Features June 27, 2024

clementine: Growing Up Punk

by Landon Ungerman

Organic Beginnings

A young alternative rock band is making waves in the Rockies, with black Sharpie X’s on their hands, handed out by security bouncers at venues across the state. Meet clementine, the Fort Collins-based band that’s lighting up the Colorado music scene. This over-the-top rock group is just a bunch of college friends with roots stretching back to fourth grade. As they gear up to drop their first full-length album and hit the road for their first out-of-state tour, clementine’s raw, organic vibe is impossible to ignore. To its members, the band is all about having fun and creating music with lifelong friends.


A group of friends united by their love of music and a bit of chance started when Keiran (20, Guitar) brought his buddies Sam (19, Guitar) and Caleb (20, Drums) together for some jam sessions. These sessions began as casual, no-expectation jams, but when they brought in lead singer Larin (20) to fill the gaps, suddenly, the group had a solid identity, and clementine was born. “We’ve all known each other almost our whole lives,” Sam shared in an interview with BandWagon Magazine. Even their bassist, Elizabeth, who discovered clementine at a backyard concert, recognized them from school and offered to join, had attended middle school with the rest of the band. As the project grew piece by piece, it never strayed from its origins: a group of friends with a shared passion for music, all hailing from the same corner of Fort Collins.

Unexpected Bliss

clementine’s aspirations are as humble as their beginnings. As Sam puts it, “I feel like we’ve achieved all the goals that I wanted to reach, but it’s definitely not game over anytime soon.” They’ve just wrapped up recording their first full-length album and already have plans for another. As friends, they’ve played shows in cities across Colorado, creating countless memories along the way. clementine’s motivations are straightforward, freeing them from pressure while allowing their music to remain authentic. Despite their simple approach, the band has a lot in store. They’re gearing up for a run of out-of-state gigs, a hometown headliner at the Aggie, and major festival appearances including the Underground Music Showcase in Denver. This summer, clementine will be presenting their first complete work to a whole new audience. Elizabeth explains, “My parents constantly tell me I should look around at all of these moments happening around me, but in the moment, nothing feels all that monumental. It’s in retrospect that I’m like, ‘Damn, it is cool that we did that.’” The band members emphasize how amazing it’s been to grow into a community of music in Colorado, leaning on each other for support while navigating a new landscape of relationships and opportunities.

IV. Highs and Lows on the Road

Having grown up in the same community, clementine takes immense pride in their hometown shows, but for them, the real thrill is playing in new cities and bringing those stories back home. On the road, with hours of driving and instruments awkwardly shoved between band members, there’s nowhere else they’d rather be than together: “It’s a pain in the ass, but it’s so much fun to go through it together,” they say. The band recalls countless bizarre experiences from their shows, like getting towed, bombarded by obsessed fans on Instagram, and that unforgettable time when Larin, the lead singer, got mobbed by a bunch of girls (and their moms) who then gave him a bag of shoes. It’s these stories that make all the rehearsals and travel worth it for clementine.

“In a band, there are so many highs and lows, but when we’re able to put on a really good show, in front of any amount of people, it’s just nice. Again, we’re just having a good time with our buddies on stage.” – Sam, clementine

The Creative Journey

Although the group runs a low-key operation, clementine’s fan base is growing by the day. Thousands of listeners tuned into their last release, “Plastic Smile,” a track that captures the band’s raw, honest vibe perfectly. What started as a stagnant idea slowly came to life as each band member added their touch, with Caleb, the drummer, driving it creatively to its final form before its release last January. The song dives into the tough choices of growing out of old ways and finding yourself. Their upcoming record continues this journey, tackling themes of mental health and youth. Recorded at the Blasting Room with the expertise of engineer Miles Stevenson, clementine’s next record stands as their first truly cohesive work, bringing out the unique nuances that define their sound.

The release party for the new album is set for July 19th at The Aggie in Fort Collins. Tickets are available now, so snag yours and support the freshest new crew on the scene, clementine!