by Linda Speilman
- Healthy Manipulation
On the verge of their debut album hitting
the streets in a matter of days, the band Clockwise is hitting the road
and alternative airwaves claiming themselves as nothing more than a straightforward,
hard-hitting rock group.
Currently out on tour with Kitty, Clockwise
are no strangers to hard work. Every new, up and coming band may say that,
but the band truly means it. With most local music scenes, a band has to
compete with other bands. However, how does a band compete with their hometown
as a whole? Competing with a rival band for attention, fans and label interest
is tough in any city, but Clockwise has had to compete since the late 90s
with all that it is glitz and glamour of their hometown of Las Vegas.
Austin LeDuc, Alfonso Bernal, Justin Pasquale,
Scott Beare and Dave McMahan, brought Clockwise to life as high school
buddies. Their sound and live show is in your face rock and roll. Although
critics might try to classify them, as alternative with a punk edge, the
band’s front man LeDuc is quick to point out that no matter what genre,
it’s all rock and roll. “Led Zeppelin, Sound Garden and Grunge in general;
it’s all riff based rock and roll. And we’re no different.”
The inspiration and reflections in the
band’s music is that of rebellion against everything that embodies their
hometown, and trying to be heard in the midst of a place where everything
is glitz, glam, girls, gambling and all that is surreal in nature. Such
aspects of growing up in Sin City are evident in such tracks as “Lay Her
Down”, the band’s first single. McMahan best describes the aura surrounding
their debut release; “We went for a muscular melodic sound, with solid
How does a honest, no gimmicks rock band get noticed by people and labels
when there is already so much going on ALL the time? “The local music scene
is so small that bands ‘become’ out of necessity to stay alive. We got
together in high school. To get noticed by the labels and prove you’re
something else besides the glitter, glitz, gambling and hoopla stigma that
our hometown is equated with is very hard. We ventured out and played such
places as The Gig in LA, and CBGB’s in New York City in order to break
away from that, so people and the labels really had to take notice,” As
LeDuc points out.
As the band relentlessly kept playing any
club and bar that would have them, the fans and the buzz started to follow.
LeDuc again goes back to living and playing in his hometown. “If you don’t
play at volume 10, and you’re just not raging, people don’t pay attention.
And if you’re not larger-than-life, louder-than-hell and power packed,
you’re not going to draw a crowd.” Once the buzz started locally, it was
easier for the band’s manager to get label reps in to town to check the
guys out live. RCA’s Steve Ferrera saw the potential behind the buzz, and
had the band sign with RCA.
Having opened for such tours as the Sammy
& Dave Tour and Alice Cooper, the band has gotten back to their club
roots opening a series of dates with Kitty. As with any new band, the guys
in Clockwise wanted to prove themselves on this tour. LeDuc remembers that
after about the third show on the tour they were afraid the audience wasn’t
embracing them and their music. When realizing that they didn’t need to
go out on stage every night with the mentality of proving their worth,
but concentrating on the true fun of playing live, the audiences’ attitudes
changed. “We changed our attitudes from trying to make every show a killer
show, to just going back to playing for the pure enjoyment of playing.
Since then every show has been amazing.”
With the saturation of Pop and resurgence
of Urban Hip-Hop, bands such as Clockwise are relying heavily on their
live performance to draw fans. They pride themselves in the energy of their
shows and feel quite confident that is where they will make their mark
and break themselves into the national conscience, along with radio play.
Although growing up in such a glamorous and money driven city, LeDuc’s
perception of music comes across as very “East Coast”. He and the band
enjoy the reception they have gotten in such “Blue Collar” towns as Toledo.
“All of Ohio shows have been off-the-hook. Everybody is just going out
and having a good time. I can be in Cleveland or wherever and talk about
anything and I get this great response from the crowd,” LeDuc notes. LeDuc
has experienced the whole “what can you do for me” mentality that the West
Coast sometimes exhibits. Being out on an extensive tour such as this one,
has given the band a new perception of just how diverse different areas
of the country are musically and personally.
Although Clockwise is new to the music
scene, their perspective on what encompasses music as a whole is very unjaded,
despite their jaded hometown surroundings. “You put down your expressions
and feelings into a song as a piece of work. Playing is about a good time,
not necessarily about always having to move the crowd. A rock star isn’t
a rock star because of his shiny clothes or big stage production. They’re
a rock star because they care about the people, the music they play, and
most importantly playing the music live,” LeDuc points out.
With grounded attitudes on their music
and live shows, Clockwise’s buzz has left Las Vegas and gaining national
attention. The band will be out with Kitty until mid November, then going
out with the Murder Dolls. For more information on Clockwise, check out
www.clockwiseband.com or www.rcarecords.com.
the Official Website to get the lowdown on the album, find tour dates plus
get more info on the band and the latest news and multimedia files.
to sound samples and Purchase this album online
Linda Speilman is an iconoFAN contributor