INTERVIEW: Friends of Clay Discusses His Debut Single, “What Percent Are Monsters”

Emerging LA indie-rock artist Friends of Clay made his debut last month with the release of his single, “What Percent Are Monsters“. Written, produced and performed by musical polymath and one-man band, Clay Priskorn, the guitar-driven track discusses the psychological process that one experiences as they navigate loss. Released alongside a creative and stunning claymation video, “What Percent Are Monsters” wastes no time fully immersing you in Friends of Clay’s world, and you’ll quickly be glad that you’re along for the ride.

Influenced by The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, David Bowie and Johnny Cash, just to name a few, Friends of Clay is far from Priskorn’s first foray into the music scene, but it is easily his most dynamic and exciting project yet. With years of experience under his belt, Priskorn is poised to make waves with Friends of Clay.

With “What Percent Are Monsters” out now, and a live performance video for the song released today, we caught up with Priskorn to discuss the project and his plans for the coming months. Read the full interview below.

 

Prelude Press: Although Friends of Clay is a new project, you’ve been involved in the music industry in one way or another for a while now. What lessons have you learned over the years that you’ve taken into this endeavor?

Friends of Clay: The biggest lesson I’ve learned in the industry is to be authentic and true to your art. When working with other artists, you always have to take into account their preferences and vision for the music. I am proud of Friends of Clay because the songs are a distinct mix of my influences and sound.

Everything within Friends of Clay is self-produced, performed and directed. Does this give you the creative freedom to explore whatever you want without any expectations or boundaries in the way? 

Yes, it gives me absolute freedom to create any vision I see for the music and videos. For every song I write, I have a specific vision and concept for the video. I build a world in my head and try to execute it with my stop motion claymation videos. It’s a great feeling to be able to express myself, no strings attached, and dive fully into my process.

You just released the project’s debut single, “What Percent Are Monsters”. With it being the first song that many people will hear from you, what goals did you have in mind for the track? 

“What Percent Are Monsters” is the perfect debut single for my album as it encapsulates the mood for the entire project. The goal for the song is when people listen to it, they get a further understanding of me as an artist. I want them to feel connected to the song, and hopefully enjoy the musical experience, as well as the visual journey.

“What Percent Are Monsters” is a vulnerable track that touches on the aftermath of losing someone. Can you tell us a little bit about the song? 

I wrote “What Percent Are Monsters” after going to a funeral for a friend. When I got home, I grabbed my guitar and started playing the acoustic guitar riff, that became the whole theme for the song. In the lyrics, it talks a lot about loss and depression, but it also talks about how to overcome these feelings and learn to cope with bad thoughts. The monster inside of us comes out when these emotions are not dealt with.

What would you like for listeners to take away from “What Percent Are Monsters”?

When people listen to this song, I want them to know that everyone in this world goes through heartbreak at some point; and that you’re not alone in that experience. I want the listener to get lost in my music and listen to the vocal melody and lyrics. The lyrics sound really dark on the surface, but if you listen closely it can be a song of triumph and overcoming negative thoughts.

Alongside the song, you also introduced listeners to the visual side of Friends of Clay with the claymation music video. What inspired you to take this approach when creating the visuals for your music?

During this pandemic it was very challenging for me to film visuals in the real world. I was isolated with a lot of time on my hands to dive into the creative for my visuals. In a moment of inspiration, I decided to learn how to make stop-motion claymation videos. Every video has a separate idea and vibe and I create a unique world for each video. I was very inspired to make these type of videos by artists like Frank Zappa, who experimented with stop motion visuals as well.

Can fans expect similar videos for other upcoming releases? 

Yes, each upcoming single will have a stop-motion claymation video to bring the music to life visually. I am really excited about the messaging in my upcoming work and tying the vision all together to build the world of Friends of Clay.

With “What Percent Are Monsters” out now, do you have any other big plans for the coming months? 

Yes! For “What Percent Are Monsters,” we’ll be dropping really cool live content as well as a stop motion lyric video. On October 2nd, my next single “Growing Up” drops, with a powerful claymation video and a ton of accompanying content. That song has a profound message and vision that continues to build on what we’ve started with “What Percent Are Monsters.” I can’t wait to share it with the world.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Keep an eye on my socials! We have a lot of exciting stuff in the works, including a super user-intuitive website that allows fans to navigate through the settings of each video using the characters in a first-person manner. I’ll constantly post updates on my Instagram to keep everyone posted.

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