summer of 1996, and a minor crisis was beginning to unfold. A nerve wrecked old woman anxiously placed a call to the local veterinarian's office, as a giant boa constrictor had suddenly appeared in her front yard and was chasing around her many kitty cats. "Oh god, he's going to eat them" the woman sobbed, as the inexperienced phone operator on the other end frantically searched for the number to the animal control center. Meanwhile, the woman's son was outside, attempting to place himself between the evil snake and the numorous innocent felines. "Nikolai, get in here!" the lady cried, fearful of her son's safety.|
Meanwhile, two high school friends by the names of Scott and Vinnie were observing the scene from a distance. They found the situation hysterical, yet they admired the young man Nikolai's valor and unwitting bravery in the face of danger. But mainly they just thought he had a cool sounding name. The only trouble was, they heard it wrong, unintentionally making up their own slight variation. It sounded like a good name for their new band, and Lukali was born.
Lukali formed in the summer of 1996. Scott Becker and Vinnie Cosentino met and became friends while attending high school in South Tampa, Florida. Having both played in bands before with varying degrees of success, they found this was the first time that things really "clicked" musically. They spent the summer writing and recording songs on a four track cassette recorder. There was no pressure and everything flowed easily as the songs were written for the sake of having fun. As they began to contemplate live performance, a longtime friend of Scott's as well as a talented musician, Brian Johnson was introduced and initially asked to play bass. He has since become an integral part of the band, contributing equally to the songwriting process.
Having reached the ideal line-up which has persisted to the present day, Lukali continued writing and rehearsing as a three-piece until they had enough songs to record an album. In October of 1996, before ever playing out, the members managed to scrape together three hundred dollars and convinced a local studio to let them record fourteen songs with that tiny sum. Two days and ten hours of studio time later, the boys walked out with their first proper full length album and looks of proud determination on their faces. As cassette tapes were still en vogue at the time, Lukali put together a hundred copies DIY style and sold every last one.
In November the band scored their first gig in a "battle of the bands" at Tampa Stadium. Over the next year they continued to play various venues across central Florida.
In the Summer of 1998, Lukali went back to the studio to record two songs, "Hard to Believe" and "Magic Tricks", the first of which was released as a vinyl seven inch single.
Lukali continued to play shows through 1999, before taking a year hiatus in 2000. In 2001, Vinnie asked to use the band PA system for his birthday party, and upon returning it, the band decided to get together and play one afternoon for fun. It went so well that they decided to resume rehearsals on a regular basis and Lukali's second life began.
They began writing new material and playing out again, virtually completing a new full length's worth of material by the end of 2002. 2003 saw many life changes for the members that served to slow the progress of the band and the completion of their new album. Scott moved three times, and both he and Vinnie finally managed to complete their college degrees. Rehearsal space was also a constant hassle, with the second half of the year lacking a decent place to practice.
Now at the beginning of 2004, the band is putting the finishing touches on artwork, and rehearsing in preparation to tour in support of their new full length album entitled "Slow Life".