Lower Town Trio is a Fresh Revved up Rockabilly/ Psychobilly band from New York. I never thought I would hear a rockabilly cover of Damnit but I loved it! I had a chance to speak with Jason Van Cleve and here’s the man in his own words…
BBM: What’s your name and what do you do for the band?
I am Jason Van Cleve I am the Singer/Song writer and Guitar player of the Lower Town Trio
BBM: Give our readers a little history on your group.
We are a three piece Rockabilly/Psychobilly band originally from Lockport NY. We have been playing around Lockport and Buffalo area for about 5 years. The Band is consists of me and my brother Chris Van Cleve on the drums and Ryan Hurley on the upright bass. We started out playing open mics in Lockport and then playing bigger and bigger venues all over the western NY area.
BBM: When you started at open Mic was it the 3 piece with an upright bass?
Yes we did and at the time NO ONE played upright bass in our hometown of Lockport. When Ryan started played all he had to do was carry the bass into the bar where they had the open mic and people would just stop and stare at it and ask if he played the Cello.
BBM: How did you come up with the band’s name?
It was actually a joke with Paul Romen of The Quakes. Me and Chris grew up in Lockport NY in a area know as Lower Town because it is located below the escarpment of the city
BBM: what was your first major experience with music and how did you know you
wanted to be in a band? Chris and my father Philip Van Cleve is a record collector he’s been collecting rare and obscure rockabilly and rock and roll records since he was a kid and has one of the biggest collections around. So me and Chris grew up on listening to tons of Elvis and other 50’s legends. Chris started playing in the Quakes and I wanted to do something musically besides playing the trombone so I wanted to sing and play the guitar.
BBM: I heard the cover of Damnit and I loved it! Something very different and you made the song you own. What made you want to cover that song?
Well it was kind of an experiment. I’ve always loved the song and thought it would be cool to play the riff on the upright bass. That version was really more of a demo but it came out pretty good.
BBM: Any other covers in the future?
We play a bunch of covers in our live set like the typcial tainted love , Folsom Prison we even did a cover of a back street boy song one time but we did it so different that no one even knew what it was. For the upcoming record we are trying to do all original music. Maybe we will put a cover on there you never know.
BBM: Three words that describe the band?
Fast loud rockin
BBM: Where do you find inspiration in life?
I find my inspiration from my friends and family mostly my parents who taught me to work hard at everything I do and to never quit.
BBM: Favorite place to tour and why?
Well the Lower Town Trio has not toured much but we did play in CT and would love to go back again but we’d love to play anywhere
BBM: Funniest touring moment?
To many to mention but probably when I was driving late at night and I missed and exit and drove 2 hours in the wrong direction and Chris the navigator fell asleep and woke up and yelled at me to turn around.
BBM: How’s the scene in your city?
The rockabilly scene is small but it is a tight community everyone knows everyone and all the bands get along great like the Blue Ribbon Bastards, Irving Klaws and the Blue rocket trio they are all a great bunch of guys .
BBM: Whats currently in heavy rotation in your Ipod?
I have a 60 gig ipod and it is full! There is a bunch of social D, Hank Williams, Old 97s , Course of Empire just to name a few.
BBM: A fact a fan may not know about you?
I am a network Engineer by day so I am pretty big computer nerd by day.
BBM: What are some words of wisdom you would give a youth wanting to start a Psychobilly/Rockabilly band?
My advise would be to keep at it. Every show is a big deal you never know who is going to be in the crowd and ask you to play your next show. And be yourself do what comes naturally don’t try sound like a band make your own sound.
BBM: What’s coming up for the band in the future?
We are working on finally putting out a CD. It should be out around December. Its going to have 13+ songs on it all original
BBM: How would you say the sound is changing for the new album?
This album is all over the scale there is some slow heart breaking loves songs some psychobilly some rockabilly and some I would even call punk with upright bass. It it definatly going to be the variety pack.
BBM: What’s the name of the album and how did you come up with it?
It is probably going to be a title of one of the songs called Last of the rebels.
BBM: Where can fans get the latest news and some merch?
Lowertowntrio.com will link you to our facebook and myspace accounts.
BBM: Any last words anything you want to add?
Keep on rocking and going to shows to support live original music!
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