Benjamin Clapp

Benjamin Clapp (born October 13, 1977) is an American musician from Boise, Idaho. He has performed, composed, and recorded music with numerous artists, most notably Erik Sanko (The Lounge Lizards) and Skeleton Key, Tom Marshall (Phish) and Amfibian, Anthony Krizan (Spin Doctors), Jim Breuer, Kronos Quartet, Jesse Blaze Snider and Baptized By Fire, Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Billy Martin (Medeski Martin and Wood), David Peel (The Lower East Side), and White Trash.[1][2][3][4]

Benjamin Clapp
Ben Clapp performing in 2004
BornOctober 13, 1977 (age 41)
Boise, ID, U.S.
ResidenceNew Brunswick, NJ, U.S.
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • photographer
  • cinematographer
Years active1993–present
Musical career
Genresrock, punk, reggae, experimental
InstrumentsDrums, junk percussion, trombone, guitar, electric bass, vocals
Associated actsSkeleton Key
Baptized By Fire
Warsaw Poland Brothers
WebsiteBenjamin Clapp official site

Early life and education

At the age of eleven, Clapp began studying trombone in Idaho public schools. He studied privately under bass trombonist Mark Sellman for a number of years, and was awarded the Louis Armstrong Award in 1995, as well as performance awards at Boise State University and the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival. Meanwhile he was self-learning to play drums; influenced early on by drummers Stewart Copeland, Lars Ulrich, and Dale Crover.[5]



In 1993, Clapp joined Boise punk band, Haggis, following ex-Septic Death drummer Paul Birnbaum's departure from the band. The band went on to tour the West Coast, and release a number of singles and compilation tracks internationally, including the vinyl only 1995 release Step Into It, on German record label, Bilharziose.[6] Through the next several years, Clapp was involved with a number of independent music projects in Boise, and went on to collaborate again with members of Haggis - this time with inclusion of Birnbaum. Clapp was a founding member of the Adversives and the Mosquitones, and performed on all of their recorded releases and national tours.

Clapp formed independent record label Spudtown Records in 1995, and released the vinyl only compilation 12 Songs You Won't Like By 12 Bands You've Never Heard of From Boise, Idaho.[7] The label continued working with regional bands to release their EPs and albums under the moniker STMC (Spudtown Music Collective) until Clapp relocated to the East Coast.


In early 2001, Clapp moved to New York City, and within months was hired on as drummer for a Warsaw Poland Brothers US tour, performing for the first time with the band in New Orleans with no audition or rehearsal. Later the same year he moved to New Jersey and became active in the music scene fostered by legendary promoter/performer Jack Monahan, at the Brighton Bar. He was invited to join the Do Dads, who would then go on to 3 Asbury Park Music Award nominations.[8]

By recommendation from rock photographer Mark Weiss to Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider, Clapp was introduced to Snider's eldest son Jesse Blaze Snider in 2004, and they went on to perform together as Blazed, and from 2006 to 2008 as Baptized By Fire.[9] Clapp also joined Erik Sanko's band Skeleton Key in 2004 as their "junk percussionist", and became further recognized for his use of non-traditional percussion: "...the real dirty work's done by brutish showman Benjamin Clapp. He chucks broken cymbals up into the air and slugs them on their way down. He has the worlds most dangerous tambourine: A rectangular frame, I'm guessing 36" x 24", with CIRCULAR SAW BLADES strung on it."[10] Skeleton Key continued to tour the United States and Canada with Clapp in the band, and recorded songs which would eventually go on to limited release as The Lyons Quintette EP.

Among a number of studio projects and touring artists that hire Clapp to perform on stage and in the studio, Phish lyricist Tom Marshall and his band Amfibian feature Clapp's trombone playing on their studio albums From the Ether and Skip the Goodbyes. Clapp's trombone playing is also a fixture in the current line-up for Elektra Records recording artists: White Trash, and is heard on their 2009 release 3-D Monkeys In Space.


