"Being in a band with four or five guys at a time, 24/7, can get frustrating. … We don’t really fight, but the only things that would cause friction is when one person wants to do one thing on the road and the other person wants to do something else," says Clay.
But even in those tense moments, resolutions are almost always reached diplomatically. "We talk about it and it’s usually not that big of a deal and not that hard to get over," says Clay.
It’s this same sense of maturity and bravado that can be heard on DLD’s debut album, On the Strength of All Convinced. Clay and band mates Kenny Choi (lead vocals), Jason Call (bass/keyboards) and Spencer Abbot (guitars) have been busy enthralling teenagers with easy-on-the-ears, delicate rock music that has gained momentum primarily through online communities.
"The Internet has definitely been a huge part of our success with PureVolume and MySpace. That’s been our main fan base," says Clay.
The Internet is also how childhood friends Clay and Call found and recruited Choi. "With our case, we were really lucky. Me and Jason were fans of Kenny’s old band … so Jason randomly IM’d [Kenny] and said, ‘you should jam with us’ … and Kenny came over and liked us," says Clay.
It was an ambitious dream for the then 13-year-old Clay who first learned how to play drums when he was in the fifth grade. He continued to play the drums well into high school joining his high school marching and jazz bands. It was, as he calls it, "a dorky thing," but despite the jokes and negative stereotype, years of band practice prepared him for his life’s goal, a career in music.
The band was soon selling out shows and playing to a crowd of 700 to 800 fans at various venues across the states. "I hoped for the best, but I didn’t expect it to blow up this big. I love doing this as a hobby, but when it blew up, it was like a dream," Clay says.
The dream has indeed become a reality.
"We’re used to being a little high school band, so it’s kind of weird going to L.A., taking pictures and [signing] autographs and having people scream," Clay says.
Fans are equally perplexed by the band’s refusal to engage in the debauchery and revelry generally associated with the rock ’n’ roll scene. "We just want to keep a clean mind on tour and just be healthy. We don’t want to get wrapped up in all that stuff," says Clay.
The squeaky clean image the band members adhere to has a lot to do with their moral and religious beliefs. All four members are devout Christians and unashamedly carry their bibles around on tours and sing praises together. It may be the antithesis of the rock star image, but it’s something that Clay and the rest of his band mates are proud of.
"I don’t think it’s a bad thing. … We just want to be positive people whether it’s because of what we believe in or our morals," Clay says.
It seems that the only bad thing the band has acquired on the road is an addiction for fast food. "Oh, yeah! We love it! That’s what brings us happiness," Clay says.
On the Strength of All Convinced is currently available. Daphne Loves Derby will play Oct. 21 at the Glass House in Pomona and Oct. 23 at the House of Blues Sunset Strip. For more information, visit www.daphnelovesderby.com.