Dang Clēts came out with a catchy new single “Skip” back in August. And they’ve got lots more in store for the very near future.
The four indie-rockers met in high school through other various music projects that eventually brought them together. The band name was just a meaningless pair of words inspired by an inside-joke. But when they came together it was like finding that perfect-fit pair of jeans.
“We had all played in bands in high school, so it had become a very natural thing to be in a band—kind of like wearing pants,” Dang Clēts vocalist/guitarist Connor Cunningham tells BTRtoday. “So when we all learned that about each other, it was pretty much just deciding to put our pants back on.”
Dang Clēts keeps their East Coast DIY garage vibe, but now have a less nihilistic feel, since leaving the cold and grey skies behind. Their melodies seem more optimistic with gentle guitar and soothing vocals that feel like the warmth from the sun hitting your knees exposed from your jorts.
Since forming the band left their frigid east coast roots in Boston to join the sunshiny west coast of Los Angeles. Though Cunningham says they miss a good snowstorm, meeting great west coast performers has more than made up for the lack of flurries.
“LA definitely has a serious diversity in music,” Cunningham says. “Boston showed us that getting a little gnarly during a live show is a lot of fun and LA showed us that no one would ever say that out loud.”
Read the entire interview with the Dang Clēts frontman below.
BTRtoday (BTR): Where’d the name Dang Clēts come from? Does it have a meaning behind it?
Connor Cunningham (CC): Dang Clēts (pronounced cleats) is entirely made up. It started as an inside joke amongst friends, and one day, in a fit of self-righteousness, we decided it had to be our band name. From that day on there was no looking back. And lots of confused friends and family.
BTR: So you met on the East Coast, but are now based on the West Coast—how would you compare the two places for the band?
CC: We are all about long depressing winters. Just kidding, but to be fair who doesn’t like a good snowstorm in the beginning of winter? LA definitely has a serious diversity in music. Boston showed us that getting a little gnarly during a live show is a lot of fun and LA showed us that no one would ever say that out loud.
BTR: Who are you guys are currently grooving too these days?
CC: Holy smokes. Where to begin? Sports Coach is a Boston-turned-LA band we befriended after we’d both settled in LA. They’ve got some very unique and spicy ‘80s-style synth-simmered slammers that I would highly recommend checking out. And I accidentally saw another local band by the name of Mk.gee perform live and was truly blown away. Those two have soundtracked our summer, so cheers to them.
Dang Clēts “Lines”
BTR: I know you guys met in college, but how’d you all end up creating a band?
CC: We clicked because I was wearing board shorts and flip flops on our first day of school in Boston [laughs], so Jake and James knew I was from California and therefore knew I could be trusted. We had all played in bands in high school, so it had become a very natural thing to be in a band—kind of like wearing pants. So when we all learned that about each other, it was pretty much just deciding to put our pants back on.
BTR: Do you guys have anything else that you’re passionate about other than music?
CC: I will go ahead and speak for the others in the band in the hopes they see this and are embarrassed somehow. James is a connoisseur of all things. Just one of those things happens to be food. James and I share this in common, so you can catch us fumbling around in the kitchen or huddled around the grill regularly. Sam is a no joke real deal pro-fesh photographer. This guy specializes in crazy methods like tintypes and once made a camera out of a tent (still not sure how that works). Jake is a worldly man—he keeps us engaged in the important going-ons and also sometimes visits the NBA Reddit subpage. But mostly he is a stretcher—you can find him reaching for his toes on the yoga mat I bought him for his birthday.
BTR: So how does Dang Clēts pull together a song?
CC: I think anything I said here wouldn’t feel quite right. There is no set process for us. That’s not to say that we haven’t obsessively tried to find one that works, but only that each song seems to come out a little differently. Often it comes from an idea someone brings to a practice, and often that idea gets turned around a few times in our home studio before taking a new shape when we try to play the digital creation. This then happens five to seven times.
BTR: What else does Dang Clēts have cookin’?
CC: Well, we’ve all got our fingers crossed that the new music is decent, so probably that and more artwork and music video collabs with the talented people of LA.