Clæmus are a Wellington progressive metal outfit who’ve stunned heavy music fans with their debut album Daydream last year. The Kiwis are now returning, and things are getting even heavier! Clæmus are premiering brand new single ‘Purge’ and we scored a chat with Taylor Hemson on guitar and lead vocals, where we learned all about the new single, and what might be on the horizon for our mates over the ditch.
Hello Clæmus! How exciting for you guys to be releasing your first single in 2022 called ‘Purge’. How would you describe the track to curious fans?
Exciting indeed! ‘Purge’ is a song that we cannot wait for people to sink their teeth into, and is certainly one of our heaviest tracks. When writing the song I wanted to really emphasise the chaotic side of our music through the guitar riffs while keeping our prog and pop sensibilities in check using odd-time signatures and catchy vocals. I think I would sum up ‘Purge’ as the angriest pop song we’ve ever written.
‘Purge’ comes off the back of a wonderful debut LP titled Daydream, how would you compare the 2021 release compared with this brand new number?
Glad you enjoyed the album! Daydream is an album we are extremely proud of and really helped us grow as musicians while putting it together, and to me ‘Purge’ is the (first) product of those learnings. Those who enjoyed the heavier tracks (‘Aspire’, ‘Hedonist’) from Daydream will feel right at home with ‘Purge’.
The new single captures the essence of not only progressive metalcore, but also a lot of prog-rock to come from our corner of the world – is the notion of a genre fusion part of Clæmus’ vision?
Yes definitely! I think the best part about writing prog rock/metal is that genre boundaries are virtually non-existent. Each of us in Clæmus are inspired by a huge range of musical genres and I feel like that is reflected in our music very organically. Variety is so important when it comes to writing our music and it’s so satisfying when the experiments pay off.
Will ‘Purge’ sit on a forthcoming EP/LP release for 2022? What can you reveal to salivating fans?
‘Purge’ will be one of three singles that we will be releasing over the coming months. As for another EP/LP release, we will have to stay tight lipped on that for now.
What’s it been like emerging as a heavy band in New Zealand? Has there been a growing fanbase appearing at local shows?
New Zealand has a great passionate heavy music community, albeit very small by international standards. We’ve been welcomed with open arms and ears to all the cities we have played shows in, most recently on the Prog Alliance Tour alongside Pull Down the Sun and Elidi.
With international travel slowly recommencing in Australia, do we think Clæmus could jump on a tour soon, perhaps with some of our prog-metalers like Northlane?
Absolutely, playing shows across the ditch is something we will be organising as soon as we can. All of us in the band are huge Aussie prog and metal fans and I love the Australian music festival scene.
Would you say ‘Purge’ is typical of what we may be set to hear from Clæmus in upcoming releases?
In a word, yes! Our new material is definitely a lot heavier than the songs on Daydream, but we also will be exploring a lot of new ground musically. It’s important for our releases to be dynamic and for us to always try new and different things, we hope the fans will enjoy what we have in store for them next.
Any final words for curious readers who are keen to jump on board the Clæmus train?
You can listen to our new track ‘Purge’ and our debut album Daydream on all streaming platforms, let us know what you think and keep an eye on our socials for show announcements! Thanks heaps for having us.
Interview by Ricky Aarons (@rickysaul90)
Clæmus is Taylor Hemson on guitar and lead vocals, Dan Hayston on guitar, synth, and backing vocals,
Kerry Mitchell on bass, synth, and unclean vocals and Kit Jenkins on drums.
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