One of our editors, Rei Haycraft, was able to join Charlotte hard rock band, Something Clever, at Carolina Rebellion as they recovered from opening the festival the night before. This interview was broadcast live on Crim Radio. Scroll down to view the video version of this interview.
Rei: Carolina Rebellion! I’m Rei Haycraft and I’m here with Something Clever out of Charlotte, North Carolina. They played Carolina Rebellion’s Campground Pre-Party…and officially kicked off Carolina Rebellion 2016.[And] are natives from Charlotte! How are you guys doing, are you processing?
Kelly: Doing great. It’s a little hot but still having a good time.
Adam: Buzzed, hungover. No, I’m just kidding. I’m having a great time. It’s been a blast this entire weekend. Even with the rain on Thursday, it was still an awesome experience.
Rei: Tell me a little about the experience of going on that stage in front of all those people.
Adam: We thought the rain was going to keep everybody from having a good time but surprisingly there was a ton of people out there and those are the people we love playing for anyway…the people that are out there despite the conditions, that just wanna hear live music. And once we were on stage getting going we didn’t even pay attention to any of the weather, it was great.
Rei: So for people who didn’t get a chance to catch your set or haven’t seen you live, how would you describe the experience of seeing Something Clever live?
Adam: It’s a lot of raw energy, it’s not calculated, we go out there and just throw it. We make some mistakes, but it’s all out there.
Kelly: It’s all about the energy.
Adam: Yeah. There’s no sleeping during our set.
Rei: I hope not.
Rei: Having seen you all live before, you have a lot of props and things on stage that I know you all make and you build yourself, I know we had some mic stand issues that you broke…?
Adam: Yeah, oddly enough the last one didn’t break, it was actually left at a venue that’s being torn down… so I don’t know if I’m going to get that. It was Southland, so I was like, I’m not driving back up to Raleigh to get that, I’ll just build another one. [LAUGH] So, I’ve got a new mic-stand the Mark 4.5. It’s really cool. It’s got a lot of bright lights to distract from my horrible voice. It’s awesome.
Rei: Bright hair, bright lights, you know.
Adam: Look at me!
Kelly: And what did the guy last night call our light boxes? Ego risers.
Adam: Ego risers.
Rei: I like the light boxes. They’re fun. [LAUGH]
Adam: They are fun.
Rei: Gives you something to jump up on.
Adam: You see the other stages from here. It’s great.
Rei: So what do you hope that fans take away from a performance of Something Clever?
Adam: That it inspires them, other bands out there, that haven’t quite made it yet, and the energy you put on stage is like, this is how it’s done, for the other bands. And that they can do it, and that they can get out there and have fun and get a few friends made at the shows and just to go out there and leave everything on the stage.
Rei: So you all have a lot of plans, a lot of exciting stuff coming up this summer. I know you are in the studio recording, finishing up your new album, which is going to be dropping at the end of summer, correct?
Kelly: Around there.
Rei: Around the end of summer when you all come off tour to follow up the EP that you all released last year. So, how has the studio experience been? I’ve seen some behind the scenes videos and some teasers here and there. What can you tell fans in what to expect from the new album?
Adam: Well, originally I thought Season of Darkness, our EP that’s out right now, was going to have a lot of heavier stuff, a lot of darker stuff, and then Seasonal Light was going to have our lighter stuff, but Season of Light’s got a little bit of everything. It’s got what I feel is some of our heaviest stuff and what I feel is some of wider stuff, more poppy stuff, so it’s got something for everyone. It’s really polarized. So I feel like everybody’s going to have a favorite off of that album no matter what you listen to. Especially nowadays where everybody listens to everything so, yeah.
Kelly: Working at JP Audio Labs has been really great, Joe has been really patient with us and we’re able to take our time on everything, so it’s been really good. We’re almost done with guitars right now and then we go in to track vocals next week actually.
Adam: Yeah, the studio has been very open to suggestion giving us a lot of creative control which is something we really value when we’re going into the studio. The studio experience has been amazing. It hasn’t been exhausting at all, it’s just like one big vacation for us, it’s awesome. [LAUGH]
Rei: Now did you have all the songs written when you went into the studio or is this one of those things where they’re evolving as you’re recording them?
Kelly: Like 98% done.
Adam: Yeah. Like we’re getting stuff like as we go but most of it’s done. It’s like I still have some stuff to go through.
Kelly: There was a couple of moments where it was like we had to kind of back-track and say okay that’s not working. Let’s try this, you know.
Adam: Yeah. It’s really coming together though. It’s coming together a lot quicker than we thought it would, so that’s definitely a plus for us going in.
Rei: And then you all released a music video for Echoes. Tell me a little bit about what the experience of shooting a music video was versus recording versus playing live.
