The Clumsy Lovers developed their career one lucky coincidence after another in Vancouver, Canada. Things landed in their laps from the outset with the line-up of Jason Homey, Chris Jonat, Andrea Lewis, Gord Robert and Trevor Rogers. The expansion of their fan base by extensive touring and eventual connection with Nettwerk also happened with little planning involved. "Not to say that we've been just sort of blindly along for the ride," says Chris Jonat, bass player and de facto bandleader. "But we never sat down with a business plan, either. We didn't even really know you could make a good living touring as an independent band before we started this, we just sort of stumbled across it."
The Clumsy Lovers started out playing in basements and scrounging about for gigs. Their unique blend of Celtic, bluegrass and rock influence made that search a little easier, and soon they were playing a steady schedule of weekend gigs at local pubs. They then started adding short trips to Seattle and neighboring towns. The response they received in America was enough to encourage them to add more Pacific Northwest cities to their itinerary.
It wasn't until they began to make the switch from pubs to nightclubs that they started considering being The Clumsy Lovers as a full-time job. "We were having great fun in the pubs, but it wasn't overly lucrative, and you don't really know if it will translate to larger rooms," says Rogers. It did, especially in the Northwest, and the band soon found themselves at a crossroads. "We knew for it to go further we had to really hit the road, not just the weekend warrior stuff we'd been doing. But that was hard because we didn't know if we could make it work financially," remembers Lewis, who gave up the security of teaching 40 violin students in her home studio for the unknown world of full-time touring.
The band is cautiously optimistic about what the future holds. "We've certainly heard our share of horror stories from bands who have signed to labels," admits Lewis. "But we've had nothing but good vibes from Nettwerk, from day one. And whether it works out the way we hope or not, we're just going to keep touring." With an intense 2005 itinerary developing, The Clumsy Lovers show no signs of letting up on the touring front. They have logged 1,500 live performances and untold road miles in their 10-year history. With their forthcoming album, Smart Kid, they continue a simple tradition set by its predecessor After The Flood: approach the album with the same adventurous spirit in which they approach the stage, without merely duplicating their live sound. Smart Kid, due out June 7, is their second for Nettwerk and their seventh altogether. Catch them and other bands for fun in the sun during Boise State's spring fling event this Friday at Julia Davis Park.
Friday, 4:30 p.m., Julia Davis Park