  • 1994 - Bitter (with Haggis) credit: drums
  • 1994 - Encyclopedia of Post Punk Hits (with Haggis) credit: drums
  • 1995 - 20 Bands Trash 20 Songs to Find The Way to Sesame Street v/a compilation (with Haggis) credit: drums
  • 1995 - Toiletbowl Epiphonies (with The Mosquitones) credit: trombone
  • 1995 - Wade Free Wherever v/a compilation (with Haggis) credit: drums
  • 1995 - Step Into It (with Haggis) credit: drums
  • 1995 - Drunk and Disorderly (with Haggis) credit: drums
  • 1995 - 12 Songs You Won't Like by 12 Bands You've Never Heard Of v/a compilation (with Haggis) credit: drums
  • 1995 - 12 Songs You Won't Like by 12 Bands You've Never Heard Of v/a compilation (with the Adversives) credit: vocals, guitar
  • 1996 - The Search For Roger Ferris (with Adversives) credit: vocals, guitar
  • 1996 - The Dread/The Adversives Split 10" (with the Adversives) credit: vocals, guitar
  • 1996 - Wood Panel Pacer Wagon With Mags v/a compilation (with Haggis) credit: drums
  • 1997 - Liverache: Tales From the Liver's Edge v/a compilation (with Haggis) credit: drums
  • 1997 - Cause/The Adversives Split 7" (with the Adversives) credit: vocals, guitar
  • 1997 - Making Human Junk v/a compilation (with the Adversives) credit: vocals, guitar
  • 1997 - Mosquitones (with Mosquitones) credit: trombone
  • 1998 - Coolidge 50 v/a compilation (with Haggis) credit: drums
  • 1999 - Smile Upon The Children (with Diseased Media Society) credit: trombone
  • 1999 - Dance of the Dishwasher (with Los Mosquitones) credit: trombone
  • 1999 - Shotgun Response - Alliance In Defiance/The Adversives (with the Adversives) credit: vocals, guitar
  • 2000 - Adversives (with the Adversives) credit: vocals, guitar
  • 2001 - I Can't Sleep and I'm Never Awake (with The Unit Breed) credit: drums
  • 2001 - Boise, Idaho v/a compilation (with Mosquitones) credit: drums
  • 2004 - Live 1997-2003 (with Warsaw Poland Brothers) credit: drums
  • 2004 - From the Ether (with Amfibian) credit: trombone
  • 2004 - Highland at Euclid (with Mosquitones) credit: drums
  • 2004 - Live at the Metro (with Skeleton Key) credit: trombone, junk percussion
  • 2005 - Mermaid Parade (with the DoDads) credit: trombone
  • 2005 - Now The Party Starts (with Blazed) credit: drums
  • 2005 - The Lyons Quintette EP (with Skeleton Key) credit: trombone, junk percussion[11]
  • 2006 - Butterbrain (with Butterbrain) credit: trombone
  • 2006 - Best of Ska and Rocksteady (with Warsaw Poland Brothers) credit: drums
  • 2006 - Juggernaut EP (with Baptized By Fire) credit: drums
  • 2007 - Flesheaters v/a compilation (with Baptized By Fire) credit: drums
  • 2007 - Eclectric (with Sunny Daze) credit: trombone
  • 2007 - Skip The Goodbyes (with Amfibian) credit: trombone
  • 2007 - First To Fight (with Warsaw Poland Brothers) credit: drums
  • 2008 - Code Red (with J-Henry) credit: trombone
  • 2009 - Jayder (with Jayder) credit: drums
  • 2009 - 3D Monkeys In Space (with White Trash) credit: trombone
  • 2009 - Tales From Dirty Jersey (with Barry and the Penetrators) credit: trombone
  • 2009 - The Long Evening (with Keith Monacchio) credit: trombone
  • 2010 - Tropism (with Jesse Urmey) credit: trombone
  • 2010 - Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick (Vol. 1) (with Steve Honoshowsky) credit: drums
  • 2012 - Gravity is the Enemy (with Skeleton Key) credit: trombone, junk percussion
  • 2012 - Full Fathom 5 (with Tony Todesco & Full Fathom 5) credit: trombone
  • 2015 - Suburban Purgatory (with White Trash) credit: trombone
  • 2015 - Together at Last (with The Shady Street Show Band and Hot Blood) credit: trombone


  1. ^ Sean Moeller (August 4, 2005). "Skeleton Key members get some meat on their bones". Quad-City Times.
  2. ^ Shawnté Salabert (February 8, 2006). "VISITING ACTS It's A Zoo". Charleston City Paper.
  3. ^ Richard Skelly (November 30, 2017). "Spin Doctors' Anthony Krizan rocking Roxy and Duke's". Asbury Park Press.
  4. ^ Amy Atkins (September 3, 2008). "Baptized By Fire, Sept. 4-6, Various". Boise Weekly.
  5. ^ "Kay Starr interview with Benjamin Clapp of Baptized X Fire". The Rhythm Authority.
  6. ^ "Flex! Discography of US Punk and Hardcore". Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  7. ^ "Scene Reports : Boise Noise" (PDF). 1996.
  8. ^ the Asbury Music Company, Inc. "2008 Asbury Music Awards". Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  9. ^ Baptized By Fire official band website. "Previous Performances". Archived from the original on 2011-09-17. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
  10. ^ Heart on a Stick review of Skeleton Key performance in New York. "Ugly Americans (Firewater, Cordero/Skeleton Key, Southpaw/Bowery Ballroom, 5/24 & 5/27/08)". Archived from the original on 2008-12-12.
  11. ^ Amy Atkins (November 21, 2007). "Skeleton Key, The Adversives, Nov. 24, Neurolux". Boise Weekly.

