Rock is having a moment in 2021, and one of the groups leading the sound’s resurgence is Los Angeles’ Classless Act, who just made their first impression by kicking down the door to your earbuds with their debut single, “Give It To Me.” It’s two minutes and thirty seconds of glam-powered hard rock echoing the attitude and sound that transformed the Sunset Strip into the center of the music universe during the Eighties. In the accompanying music video, which arrived earlier in July, the band – vocalist Derek Day, guitarists Dane Pieper and Griffin Tucker, bassist Franco Gravante, and drummer Chuck McKissock – cuts loose with the power of rock and with help from one special tuxedo cat.
As to why rock (and its progeny, punk and metal) seems to be catching on with the modern audience, Derek Day tells HollywoodLife that it’s because the music “simply cuts through all the bullshit. It’s partly why it can never die.” The frontman shared there’s “something very honest in having an instrument match the attitude of your voice in the attempt to convey how you really feel.”
Formed in 2019 through a series of DMs and comments on Instagram and TikTok, the group’s debut EP is currently slated for this fall. “It’ll have the tenacity of our first single while shining a light on different moods and concepts,” says Day. “You’ll get a decent look into what Classless is capable of.” Fans will be able to experience that firsthand – while shouting at the Devil – when the band hits the road next year with Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard as part of their 2022 North American Stadium Tour. It’s a perfect blend of the OGs helping usher in the next generation of rock.
During the chat, Day also shared why Mötley Crüe still seems to captivate fans nearly forty years after their debut and what rock lessons Classless Act have learned by studying alongside such legends as In Living Color, Steve Vai, and Slash. “Be grateful that you’re a part of something super fun and rather spiritual.”
HollywoodLife: It’s been a week since you released your debut single, “Give It To Me.” How does it feel to have this out in the world?
Derek Day: In the last week, time felt significantly slower, as if to help me comprehend that what we started is something bigger than any of us. We struck a match for which the laws of chemistry don’t apply and I’m fired UP.
Walk us through to how “Give It To Me” came to be? I’m reminded of the line – “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap” – so I’m curious if it took a lot of work for a song to sound this effortlessly rockin’?
We wrote this one (along with many others) with Keith Nelson (Producer/founder of Buckcherry), a true songwriting master. It’s only rock ‘n’ roll, but a lot of the musical, lyrical and vibrational aspects of this tune were meticulously conceived. Believe it or not, we demo’d about 11 different versions of this song, Each version embracing the art of ‘getting out of our own way’ more and more; getting straight to the point of who we are and what we love in music. Thank you, Keith, for that lesson.
Tell us about the cat in the video because – we all have to admit – the little buddy pretty much steals the show.
Muffin is the “Coronavirus Neo” who was born into the Matrix during the pandemic to bring concerts back. To an extent, he is the Band Cat – but most of all, he is Franco‘s son. Franco [the bassist] adopted Muffin only a few months before we shot the video and needed to have a logo in place. His appearance was nothing short of beautiful synchronicity. He wears his classy tuxedo to counter his classless behavior — a special and kind being. Also, the dude has thumbs, I shit you not.
Rock seems to be making a comeback in the mainstream music consciousness, with many new acts embracing the harder sound in punk, rock, and metal. What is your take on this new generation of rock fans and why the sound seems to resonate with them?
Aside from the cyclical behavior we observe in pop culture, rock ‘n’ roll simply cuts through all the bullshit. It’s partly why It can never die. There’s something very honest in having an instrument match the attitude of your voice in the attempt to convey how you really feel.
Classless Act will join Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard on their 2022 North American Stadium Tour. What was your first reaction knowing that you would be part of this epic rock extravaganza?
Maaaaaan, I was WIRED when I found out!!! The initial feeling of disbelief quickly morphed into an immense gratitude for the people in my corner and every event that took place in my life up until now.
Do you remember the first time you heard a Mötley Crüe song?
I joined a band in 6th grade with two chicks who only LOVED Motley Crue. The first 2 songs we ever played together was “Live Wire” and “Too Fast For Love.” I remember hearing those riffs for the first time ever and just couldn’t wait to play them on a guitar.
Perhaps this touches upon the earlier question of rock resonating, but Mötley Crüe is certainly having a revival. Post Malone recently dropped a song named after the band (after jumping on Tyla Yahweh’s song named after Tommy Lee.) The band had The Dirt adapted into a film. Sebastian Stan and Lily James are currently filming the Pam & Tommy series for Hulu. Why do you think that the Crüe is coming through in 2021?
We live in restricted times and Motley represents unapologetic, unadulterated FREEDOM. We need these legends and influencers alike more than they know.
You have some experience with some icons of rock, having shared the stage with Steve Vai, Living Color, Steel Panther, and Slash. What would you say has been the biggest takeaway from your interactions with them? Have they instilled any wisdom as you begin your own journey into the hallowed halls of rock immortality?
A few of gold nuggets I took from performing with these giants: Learning yourself is an ongoing yet empowering process. Hard work and focus clears the fog impeding the prize. Remembering who you are/where you came from can instill strong values in times of doubt to carry out the mission. And be nice~ everyone working with, for, and around you deserves respect and human decency. Be grateful that you’re a part of something super fun and rather spiritual.
Your debut EP is set to be released this fall. What can you share about this release?
With this EP, we really want to kick doors in. It’ll have the tenacity of our first single while shining a light on different moods and concepts. You’ll get a decent look into what Classless is capable of.
Finally, does Classless Act have any shows on the immediate horizon, or are you keeping everything under wraps until 2022?
We are definitely booking plenty of shows here at home (Los Angeles) ~ don’t be surprised if you see us touring the states before the year ends ;)
“Give It To Me” is out now.