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Drowning Clowns / Press

““All That’s Covered Over is the debut album by self-proclaimed psychedelic-rock orchestra, Drowning Clowns. The Pittsburgh-based band began as a passion project for musician Mike Speranzo, who brought together a diverse group of local musicians, including his wife and Rusted Root member, Liz Berlin. This is not the first collaboration between husband and wife, who own the beloved Pittsburgh music venue/recording studio/skate park, Mr. Small’s. The band’s musical influences seem to be as varied as the acts that pass through their venue and is a culmination of decades of experience in the industry. All That’s Covered Over is an intricate blend of electro-pop and indie rock, utilizing melodic guitars and eclectic synths to round out the sound of this band’s ambitious debut.””

““Tall and lanky, Evan Smith has it all. Style and technicality, there isn’t anything Evan can’t do. He turned pro for Element, released the Evan Smith Experience, of which his band, Drowning Clowns, did the music, as well as Ev And Flow on the Berrics, where he literally destroyed the park like no one we’ve ever seen. He got the cover of the July ‘13 Skateboard Mag photo annual issue, he was one of the top most voted on skaters in Run & Gun, he released his A Few Days in Pittsburgh video part with a coinciding interview in the October ‘13 issue of Thrasher, placed 4th in Copenhagen Pro, 5th overall in Street League Select Series, 8th in Tampa, 10th at the Kimberly Diamond Cup, is a Transworld Best Rookie nominee, and just overall stood out as one of the most talented, trail-blazing skaters of 2013 and still found time to run Creative Life Support, an organization that helps kids learn to play music. His impact for 2013 has surely been seen and felt and without a doubt, all”

“About band member Evan Smith: Amplified Lives – Evan Smith “The Drowning Clowns” Als Evan Smith vor ziemlich genau einem Jahr sein erstes Pro-Board für Element in seiner Wahlheimat Pittsburgh vorgestellt hat, legten er und seine Band The Drowning Clowns gleich noch eine Performance nach – und hinterher waren alle so gerührt, dass Evan angeblich sogar vom „besten Tag seines Lebens“ gesprochen haben soll. Uns wären zwar gerade fast die Tränen gekommen, denn mit Clowns weint es sich ja bekanntlich am besten, aber kommen wir zur Sache: Die Bands, in denen die anderen Mitglieder von den Drowning Clowns sonst so aktiv sind, lassen zwar allesamt vom Namen nach eher Düsteres erwarten – Rusted Root zum Beispiel, oder auch Crisis Car –, aber unser Beispielsong „Night Fall“, bekannt aus Mr. Smiths Part im „Future Nature“-Video, geht ungemein fluffig runter und hat sogar ziemlich viel Pop-Appeal, um ehrlich zu sein. Die übereinandergelegten Stimmen sind zuckersüß, ”

“About band member Evan Smith: Evan Smith is easily one of the most multi-talented dudes out there—whether it’s riding his board or playing guitar, he does everything with pure effortless style. And if you didn’t know by now, the band he plays guitar for, Drowning Clowns, wrote not only the music he skates to in Chris Ray’s part in The Cinematographer Project, but also the tunes for his Future Nature part. While we talked to him in length about his passion for music, nonprofit volunteer work, and Mr. Smalls—the venue he helps run in Pittsburgh—in his 20 Questions in our April 2012 issue, we figured we might as well let you see what he’s all about firsthand. Look out for Drowning Clowns’ debut EP dropping in the coming month on iTunes.”

“Drowning Clowns have announced that they will release their debut album All That’s Covered out February 5 via Creative Life Support Records. Grooming the sounds for their debut for over ten years, band leader, Mike Speranzo has culled together local Pittsburgh musicians ranging from his wife, Rusted Root’s Liz Berlin, Frank Spadafora (vocals, guitar & organ), Evan Smith (pro skateboarder), Dirk Miller (Rusted Root), Mike Hammer (keyboard), Jesse Prentis (bass) and Shaggy Marcello (drums).On releasing the Clowns’ debut Speranzo said, “I reached an artistic nexus, and I wanted to prove that I could still create …Passion projects are important in life for anybody, but maybe even more important for creative, restless people. The Clowns project is taking everything I’ve learned about playing and creating music and applying it. It’s more mature than anything I’ve been involved in with because of that.””

