New, good bands can be hard to find. In today\’s world, new rock bands are at a disadvantage almost from the beginning. At shows- depending on where you live- most fans will wait to show up until the headliner goes on stage because they don\’t know who the opener is. They\’re robbing themselves- let\’s just call it what it is.
One of the strongest up and coming bands around is New Jersey\’s McClinton, who have been on the road all year with Red and Art of Dying. Their new single, \”Crumble,\” is tearing up the charts and gaining a lot of fire on radio and mainman Mike McClinton took some time to talk to The Front Row Report about the new music and life on the road.
FRR: You guys are on the road with Red right now. You’ve been on the road with a lot of big bands, how has this one compared to tours in the past?
McClinton: Pretty much similar. We hang out with everybody pretty much. From up to Red it’s been an amazing ride to be honest. They’re all similar everybody likes to do pretty much the same thing. Some like to party a little more than others, but you know, what happens on tour stays on tour. But we’re having a blast. We’re out with Bad Seed Rising and Adalita’s Way and those guys, both of those bands are just, I can’t even say enough about them, they’re amazing in so many ways.
FRR: Yeah, Adalita’s Way- I love them.
FRR: Put them on a bill with Red and Bad Seed Rising, amazing!
McClinton: One hell of a show!
FRR: Yeah and the lyric video is out for Crumble, which I had a chance to listen to- kick ass song. Where did this song come from, what was the inspiration for and how has it been playing it live?
McClinton: The response live has been actually amazing. All response from everywhere we’ve played has been incredible actually. But the song came from, I had surgery done on my leg about a year and a half ago and the band that was with me at the time, the guys that were in the band at the time kind of abandoned me when I had my surgery, they kind of quit while I was on the table. Me and Paul wrote this album together and I called him and was like “Look, I want to write an F You album, you know? Just a kick you in the face type of thing” So Crumble was written as far as I want to make this happen and everything else is going to crumble around you and you’re going to regret what you did, so kind of a karma song.
FRR: Right and that fits. I get that from listening to it. It’s infectious- it gets stuck in your head and you can’t get it out.
McClinton: That’s a good thing! We’ve had some radio programmers say there’s no hook and I’m looking at my self in the mirror like “There’s no hook? What do I have to do, smack you in the head with it?!”
FRR: I can’t imagine being in the crowd and hearing that song live- it would just take it to another level. When did you decide to put that into the setlist? What was that feeling?
McClinton: We pretty much kept the set pretty consistent from the start of the tour. We wanted “Crumble” and “Final Closure” to be right next to each other just because of the way the songs ride together. We wanted to keep “Crumble” at the end just because it’s our radio song but we’ve gotten a response from our whole set. It’s weird, we walked out on stage and nobody knows who we are, I get that, but by the end of “Kick” everybody’s bouncing their head and just so in to it so we catch them right from the beginning and then we just keep going, we don’t let it stop.
On this part of the tour we get a 20 minute set and with 20 minutes we keep it hard rockin’ the whole 20 minutes so people just leave and go “holy crap, I want more” so it’s very infectious.
FRR: Does it make it harder knowing “hey, we’ve got to win these guys over every single night” or is it kind of a pleasantly welcomed challenge?
McClinton: It’s funny because we went from a 30 minute set to a 40 minute set with Saving Abel as a direct support down to a 20 minute set with Brandon of Adalita’s Way. And sitting there, it’s like. I don’t know, I look forward to the challenge every night because you’ve got to remember, Red has this flock and they pretty much have this hardcore base of Red fans. Adalita’s Way fans, they’re pretty much like us, so their fans have drawn in to us, but to win over a Red fan, I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard but we’re doing it. When Brett’s fans come up with our shirts on saying “we really loved it, we didn’t know what to expect but you guys were amazing.”
So we look forward to the challenge every night. We’re a new band and we’re just doing our job, trying to make people realize who we are and it’s working and we love meeting new people and that’s what this is all about is the fans, it has nothing to do with anything else but the fans.
FRR: You’re going out on the road with Art of Dying- another kick ass band. Have you had a chance to sit down and look at those dates?
