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Portrait of Clara Vanum

Clara Vanum


About Clara Vanum

Jacksonville, FL

Clara Vanum is an American rock band from Jacksonville, Florida started in February 2010. The band consists of Jason Locklear (lead vocals), Keith Kirkland (rhythm guitar), James Watts (lead guitar/keyboard), Tyler Myers (drums/vocals) and Brandon Daniels (bass/vocals). In November 2010, the group recorded their four-song EP, My Dear Machine, with producer and engineer, Stan Martell, who has worked with notable acts such as Evergreen Terrace and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. My Dear Machine EP was officially released online on bandcamp.com on February 24th, 2011 at bandcamp.com.

The majority of the band has collaborated musically for over ten years throughout high school and college. In February 2010, Jason transformed his brother’s garage into a practice studio. He was playing guitar for a three-piece Refused-inspired project dubbed Twelve Galleons and agreed to share the practice space with James, Tyler, Keith and Brandon’s previous band, The Sky Alive. While watching a practice for the then singer-less quartet, Jason suddenly grabbed the mic and immediately felt a connection with the music. His high-pitched vocals were a perfect fit for the experimental collaboration that is now known as Clara Vanum.

Throughout the past year, the band has concentrated on writing music with no boundaries that is relatable to not only their fans, but to themselves. According to singer Jason Locklear, “Our goal is to write and record music that we love and want to listen to. The idea is that if we pour our heart and soul into everything we do, hopefully others will be able to relate to those feelings and ultimately connect with our music.” While drawing influences from bands such as Circa Survive, The Deftones, At The Drive In and Coheed & Cambria, an interesting mix of hooky but complicated guitar lines, distorted bass sounds and power rock rhythm was bound to ensue. These sounds are then blended together with catchy, chorus-driven melodies. The lyrics, often a collaborative effort between Jason, James and the drummer, Tyler, are usually dark and dream-like, filled with clever lines and laced with sadistic undertones and metaphors describing their personal experiences and relationships. The band name is a metaphor in itself; Clara Vanum is Latin for ‘clearly vain’ - a tongue-in- cheek reference to the music industry’s obsession with vain, self- indulgent artists.

With the rise of auto-tune and digital pitch-correction software, it is rare to see a band perform live that can mimic their polished recordings. Clara Vanum’s live sound does not disappoint. Jason’s flowing melodies and three-part harmonies are recreated live with the help of Tyler and Brandon’s back-up singing, all the while mixing in stage antics from guitarists James and Keith. With a guitar set up shared with left-handed legends such as Jimi Hendrix and Omar Rodríguez-López (Mars Volta/ At The Drive In), James has created staple moves for Clara V’s live set with his “guitar solo behind the head” move, and the “one handed vertical finger-tap…thing” hardly describable without witnessing a live show. James relates, “We realize that when someone buys a ticket for a show, they are expecting to see just that.”

While constantly working on their live performance and gearing up for a southeast US tour this summer, the band is currently developing new material for a full-length album slated for a fall 2011 release. The band is also working with videographer Michael Walter for a music video of their well-received song “Pariah.” Hardworking and determined to get their music to your ears, Clara Vanum is ready to hit the road and continue their story of musical success by playing the music they love.

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