Sunday, January 25, 2009

Posted by xCHIPxSEM | File under : , , ,
From the Clear Myspace:

"Clear was formed in 1995 and was originally known as XclearX; the letter x serving as a symbol for straight edge. Often associated with hardcore music, Straight Edge (in the mid-1990's) was a fusion of heavy punk and heavy metal, and that's the sound that Clear produced. When the band began, Jason was 21, Sean was 19, and Tyler was just 16. The original guitarists would later be replaced with Mick and Josh, who fall in the same age range.

In 1996, six months after forming, they released a 7" record called The Sickness Must End, which they supported with a national tour. Tyler was 17 then, and, as he explained in a phone interview, it was an eye-opening experience for him. "I was traveling the world and pretty much living on my own with no money, and having these guys look after me," he said. "And they were young, too."

During the time that Clear was at its peak, Utah's straight-edge scene had a reputation as being one of the most violent in the country. In 1998-1999, Salt Lake City was receiving national media coverage for an alleged straight-edge attack on fraternity members. The members of Clear said that hardcore music fans who weren't straight edge were often afraid to come to their shows for fear of being attacked. However, Clear tried to reach out to everyone.

"We always tried to promote an embracing experience and get as many kids out as we could," Sean said. "[When] fights would break out ... we would stop playing. So all the kids that tried to channel hate through hardcore weren't OK with us."

In 1999, the band recorded a full-length CD, Deeper Than Blood, under the name Clear. After two national tours to support the record, Josh decided to leave the band to pursue his own indie-rock project, The New Transit Direction.

"I always felt like we probably could have kept going pretty strong if we'd never lost Josh," Jason said. "Because when this kid came and played with us for the first time ... you know that feeling that you get when everything clicks?" A replacement second guitarist was added, and another tour followed, but then Mick announced that he, too, was leaving the band. He said they no longer seemed to be able to write music together. While things looked great on the outside, they'd only managed to write two new songs in eighteen months. Sean said, "Mick wanted to be more metal, Jason wanted to be less metal, and [Josh] wanted to be more indie rock." Sean and Tyler were gravitating toward stoner rock. Once Mick announced that he was leaving, the rest of the band decided not to continue without him. Tyler said, "I didn't have the energy or the desire to ... find another guitar player and teach him the songs, especially since for the year before that, we wrote like, one song."

Clear played their last show in 2000 in the basement of DV8 to an audience of approximately 300. "It was an amazing show," Sean said. "We had a great time, kids were into it, we played everything we had at the time, and when it was over, it was like ... that's it. It was kind of anticlimactic, you know?"

Clear - The Sickness Must End


ERIC SXE said...

My old band DOWNSHIFT played a show with CLEAR at the Grange Hall in Danville, CA back in 98. They were great people and stayed at our singers house. We had much fun that night.

Their LP "Deeper Than Blood" is even better than this one.