Clerks, Love Among Freaks’ ultra-catchy, upbeat slice of suburban slacker, grunge-funk, was the perfect tune to open Kevin Smith’s classic, dialogue-heavy, debut movie of the same name. The band nailed the lyrics too:
I guess I’m living day to day
Just hoping to be led astray
That’s a neat summation of Dante and Randal’s experiences as employees of the Quick Stop convenience and RST video respectively. It’s another great line from a movie full of them.
There are some big names on the Clerks soundtrack – Alice In Chains, The Jesus Lizard, Corrosion of Conformity, Soul Asylum – but it’s the little-known Love Among Freaks who get the title track, as well as Berserker, another tune that’s crucial to the film as a whole. That’s because their guitarist Scott Angley was a friend of Kevin Smith’s from high school and the band were customers of the Quick Stop where Kevin worked and where he filmed Clerks between shifts. They got talking about the movie and Love Among Freaks became more amateur contributors to the production, providing some four-track recordings for the soundtrack.
It was only when Clerks got picked up for release by Miramax following the 1994 Sundance Film Festival that the budgets stretched to songs from established bands. Love Among Freaks were kept on though and rerecorded their tracks in a studio to bring them up to releasable standard. The cost of licensing the new songs on the soundtrack was more than the film’s entire original budget.
Love Among Freaks never capitalised on the buzz around Clerks. They only got around to releasing their debut album Representin’ Planet Earth in 1998, by which time they’d been through several changes of personnel and style. That was their one and only LP and they split up for good in 2002.
It’s hard to say what potential this band had, since non-Clerks Love Among Freaks tunes are difficult to track down these days. But they had a good following in their native New Jersey in their day and the 1994 line-up did a stand-up job for their buddy on Clerks. In fact this tune kicking off that movie at that time was pretty much a perfect moment, and not every band gets one of those.