Some wonderful Press from the current release JUD “Generation Vulture”
- Eclipsed Magazine / interview with Bernd Sievers
- Newnoise Magazine (Print) Story June 2017
- Powermetal.de 9/10 !!! / Holger Andrae
- #2 Album of 2016 / NewNoise Magazine France
- Dreikommaviernull / Review
- Zitty Magazine Berlin / Album of the Week
- Ox Magazine 7/10 / Review
- Flight13 / Review
- Target Audience Magazine / USA / Story
- Gaesteliste / Review
Original English Text from the “Eclipsed Interview” 2017:
Here are the questions:
1) Your new album “Generation Vulture” starts with harsh guitar-thunder.
Is this the sound you see the world and the society and “the schitzo mankind”
(I first thought you were singing “shits of mankind”)?
Harsh Guitar Thunder…I like it… I do hope that my creations are mirroring society, lyrically and sonically, I have felt an ability to
“deliver the news” since I was a young artist, and this is
surely the goal in “generation vulture” schitzo mankind, referring to how
lovely the word “mankind” sounds, although too little kindness found in the man of today, many men, have become real bastards
2) All the lyrics are full of anger, desperation, bitterness, sadness.
Please describe the things which inspire you and how do you transfer it to the lyrics.
Im a very optimistic person, always looking for the bright perspective, “today is Armageddon day! well at least we seem to still have the morning” for example…
I am oddly inspired by struggle, most often I get a kick of inspiration when I start to feel sorry for myself, and then karma gives me a hit
in the head, on the train or just walking in the city and seeing some poor
soul missing his legs or unable to communicate, seeing how many suffering people are striving each day to get to the next one, and at the same time the
planet is full of greedy unsatisfied people, makes my stomach sick but gives me fuel to put my face through brick walls to get to where I need to go, to bring the truth to the people
3) The album has the subtitle “An Album for the Living, an Album for the Dead”. What do you mean by this?
Literal and Metaphoric, Literally, for everyone, many friends and family, good people, have left us in the last years,
our music is created for the ones we love, and the ones we don’t know, for those alive in their own life, or those living but are
somehow dead (lonely isolated) and I want, with this album, to reach out to everyone, to make a bridge….
4) And on your solo-album “Cold White Earth” in the song “You Die Again”
there is this line “The only way to live is to die and try again”.
Do you think this world will die? And would it be able to try again?
Ha well I did not mean it exactly like that, I thought of it in this song, as a reset, as to becoming sober, as I was
such a heavy drinker…..oh man… that song you mention relates to me actually feeling that I needed to completely die and start again from the
beginning. as it relates to current social status, I do also think of this scene…I am a bit of a sci fi buff… in the last episode of battlestar gallactica..
when the captain gives the order for the entire remaining fleet to be flown directly into the sun, therefore destroying every invention, every person left.
I don’t want anything like this to happen, however we must all remember that if we let these greedy fuckers take us over this becomes a possibility
5) How would you compare “Generation Vulture” with your previous albums? what I love about my albums, I try to make them be a time capsule, to hold a piece of culture, and give it a personality,
so that when you listen later, it is like a map for what was, and I always try to predict what is coming… this album was written in 2014 and recorded
in 2015, long long before Trump came into office! strange, as we finished tracking the album, the night of the belgium airport attack, and we finished mixing
on the night of the nizza lkw attack. Terrible terrible people, the poor victims. I came home both evenings so happy from the sessions, and see this news,
and had the feeling that we are no longer allowed to have pleasure in our lives, that this is what is at risk. Generation Vulture, is my attempt to capture
this social culture shift, many things changing, mental and technological, global, cultural, I tried to put this in the album.
I also tried my very very best, to make this album timeless, and without compromise, to be guitar driven, my best lyrics, and to include James and Steve, and Jan,
6) You are from Virginia, USA. What did you musically in the USA before you came to Germany?
Please tell me something on your “previous life”.
Yes I was born in Virginia in 1966, and moved out to Los Angeles in 1986, I was only 19 when I moved away from Virginia, only with my
friend and band mate Steve Cordrey, crazy move but we did it. He is still there!!! We had a band in high school, a few different ones, we played cover songs,
loved to play Sabbath, maiden, priest, the standards… we were a bit isolated in Richmond Virginia!
