Get Frank's Lukas Clark-Memler chats with Clap Clap Riot about Shrek, The Beetles, and Chavril. Clap Clap Riot are currently on tour.
What’s up guys, how are you all doing?
We’re great – thanks for asking
So can you all introduce yourselves – names and what instruments:
Dave Rowlands – Guitar, Stephen Heard – Vocals/Guitar, Tristan Colenso – Bass, Jordan Clark - Drums
Nice to meet you. Can I ask what your favorite Shrek film is?
Has to be Shrek 1 as it’s the original. Gotta love Eddie Murphy.
Mine too! So how did Clap Clap Riot come to be?
We started as a comedy folk trio at school (Lincoln High School) and then went on to play in a number of musical projects together until we came to Clap Clap Riot.
What are you wearing right now?
Black Jeans. Black Tee-Shirt. Black Suit Jacket. Black.
Swag. Do you think clothes are important for a band? Should musicians be concerned with their image?
It has to be something that bands think about, you don’t want 4 people on stage that look like they don’t belong together. At the same time you can’t force it too much.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has yet to experience your music?
Dirty pop music.
You’ve had a pretty successful year, what with the release of your debut album distributed through Universal! Congrats about that… Overall, what has been the highlight of 2012 so far?
Getting the album out was a huge accomplishment for us as it’s been a long time coming. The success of ‘So You Say’ as a single was also a highlight.
Explain the Clap Clap Riot. Microsoft Word keeps underlining the second ‘Clap’ in red because in the English language you’re not supposed to consecutively repeat a word twice (that’s why I hate Die! Die! Die!)… So thanks for making this document look scarred and bloody.
It’s the name of an applause machine from Top of the Pops that was introduced by John Lydon (Johnny Rotten).
What do you think about spell checks? How about grammar checks?
Spell check is good – it’s managed to catch me out when mistyping the word count a number of times. Grammar check not so good – I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong in the first place.
I feel the same way… So why don’t you tell us about your debut album, Counting Spins. What was the recording process like?
Recording was great, we did two separate single sessions and then worked through the rest of the album in one haul t York St and Studio 203. The big Christchurch earthquake happened in the middle of recording which threw a spanner in the works for a while (our families are all in Christchurch). We were happy with the end product when we were done.
Do you have a favourite song from the record? Sub-question, which is your favourite song to play live?
‘Lie’ is one of my favourite tracks on the record, ‘Everyone’s Asleep’ or ‘So You Say’ are both really fun to play live.
Do you have a favourite Beatle member?
John Lennon easily.
What about your favourite Beatle member’s wife?
Yoko Ono of course.
Obviously this was to get to the topic of Yoko Ono [the name of CCR’s fantastic EP]. What are the main differences between recording and writing an EP vs an LP?
An EP feels like a collection of a few songs that need to be similar in feel, where as an album has to be thought of as an entire piece of work that’s dynamic, with a start and a finish in my mind.
If you found out from your doctor that you only had 14 days left to live – how would you spend your final two weeks?
Half of it would be spent with my wife and my family and half would be spent desperately recording any material I wanted to get out before I jumped ship.
Any thoughts on this year’s US election?
Obama all the way – he hasn’t had enough time to tidy up the pile of shit that Bush left for him yet.
What are your favourite records of 2012 so far?
Opossom’s album was great, Die! Die! Die!’s new one was pretty rad, Beach House, Feist, UMO and many more I can’t think of…
How about favourite films of all time?
Lost in Translation, Back to the Future 2 And Ghostbusters.
Now combining the two – what are your favourite music moments in cinema? I’m thinking the Tiny Dancer scene in Almost Famous, or like, Eye of the Tiger in Rocky…
The keyboard solo in Big
What’s your views on the NZ music scene? I know this is the most standard question to be asked in an interview but I will lose my license as a music critic if I don’t ask it…
It’s good, changing constantly with Spotify etc. coming along
Yes, music critics do get licenses… Are you calling me a liar?
I’d like to see that next time we meet
Is it better to burn out or to fade away?
Nirvana or Pearl Jam?
Eddie Vedder or Chad Kroeger?
What did you listen to when recording Counting Spins?
Old Lennon, Deerhunter, Brothers, The Mint Chicks
Best ‘on tour’ story?
A bar in Palmerston North made the mistake of letting us have free reign of the bar with Motocade and F n Math. Bad idea.
No way, that’s crazy… So would you rather strangle a child to death, or only be able to listen to “Call Me Maybe” for the rest of your life?
I think you could recover from strangling a child over time.
Uh, will you call me, maybe?
If you send a photo then maybe.
Fair enough. That line hasn’t really worked on anyone to be honest. Speaking of pick up lines, would you rather be dangerously obese or seriously anorexic?
Haha, I’m the same. If you could share the stage with any musician, living or dead, who would you choose and why?
Maybe Keith Moon – great drummer, and a maniac.
If you had to either travel forward in time 200 years, or backwards in time 200 years, which would you choose?
Forwards, I can’t handle too much physical labour.
Who’s your favorite celebrity couple?
Kanye and Kim
Really? Mine’s Chad & Avril (Chavril). I love Canadians…
I just threw up in mouth a little.
Most overrated artist of today (you can’t say Nickleback or Avril Lavigne)?
Uhh, if Hollywood made a movie about your lives, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?
Scott Bao if he grew his hair out.
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing with your life?
If you could play anywhere in the world, venue or festival, where would you play?
Main Stage Glastonbury on closing night.
Karl Marx famously used his dying breath to say, “Last words are for fools who haven't said enough.” That’s pretty badass. What would your last words be…
I agree with Karl I think
Musical goals as a band? Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
We want to work really hard on tackling Australia now and then go from there. We’ll hope to have another couple of albums out within the 5 years as well.
Is there anyone you want to thank?
My Mum. Actually. The album literally wouldn’t have existed without her help.
Cheers for bearing with me, answering my questions, and being generally copasetic dudes… Any final words before you go?
What the hell does copasetic mean??? I’m going to go and Google that now.
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