Clone Hero is an alternative rock band from Los Angeles comprised of Rich Lopez (guitars/vocals), Dylan Barrie (bass), and Dan Carrigan (drums). Their debut EP "Inamorata" is an homage to guitar-driven, rhythm fueled, 90’s-inspired grunge/alternative rock in the likes of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Filter. They are currently at work on their as of yet unnamed follow up EP due out in late 2019!
“Plague” is a stunner, brilliantly showcasing a powerful rise up from delicacy to weight, reinforcing the band’s ability to utilize contrast and express the emotions related to an experience in a deeply artistic and genuine way. This is categorically a song to be experienced at volume. The journey home, the late-night drive, the isolated escapism that envelops us in times of turmoil. There’s great comfort in hearing Clone Hero scream out on your behalf, and doing so in such a melodic and beautiful way. “Plague” feels like the kind of alternative anthem that deep thinkers would have obsessed over not too long ago. Clone Hero is a superb band, impressing more and more so with each new move they make. Stay on the lookout for their new EP, coming soon!
Check out “Plague” here and read more with Clone Hero below!
Hey Clone Hero! Welcome to BuzzMusic! Can you start by introducing yourselves and what role you play in the group?
Thanks for having us! My name is Rich Lopez and I assume guitar and vocal duties in the band, I also write the majority of the music.
How did Clone Hero come to fruition? What's the meaning behind your stage name?
The three of us met while working at a video game studio in Santa Monica, although not right away. The way we ended up together as a band is I had heard before Dan transferred to my department that he played drums, so on his first day while out at lunch I asked him if he wanted to jam sometime as we were into some of the same alternative rock bands like Fuel and Chevelle, and we lived relatively close to each other. At first, we were just a two-piece playing at this hourly rehearsal space in Culver City where we came up with "Autopilot", then moved into a lockout in West LA where the other three songs were completed. Later that year we recorded those tracks at Foreword studios in LA with our friend and producer Duane Ramos. After the EP was finished recording we decided we wanted to take the songs to the stage but we still didn't have a bass player - Duane had provided bass on the EP. I put out a post on social media looking for someone to fill the role. It just so happened that Dylan (who worked in another department) played bass. The name originated somewhere in-between. Long story short, it's the combination of two things; "clone" from my Small Clone pedal that Dan blew out the fuse on, and "hero" from my then-obsession with screen used movie props. We had no idea at the time there was a bootleg video game with the same name.
We loved your track “Plague”. Can you dive into more details about the meaning of the lyrics? What do you hope your listeners take away from it?
Thanks! that's the one that people tend to gravitate towards most. I wrote "Plague" my senior year in high school. There was no preconception to include it in the long run, it was initially just to have something to play during practices, but it fit within the context of the other songs and it had gone through some revisions. Musically, it was intended to be my homage to the bands that influenced me. Lyrically, it's about avoiding toxic people and the observations of their behaviors, hence the chorus "I don't like the way you show your face, I don't like the way you share your plague". It's about me being an onlooker and resisting the exposure to people I thought were toxic. Even written as a teenager those ideas still extend into my adult life, oddly enough. I think given the social climate we live in today and the desire for material gain many people could relate.
What’s your writing process like as a group?
When there's a new idea for a song, I will typically record a rough demo version at home on an 8-track with a drum machine and a couple of layers of guitar and bass and come up with the foundation for the song. I'll share that demo with them and leave them to take their own liberations with it. More often than not though, the song will get fleshed out over the course of some rehearsal sessions until we all give the (unspoken) nod of approval. The length of the process can vary, though. We have a new song that'll be on the next EP called "Hunting Ghosts" that took about a month to finish after the demo stage because we couldn't decide on a proper bridge so it just depends on the demands of the song and how well it sits with the three of us by the end of it. I try to promote a democratic approach to songwriting so that everyone can artistically contribute.
What’s your stage presence like?
Well, the booze tends to help, haha. I used to have a pre-show ritual that consisted of two shots of tequila and a Budweiser just to calm the nerves otherwise I'm just a shoegazer on stage. These days I have to constantly remind myself once we're up not to be so serious and just have fun with it. As long as I keep that in mind and not worry about screwing up or forgetting lyrics, I can allow myself to be in the zone and be animated and talk to the crowd between songs. It's really just about having fun and going with the vibe when it comes down to it.
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