Who is Brendan Clemente, and How Did he Get the Opportunity to Open for KBong and Johnny Cosmic on Tour This Fall?

Brendan Clemente
5 min readJul 29, 2022

Believe me, most days I wake up in disbelief that I have the opportunity to tour with these guys, and ask myself some version of this very question. How am I — a short kid from a small town in New Hampshire, who used to get booed out of rooms playing guitar and singing — opening up for two of the most talented musicians in the reggae-rock scene?

(That’s me there on the right, on tour with KBong and Johnny last fall.)

I felt the need to write this because I’m not some big musician on the scene that everyone knows about; I’m still small, and relatively unknown. I’m the guy that most people see on the show poster and ask, “Who the fuck is Brendan Clemente?

And maybe an even better question… with all of the insanely talented bands out there making music and grinding in this scene, why am I the person that KBong and Johnny asked to come on tour with them this fall?

I promise you it’s not because I’m going to sell the most tickets — I’m also not the person with the best voice, guitar skills, or anything else really.

So why then? Hopefully this short article gives some context, and I have the chance to meet and connect with you all this fall :)

Meeting KBong in San Diego

I drove across the country in a broken-down old Subaru after I graduated college over 10 years ago. I wanted to “do something with music”, even though I had no idea what that meant, or where I was going to live.

Since I had no idea what to do, I just started going to every show and open mic night that I could find and tried to meet other musicians there. Funny enough, KBong was one of the first musicians I met.

It may seem like great luck that I met him, but I shit you not — he was in like EVERY band in San Diego at the time. He was jamming with HI Roots, Stick Figure, The Ambassador, and I’m sure many more. Although a little more reserved onstage than we’re used to now, I started seeing his unmistakable live show energy and smile that we’ve all become accustomed to over the years.

We became friendly since we were always running into each other, and right from the start he was always supportive of the bands I joined and played with. Over the following years, I had the pleasure of watching as Stick Figure grew exponentially, and saw them go from being my local music friends and selling out little clubs in Pacific Beach, to playing huge festivals, and touring with the biggest bands in the scene.

Seeing all their hard work pay off has been one of the biggest pleasures of the last decade for me, as I got to witness my friends finding true success, and saw firsthand how much they all put into their music. As Stick Figure grew, I stayed close with KBong and the rest of the band, and would always receive words of encouragement and support whenever I ran into them.

Not only that, but watching Kevin’s awesome growth as a solo artist inspired the hell out of me; I saw songs pouring out of him that put goosebumps on my arms.

When I left my band and started teaching myself to produce music about 5 years ago, KBong, Johnny, and Scott were some of the first people to reach out to me when I released a song and congratulate me, as well as tell me that I was on the right track, and to keep going.

In fact, Johnny was so supportive that he heard something he thought was special in my shitty, amateur recordings, and offered to collaborate and help me produce them.

Here I was a couple years ago, now sitting in the basement of my house in Minnesota, trying to teach myself to produce music, and one of the best producers in the scene was offering to work with me because he dug the songs I was writing.

Since that point I’ve had the privilege of releasing 3 songs with Johnny on Ineffable Records (the same label that Stick Figure, The Movement, Collie Buddz, and so many other incredible artists are on), and am working on more tunes with Johnny as we speak.

So when Kevin texted me late last summer and asked if I’d be interesting in doing a small tour run with him and Johnny Cosmic, I was absolutely blown away; I couldn’t believe that I was going to have the opportunity to open up for two of the musicians I loved and respected the most in our entire scene.

We had an amazing run through the northwest late last fall, and I had some of the best times of my life opening up for, and sharing the stage with Kevin, Johnny, and the rest of their insanely talented band.

And now, here I am preparing for the second tour opening for them, this time across half the country, feeling grateful and as much disbelief as ever.

While many people will ask “Who the hell is Brendan Clemente?”, or will just ignore my name on the tour poster all together, I hope this helps give you some context; I’m not just some random guy that KBong pulled out of nowhere to open, we actually have a long and awesome history with each other.

But bigger than all of this for me, is what this says about KBong and Johnny as people. They’re in one of the most successful bands in the world at the moment, and they could pick any musician they want to go on tour with.

And who did they pick? Me.

As I mentioned earlier, I won’t bring the most people to the shows; I’m still relatively early-on in my music career; and I don’t even have a band — it’s literally just going to be me up there with a loop pedal and my guitar.

But that’s the type of people that KBong and Johnny are — strong supporters of smaller musicians in the scene, and more than happy to give an old friend like me the opportunity to come out and play for amazing crowds all around the country.

I’m not the biggest or the best, but you can bet your ass I’m going to do everything in my power to give you a show that you love and remember this fall, and I couldn’t be more honored to join KBong, Johnny Cosmic, and Dubbest on this run.

Hope to see you out there!

Tickets here: https://kbongmusic.com/tour/

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