Drowning Clowns sound ranges from slow dark Americana to upbeat indie electro-pop to epic rock landscapes. From haunting ballads to thunderous anthems, the band delivers a sense of controlled chaos in their music creating a powerful musical presence on stage and in the studio.
For many years, producer Mike Speranzo has been meticulously crafting the music of Drowning Clowns and has slowly groomed the music into a dynamic and elaborately orchestrated catharsis. What started as the musical haven of one man has evolved into a striking and diverse collaboration of some of Pittsburgh, PA’s most prominent musicians.
Drowning Clowns are working on a new release to follow up their debut album “All That’s Covered Over” which garnered critical acclaim and a devout following. This is in between the hectic schedules of Liz Berlin and Mike Speranzo; she, touring with multi-platinum recording group Rusted Root, and he, operating their hugely successful concert venue, Mr. Smalls Theatre and non-profit Creative.Life.Support. Their nephew, Evan Smith (pro skateboarder for Element/ DC/ Independent) joins them on guitar and vocals in between his world skateboarding travels.
Drowning Clowns' members are all veterans to the music scene, including:
Frank Spadafora, a stunningly talented songwriter and vocalist who has been playing in bands with Mike since college (in the critically acclaimed bands Crisis Car and Out Of The Blue), Shaggy Marcello on drums (The Distractions, Isabella, Love's Gun Shop) and Jesse Prentiss on bass (Ritual Space Travel Agency) to solidify the Drowning Clowns as an incredibly riveting live experience.
This self-proclaimed “psychedelic rock orchestra” is fast becoming a regional draw & gaining international attention, having had their music featured in numerous skateboard videos by Evan Smith and other skate pros. To date cumulative hits total over 1,000,000 hits on youtube alone.
What the press has to say:
“All That’s Covered Over is the debut album by self-proclaimed psychedelic-rock orchestra, Drowning Clowns. The Pittsburgh-based band began as a passion project for musician Mike Speranzo, who brought together a diverse group of local musicians, including his wife and Rusted Root member, Liz Berlin. This is not the first collaboration between husband and wife, who own the beloved Pittsburgh music venue/recording studio/skate park, Mr. Small’s. The band’s musical influences seem to be as varied as the acts that pass through their venue and is a culmination of decades of experience in the industry. All That’s Covered Over is an intricate blend of electro-pop and indie rock, utilizing melodic guitars and eclectic synths to round out the sound of this band’s ambitious debut.”
- Abbie Ouziel, Relix Magazine (Jul 16, 2014)
“Liz Berlin and Mike Speranzo are arguably the First Couple of Pittsburgh Music with her being a longtime member of Rusted Root and him being in the bands Out of the Blue and Crisis Car. Of course, they also own one of Pittsburgh's more popular venues, Millvale's Mr. Smalls. Their other project, along with raising their 18-year-old son, is the local supergroup Drowning Clowns, with singer-guitarist Frank Spadafora (also of Crisis Car, Out of the Blue), singer-guitarist Evan Smith (a pro skateboarder and Mr. Speranzo's nephew)…bassist Jesse Prentiss (Ritual Space Travel Agency), drummer Shaggy Marcello (The Distractions)... The result is "a self-described psychedelic rock orchestra" that's filled with surprising musical twists and turns, and draws from everything from Pink Floyd to the Postal Service.”
- Scott Mervis, Post-Gazette (Mar 27, 2014)
“Drowning Clowns Ready to Showcase its Decade-Making Music... Part of the appeal is the freshness of the material. It’s not purely rock, not purely anything…The sound that emerges from Speranzo’s creation doesn’t fall into any single genre. It’s as if Peter Gabriel enlisted David Byrne and Kate Bush on a recording project, with Brian Eno working the soundboard…the Drowning Clowns actually create musical landscapes that are serenely intricate”
-Rege Behe, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, January 22, 2012