Our shows are like a party and you're all invited.” On stage and on their latest album, LIKE A WAVE, the Hollywood by-way-of-Vermont boys are definitely all about the good vibes. With instantly-catchy jams such as "The Good Die Young," "Rain Song" and "Jupiter," Class Clown is a jolt of energy to the music scene, recalling the distinctive influence of bands such as Sum 41, Blink-182 and All American Rejects. It figures that one of the band's most popular songs live and on their MySpace page is their tongue-in-cheek spin on Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Clearly, these guys want to have fun also. "Some bands just play their songs and don't interact with the audience.
We try to interact with everyone and at some point have them feel like they're part of the show. We run all around the venue and get in the back. It's like just hanging out with a bunch of friends," says Jeremy. How much fun? Their shows are more like parties than concerts. "There was one time where we actually made it a party.
We filled up garbage bags with balloons and brought them to the show and kicked them out into the audience," recalls lead guitarist Matt. "We even ordered pizza for the audience and sent it out the crowd. We've thrown beach balls, a lot of fun stuff." But there's substance within good times. With a few albums under their collective belt, band co-writers Matt and Jeremy are expanding their lyrical take on the world and show solid song craftsmanship with the sweet acoustic ballad, "Carry On" and moving, anthemic title track, "Like A Wave." "Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down.
Our more down songs are just conveying some of our deeper feelings," says Matt. "When we're having a good time writing, the more upbeat songs come out. It's really just about living life." The band formed in 2001 in Vermont--without Jeremy as the lead singer. In fact, he started out as one of Class Clown's biggest fans.
"I was totally star struck and all crazy for the band," he admits. "He wore this shirt that said, "Marry me Billy," who was our lead singer at the time," recalls Matt. "So Jeremy joined, at first as a guitarist, and eventually, his charisma and energy won us over. And it just grew from there." Even as the band line-up changed throughout the years, Class Clown quickly reached many milestones that most never achieve. They booked two national tours (even when most band members were too young to drive!) and released two full-length albums and four EPs.
In 2004, they won the VH1/School of Rock Battle of the Bands, beating out over 50,000 contestants and finished with the most plays of any band in the 2006 Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands. More recently, Class Clown was selected to take part in the Armed Forces Entertainment tour, where bands travel the globe to play for the troops. The band's biggest change came in the spring of 2007, when members packed their bags and took a one-way 3,000 mile trek from Vermont to Los Angeles. "We toured California on a mini tour and we loved it. We loved the weather, the people, everything.
We went back home and started working hard and saving money to move out," remembers Jeremy, who had to graduate early from high school for the move. "It was a stupid risk, but it worked out. Looking back, it's like, 'What were we thinking?' We were kids with no money just moving out here and we had no contacts or anywhere to live. But we got lucky." Within months, hooked up with a label, booked more gigs than ever, found new drummer Chris LaPlante and even captured their love of the West Coast in the hooky "California." Even if some of the earlier gigs didn't initially draw the same numbers that shows back in Vermont did, the guys always made it work.
"Our philosophy is the fewer people, the harder you have to rock, the more you have to make it like a party. If there are two people there, you just play harder than you've ever played before," says Jeremy. "And if there's one person there," adds Matt, "that one person will love us." While getting LIKE A WAVE out to as many people as possible, via digital distributors such as iTunes and CDBaby.com and constant gigs and tours, the guys are working to progress their sound for their next disc. Using their past influences and ever-maturing musicianship, Jeremy and Matt have hit a stride as the two principle songwriters of the band. "Jeremy and I go back and forth," says Matt. "Lyrically, it's us two.
We've grown as writers together. We click on a lot of the same issues, we're on the same page with ideas and concepts. So when we go to write songs, we're already rolling in the same direction." "We'll come up with ideas and we'll go into our closets -- literally -- and work on stuff," says Jeremy, "And then bring it back together." Really? "Oh yeah, I like closets and showers for writing," says Matt. "I get so many ideas that way." But it's out in front of friends and fans where the band really excels.
And these Class Clowns are ready to continues the musical party for the loyal faces in the audience, while inviting a whole new crop of listeners into the mix "Being on the road is really what being in a band is all about for us," says Jeremy. "We just want to get our music out to as many people as possible in any way we can. And have a good time doing it." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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