Few bands in the Upstate New York underground scene have enjoyed the type of success that Binghamton’s Dropclutch has seen in recent years. It is not difficult to say with certainty that these guys have put together a blueprint for success that many will undoubtedly emulate.
The band burst onto the scene in 2005 with the release of their first EP. Like many of the scene’s greats, their DIY work ethic has helped in building the reputation of the band on all levels. Dropclutch has been getting quite a bit of attention on the local, regional and national level for years now. The strength of that first EP certainly helped though. It could be one of the best first offerings from an Upstate band in roughly a decade. With their initial success and the buzz that was invoked, the band was invited to share the stage with many artists including Breaking Benjamin, Seether, Lamb of God, Gwar, Framing Hanley, Skindred, Scum of the Earth, Throwdown, Bury your Dead, and Days of the New. As the band’s star rose, they were also invited to play several high profile gigs including the 2006 Independent Music Conference in Philadelphia.
In 2008, the band was ready to release their full length record. The band teamed up with producer Billy Graziadei (Biohazard, Suicide City) and the results were golden. The Reason, released in May 2008 was a smashing success. The first single, Pressure, off of their debut release was one of the most requested songs on many radio stations in the NY and PA areas before the album was even released! “The Reason” was 2nd in the U.S. for most album adds on commercial radio on FMQB, and 3rd in the U.S. for most album adds on CMJ Loud.
“It was amazing to hear that we were the number two most requested band in the Southern Tier of New York. Our album hadn’t even been released yet and people were already digging what we were doing!” says singer Shawn Smartwood.
Also of note was the selection of their song, Chemical, by The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlain for inclusion on a compilation. The pair chose the song for release on Guitar Center’s Fresh Cuts Volume Two.
On Valentine’s Day 2011, the band dropped the single, One Bullet, which also was well received by fans and critics. The band plans on dropping a new record in 2012. I look forward in seeing where the band is headed next.
One thing is for sure, the focus of the band is keeping things fresh for fans of their music.
“We love our fans more than the world…” Smartwood explains,”…everything we do is dedicated to them. Without them we are nothing!!!”
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