Showmanship has entered the building!
He rocks. He rolls. He rhythms. He blues.
Los Angeles’ own Clownvis is a unique island in a sea of interchangeable acts. You can’t quite put your finger on just what the enigmatic entertainer is all about, but then again, mystery is as sexy as a cotton candy body spray so let his undefinable talent pour all over you.
We recently sat down with Clownvis to discuss his Thin Lizzy tradition, his wacky early shows, and if we’ll ever see him on a bill with Andy Kaufman.
TrunkSpace: When you take the stage and look out at the audience, what’s the first thing that goes through your head?
Clownvis: Usually, “Damn, what town is this again!?”
TrunkSpace: Do you have any rituals or follow any pre-show superstitions?
Clownvis: I suppose there is lots of little rituals I have while getting ready. But I shouldn’t really jinx myself by talking about them. I can tell you I always listen to Thin Lizzy in my dressing room.
TrunkSpace: What about post-show? We’d have to imagine those jumpsuits of yours get funkier than the music itself!
Clownvis: Suit funk is a real problem, cause I do work up a sweat on stage every night. Plus booze being splashed and big guys squashing me into their sweaty armpits for photo ops. But in the frenzy of a post show meet and greet, there’s all kindsa smells going around. The cotton candy body spray has been my saving grace, cause even when the suit smells bad, people notice the cotton candy smell first.
TrunkSpace: When you’re performing live, is it more enjoyable to pop the Clownvis cherry of someone who is unfamiliar with your music or to rock the socks of existing fans?
Clownvis: I’d say it’s 50/50. Usually the crowd is made up of people that are into my stuff, and then their friend that they dragged along that has a fear of clowns. A common compliment I get is, “I hate clowns, but I actually liked you!” I appreciate that response. It’s fun to win people over. It’s cute.
TrunkSpace: How has your stage show changed since Clownvis first climbed his way out of the primordial music ooze to where you are today?
Clownvis: My early shows were wacky as hell. And not so much in a good way. I didn’t really have my hands on the wheel of what I was doing, I just knew I liked to sing and goof off. I’d call my early stuff performance art bullshit if I saw it today. But my years in the Los Angeles comedy scene really shaped the act that I tour with these days. Night after night. Do or die crowds. Nobody gives an inch unless you really pull it out of them. I learned to take people on a journey and dance around reality in a way that makes it easy for them to suspend their disbelief.
Also, I fill the suit out better these days.
TrunkSpace: People mature as they get older, and as a result, their art matures. Would you say that is the case with your music?
Clownvis: Unfortunately no. I can’t say the word mature has anything to do with the progression of my music or stage show.
TrunkSpace: As you’ve mastered the art of your art, have you also mastered the art of makeup application? How long does it take you to get show ready?
Clownvis: People always say that, ask me about my makeup. Look, I’ll tell you right here and now, I wake up like this. Before I hit the stage my stylist hits me with some mousse or gel or whatever and I pull up my socks and slip on the suit and go put on a show. Other than that there’s not much prep besides a drink and some Thin Lizzy.
TrunkSpace: Your belt buckles are BIG. What else about Clownvis is big?
Clownvis: Thank you very much. I have big expectations. I have big dreams. I have big plans.
TrunkSpace: We can’t imagine that it would ever be the case, but if there were Clownvis haters/hecklers at a show, how would you handle it so as not to interrupt the cotton candy body spray love of the rest of those in attendance?
Clownvis: Hecklers are generally pretty easy to deal with, but I rarely have them. My tactic is to just talk over them and then go into a song that drowns them out. I have a microphone so I really can’t lose.
TrunkSpace: Sticking with the idea of cotton candy body spray love… is there anybody in existence who can fight off its overwhelming (odorwhelming?) powers?
Clownvis: Honestly noone has ever said, “Oh my God, what is that smell?” in a bad way about the cotton candy body spray. It’s got 100 percent approval ratings from every nose that has had the pleasure to sniff it.
TrunkSpace: You seem a bit like a super hero stuck in a world of everyday folk. If this was a very special world, what would your super power be and would you use your great power with great responsibility?
Clownvis: I would be able to fly and I’d fly all the damn time. I don’t think I’d do anything bad. Just fly around.
TrunkSpace: We can’t help but imagine a show where the bill was Andy Kaufman and Clownvis. If Andy was alive today, how do you think that would play out?
Clownvis: Hard to say how anything with Kaufman would ever play out. But some people say he is still alive, so I’ll have my agent look into putting something together.
TrunkSpace: What do you want out of your career… nay, your LIFE… that you have yet to achieve?
Clownvis: I really want to be a spokesperson for a product. I don’t really care what product. I’ll hawk anything if the price is right. I want to be like Larry the Cable Guy and have my picture on products at Walgreens.
TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your music and cotton candy body spray look forward to for the rest of 2017?
Clownvis: LOTS of touring between now and the end of the year. All across America. See dates at www.clownvismafia.com. Dates being added all the time. Also, I am currently working on an album with some amazing musicians. Not sure when that will be out, but it will be worth a listen for sure!