My father had a cabinet shop, lots of friends, great family, too bad, after I moved, and a few of the key family members dying it is not what it was,
but still a wonderful foundation to build a life on. I had some jobs too, in Los Angeles we had to do lots of different jobs to make money,
As time passed in Los Angeles, I practiced a lot…speed metal, got better and better and met a few key people that helped to shape my life,
for example Ross Robinson, and Chris Poland, Dave McClain. I played bass with Ross in Murdercar in 1988, and Dave McClain played drums (Machine Head)
and that was a ton of fun! from that I got more into my own stuff and wrote a ton of songs for my project called “Ministers of Anger” and I made
recordings with Dave McClain on drums, and I played other instruments, this stuff was insane, I could never play it now! it just got rereleased a few years ago
on a reissue label. then I met Chris Poland, and at the time I lived in Pittsburgh because of the MOA band, that was not rolling so well..then Ross recommended
me for the guitar/singer position to Chris, who had been a few years out of Megadeth (he is the original guitarist) and we jammed a few times, and that was great,
we formed a band right away, I came up with the name (with help of my bro Steve) “Damn The Machine” and we went farther, got a major deal on A&M, and it was quite
a nice, short ride. It could have been a long term thing, but things were strange, we had a wierd management situation, we ended up going to clothes shops
and getting funny haircuts, pressure came my way to be like david lee roth or something, and Im just not that guy…ha, so I think that got under my skin and
I just could nt go farther, we called it quits when they asked me to go to an acting school….fucking hollywood!
at that point I said FUCK THIS DONKEY-SHIT and I sold my monster guitar rack techno thing and got out my old Marshall and my pedals,
called up Hoss, Steve came in, we made JUD on the spot!!! that was 1994. a great decision now looking back!
7) When and why did you came to Berlin? And why did you stay until now?
well to live, I came in 2000, but first i came to europe in 1993 when damn the machine did a one month tour with Dream Theater.
I believe I was flying blind… instinct, now looking back again, I think I made a good decision. at the time I dont remember even thinking about it.
Artistically I fit more here in Berlin then in Los Angeles. Man you cannot imagine what for freaky shit goes on there. at some point we were shopping a deal for the band
the fullbliss, and the record guy told my bassist that they wont touch a band with anyone in it over 25 years old, this kind of thinking made me sick,
and my friends, some amazing, some going more and more opportunist, self help self help self help…getting so selfish, wierd place,
I miss Los Angeles, but I have made my home in Berlin, I have friends and fans, that don’t care how hold I am, and I don’t care how
old they are, and that is what I imagine as a real life
8) What do you think of Donald Trump? A piece of Dog Shit in the road that for some reason you just have to drive your bike through it over and over
until it finally goes away
A joke, fucking give me that position, I ll do it and keep the people on one page, he is a selfish idiot, no concept of diplomacy, what a balance of the people
we need, and the subjects, guns,military action, stupid criticisms of people, he is such a fucking dumbass, and at times I understand a vote for something different,
sanders is the man, problem, people are assholes, they want peace and freedom, and complain the whole time when someone tries to take them to that direction.
assholes, dont want poor people to have the same health insurance that rich people do, who cares? these assholes are so hung up on these unhumane things
that they will never solve this problem. american needs a mental adjustment, as a bully at school needs a punch in the face, in front of everyone, then
he has to sit there, cry and apologize, go to sleep, get up and made himself a better person, American needs this, and that is why this
shithead got voted
in, JUST ANOTHER TERRIBLY DE-ENLIGHTENING phase that they have to go through…
9) When you write your songs, when do you know whether the song ist for JUD,
The Fullbliss or for your soloalbums. How do you decide this?
its kind of like Die Der Das…. ha, new invention, what’s it gonna be?
female male or neutral.
I normally know just as the song is finished, however sometimes we are writing, specifically for something, for example the new JUD album,
had sessions where I knew I was writing JUD songs, but normally they just get delivered to me..from the cosmos… and I try to transfer the
inspired thoughts to melody and word, and the life of the song takes it from there. an “Album” is like a carrier, of the music, and so it needs a name,
and this is where the band names and images come to life. As the world is changing, I would not be surprised, if unfortunately, the concept of the album
goes away and only single videos are released. BUT I like albums!
