Left to right: Joe Rivard, Marc Scott, Jack Neymeiyer, Tony Rivard
Interview by Jeanne Lesinski
May 27, 2011
In 2007 brothers Joe Rivard (guitar and vocals) and Tony Rivard (bass and vocals) joined their percussionist cousin Marc Scott and friend Jack Neymeiyer (guitar, organ and vocals) to form the band Finding Clyde. With Joe's leadership, they wanted to focus on creating new songs, rather than doing covers. Two years later, they burned an EP, which found its way into the hands of Chad Cunningham. A local independent music producer who had retired from the music industry, Cunningham was impressed enough to resurrect his Bullfrog Records to take on Finding Clyde.
In 2010 Finding Clyde came into the spotlight when its self-titled debut CD spun off the single “Time Waster,” which hit big on the charts. It rose to 63 on the Billboard charts, and No. 1 in New Music Weekly and No. 2 on Media Based Charts for Indie Records Nationally.
That year the band also opened locally for a number of national acts, including Alice Cooper, Tesla, Slash, Billy Idol, 3 Doors Down, Bret Michaels, Buck Cherry, and NeedToBreathe. It officially released Finding Clyde the CD at WIOG's Fresh Face Showcase No. 3 in Bay City.
Recently I caught up with Finding Clyde at the band's rehearsal studio. They had just come from an event and were tired but still full of high spirits. Quickly I saw that Joe was the appointed spokesman, with Tony, Jack, and Marc playing funny men to Joe's serious guy. To know if some of their answers are serious or tongue in cheek, you'll have to ask them next time you see them.
Jeanne Lesinski: Of course, I have to ask about the origin of your name.
Joe Rivard: We bought it off a street vendor! [grins]
Tony Rivard: I like the Dick Tracy story we made up. That a detective would find our name. [grins]
Joe: We were at a bar and they asked for a name, and I said Clyde, so that
was our name for awhile. We were about to release the EP and couldn't
find Clyde on Google.
Jack Neymeiyer: Clyde just came up on a Google search as a jazz blues band, and we don't do that.
Joe: So we added “Finding” to Clyde.
Marc Scott: [grins]
Jeanne: Did you all have a childhood rockstar dream, or was it only Joe? When did you start taking yourselves seriously as musicians?
Joe: I've been playing in bands for 12 years now. I've always wanted to be a lead singer in a rock band.
Jack: I wanted to be an astronaut, but I wasn't good at math. And one eye was messed up, so I couldn't make the program.
Marc: Ninth grade. I played drums and shit in junior high.
One and half or two years for a real career.
Tony: Never. We'll never take ourselves seriously because it would mean that it would ruin the fun.
Jeanne: What's it like to work with relatives?
Joe: We got all of our fighting out when we were young.
Jack: [Raises both hands, palms in air, giving a “not me” look.]
Tony: [Giving Joe a wicked grin] We fought a lot. Remember that time …
Jeanne: Do you listen to a variety of music or mostly stay within your genre?
Joe: I'm more of a 90s rock kinda guy, but I like any singer songwriter type stuff. Pete Yorn, NeedToBreathe, Foo Fighters (Davy Grolton).
Tony: Mostly I listen to rock. I like Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters.
Marc: I'll listen to anything.
Jack: When I was a kid, I listened to mostly Motown and Dixieland jazz, but my dad was big into rock, and when I was 15 I found a bunch of Foreigner, Jeff Beck, and a Billy Preston records. My favorites are Queen and Smashing Pumpkins.
Jeanne: This spring you began writing new material with Chris Henderson of 3 Doors Down. I'd like to hear more about this project.
Joe: Back in Feburary we went down there to Nashville and hung around together, and also with Bobby Capps of .38 Special. ... We were also in Atlanta with Sister Hazel's Ryan Newell.
Jack: We didn't really work on a project. It was more like a learning experience. We got ideas. Things that we picked up stylistically from others.
Jeanne: Some of the lyrics of your songs are quite creative, like “You're the storm front always moving in / You're the losing battle I can't win.” Talk a little about how you write your songs.
Joe: Sometimes I improvise; sometimes I think it out. When I improvise, I just randomly speak lyrics and I'll make sense of them. I think we do strive for a a melody and dynamic changes, even though it's a rock base.
Marc: We have a practice studio. We face each other and we'll just randomly improvise. Try to make the song go somewhere.
Jack: While working on one song, I'll play a riff, and we'll rough it out. Then we'll put it on a home studio, record the different tracks on the computer, so that we can go back to them later.
Marc: It's nice when the song means something.
Jack: The new song [“Thoughts of You”] has multiple meanings; it's just vague enough. [grins]
Joe: With “Thoughts of You,” we were writing altogether, so when we play it, we feel really good about it.
Jeanne: What's it like to see yourself on a billboard on Gratiot in Saginaw?
Tony: It's larger than life.
Marc: When it comes down, we could use it as a sail for our sailboat.
Jack: It's closer to natural size. I'm huge.
Grins all around.
The band released new singles in May: “Let Me Be” has gone out to the rock stations, while “I Hate That I Love You” went to top 40 stations. In the middle of the interview, Cunningham stopped to answer his cellphone. He learned that a Spokane, Washington radio station had just added the new Finding Clyde single to its playlist.
The band's as-of-yet untitled, new full-length CD will be released at the end of the summer. In the meantime, the band is working on a music video and performing at a number of venues:
Saturday, June 11, 8:00 p.m., FreeMusic Fest, Freeland, MI; Saturday, June 25, 6:00 p.m., River Roar, Bay City, MI with Styx; Tuesday, July 12, 7:00 p.m.
Chesaning Showboat, Chesaning, MI, time tba, with Sick Puppies, Pop Evil, Egypt Central; Saturday, July 16, 6:00 p.m., Rockin The River, Vets Park, Bay City, MI
with Lynyrd Skynyrd; Friday, August 5, 7:00 p.m., Soaring Eagle Outdoor Arena, Mount Pleasant, MI with ZZ Top and Ted Nugent. For more information, visit Finding Clyde or Facebook.
Lyrics printed with permission from Bullfrog Records.
© Jeanne Lesinski, 2011.