The Commonheart Speaks on Upcoming EP Release
After just one live session in the recording studio with a 40-person audience, newly formed Pittsburgh-based rock band, The Commonheart, is premiering their first EP on Friday, Jan. 23 at 7PM. Club Cafe in Southside will host the up-and-coming musicians alongside Andre Costello and the Cool Minors.
The group is made up of musicians from various different projects. Clinton Clegg and Buddy Rieger are formerly from Jazzam, a “funktronicspacejazz” group. Clegg also formerly worked on Backstabbing Good People with Shawn McGregor, who is still a part of the soul rock project as well as The Commonheart. Arianna Powell of Velvet Heat, jazz fusion duo, and Matt Booth of City Dwelling Nature Seekers, indie folk band, are part of these projects in addition to this new group.
Of this emerging group, Clegg, 10-year local music veteran and talented guitarist and singer, spoke with NakYouOut about the band, the release, and the Pittsburgh music scene. Check out our interview with him below!
Zoe: As an up-and-coming band, how have you assimilated to Pittsburgh’s existing music scene?
Clinton: I personally have been around Pittsburgh playing music in different projects for a little over 10 years. My bandmates have put in their time, as well, so we have extensive experience with the area and its growing scene. The experience of having relationships formed with promoters, club owners, and other local bands already in place has been valuable in getting our new group up and playing out very quickly. We’ve only been together for three months; thankfully, we are about to release our first EP and the calendar is filling up.
Zoe: Your profiles consistently omit a genre for your music. Do you consider your band to be a specific genre?
Clinton: Yes, we do. We are a rock n’ roll band with heavy blues, soul and gospel influence.
Zoe: What local bands would you consider to be your inspiration?
Clinton: It could be a song, a show, or a handshake. My interactions with my peers here locally drive me to work everyday at our music. Working alongside bands like Wreck Loose and [having] a friend like Max Somerville proved to me that I’m in the right place. Max is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever met. I did a show with Paul Luc recently, as well. That man is the real deal. I’m a fan for life.
Zoe: Where and how do you see Pittsburgh’s music scene growing?
Clinton: It’s growing on many levels. We’ve seen our local venues increase in quantity and quality over the past five years. Bigger national acts are more frequent, and with venues like The Rex, Mr. Smalls, Stage AE, and Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh will be a major stop for years to come. And down the street in the smaller clubs and bars, there is something growing, too. Pittsburgh’s scene is growing in the Southside, Lawrenceville, The Strip, and Polish Hill. More importantly, its growing in the city’s car stereos, its iPads, and its record players. The fan support is at an all time high in the city. It’s a direct result of local media outlets like yourselves, The City Paper, WDVE, WYEP, and so many more highlighting what is growing here. Zoe, you and Nak You Out are a part of this too… Thank you.