Soul Lip
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Soul Lip

Band Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Soul Lip launch: Local band has debut CD"

What if the basement of Tom and Marian Clagett’s Gaithersburg home could talk? It looks like any other suburban rec room: leather recliner, upholstered couch and love seat. There’s an oil painting of the South Park guys, pictures of young Garrett and Mike Clagett playing baseball. The faces of friends and family smile down from big photo collages, and posters and clippings express a love of all things Terrapin.

On one wall, there’s a drum skin with a set list printed on it in magic marker: ‘‘Soul Lip first show 2�20�03 Lewie’s Night Club.� And that’s what the Clagett’s basement would want to talk about, if you could hear it above the mix of hard rocking and harmony that is the sound of Soul Lip.

‘‘It’s heavy but accessible,� says lead singer Ryan James, the University of Pittsburgh grad who was recruited by founding members Mike and Garret Clagett and Ben Pierce. ‘‘We try to do the heavy metal thing and pay homage to the music we grew up with, but there’s still stuff you can get into: melody and harmony and riffs.�

Their debut CD ‘‘Tainted� is a cool combo of heft and harmony, and on Friday, the band — the Clagetts, Pierce, James and bass player Jean Finstad — will celebrate its launch at Firestation 8 Bar and Cue in Olde Towne Gaithersburg.

‘‘There’s a market for our kind of music,� says James. ‘‘Maryland’s been pretty good for us.�

Boy band

It has been more than a decade since Pierce moved into the Clagetts’ neighborhood and became pals with his fellow Thurgood Marshall Elementary School sixth-grader Garrett and Mike who was a year younger.

‘‘We all became good friends,� says Pierce. ‘‘And one Christmas our parents bought us all instruments. That’s how the band started out. We all had these instruments so we’d play together just for our own enjoyment.�

They were 13 and 12 then, taking lessons at Victor Litz Music in Gaithersburg and churning out covers of songs by Metallica and the Offspring.

‘‘We weren’t thinking of ourselves as a band at that point,� he says. ‘‘It was just the three of us jamming in the basement.�

They first played out at a friend’s graduation party in the spring of 2002; by December, they were Soul Lip. They’ve changed bass players and lead singers since then (Pierce and the Clagetts met James and Finstad on Craig’s List) and worked nonstop on ‘‘Tainted.�

Well, almost nonstop.

‘‘We had to stop production just to bring everybody up to speed,� explains Pierce. ‘‘Right now, we’re playing to promote the CD in this area, and we’ll do mini-tours on the weekend — to New York, to Philadelphia.�

Local licks

From basement to barroom to big time, such is the arc of the dream of the rock and roll band. The members of Soul Lip exist somewhere in the middle of this arc. Although the single ‘‘Novice� has been played on DC101’s ‘‘Local Licks� program, of the five, only Finstad is a professional musician.

The rest combine Soul Lip with day jobs. James is a marketing coordinator for Geico; Mike Clagett studies computer science at the University of Maryland (he runs the Soul Lip Web site, while Pierce and Garrett Clagett work as construction project managers for Ryan Homes.

Pierce holds a degree in visual communications from Towson University; his graphic designs adorn the band’s CD covers and show posters.

‘‘We’re not pursuing a record contract just yet,� explains Pierce. ‘‘Down the road, that’d be great, but we’re just trying to promote live music.�

That means venturing out from the basement to support other local bands, which Soul Lip likes to do. On Friday evening, they’ll share the Firestation 8 stage with 7 Days Torn, Fistful of Fifties and Supine.

‘‘It’ll be a big party, four bands, and we’re going to sell our CD at discounted prices,� Pierce says.

The guys pick up their instruments and rock through a few singles: the title track, then ‘‘Novice� and ‘‘Echoes.� James pogos between verses, Garrett Clagett smacks the drums, and the sound is just as they described it: heavy but melodic, with discernible lyrics as well as body rocking power chords.

This basement can’t talk, but it’s rocking tonight.

Soul Lip launches its debut CD with a release party at Firestation 8 Bar and Cue, 317 East Diamond Ave., Gaithersburg. Admission is free. Call 301-977-7665. - Gaithersburg Gazette -


"Tainted" LP released May 2006

101.1 - DC101 - "Novice"
91.9 - KCSS (California) - "Tainted"
97.9 - 98Rock - "Tainted"
105.7 - WHFS - "Gunshy"


Feeling a bit camera shy


Originally formed in late 2003, Soul Lip quickly began winning over crowds with their emotionally intense brand of hook-laden heavy alternative rock. The core of the band consists of a trio of incredibly talented musicians and songwriters in brothers Mike and Garrett Clagett (lead guitar and drums, respectively) and their lifelong friend Ben Pierce (guitars). After the departure of their original bassist in early 2004, talented bassist Jean Finstad joined the group and solidified the band's powerful rhythm section.....
When the band parted ways with their initial lead singer, Ryan James stepped in, bringing with him a stong voice and dynamic range.

Together with their new bandmates, the original trio is putting the wraps on their upcoming debut album "Tainted," which is set for release in early 2006.

Since beginning playing shows around the DC Metro area, the newly completed line-up has drawn widespread acclaim from venue operators, fans, and fellow musicians. With an ever-expanding fanbase and an intense live show, Soul Lip appears to be primed and ready for major success. This is a band with shows you surely don't want to miss.

DimeBag Darrell, Metallica, Creed, Flaw, Cold, The Used, and many more.

Soul Lip has been played on:
101.1 - DC101's Local Lix
97.9 - 98Rock Noise in the Basement
105.7 - WHFS Locals Only Radio
91.9 - KCSS

Soul Lip is one of those bands that has had alot of underground talk about them in the DC/Maryland local music scene. They have played with the likes of The Speaks, Junkfood, Eat Your Neighbors and others. They have performed at The State Theater, TT Reynolds, Firehouse Grill, The Velvet Lounge, DC9, Firehouse Cue, and the Brass Monkey.
And with your help they will be playing the 9:30 Club!

Soul Lip is looking to expand their music to Pennsylvania, New York, and southern Virginia.