External links


Amfibian is an American musical project led by Phish lyricist Tom Marshall.

Anna Cheney Edwards

Anna Cheney Edwards (31 July 1835 - 1930) was a 19th-century American educator from the U.S. state of Massachusetts. She

served as Associate Principal of Mount Holyoke Seminary, 1872-1888; and as Professor of Theism and Christian Evidences, 1888-1890.

Baptized By Fire (band)

Baptized By Fire is an American rock band from the greater New York area, formed in 2006. The band consists of Jesse Blaze Snider, Danny Wacker, Dan Carlisle, and Benjamin Clapp.


Clapp, or Clap, is an English surname, most commonly found in the West Country and in the United States.

The word signifies rough ground, or a small hill.

Some men who brought the surname "Clapp" to America include:

Captain Roger Clapp, who came to the New World on the ship Mary and John, which landed at Nantasket (now Hull, Massachusetts), on May 30, 1630. He helped establish the town of Dorchester, Massachusetts, soon afterward. He worked for many years in important positions for the town and in the military organization, including a long period as commandant of Castle Island.Deacon Edward Clapp, an older brother of Roger, arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1633. It has mistakenly been reported that he had no children, but his last will and testament prove otherwise. Edward was married to Prudence, and their son Nehemiah married Sarah Leavitt, daughter of John Leavitt, one of the first settlers of Dorchester and later of Hingham, Massachusetts. Nehemiah Clapp lived in Hingham for a few years, but relocated to Dorchester, where he died at age 38 in 1684.Thomas Clapp, a cousin of Roger and Edward, arrived in the same ship as Edward in 1633. He later moved to Weymouth, and then to Scituate, Massachusetts, where he was a Deputy of the Court.Deacon Nicholas Clapp, brother of Thomas, arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1633. He was an upstanding member of his community, occasionally mediating disputes.George Gilson Clapp came to America in 1666, residing for a time in South Carolina before settling in Westchester County, New York.

From the Ether

From the Ether is the first album by Amfibian, led by the Phish lyricist Tom Marshall and guitarist Chris Metaxas. Marshall released a solo album in 2000 entitled Amfibian Tales and later formed an official band to perform the songs and other original compositions. By 2003, Marshall had reformed the band with all new members, including Metaxas, who co-wrote each song on From the Ether with Marshall.

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With a sound that combines all three waves of ska (traditional, two-tone and third wave

After releasing a seven-inch single on Moon Ska Records, and appearing on several compilation albums, including all three volumes of the Oi: Skampilation series, the band signed to New York City record label Radical Records and began extensive East Coast touring. That year they released their first full-length album, The Infamous, which received positive reviews.

In 1997, the band toured nationally with Moon Ska Recording artists The Skoidats.

Over the years, they shared the stage with ska acts including The Scofflaws, Bad Manners, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Mephiskapheles, The Skatalites.

In 2013, they released their third full-length album, Escapes And Illusions, on Little Dickman Records.

Scorsese licensed One Step Beyond for use in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Louis Armstrong award

The Louis Armstrong Award, or sometimes the King Bee Award, is the "top senior jazz award" or highest level interscholastic award given to a musician. It is given out by high schools nationwide in the United States in recognition of "outstanding musical achievement and an incredible dedication to the program". Typically there is only one recipient per high school.

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Skip the Goodbyes

Skip the Goodbyes is the second album by Amfibian, led by the Phish lyricist Tom Marshall and guitarist Anthony Krizan. Marshall and Krizan are the only surviving members from the previous album From the Ether. The Phish leader, Trey Anastasio, plays lead guitar on the title track. The former Amfibian member Chris Metaxas also plays on the album.

This was the first album released on Relix Records, a label founded by Relix magazine in 2007.

Wappingers Falls, New York

Wappingers Falls is a village in Dutchess County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 5,522. The community was named for the cascade in Wappinger Creek. A portion of the village is in the Town of Wappinger, and the other part is in the Town of Poughkeepsie, with Wappinger Creek forming the dividing line between the towns.

Wappingers Falls' Grinnell Library is the sixth-oldest library in the state.

White Trash (American band)

White Trash is a funk/hard rock/soul band from Queens, New York. They separate themselves from other bands in their genre with their horn section, called the Badass Brass, which gave them a very funky musical sound. They enjoyed some success in the early 90s before disbanding. White Trash was heavily influenced by Blood Sweat & Tears and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

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