Although local band The Clydesdale was formed in 2004, you might have some difficulty in Googling them.
“It’s just a bunch of horses,” the band’s Courtney Carroll says.
“Well, if we were called ‘The Dogs,’ we probably wouldn’t come up if you Googled us, either,” Paige Overton says.
“We’re like the cockroaches. We’re never going to go away.”
Despite being difficult to find on the Internet, the Clydesdale has become a Las Vegas fixture over the past decade, having amassed a large and devoted regional following with its straight-shooting, punky Americana. Recently, I caught up with Andrew Karasa (guitar), Jason Aragon (bass), bassist Carroll, and lead singer Overton after their performance at the Arts Factory’s Vintage Bike Night, a landscape of leather and even more leather.
How would you describe the Clydesdale’s sound?
Overton: If Johnny Cash and the Rolling Stones had a baby, and then that baby grew up listening to surf music, punk rock and some indie, with a little bit of funk and soul, that would be us. I like to say Andrew and I bring the punk, and [Jason] and Courtney bring the funk. We got the punk/funk going on.
You’ve been playing together for 10 years. How has the musical landscape in Las Vegas changed?
Karasa: It depends on the venues. If there are a lot of good venues, then bands start playing out and you see more. For some reason, they make a lot of money at first and everyone likes going, and then they start charging at the door and trying to get more money, and it just ruins everything and no one wants to go back.
Carroll: So there aren’t a lot of local band venues.
Jason was involved with the local music festival Neon Reverb, where many venues were involved…
Aragon: [Neon Reverb lasted] five years, two times a year. Several different venues Downtown participated –Beauty Bar, Bunkhouse, Country Saloon, Yayo Taco, The Beats, the Gypsy Den when that was around, Thunderbird Lounge, Aruba.
Karasa: And then up to 2013, but it stopped. That’s when Downtown got bought, so the music in general, Downtown, just got reset.
Overton: Our Etch-A-Sketch got shook up, and we got to draw a new picture now.
How would describe your place in the Vegas music scene now?
Karasa: We’re the godfathers.
Overton: We love playing music. We’re like the cockroaches. We’re never going to go away.
Carroll: You can’t kill us!
Overton: You can spray us, stomp on us, you can write up a bad review, but we’re still going to play!
What plans do you guys have for the future?
Overton: They’re having the Las Vegas Film Festival in August, and we were selected. We have a music video that we’re going to premiere.
Carroll: Downtown Project is funding, and they’re pairing local bands with producers to make a music video.
Overton: But I’m really excited for our new album. We’re not trying to just bang it out like we usually do. We’re recording it ourselves, so we can take the time to do it exactly how we like. I really feel like it’s going to be our best album we’ve ever had.
We’ve had really good recording experiences, and I think we’ve taken away from everywhere we recorded and everybody we’ve recorded with. It’ll be kind of different, because we’re at our own pace. When you have a new king in your kingdom, it’s runs a little differently. Sorry, I watch a lot of Game of Thrones.
Keep up with The Clydesdale via their Facebook page.