THE NAMM SHOW 2016 interviews
Chris Clemence of Screaming At Demons
Hanging out at this year’s edition of The NAMM Show, Highwire Daze Online caught up with bassist Chris Clemence (RapScallions, Adelitas Way) to discuss his latest project Screaming At Demons. A new project that features Shimon Moore from Sick Puppies, Screaming At Demons is a collective that truly gives back to the community. Their current single Rockstar benefits the homeless, featuring an unforgettable video that goes perfectly with the highly inspiring lyrics and wildly infectious melodies. In this interview, Chris Clemence opens up about the experience working on Rockstar with famed photographer Nigel Skeet, their upcoming song Our Time, the bands’ charity work, and other topics of interest. Read on as we caught with the Screaming At Demons’ bassist just outside the Anaheim Convention Center…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in the band and give me a little background on your band.
Screaming At Demons is the new band that features Shimon Moore from Sick Puppies, Russell Ali and myself. We just put out our last single “Rockstar” a couple of months ago, we’ve been donating the proceeds of it to help out this awesome charity called Homeless Rockstars that was started by Nigel Skeet. We’re bringing in members of the homeless community, decking them out in hair and makeup, doing a professional photo shoot with them, conducting an interview with them with members of society and using it as a launchpad to get them back into the working world and reestablishing themselves.
Very cool. Where are you based and what’s your local music scene like there?
We’re based in LA, and it’s one of the biggest music scenes that there is. There’s always a lot of cool new artists to meet and people to collaborate with. Working there is amazing.
How did you connect with Shimon from Sick Puppies?
I met him at a party in Hollywood and we just started talking, favorite bands and typical stuff when you meet someone for the first time. He said you seem pretty cool, man we should go jam sometime. Right when we got in the room together we just banged out a few different songs that kind of flew out. The musical chemistry was there and he asked me to come in and record some bass and stuff, it went really well. He offered me the position in the band.
What’s your background, what bands have you been in?
RapScallions, Adelitas Way, I played in a few different bands, side projects with the guys from Puddle of Mud. All over the gamut, kind of.
So you’ve been around.
For sure, well who hasn’t in the business? Working with Shim and Russell’s, absolutely great. They are both genius musicians and I feel lucky to work with them. Go on YouTube, check out Rockstar it’s our first single and our next single coming out is called “Our Time” and we have Chad Smith from the Chili Peppers playing drums on it.
How did that come about?
I’ve known Chad, I’ve done a bunch of shows with him in my previous projects and working with mixer Chris Lord-Alge, who’s you know, a five time Grammy winner. We had programmed all of our drums previously up until this point and he said, man, I would really like it if you get a live drummer to come in and play on one of these songs. I think it would bring it to the next level. I said what about Chad Smith? He’s like, sure, why not let’s see if we can get ihm. I called him up and told him what we were doing, he goes, if you can do it on Tuesday let’s do it. That’s how it happened.
That’s cool. Rockstar, you probably don’t write the lyrics but is there any story or concept behind the lyrics?
The whole song was written specifically for the Homeless Rockstar charity so the lyrics tell the stories of different homeless people that Shim interviewed and met with at one of the Homeless Rockstars events. So we almost did what Dave Grohl did in Sonic Highways when he would go to different cities and just talk with people and kind of pull lyrics from things people said or their background or experiences. We did a very similar thing with Rockstar and Nigel, who is the founder of the charity just wanted it to say I’m a Rockstar, we put that in the chorus and the song kind of wrote itself that way.
You mentioned a second song called Our Time, tell me about that song and what inspired the lyrics.
“Our Time” is about taking the power back and what we’re doing for the next release, with “Our Time” is we’re going to benefit victims of domestic abuse and violence. The video is going to feature the UFC Champion Holly Holm who knocked out Ronda Rousey in that big fight. We’re going to give a portion of the proceeds to the victims of domestic violence. She’s a big advocate and supporter of that as well, when she heard what we were doing she wanted to get involved and be in the next video.
What can one expect from a live Screaming at Demons show?
Oh man, I’ll let you know when we get to touring. Right now, we just put out “Rockstar” and we’re about to put out “Our Time,” we haven’t played a show yet. We’re going to be building the buzz with these songs. Rockstar just now is starting to break through at radio. We got it to Top 20 at a few different stations across the country so the buzz is really building. So once it’s to that level that it’s really overwhelming, that’s when we’re going to go tour and hit the most places as possible and make the biggest impact.
If Screaming at Demons could open for any band either now or from the past, who and why?
I think we would all answer that question differently but for me, I would love to do a tour with the Foo Fighters or Muse. Those are two of my favorite bands, I really look up to them and have always loved their music. I think it’d be a good fit.
What inspires you guys to give and work with these charities?
The way we look at it is, these major corporations like iTunes and Spotify, you’re just making their CEO richer. Does he need a 5th vacation home or another Bentley? We’d rather not put our music out through those outlets and give to the people who need it the most. Instead of giving a 30% to iTunes or an 80% or 90% cut to Spotify, they’re just profiting off of it. We’d rather give that money to the people who can actually use it and help them change their lives for the positive.
Do you have any messages for people reading this now who should check out your band?
You can check out our page at Screamingatdemons.com or just go to our Facebook or Twitter. Instagram as well, yeah, we have all the latest updates on there. We’re constantly updating with new photos and new press that comes out. So, that’s where you can get all the latest news.
(Interview and NAMM Photo by Ken Morton)
Screaming at Demons on Facebook