Kelly: It was really exhausting, because we like to go really, really hard a lot of the time and it’s like sometimes on stage you can kind of take a break and catch your breath but you want every shot to be really good so you’re just going crazy the whole time. It’s really, really tiring.
Adam: Yeah, that and monotonous because you have to do take after take of the same song and just hear it over and over, shots from different angles, and like she said, when you’re putting it out there every single take, at the end it’s like, geez, this is worse than shows sometimes. With shows you can ebb and flow, but this is like 100, 100, 100.
Rei: What was your vision going into that for what the music video would look like?
Kelly: We wanted to have a dark theme to it to go with the Season of Darkness. One last thing to put out for that before we move into the lighter stage of the dual album thing. It came out cool. Kind of like just like an eery type.
Adam: Sort of raw, sort of unpolished, gritty sort of experience and a lot of cut takes. It definitely matches the theme of the song.
Rei: And you can feel the energy of what your live show is like, which I think is really great. It gives fans a little bit of a taste of what seeing you all might feel like.
Rei: So how many songs from the new album are you playing live now, if any?
Kelly: We’re playing a handful.
Adam: Yeah, at least three.
Kelly: Yeah, three if not, actually we’re playing about five. We’re playing five right now.
Adam: So half our set right now is the new stuff, which is cool because it shakes it up a little bit and we don’t get bored with our old stuff. Even though the people in the audience probably don’t get bored.
Kelly: We’ve been playing to a lot of new crowds anyway so we’ve just been trying to create a set based on new people, so.
Rei: What song do you feel is resonating with fans most so far?
Kelly: Right now, and for a while, it’s been “Freaks Like You” from Season of Darkness. We’ve had that one out for a long time. It came out in 2013. I feel like that’s kind of our anthem still. So, that’s the one people know.
Adam: Yeah, it’s made a lot more headway than I felt like it would. To me personally, it’s not my favorite but every time we go out there we get that much energy from the song. It’s like, okay, if you guys enjoy it then I enjoy it.
Rei: What song are you most excited about playing live from your new album?
Adam: Oh, man.
Kelly: We have a song called glass that had a weird story. It was this song that we ended up doing for a music publishing company and we liked it enough to decide to put it on the album and we’ve been playing it out and it’s just really catchy. It’s one of my favorites as of right now.
Adam: Yeah, it’s got like a dirty, southern metal sort of feel like a Hell Yeah vibe. Like Hell Yeah mixed with Alice in Chains. Sort of grungy, sort of sludgy, powerful. And it’s based off The Revenant, so if anybody’s ever seen that movie, they’ll understand the lyrics behind it. And that one, it’s slower, but it still has energy to it. So that one and the eponymous ‘Season of Light’ track we have coming off of that, and I don’t think anyone’s heard it yet, and it’s still in production.
Kelly: And it’s still in his brain still.
Adam: Yes. So much is still up there but I see it. And I just can’t wait to get it out there.
Rei: The wheels are turning, somewhere. The hamster might be dead, we’re not sure.
Adam: It’s still going. [LAUGHS]
Rei: It’s getting chugged along, you know. [LAUGHS]
Rei: So you all are touring some this summer. Tell me a little bit about where fans can see you, and what to expect and that.
Kelly: Well we haven’t announced it quite yet, but we’re going to be—
Kelly: Surprise, yeah. [LAUGHS] We’re going to be hitting a couple regional cities in North Carolina, a handful of dates, so we’ll be announcing the dates here shortly and we’ll get going on that. It’s gonna be good.
Rei: And then that will kind of come to a have a hometown celebration I’m sure, and then the release of the album.
Kelly: That’ll come right after that, yeah.
Rei: Awesome. All right, is there anything else that you would like fans to know about Something Clever or something that’s coming up that you want them to look out for?
Kelly: We’re gonna do another CleverCon this year. It kind of got pushed back a little bit just because of the album and everything, but we’re hoping October-ish to kind of do that again so look out for that. [To Adam] And do you have anything else?
Adam: Just keep your eyes on our Facebook page for any updates or anything. We update daily, we talk to everybody. So feel free to leave a comment on anything. Keep your eyes open for the Album and Clever-Con like they said. And just let us know if you like our songs. We’d love to hear from you guys.
Rei: And I can speak from experience. These guys are awesome. Talk to them at shows. Talk to them not at shows. They’re cool people.
Rei: Thank you so much for spending time with us here.
Adam: Of course.
Rei: And I’ll let you get back to rocking out there at the many stages!
Kelly: Sounds good. Thank you so much. [LAUGH]
Thank you to The Carolina Rebellion Fanzone, Gary Carota Images, and Crim Radio for their support and collaboration on this interview and the rest of our Carolina Rebellion coverage.