J. Clyde Paradis died suddenly of undisclosed causes on August 14, leaving a void our local scene will struggle to reckon with.
Known for his various contributions to Indianapolis metal drumming, Paradis most recently worked with Wretch, also performing prominently with the Gates of Slumber and Sourvein, as well as Graveyard Rodeo over the last two decades.
The Gates of Slumber had already built their reputation as leaders of the American doom-metal revival over the decade prior to Paradis replacing Bob Fouts in the band. But in the four years he was a member he put his distinct stamp on the work the band produced, continuing their legacy and helping build the current scene in Indianapolis, a level of “doom popularity”
the band couldn’t have imagined when they formed.
“He was, on one hand, an intense presence and on the other very cool and carefree,” says Tony Beemer,
who released a song on SoundCloud called “Cool Clyde” that he says the band Ancient Slang never got around to finishing before his death. “He had great finesse playing drums at very slow beats per minute which is not easy to keep the beats steady at that tempo. Clyde stood out and was a strong inspiration of what it is to be cool.”
“He lived as he saw fit, and never apologized for a second of it,” says Scott Wilson, of Desert Planet and the recently reunited Demiricous. “Whether or not you agreed with him, he was inspiring on a lot of different levels.”
“Clyde definitely did things his own way. He was a good dude and an excellent drummer,” Christopher Gordon, who currently drums with Wretch, told me this morning. “He liked to cook too. The last time I saw him was in New Orleans in June. He made some Jambalaya and brought it to the venue for the band I was touring with. Walked from his house with it. That was pretty cool of him. I’m gonna miss that guy.”
This past Friday, Wretch — a band Paradis worked with over the last couple years in the wake of the Gates of Slumber disbandment — released its debut single, “Running Out of Days,” which was originally written as an ode to Slumber-bassist Jason McCash who died in 2014.
It is much more difficult to listen to now, its message of a friend taken “without reason, without rhyme” taking on additional meaning.
“I considered Clyde a friend,” says Wretch lead singer Karl Simon.
“Point blank he told me on several occasions that we were working on it, but I needed to calm down. He was a great drummer. One of the laziest bastards I ever met — quite allergic to practicing or loading equipment. He was who and what he was. It's quite sad actually – a lot of the jokes I could make at his expense now would go over the heads of basically everyone as The Gates of Slumber was an insular world and the other dude is also dead ... I'll miss him. I'll miss the money he owed me. I'll miss his boneheaded get-rich-quick schemes. I have this image of him currently trying to offer the devil a key bump to turn the AC up.
“So that's that.”
As Paradis has no immediate surviving family or life insurance, friends have set up a YouCaring fundraising page to raise money for funeral expenses.
At the time this went to press, the page had already raised nearly half its $3,000 goal. According to the page, any money raised beyond those required expenses will be donated to one of his favorite charities, the Southeast German Shepherd Rescue Fund.