Sunday, April 18, 2010

Indiedanceobit: Devon Clifford

Devon Clifford, drummer with You Say Party! We Say Die! has died after collapsing on stage Friday night.

The band were nearing the end of a North American tour when Clifford collapsed in the middle of their Friday night Vancouver date. Paramedics were called to the homecoming gig; Clifford spent Saturday on life support, reports Spinner, before dying early today.

YSPWSD's label, Paper Bag, confirmed the news in a short statement:

"It is with absolute sadness to report that our dear friend Devon Clifford passed away just hours ago in a Vancouver hospital surrounded by his family and friends. He will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him. I request that we respect the family's privacy during this incredibly difficult time."

Formed in British Columbia in 2004, their approach was to treat any building as a possible gig, all hands-on and self-reliant. Their first ep was self-released; they favoured vinyl to a such an extent their digital-only recordings were described as "virtual seven inches". They first toured the UK in 2006; subsequent tours of the United States were made difficult due to what may have been a simple muddle over visas. Devon joined the band prior to 2007's Lose All The Time.

He was an enthusiastic member of the group, embracing both the rushed production process of Lose All The Time, and the luxury to discard and reshape offered when making last year's XXXX. Even if sometimes, he found himself having to rationalise away a sense of recreating rather than creating, as he explained to Exclaim:
"With 'She's Spoken For,' when we first wrote it, I was like 'We can't play this, it's the same chord progression as Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield."' And the others were like, 'I don't think so.' So I went and listened to it and it's totally different. Then I was like, 'Oh, it's like this Pilot song.' But it wasn't. I guess it's just really reminiscent of some classic songs."

The band didn't always find touring easy - that same Exclaim piece details intra-band fights and Becky Ninkovic's breakdown brought on by the misery of trudging round Europe with very little cash. Things had seemed brighter, though, on the current dates.

Clifford had another band, Hard Feelings. He was thirty years old.

Here's a November 2009 performance from QTV. Not that QTV: