Amandla is the music and group of Claude Coleman Jr., familiarly known as
the perversely versatile drummer for the group Ween. His 20-year
discography as a drummer stretches across an eclectic array of artists and
players throughout the NY/NJ area and beyond, including artists ranging from
Elysian Fields and Eagles of Death Metal to Marco Benevento and Chocolate
On record, Amandla is Coleman as its singer-songwriter, performing on all
instruments, engineering and producing. Live, he is Amandla's frontman and
In 1989, his first band Skunk was signed to TwinTone Records, after which he
began recording and performing with Ween in 1992. Skunk's second release
Laid (1991) featured three Coleman-penned tracks including the slow falsetto
burner I Think I Don't Mind, later re-recorded and re-released on the debut
Amandla release, Falling Alone (2001).
Falling Alone was a contextual portrait of Coleman's influences, defying all
categories with its alt-rock-soul-folk-psychedelic exploration. It was at
its heart a songwriter's record, and it proudly defined Amandla with its own
traditions and sounds; boasting the lush haunting of On A Ferry, then
jumping over to the prog-heavy Daniella. Gene Ween sings on the Marc Bolan
cover, Summer Deep.
The Full Catastrophe (2006), also independently released, took the span of
four years in which Coleman became a near-fatal accident survivor. His music
as well as his miraculous recovery story has been featured by The New York
Times and NPR. On Catastrophe, Coleman continued Amandla's across style
boundaries, bringing Costello-esque pop and flirting with jungle music
moods. It has been reviewed as "a minor masterpiece".
Currently, the drummer, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, engineer /
producer, music teacher, writer, web designer and carpenter is currently in
sessions for his third Amandla release, Laughing Hearts to be released
summer of 2010, as well as touring the new material through the summer.
Recording is taking place between his home studio and CoMA Recording Studio
in Trenton, NJ, a 1940's era radio station / studio restoration project.