"This is Claire on a Dare" definitively marks a new era for the band, and an evolution of their sound that is propelling them forward. Recorded with Stephen Paul Dix, Carla Riggi and Doug Johnson by legendary producer, Earle Mankey, this 5-song EP marked a key turning point for the band. It ushered in a "reunion" lineup and unleashed the enthusiasm of fresh blood to take Claire in new directions.
Claire On A Dare took its name from an ultra-rare 80′s movie called Siesta. The protagonist in this movie was a female stunt person who’s stage name was Claire-On-A-Dare. The heroine in the film was a strong independent woman who dealt with danger both professionally and personally. This theme seemed an appropriate metaphor for the backdrop of struggle, passion, strength, and conflict that inspired the songwriting. The band’s founder, guitarist Stephen Dix imagined a band fronted by a lead singer who could interpret his melancholy lyrics with a strong conviction that hinted at a certain vulnerability. The band found said singer in Carla Riggi. She made her debut as "Claire" just 11 days after joining, doing back to back shows, the second of which was a full-set performance broadcast live on TV, proving that she could be quite daring herself.
But it wasn't smooth sailing for the band just yet. At the time of this recording, amidst conflicting ambitions and varied levels of commitment, only two members of the group at that time made it to LA to record. Despite challenges, Stephen and Carla were determined to see the vision through. At the 11th hour, Steve called in the unstoppable talents of drummer, Doug Johnson, to round out the trio, and this album came to life.
Upon their return to San Francisco, Stephen and Carla had new enthusiasm for what could be accomplished, and soon, others did too. With this new vision and opportunity, two original founding members of Claire found their way back. Drummer Les Shanrock and Lead Guitarist Mark Olson both rejoined the group and locked in instantly. This synergy inspired a new wave of songwriting, and an expanded breadth of styles. Soon after, the full 5-piece found its groove with it's newest member, bassist Raymond Nonato.
The present lineup of Claire on a Dare delivers impassioned vocals set against effect-laden guitar riffs, silky leads, and a solid rhythm section. Stephen counts Johnny Marr of the Smiths and the late James Honey Man Scott of the Pretenders as his primary guitar influences, and describes his playing as shoe gazey, surfy, post-punk. Their live show starts with the "classic" Claire sound you'll hear on this EP, and extends into soundscapes that tell an elaborate story. Keep an eye out for performances near you and a full length concept album in 2014.