Prometheus clay
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Prometheus clay

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"Q + A: Williamsburg rockers Prometheus Clay jams"

WILLIAMSBURG rock band Prometheus Clay knows how to jam. Its song “Temporary” clocks in at more than eight minutes.

Forming in 2006 with Bill Strack on guitar, Jason Parker on bass and Josh Dodd on drums – the trio released “Evil Dreams,” a 10-song CD, in 2007.

Norfolk full-time jazz pianist Robb Van de Riet decided to take a break from playing what he calls “background music” to join the three-piece band as keyboardist last year. He brings with him a new voice – its members share vocal duties, and the goal of more shows.

“When I joined, I asked, 'So, what’s your gigs like?’ When they told me three or four a year, I was like, 'That’s just guys having fun; that’s not really a band,’ ” Van de Riet said, adding they now have a show once a month, with more shows being added. They’ll be playing The Spot in Williamsburg on Friday. This is how Van de Riet answered our questions:

How did the band get its name?

Prometheus Clay came about when Jason was driving to practice one day and was thinking, for some reason, about Greek mythology, and the name Prometheus struck him. Prometheus was, in mythology, a god who created man from clay and gave him fire.

Where does the band get its inspiration?

Most of our songwriting is inspired by real life – things we have gone through or witnessed or picked up along the way. We also have more than one songwriter, so that has a tendency to induce the drive to produce material – healthy competition.

What’s the band’s worst performance memory?

An early 2006 private party gig. Murphy’s Law was acting out in a big way. The place used to be a slaughterhouse, and it was all cinder block inside, so you can imagine how terrible the acoustics were. It still had meat hooks hanging around the place. The band had only been together for six months at the time. … It was 30 degrees outside, and the sound was so bad that most everyone still stood outside.

If the band could write its own headline, what would it be?

Album of the year nominee Prometheus Clay gets escorted offstage at the Grammys for playing too long.

Patty Jenkins, (757) 446-2298, - By Patty Jenkins The Virginian-Pilot © February 26, 2009


Evil Dreams-2008 available at for purchase and at and for listening and downloads...special bonus at the several live tracks recorded at The Spot in Williamsburg, VA.



Prometheus Clay formed in 2006 originally as a trio consisting of Bill Strack on guitar, Jason Parker on bass and Josh Dodd on drums. Mark Augustine, keyboardist, joined the group in 2007 as the band's fourth member. He helped Prometheus Clay complete their first album, a 10 song CD entitled "Evil Dreams." Augustine left during the summer of 2008 and created a vacancy later to be filled by pianist Robb Van de Riet.

Prometheus Clay has had the opportunity to perform with such national and international acts as Carbon Leaf, Chris Duarte, Doug Clark and the Hot Nutts, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Bill Strack is a Rock/Blues guitarist heavily influenced by The Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa and many others. He began playing as a kid following in his step-dad's footsteps. He is one of the founding members of Prometheus Clay and is constantly striving to push the band in new directions in songwriting and risk taking during the jams.

Robb Van de Riet is a jazz pianist/multi-instrumentalist having received his degree from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Jazz Piano Performance. He began playing piano at age six and picked up guitar and bass by his early teens. Robb is most likely pushing the music into uncharted, almost avant-garde , directions during the improv sections. Robb is the newest member having joined in late 2008. His influences are John Coltrane, Albert Ayler and many others.

Jason Parker, also a founding member of PC, has been playing bass for over twenty years. He has a unique style that is influenced by pop and rock and has always focused more on the songwriting aspect. His lyrics are well versed, introspective and thought provoking. Bands like U2, The Grateful Dead and others have helped shape his musical writing and playing style.

Josh Dodd is a straight-ahead rock drummer. Having played drums for most of his life, and being influenced by more recent music than the other members, he brings a fresh approach to the group. He adds life and energy to the band as he listens for ways to compliment any musical direction the music travels. He also participates in the vocal duties, as do the others. He is an original member of PC and is influenced by groups like The Gorillas, Creed and a host of other modern bands.