Clint Lowery Talks Call Me No One's "Last Parade", Movies, New Sevendust, and More
Mon, 13 Aug 2012 13:14:46
Call Me No One have crafted one of the year's best debuts with Last Parade.
This time around, Sevendust's Clint Lowery and Morgan Rose get heavy in a different way. The songs evoke a myriad of emotions with a guitar echo and Lowery's powerful, often poetic lyrics. Rose holds down the groove with his inimitable percussive flare, and the duo builds an entrancing pastiche of sounds and stories. Of course, there are some badass riffs too…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Clint Lowery talks Call Me No One's Last Parade, movies, new Sevendust, and so much more.
Would you say Call Me No One is "heavy" in a different way?
Yeah, that's totally the whole point of it. There are going to be similarities. That's a part you can't get away from with the way Morgan and I play. We're trying to do things we really couldn't do with Sevendust. It's the quirkier side.
Did you approach Last Parade with one vision in mind?
That's the nature of how fast we recorded it. There wasn't that much material written beforehand. Morgan and I went in and did the whole thing in about three and a half weeks, as far as the tracking and writing. We had talked about a direction we wanted to go in, but we didn't set out with any particular formulas. All of the songs exist well together because they were written so close together. At the same time, we didn't want any of them to sound the same. There needed to be different tempos. It flowed out. I don't know whether or not we could recapture that again or what the secret to that formula was. It was just Morgan and I so it was really easy see a vision through.
How important was the sequencing?
These days, a lot of people don't listen to a lot of records. The sequencing is a huge part of it though. I'm interested in the way songs are placed and presented. Back in the day, listeners wanted the sequence to be part of the experience. It's important.
Do you aim to tell stories with the songs?
Yeah, I always want someone to be able to pull something lyrically out of the music. I just tell real life observations and experiences. The world is a funny place. A lot of times, people can be shallow, but there are also a lot of cool people on the planet. Lyrically, I want to write how I speak and put that into the song. That makes it easy for people to understand what it's about. When I try to write, I try to write how it rolls off the tongue.
What does "The World Is Dead" mean to you?
If I go to the airport, I see the lack of humanity going on. Everything is deteriorating as far as manners and goodwill go. The world isn't really physically dying but spiritually. People aren't as civil as they were years ago. It's not a negative outlook on life. It's just about where things are at right now in life. Everyone wants what they want, when they want, and how they want it. They're parasites. Compassion is going away.
It's a beautiful chord progression for dark subject matter.
I think the contrast is cool. I love when you can write about something that sounds sad like "All's Well", but it's really about being positive. The minor keys provoke a sad feeling. Then, you throw in a positive twist on the lyrics.
Where did the title track come from?
I've struggled a lot with alcohol and drugs years ago. The spark or idea came from people being entertained by others coming apart. Instinctively, I think people love to watch others struggle. The song is vaguely about that. You're inviting people in to watch that derailment, so to speak. It's cynical. This is my last parade. This is my last showcase of insanity. We end the show with that too. It starts off melodically. It's not like a typical closer. The song keeps you thinking. It's an interesting way to end an album and show.
Having songs like "Hillbilly" makes the record truly boundless.
To me, that's a southern punk rock song. I love being able to do things like that. With this, there are no limits. It felt liberating, and I'm definitely looking forward to do another record.
Have you already started writing?
Now, Sevendust is getting ready to do another record. I'm switching gears for that. When we went in to do Call Me No One, it was off-the-cuff ideas right out of our heads. Playing live, I'm already thinking about the way songs translate on stage. It changes your perspective as far as what you want to do. I already have an idea of what type of music I want to do. I want to push the envelope into something a little stranger and keep it going further away from the Sevendust vibe.
Will the new Sevendust record pick up where Cold Day Memory left off?
We're going to approach this the same way. John and I have some ideas. Where Cold Day Memory was going with "Splinter"—I really love the energy of that song. I think it'd be cool to do something along those lines. The riffs are a little more percussive. John stays true to what he does. I write around that. That was one of the last songs we did. That might be where we take off and push into a heavier direction, but everyone says that [Laughs]. It's hard to tell. The goal is to make a very good live record. We've been around for a while, and we pride ourselves on the live show.
Do you read a lot or watch many movies? What outside of music influences you?
I read a lot. I like biographies and stories about people turning their lives around. That inspires me. I'm interested in those kinds of things. I'm a huge movie buff. There's something about leaving the theater. I'm inspired by the grand presentation of it all. When I left The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I felt like Trent Reznor was made to make music for that movie. That stuff inspires me a lot. When people write outside the box, their perspective is coming from a different angle. It's cool when someone captures that in a book or a movie.
If you were to compare Last Parade to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
[Laughs] That's a good question. I'd have to think about that. I want to say Terminator: Salvation meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest [Laughs]. That's kind of what it is.
What are some of your favorite movies?
I'm into a lot of horror movies. The Alien movies were great. I love the old gangster films like everyone does. I watch these old weird sci-fi movies from the '80s that crack me up. I love westerns, comedies, dark comedies, and all of the Marvel Comics films.
What comes to mind when you think of the first Sevendust record?
I think about how enthusiastic we were. We were very high-spirited younger men. We felt like we were doing something different at the time. The beauty of that era was there wasn't a lot of music like that coming out. We felt like we were ahead of the game. It was a great feeling. Now, it's about trying to find a new way to do what you do. Before, we felt this fresh feeling. There's a cool spirit to that record. Hard rock was thriving back then. People were selling a lot of records. Music changes and evolves. As long as you keep things sincere, you can last a little longer.
What are you listening to now?
Every now and then, somebody will turn me on to something. I love Periphery. I listen to the new Meshuggah. I listen to Civil Wars. They're a country duo with these really dark, minor songs. I love the harmonies in what they do.
Have you heard Call Me No One?
See our review of the album here!