10) What are the differences between JUD, The Fullbliss
and David Judson Clemmons? Different mood? Different kind of working? Different people/inspirations?
my feelings about this
are so hard to put into words, but it is clear somehow, I can feel a pattern, defining the different directions.
the songs do speak for themselves,
Fullbliss songs have usually a more southern influence,inde style,los angeles and overall american influence,
also strings, very present in the style, acoustic instruments, a lighter delivery of a song
JUD of course has a darkness and heavyness that is just clear.. I think these also JUD songs / albums were made with a “teamwork” spirit, it includes
a family of feelings and people, special to this music. of course many of the songs have a low tuned guitar, heavy bass, really power trio music,
featuring excellent drumming and solid songs without a lot of showing off…. JUD is the band that should not be famous, that should just keep
going, a special secret fun place for the people that know about it…
and the DJC albums in
between, have been when I just could not decide…ha,
also, the DJC songs, I think are more European based, now that I think about it, and really just little a little bridge between the others,
why the changing….?
I missed played guitar the last years and that did bring me back to JUD, I dont want to over due it with any one of my projects,
it is kind of fun to keep everything chaotic and changing, I often over the years thought I have to stick to one, and the more time that passes,
my fans are having so much fun with the different branches of my tree… that I think I leave it just the way it is!
11) What is your strength? What is your weakness?
oh man…A strength, I am driven by a creative force, that keeps my writing and singing, where others would have given up, I keep going,
some people may laugh…I keep going, because some people need it, and I need it, I keep going
a weakness..hmm, too many ideas! I am constantly trying to stay focused on only a few ideas, my mind is a very wild place, a few times
I just spoke my thoughts to my wife at the moment I had them and she could not believe it, just each second a complete new theme, I have learned to control this a bit,
but this does work as a weakness in some ways
12) Would you call yourself? A rebel? A poet? …
well I love stories like, the ballad of John Henry, David and Goliath, Robin Hood….
I have never trusted those…you know those types, fanatics, opportunists, I have no problem with religion, however anyone pressuring
another to go to the church, well I just think that is wrong, I hope that I represent the worker, that I speak for the common man,
and that I can speak and sing in a way to also bring folks in from the left and the right, down below, from above, to give a place, common ground.
A rebel is maybe not exactly what i would call myself, however a speaker of the beaten down, I hope to be
A Poet..hm in a way maybe, but not so much from the literal aspect, more from the feelings, that the words create,
I try to use words that others won’t, a friend told me, in the 80’s, he was a singer in my cover band in Richmond, Virginia, I read him some
lyrics over the phone to a new song I was writing in Los Angeles, and he just stopped and said, man, your writing, it is different, your words, it has
this power, strength, and I think it was at this moment that I realized that I could do this, if I kept working at it.
althought I never had much interrest in reading or grammer..if I read I fall asleep, only a few books can keep me awake…
my job as a writer feels important to me, although Im not really successful at it on a larger level, but who cares!
keep on going…..
13) Your musical career lasts for more than 20 years. How would you describe your personal development? Do you feel bitter? Wise? Riped?
Yeah even more I think, my first recordings with Dave McClain and Ministers of Anger was in 1987, so Im at 30 years now if we count that, and leave out the
cover bands please…ha
moving to europe helped me to continue to develop, in a healthy way, I think the combination of Southern Virginia, West Coast LA, and Berlin, have given
me very good fuel to refine my work, and also as a person too. I have finally un-learned what I learned in USA, that a person that has a dayjob, a company
or works with their hands, and also plays music, does not mean they are a loser…. I have been challenged, now my 7th child is coming to the world, and
day to day life is an amazing marathon race… I am extremely proud of my life, what is missing, I have to accept as fate helping to keep my feet on the ground.
if I am bitter, it is temporary, if it comes through that way in the writing, it is also temporary, and belongs to the time we live in. I Feel wise yes after my travels,
for a not so famous musician, I have seen quite a lot of places, very fortunate, met so many wonderful people, ripe yes, but lots of time left
to keep growing, I feel that I am in part 2 of my life now, where I have to learn to adjust to the changes around me and make the best of it. and to remember
that my part as the frontman for JUD of The Fullbliss, is a unique one, that is low on the radar, but more important than most bands. I do feel happy,
I wish for some things, but I feel that I am very in touch with my own soul, and my soul helps me, speaks to me, and reminds me that the struggle,
in my life, is there for a reason, and that I must embrace it, and use it to keep me connected to my fellow humans, never to rise above, or below,
to live as an equal, same as the lowest scum or the most noble spirit, to stay on target and to keep going