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Interviews: Clockwise

press photo of Clockwise courtesy of RCA Records

Clockwise: Interview with Austin LeDuc
November 2002
by: Linda Spielman


With their debut album titled Healthy Manipulation having just hit the streets in early November 2002, the band Clockwise is hitting the road, while alternative airwaves are claiming them as nothing more than a straightforward, hard-hitting rock group.

Currently out on tour with Kittie, the members of Clockwise are no strangers to hard work. Every new up and coming band may say that, but this is a band who truly means it. Within 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 since the late 1990s, Clockwise has had to compete with all that is the 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 can best be described as "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 are that of rebellion against everything that their hometown embodies and of 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 "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 grooves throughout."

How does an 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," 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 emphasizes how living and playing in his hometown helped to shape the band. "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 into town to check out the guys live. RCA's Steve Ferrera saw the potential behind the buzz and had the band sign with RCA Records.

Having opened on the Sammy & Dave Tour and for Alice Cooper, the band recently has gotten back to their club roots--- opening a series of dates with Kittie in the Fall of 2002. As with any new band, the guys in Clockwise have been eager 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 they realized that they didn't need to go out on stage every night with the mentality of proving their worth, but on 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 like Clockwise are relying heavily on the strength of their live performance to draw fans. They pride themselves on the energy of their shows and feel quite confident that that is where they will make their mark and break into the national consciousness, along with gaining increased 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 also has experienced the whole "what can you do for me" mentality that the West Coast sometimes exhibits. Touring extensively been has giving 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 perception 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 is gaining national attention. The band will be out with Kittie until mid-November 2002. After that, they will be going out with the Murder Dolls. For more information on Clockwise, check out www.clockwiseband.com or www.rcarecords.com.


http://www.clockwiseband.com
http://www.kittie.net
http://www.liveatthegig.com/
http://www.cbgb.com

Photo courtesy of RCA Records


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