Barnaby Monk 5 a.m., Sept. 17
RIYL: My Chemical Romance, Hot Like a Robot
Upcoming Local Shows
- The Irenic — Thursday, September 25, 8pm
- "Of Note: Grand Tarantula" · July 17, 2013
- "Now You Know — Grand Tarantula" · Oct. 27, 2010
Inception: San Diego, 2010
Influences: Hot Like a Robot, Cuckoo Chaos, Dirty Gold
Singer-guitarist Jordan Clark moved to San Diego from a small town in Connecticut when he was 16. Inspired by local groups such as Boilermaker, Pinback, No Knife, Tanner, and Drive Like Jehu, Clark and three friends from Serra High School formed Hot Like a Robot. The band began touring right out of high school, with Clark making ends meet working pizza delivery between road trips.
Performing on the Warped Tour, they befriended My Chemical Romance and put out an album through the guitarist’s label, Skeleton Crew. Hot Like a Robot fell apart a short time later.
Clark went on to spin webs with bassist Manny B. and fellow ex-Robots Christoff Kolek and Barker as Grand Tarantula, which played their first show in March, 2010, at the Radio Room. They went on to several national tours with like-mided rockers such as Middle Class Rut and the Royalty.
“We’re trying not to spend too much time overthinking it,” says Clark. “We did that with Hot Like a Robot and let ourselves down a lot. So now we’re at a place where we can just have fun, which is the best part.”
Clark launched the nonprofit Pretty Awesome Records in 2010 with friend Tess Passero. Their vision is to match up bands with artists in order to benefit a charity of their choice. All proceeds from the 2011 debut Grand Tarantula seven-inch I’m Not Gonna Let You Go (with sleeve art by local Kelsey Brookes) went toward the Carlsbad-based Keep A Breast Foundation, a breast-cancer-awareness organization. The song was also released as a vinyl picture disc.
“It’s cool to have music that is a piece of art that someone can take home and it won’t just end up on their car floor scratched up,” Clark says. “It’s ambitious, but I think if we keep it local we can find something we can have an effect on and see a change.”
Grand Tarantula were nominated Best New Artist at the 2010 San Diego Music Awards. A self-titled 5-song EP was released in early 2012, around the time that drummer Barker and bassist Manny B. left the band and were replaced by Damon DeLaPaz (Ape Machine) and SeanCarlo.
The EP's single “Drugs” is a tune that could easily become the “That Smell” for the post-Skynyrd generation, every bit as gut-wrenching as Neil Young's “The Needle and the Damage Done.”
Then, in early 2013, after playing Austin's South by Southwest music fest, “This guy in Arizona has been on us non-stop to change our name because he feels like we are infringing on his copyright,” according to Jordan Clark. “So far our Facebook music page has been taken down and he's hit us with a cease and desist and all that good stuff. At this point, we really are considering changing our name.”
In July 2014, they released a video for their track “We're Gonna Get You High.”