Derek Day of Classless Act
Interview by Andrew Daly
Conjuring memories of the past, guitarist Derek Day and his cohorts in modern-day hard rock outfit Classless Act are a throwback to an era once relegated but now revived.
Having beaten the odds stacked against them as an independent band and with (initially) zero major label support, Classless Act has ambitiously toured worldwide in support of their debut record, Welcome to the Show.
Unfazed by a polarizing pop landscape that at times is indifferent to rock ‘n’ roll, Classless Act has not only held serve but triumphantly seized the day in sharing the stage with the likes of Mötley Crüe, Poison, Def Leppard, and Joan Jett, and even holding court as one of many seminal acts invited to participate in 2022’s Stadium Tour.
Harboring a no holds barred, take no prisoners attitude for Derek Day and Classless Act, the best is yet to come. Be it gracing the stages of L.A.’s famed Sunset Strip or manifesting childhood dreams in ways never imagined, Classless Act has moved to put the greater rock world on notice.
As the band works to promote Welcome to the Show, Derek Day dug in with me to pull back the curtain on the past, present, and future of the modern-day rock scene’s favorite sons, Classless Act.
How have you been holding up over the last year or so? What have you been up to?
Hey Andrew! Been doing just fine! Having fun with my boys from Classless doing musical things around town and preparing for the tour.
What first got you hooked on music?
The sound of an electric guitar hooked me into music…specifically [Eric} Clapton’s. And, of course, my mother would bump the disco every Sunday while keeping the home together when I was just a tadpole [laughs].
Who were some of your early influences?
My early influences were definitely Guns N’ Roses, David Bowie, The Beatles, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, ABBA, The Bee Gees, and the mighty Led Zeppelin.
How did Classless Act form?
We were all fans of each other as individuals through social media; it’s the modern-day recycler, so we figured we’d reach out to each other and try something. The band went through a couple of changes like so many bands have, from The Beatles to Nirvana. But eventually, we locked the dream team, and it’s go time!
What can you tell me about your debut, Welcome to the Show?
This record has a lot of truth in it…our broken hearts, mirrors, and backs. Tunes written within just the band, tunes written with the likes of Keith Nelson (Buckcherry), Justin Hawkins (The Darkness), and The Heavy. We wanted to create different moods and touch on different types of rock ‘n’ roll.
Vince Neil appeared on the record. How did you first come in contact with Vince, and ultimately, what lead to him coming aboard for a track?
We came into contact with Vince after we jumped on the Stadium Tour. He’s been very supportive, and when we asked him to sing a song we thought fit his vibe and that he would kick ass on (and believe me, he does!!!), he said yes right away! He’s just the coolest guy and just wanted to help us out.
I loved the video for “Time To Bleed.” What can you tell us about how that came together?
That day was insane. We shot multiple music videos in about 24 hours, and I wore makeup for the first time. Ultimately, it was a supergroup effort of hustling this insane spiderweb concept into existence. We do things fast and fun!
In an age where many bands choose to stay independent, Classless Act has inked a deal with Better Noise Music. What made them the right fit?
Actually, Better Noise is an Independent label. “Indie” as in we actually know the owner of our label. But they have the resources of a major. So, we have the best of both worlds. They also happen to be the #1 rock label in America. But BNM had so many artists we admired, and we loved how they ran things. Their modern approach was a “GO BIG” type deal. We knew signing with them would mirror the kind of music we wanted to produce, which was of a gargantuan essence. Plus, we saw an open slot on their roster for something a little more retro.
L.A. has a rich musical history in terms of rock music. How would you describe the current landscape as opposed to years past?
L.A. will always be as eclectic as hell is hot. I’m seeing punk having fun with synthesizers, jazz getting drunk off pop, rock n roll riding on tracks, and everything in between. However, I do see an increasing demand for pop-punk and other gritty emo styles.
As a band on the rise, what do you feel Classless Act must do in order to distinguish itself from the pack?
We must be unapologetically, authentically us – a group of energetic fools utterly obsessed with finding new ways to express ourselves musically on and off stage. We want to invite everyone to join in on the party.
What’s next in all lanes?
TOURING. We got no place to go except everywhere. We just want to spread our cheer and share the sounds that get us moving!
Derek Day of Classless Act: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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