Rob Clores: The Side Man Steps Into The Spotlight
Written by SongHero on September 3, 2021
ROB CLORES: THE SIDE MAN STEPS INTO THE SPOTLIGHT
Tens of thousands have seen Rob Clores play keyboards alongside The Black Crowes, Tom Jones, Enrique Iglesias, Jesse Malin, and Alejandro Escovedo. But now the gifted multi-instrumentalist, who was described by none other than Sir Paul McCartney as a “great talent,” is back in the spotlight with his own solo project. Following his critically-acclaimed 2020 self-titled debut EP Split Second Meltdown, which Boston Rock Radio called the EP “a victory for fans of Rock,” Clores has delivered a killer new single entitled “Big Game Hunting.”
The song is an energetic, action-packed sonic rollercoaster that encompasses both the raw rock edginess of Rage Against The Machine with the trippy imagery of Pink Floyd. Written and performed by Rob Clores and mixed by Jason Agel (Prince, Beyonce) Big Game Hunting delivers a captivating, head-banging punch that keeps the listener on their toes. “The song is ideal for rock fans with short attention spans,” Clores says with a smile. “It jumps from section to section with aggression, intensity, and an unconventional restless creative spirit.”
We spoke with him about his growth from session player and touring musician to full-time artist.
When did you write your first song? How old were you? Do you remember what it was about?
Clores: I was about 13 when I wrote my first song with lyrics. It was called “You Never Make Me Blue.” It was a medium tempo jazzy song in 6/8 time with a typical 1, 6, 2, 5 chord progression and a bridge. It was about a male / female relationship which I had zero experience with but I thought it was easy enough to get my thoughts out on paper. My earlier songs had been instrumentals and this was the first time I experimented with writing lyrics. A classmate sang it at the school talent show. I remember it went over pretty well.
When did you first think: I can become a professional songwriter”–how did that thought first cross your mind?
Clores: It was in high school when I first thought that I may want to become a professional songwriter. I was also thinking about becoming a professional musician. I eventually wound up doing both. My songs were mostly instrumental at first so I was always looking for a lyricist to work with.
What’s your favorite song in the world (that you did not write) and why?
Clores: One of my favorite songs is “Something” by George Harrison. It’s a love song. George is describing his feelings towards a woman. Lyrically it is simple and straightforward but musically it is quite brilliant, as is the arrangement. The melody is captivating and pleasing. I wish I wrote it!
Do you prefer to write by yourself or with co-writers? What are the pros and cons of writing with other people?
Clores: I prefer writing with other people. I could have the best song idea in the world and swear that it is finished and the right person will always improve it. musically and lyrically. I trust a co-writer to see where I’m going with a song and to take it over the finish line. Unless the song is deeply personal, which I might just want to work on myself, there’s a great advantage to getting the energy and enthusiasm of another person to help write.
You’ve had an amazing career as a session player working with so many major artists. What has that experience taught you about songwriting and the importance of a great song?
Clores: One great song can launch a career but I think you need more than one to sustain a career. Many of the artists I have worked with have more than 1 great song and some perform their favorite covers if they need to inject more great songs into their show. Great vocalists like Tom Jones whom I have worked with is an interpreter of other people’s song, so picking the right song to cover is important.
Are there any causes you are passionate about? Have you written songs that are related to a cause or written with the intention of focusing on a cause, such as social justice?
Clores: Yes. Social justice is a passionate cause. My song “Nobody Left But Me,” off of my first solo EP Split Second Meltdown is about the plight and struggle of an immigrant from Mexico or Central America trying to get to the USA for a better life.
If you became a multi-millionaire, what charity would you support and why?
Clores: I don’t have to be a multimillionaire to support charities. I like former president Jimmy Carter’s charities. Habitat for Humanity and the Carter Center which teams up with doctors to eradicate the disease in underdeveloped countries in Africa.
If you had any advice to give to songwriters that strive to use their music and words for positive change to become a SongHero like yourself what would it be?
Clores: Don’t be afraid to take a stand and say what’s on your mind. Get your songs recorded and go out and spread your positive message. The world needs more positivity and less divisive messages.