The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world







Mark: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak to us. I love the album! It sounds absolutely fantastic. It’s coming out on the 14th August in the States, is it also getting a European and worldwide release at that time as well?



Clinton: It will have a worldwide release on August 30th.



Mark: It’s your first full length release, preceded by the single “The War on the Inside”, which is great and we love the video to that. The song seems to be about someone who has to make some pretty tough decisions, does that come from personal experience?



Clinton: Yeah, it’s about a really hard time I was going through in my life where we are all faced with the decisions do we go left or right? Everyone’s got their own war to fight on the inside, so it was just my way of saying, hey, the rest of us are out here suffering the same war on the inside that you’re going through. We all go through it.



Mark: It’s great, it’s the sort of subject matter that relates to a lot of people, and seems to be doing well, is it still number one on clear channel?



Clinton: Yeah, I checked it yesterday and it was still number one on clear channel.



Mark: It deserves to be up there, and it must have been interesting working with Justin from Twelve Stones as well. How was that whole process and recording the album?



Clinton: Justin was amazing to work with; he didn’t really try and change us. We went through a couple of producers, and talked to a couple of different people and we wanted to try and capture our lives now, and sell the fact that you can achieve what you are working for. We found that in Justin, he had this way of changing things; just enough to think that it was my idea!



Mark: The sound on the album is great; it’s probably one of the best sounding albums I’ve heard all year. There are some great lyrics on there as well, and what surprised me is they sound really mature, for a band that’s just had an EP, and it certainly puts you a few rungs ahead of the crowd. “Angels”, was one of the songs that really stood out for us, and again seems to draw on personal experience, and one many people can relate to. What was the song about?



Clinton: At the time when I wrote it, I was on the road, and being a musician, or anyone who has a job where they travel, or the military, I think they will relate to it. There’s a line in there, “I’m giving all I have to someone else”, and every night I’m selling myself to people, night in and night out, instead of the people I should be selling myself to like my family. It’s my way of saying I’m going to be here until I’m no longer on the dirt, I’m going to give you everything I have until then.



Mark: How are you enjoying being on the road at the moment? Do you like that side of life or does it get a bit monotonous? I know you tour a lot.



Clinton: I love it, and the rest of the guys love it as well! Every now and then we have a break, and get the opportunity to go home for a day or two. But for the most part I don’t think I could go back to everyday life! We’re having a great time; it’s like a travelling college!



Mark: You should write a book!



Clinton: I don’t think we could write that book, we’d get in a lot of trouble!!!



Mark: Yeah, that’s the problem, all the great stories you can’t tell anyone!!


You’ve already opened for a bunch of great bands, your publicity people and management, are obviously doing a good job for you, how did you go down on those tours? I think last time was with Bobbaflex.



Clinton: Yeah, we played with Bobbaflex, Pop Evil, Framing Hanley, Ten Years, the big national bands that are in that alternative metal genre.



Mark: Pop Evil is a cool bunch of guys, I saw them a couple of months ago, how did they treat you?



Clinton: All the bands have been super, great we talk to everybody, we are really friendly, we just recently upgraded, thanks to our management company, we got a new van and trailer, before we were travelling in a ’89 Dodge Mirage van, we had all our gear in there and people would look at us, and then after say, Wow, did you get all that sound out of that van?! All the guys have been super awesome, really friendly guys.



Mark: What’s the NASCAR connection, I saw you were on the show with Chris Lafferty, on Fox Sports, are you big NASCAR fans?



Clinton: We’re from Charlotte, North Carolina, and everyone asks us that question, NASCAR capital of the world. Honestly, I’m not a super fan; I’ve been to a few races. I can watch about an hour and a half of it, and then it gets repetitive! Chris Lafferty is a really good friend of ours, he helps us along our way, and we wanted to thank him by doing some stuff on his show.



Mark: That’s great, and it gives you another avenue to get out there. Tell us about your special guest on the album.



Clinton: Well we found her through our producer, she’s from New Zealand and she first got to America ten days before we started tracking ‘Angels’ and she came in did pre-production and now she’s back in new Zealand doing her new album as we speak. Our original intention was to use her on backing vocals but when we heard her we thought we had to give her a bigger role. She’s got a voice like no other, like Amy Lee.



Mark: It worked really well. Your voice though itself, is pretty strong on the album, and has a lot of emotion tied up in it, it really gives the songs huge impact. Is that just natural talent?



Clinton: I don’t know it just comes naturally, I guess I mean these are my stories and telling and whether it comes across as strong because of all the emotion and conviction I’m pouring into the songs I don’t know. I want to give 110% of myself to everyone who is listening and I guess that’s what it’s all about.



Mark: There’s definitely no sense of you are holding back! One question we always ask bands is what their local scene is like back where they come from?



Clinton: Well Charlotte is not really known for its rock scene: we had Paper Tongues come out of there, but not much more: Daughtry is from close by. I guess when you ask a lot of people they say that their scene isn’t that good, but it all starts with the people in those towns – they have to come out to the shows and the bands have to promote themselves and it can all grow from there. We’ve met some great bands on the road – Wayland. Prospect Hill, so many more at our level of higher that it’s an awful shame that more people don’t get to see locally as they are so good.



Mark: You’re right there’s an awful lot of local talent out there wherever you are in the world and if only more people would get out and support it locally then scenes would grow, music would get stronger and from that everyone benefits.



Mark: If you were to sum up what people could expect from one of your live shows what would you tell them?



Clinton:  (Laughs) our live show is chaos! It’s almost choreographed chaos but we don’t do any choreography! Each one of us: David, Adam, Andrew and Lee and myself – we’re all in our respective zones and we jus let the music take control – we don’t know what happens, it’s real crazy. But we don’t have no pyro; no backing tracks, nothing real fancy just raw emotion is what to expect. I mean we’re gonna break stuff, I’m gonna fall, we’re gonna knock each other out! It’s a good time, just expect the unexpected! Like I said earlier we’re giving everyone all we have and we want them to remember that.



Mark: IO can hear a lot of influences in your sound, but I hear something in there that’s not particularly derivative, something unique that sets you apart. What influences do the guys have?  



Clinton: Well Adam and myself, this is crazy, are really big country music fans and then there are all the 90’s alternative rock influences from high school like Bush, Silverchair, Candlebox are all the sorts of things I grew up listening to. And Adam is a big Pearl Jam fan. David our lead guitar player loves Pantera and things in that genre, and then we also listen to Americana. Basically Rock, Rap, anything we listen to it all.



Mark: It does make a really interesting mix in your own sound, and that makes sense with those diverse influences at play.



Mark: Just a couple of quick questions to wrap up.  If you could have been involved in the creation of any piece of music at any point in time, what would it have been and why?



Clinton:  If you’d have asked me a few years ago, I would have said something different. But I’m a huge Breaking Benjamin fan, and of their new album, “Dear Agony”, the title track was played at my mums’ funeral and it is one of the best songs ever, and I’m jealous that I did not write it! I would have loved to be a part of that.



Mark: What about casting your mind back, what tracks stood out for you as a kid?



Clinton: Meatloaf, “I Would do Anything for Love”, that guy writes some of the most epic stuff!



Mark: Now, a really easy one to close with, what is the meaning of life?



Clinton: To be happy with yourself, no matter what you have, I think that’s the meaning of life, to have happiness within yourself.



Mark: Thank you for spending the time with us today at the Rockpit. Love the album, and the best of luck with everything. Keep in touch.


Our review of ANOTHER LOST YEAR'S 'BETTER DAYS' can be found in the CD review section.






By Mark Diggins