McClinton: I’ve gotta be honest with you- I haven’t. I’ve really been focusing on this tour, doing the best on this tour to make it what it is, because we’re also talking with a band we’re on tour with right now about going out after that tour. So we don’t see no stopping soon. We’re trying to look forward to the Art of Dying thing but we’re gonna do that after the Red tour. We were so psyched about getting on this tour just because of the level of tour that it is. And like I said, all the bands have taken us in like we were their brothers so it’s been really cool.
FRR: You talked about when you were writing “Crumble” and this album it was a tough time, you had surgery and stuff like that. I really feel like when a band is going through the harder times that’s some of the strongest material, would you agree with that?
McClinton: I do agree, I agree. Because everything I write is from my heart. Every song has written has been about something that’s happened to me in the past. So wait til you hear the new album. You think “Crumble” is hard? Wait til you hear the new album.
FRR: I was gonna ask how the new stuff is coming along.
McClinton: It’s coming along great. As a matter of fact we’re going to do a new single, we’re not even going to do anything else off this album. We’re actually going into the studio after the Art of Dying tour we’re going to go in with David Ivory and do a new track that we’ve been working on and it’s going to kick. Think Godsmack meets Five Finger Death Punch.
FRR: Oh my god. That’s insane.
McClinton: We’re definitely going to, this next single, people are like “oh this isn’t hard enough” but wait til they hear this new song, it’s going to kick you in the face. People are going to be like “holy…where did this come from?!”
FRR: Is there a ballpark date for when that’ll hit the public
McClinton: I’m going to put it to you this way, I’d like to get it out around the same time Adalita’s Way’s new album drops. I can’t go further with it because I don’t know what David’s going to do with it and how long it’s going to take, but it’s going to be a strong song and people are going to know who we are after the new song has dropped. People are starting to know now with “Crumble” but wait til the new song drops, they’ll be blown away.
FRR: Nice, I can’t wait. I’m loving everything I’m hearing so far, I cannot wait!
McClinton: It’s going to be insane! It’s a pretty cool tune. I just got all the music back from it last night, just the pre-mix stuff to write the lyrics to so it’s definitely going to be something to reckon with.
FRR: We’ve got the Red tour right now, then Art of Dying, then back to the studio. What does the rest of 2015 look like?
McClinton: We hit our halfway mark tonight at the Whisky A Go-Go with these guys, so we would like to get on some festivals towards the end of the year just to get out there at some festivals and then just keep touring. Once we release the next single we just want to stay on the road because we love the people we’re meeting. Like I said, it’s about the fans. I’ve learned from Scott from Saving Abel, the guitar player for Saving Abel, it’s all about them- it’s not about nothing other than them. When you go out and hang out with your fans for the whole night done early. I mean, I go on at 7 or 7:45, I’m done by 8:45 and hanging out with fans the whole night is really cool, I’ve got to admit.
With this tour we go on about 7:45, we’re done by 8 or whatever we hang out, grab some food and then we hang out with everybody and it’s just really, really cool. All the promoters that we’ve played for have graciously said “we want to have you back” so we’re doing something right.
FRR: Hearing the music, when you listen to this stuff, it’s hard not to become a fan- it’s just good old fashioned American rock and roll.
McClinton: Yea, somebody quoted that as “Today’s music with a little bit of 80’s to it” and I was like “what?!” But that’s cool.
FRR: Thanks for taking time, I appreciate it. New album, new music coming soon- it’s gonna kick ass.
McClinton: Yea man, we’ll come any time. Without you guys we can’t do this!
FRR: Hopefully you guys hit Indianapolis sometime this year- I want to hear this stuff live!
McClinton: We’re looking forward to it- we’re trying man. We want to hit every state, believe it or not we do. We’re hitting the northwest and stuff, hitting them again and again. I want to come to the other states, I want to do the whole United States.
FRR: The Midwest is where rock is alive and well- there’s nothing better than a rock show in the Midwest- just blue collar rock and roll, nothing better!
McClinton: Alright- thanks for having us!