Wallace Jones, of The Cleave Band, Speaks With The Battalion
We produce at our own pace, which allows us to produce what we believe to be quality material
By Terri Bagden
Since their show at Rudder Auditorium for the 4th of July Celebration, much interest has been sought about the band who stole the show. That band being The Cleave Band.
I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to visit with Wallace Jones, lead guitarist for The Cleave Band.
Terri: After seeing the show, what surprised me was the fact that I did not know much about The Cleave Band. How does a group with such good material just show up, seemingly out of know where?
[Wallace] That's a good question that I often find myself asking. In little time, we have covered a good amount of ground. It has moved much faster than any of us anticipated. It's a question that I'm not sure I can answer other than to say that we take what we do quite seriously. We won't put out material that we don't 100% believe in. That's one of the advantages we have at the moment. You could say we are not constrained by limits of time. We produce at our own pace, which allows us to produce what we believe to be quality material.
Terri: This group has been together for a period of only about 3 years. Tell us how it started.
[Wallace] Well it's somewhat of a strange story really. I had been lead guitarist with Junk Science for a good number of years. I was pretty satisfied at the time although I did believe that perhaps we had reached our peak. After a particular show, I was approached by Rayhall to seek my interest in a new project he was considering putting together. It was explained to me that this was a project complete with a recording contract already in place. Believe me, I was skeptical as that's pretty much unheard of. Never the less, I decided to lend an ear to the material Rayhall had already written. Now this stuff was only instrumental at the time. Yet, there was something to it that just drew me in. I can't explain it. There was simply something there. We began to jam together and immediately worked very well together. We quickly became friends. We secured two other members to complete the lineup and then started concentrating on some serious writing.
Terri: Who is the main composer of the group? Does each person write his or her own piece and then you put it all together? How does it work?
[Wallace] Actually, Rayhall writes pretty much everything: drums, guitar, etc. He presents it to us and we put our own individual touch to it. We're contracted with JBlest to help with vocal writing and arrangement.
Terri: And how does that work? JBlest writes the lyrics?
[Wallace] Mainly yes. Rayhall and us put the music together. Sometimes we have an idea on what we'd like for vocals and other times we don't. Either way, we send it over to JBlest and let him work his magic. Rayhall will sometimes rewrite portions of the lyrics to better suit our needs and sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes it's hit or miss, while other times it's dead on. When all of us come together on the same page, you just can't beat it.
Terri: That's one of the observations I made at your show. A lot of groups have the potential of a hit or two out of their whole set. I thought that every single song that was performed had hit potential. That is unusual.
[Wallace] It is unusual. That brings us back to being able to work at our own pace and make things right. We've thrown away lots of material simply because it just didn't hit. It's a hard thing to do, to throw away a piece. But when a good one comes through, it's more than worth it. Nothing of quality comes quickly. Well, usually it doesn't. However, once a piece starts to hit, the rest of it rolls quicker.
Terri: What's next for The Cleave Band?
[Wallace] More of the same. We will continue to write new material and perform when we can. It's a slow process but well worth the outcome. We get asked a lot, "When can we hear new stuff?" We can't promise when new stuff will come out. We can only promise that new stuff will come out given some time.