“Liz Berlin and Mike Speranzo are arguably the First Couple of Pittsburgh Music with her being a longtime member of Rusted Root and him being in the bands Out of the Blue and Crisis Car. Of course, they also own one of Pittsburgh's more popular venues, Millvale's Mr. Smalls. Their other project, along with raising their 18-year-old son, is the local supergroup Drowning Clowns, with singer-guitarist Frank Spadafora (also of Crisis Car, Out of the Blue), singer-guitarist Evan Smith (a pro skateboarder and Mr. Speranzo's nephew), guitarist Glenn Strother (Jazzam), bassist Jesse Prentiss (Ritual Space Travel Agency), drummer Shaggy Marcello (The Distractions) and keyboardist Levi Graft. The result is "a self-described psychedelic rock orchestra" that's filled with surprising musical twists and turns, and draws from everything from Pink Floyd to the Postal Service.”

“After the original demos were polished, tweaked and refined, the songs on the Drowning Clowns debut album, “All That's Covered Over,” were transformed into mesmerizing, sparkling gems... The group can't be pegged to a single genre, with elements of progressive rock and techno, Wilco and Modest Mouse, and even a few undercurrents of hip-hop in the mix... After playing SXSW, where fans who'd never heard the band showed up at successive gigs, the Drowning Clowns seem to have forged a future.”

“A self-described psychedelic rock orchestra, Drowning Clowns’ music is a cataclysmic mix of Indie Rock, Americana, and Electro-Pop for fan’s of Radiohead, Pink Floyd, PJ Harvey, Bright Eyes, Jane’s Addiction, Wilco, Genesis (with Peter Gabriel), and the Postal Service. From haunting ballads such as “Shanty Town” to the thunderous anthem “Deep Blue Sea,” “All That’s Covered Over” delivers a sense of controlled chaos that can only stem from such a diverse and inspired collaboration.”

“Drowning Clowns Ready to Showcase its Decade-Making Music... It's as if Peter Gabriel enlisted David Byrne and Kate Bush on a recording project, with Brian Eno working the soundboard...Part of the appeal is the freshness of the material. It's not purely rock, not purely anything, and Speranzo's philosophy allows every opportunity to contribute...While the raft of musicians might seem to imply a noisy product, the Drowning Clowns actually create musical landscapes that are serenely intricate. ″Covered Over″ is an atmospheric piece in which the vocals and instrumentation hypnotically ebb and flow.”

“About band member Evan Smith: "If you have ever seen Evan Smith skateboard in person it's magical. Evan's skating seems so effortless and his style is something that can't be faked or copied. He's a new kid on the block but I've seen Evan skate this good since he was 12. Evan is going to change the way people approach the streets and it shouldn't be much longer until you see a board with his name on it. Evan Smith rips!”

“About band member Liz Berlin: "Liz Berlin is one of Pittsburgh's most recognized musicians by virtue of her longtime association with Rusted Root, one of the most successful bands to emerge from Western Pennsylvania in the past 20 years. But Berlin is more than just a singer in a rock band. As one of the co-owners of Mr. Small's complex in Millvale, she helped turn a former Roman Catholic church into one of the area's best places to see concerts. As a solo artist, Berlin has released a stunning catalog of albums that illustrate her diverse talents. Her latest project, Drowning Clowns, is shepherded by her husband, Mike Speranzo, and features a great cast of musicians from Pittsburgh. She's one of the few artists who seems to have a golden touch no matter what she does.”

“Drowning Clowns [is] a powerhouse collective of seasoned Pittsburgh musicians, all with very impressive repertoires... Come out and support some of the ‘Burgh’s biggest talent this Saturday at Mr. Smalls.”