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What I Learned at Bandcamp: There There

JD Clayton and Alisha Ways met in December 2010 after Clayton answered a Craigslist ad for a lead guitar position. Although things with that band fell through, Ways and Clayton hit it off and began working together on new music. Eventually, the two fell in love and There There was formed.

“Sounds kind of gushy, but that’s what happened and we’re grateful that we met the way we did,” says Ways.

The band’s debut EP Like Love was released in June and is available for streaming and purchase on Bandcamp. The 90s rock influences of Ways are evident throughout the album. Most notably, the opening chords in “Fireflies” instantly brought me back to The Cranberries song “Zombie” and closing track “All Things Come to Pass” took me back to my love of Portishead.

There There will be performing this Friday, Aug. 1 in Scottsdale at The Rogue Bar with Terra Firma, Prague, Ursuscolossus and The Regretting Man. 

Read below to learn more about the band and catch them in action tomorrow at Rogue…

How long have you been making music?
Alisha: I remember when I was young in Pennsylvania, like around six through nine years old, I would actually write songs and give my cousins parts to sing, and we’d perform for the adults. So I’ve been singing and writing melodies since I was a child, but when I learned to play guitar at the age of 17, that’s when I started to look at my writing more seriously. JD began singing jazz at a young age. Throughout his life he has grown his passion for many different genres by collecting music. Has been playing guitar for about seven years.

Who or what are your influences?
We have similar tastes, but they diverge when it comes to what specifically influences each of us in this project; and we think that divergence of sound ends up meshing together in an interesting way. JD is influenced by artists/bands like Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Marr, Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd.

JD: I grew up dancing around the house with Dark Side of the Moon and the Bonzo Dog Band playing on Saturday mornings.

Many of Alisha’s favorite bands took off in the ‘90s: Blonde Redhead, Bjork, Radiohead, Tori Amos, Smashing Pumpkins and so on.

Alisha: When I caught on to the Pumpkins in high school, I immediately wanted to learn the drums, but instead somehow ended up on guitar. Either way, they were what made me want to pick up an instrument and feel music in a different way; not just through listening but through physically playing.

How did you come up with your name?
A dream Alisha had a few years ago. It’s not a reference to the Radiohead song like a lot of people might think, although we are huge fans of the band.

Alisha: About a year or so before I met JD, I was in another project, and we were going through the band-naming phase. During that time I had a dream where someone came up to me urgently and told me to name my band There There. I suggested it to the musicians I was working with at the time and it didn’t click. Over a year later, when I started working on my songs with JD, it came back to mind, and really grew on me. To this day, I think it’s the perfect name for this project. It references place, and it references solace, two things that have been significant in my life, especially over the past few years.

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
We’ve been getting some positive responses to the EP thus far, and really want to get it out there and promote it as well as we can. It would be awesome to find like-minded individuals all over the world who dig what we’re doing and be able to grow our music into a day job. In the meantime, we’re continuing to try and build a local fan base and network of musicians to play out with. We’re also focusing on learning new material for our live performances and future recording.

What inspires your music?
Alisha: I write in fragments and personal metaphor a lot of the time. I pull words and ideas from experiences I’ve had in my own life, as well as things from books and movies. When I write, I usually don’t know what story I’m going to tell. I just start forming melodies and vowels and see what randomness comes out of me, then I refine from there. It’s kind of like a Rorschach test with music instead of inkblots. I play a chord or a series of chords and see what it purges out of me. JD takes the songs and adds noisy, dreamy and even what we’d consider psychedelic elements to them. He tries to capture and elevate the emotions of the songs with his parts.

What musicians or bands do you look up to?
JD: I am intrigued by anyone who has the nerve to play live. Especially when someone good becomes great. As far as professional performers, I think of Jimi Hendrix and his amazing guitar stunts and stage tactics. I also idolized Pink Floyd and the route they chose to take with music. They weren’t afraid of being criticized. They played their instruments loud and gave people a great time.

Alisha: Many of the musicians who I love the most have one thing in common: they are great lyricists. When the music is beautiful and the poetry is brilliant, it’s so powerful, and I think it’s a huge talent. It’s why I love old Tori Amos and Smashing Pumpkins so much. Also artists like Jarvis Cocker; I think Pulp is an underappreciated band.

Why do you make music?
If you know what makes you happy in life, what you’re passionate about, you have to do it. It’s also incredibly therapeutic.

Alisha: I’ve dealt with ruminating thoughts for a long time. When I was young it was really, really bad. Learning to play guitar and writing songs helped me get thoughts out of my head and gave me catharsis. It still does to this day and I don’t think I could live without having that release. It’s also about sharing that feeling with others.

JD: The power of music can out live any person when it’s passed down through generations. Sharing music is an ancient tradition and there’s something very special about taking part in that as a performer. For me, it’s also a daily meditation and describes who I am as a person.


  1. awesome band!!

  2. I love this band! Saw them at the Lost Leaf once. Even without a drummer they were still great! Glad to see that they’re getting more attention.

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