I, Claudius – Bleed: The Wes Demos is more that just a full length CD featuring 11 songs originally recorded in demo form by Wes Wehmiller himself from around 1995-1998. It’s a completion of the unlikely journey of a band that, in the words of lead singer Colin Keenan, “…combined pathos and humor, attitude and insecurity to create the band no one cared about… especially the band itself.”
I, Claudius’ heavy sound was the inevitable result of four Berklee College buddies’ collective rage over being hired sidemen in too many painfully lame bands throughout the mid-90s.
What was clearly needed to set things right was Wehmiller’s huge bass riffs and huger drum programming, Keenan’s sardonic lyrics and vocals, and the tuned-down and turned-up guitar work of Griff Peters. Overcoming significant apathy from both fans and band members alike, I, Claudius performed live throughout the ’90s in small, obscure clubs in Los Angeles and San Diego with original drummer Chip Vayenas as well as Zappa Plays Zappa touring drummer Joe Travers. Guitarist Lance Konnerth joined the band on second guitar for even more girthy, distorted sonic overkill.
But the band never recorded an album…
In the summer of 2008, Keenan began sifting through old DAT tapes of the original band demos and rediscovered several instrumental versions of tracks that exemplified the I, Claudius sound. It was clear the time had come to “finish” the tracks by adding vocals and additional guitars to the existing demos, and bring the sound and soul of I, Claudius to the masses.
Bleed: The Wes Demos is the long-awaited confluence of Wes’ early inspired compositions and the modern collaborative homage of his longtime friends to bring his unassailably mighty riff-rock ideas to completion.
Click below to check out audio snippets from Bleed: The Wes Demos
I, Claudius – Bleed: The Wes Demos can be purchased for $15, which includes all shipping and handling charges. All net proceeds from this CD will go to benefit the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship at Berklee College Of Music.
The Wes Wehmiller Scholarship is awarded annually to a continuing student at Berklee who best exemplifies the excellence and grace Wes showed as a bassist and as a human being. The original WesFest event took place on February 16, 2006, at The Gig in Hollywood, CA, with eight bands performing live in a three-hours-plus concert. WesFest has raised over $80,000. and is an annual concert and fundraising drive for the scholarship.