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Clock Opera - Talk about music and what they are up to!!!
Dan Devour talks a Guy Connelly of one of the most talked of electronic bands of 2012Clock Opera, about what actually makes them tick!!!...
Music Trespass: Have you been recording any new material?
Guy Connelly: No not yet, we have been pretty much on the road since our album came out in April, so we haven’t really found the time. The tour comes to an end in November and after that we should have a bit more time.
Music Trespass: Have you been working on any songs?
Guy Connelly: Very little, we’ve had very little chance. You always imagine you might get a couple of hours whilst your in the car or something, you can think or write but we find it really hard with so much noise and too many distractions, so unfortunately not yet but I’m sure we will get there.
Music Trespass: Do you think, because you have quite an electronic sound, it’s quite hard to write songs on the road?
Guy Connelly: Well I’ve always got my laptop so I’m always near that. I find it harder when things happen around you; I’m generally on my own when nothings happening, but those occasions are few and far between. Its more a case of head space I guess and the act of moving just giggles the brain so it never really quite settled enough to think about things
Music Trespass: For your music do you find you need to be in your own space or at home?
Guy Connelly: Not necessarily at home, I like the lack of distraction. I like having a solid block. I find it more difficult to write when you have and hour here or an hour there. I would rather have a week or two to really get stuck in. Your first idea is never the best one. You got to go through the first, second, third, fourth idea until you get to something really good, I do anyway to find that space.
Music Trespass: Where do you record your tracks?
Guy Connelly: Pretty much all at home, or in a rehearsal room. We drums in a studio and we had some help mixing in a studio, but other than that we were just sitting at a desk, in a little bedroom or in somebody's front room. Shane's got a little studio in Dorset, but apart from that all very D.I.Y production.
Music Trespass: Where did you do the majority of the album?
Guy Connelly: At home, it started in my bedroom. It was just me in the very beginning, so I did a few songs like that and wherever the laptop is really. Its mostly been in Che Albrington (Drums) or my house really
Music Trespass: Tell me about the concept behind your debut album ‘Ways to Forget’?
Guy Connelly: We got to the end of recording, and selecting songs and we selected a lot of stuff about memory, a lot of stuff about how the brain works and how we need to forget stuff in order to function and so that’s kind of what links to albums together. The title came from a song which didn’t even make it onto the album, its on the extended version, it seemed to make a lot of sense.
Music Trespass: Why did you decide not to put the title song onto the album?
Guy Connelly: Because it wasn’t one of the best ten songs really, Its very much structured as an album, the way you get to the end and it pretty much loops back to the beginning. But we wanted to be concise; to be a good as it could possibly of felt without it being shorter so you would want to listen to it again rather than get to the end, … you know. So there are quite a lot of songs we’ve never played because, aside from the recording, a lot of them we find really hard to translate, and give the same energy the rest of our live set.
Music Tresoass: Because back in the eighties most albums were looped nine or ten tracks because you could only hold so much on a vinyl?
Guy Connelly: Yeah, depends how long your songs are I suppose, if you still know some tricks you could probably still get twenty songs on there. Our songs are reasonably long I suppose as well, I cant remember how long, 40, maybe 42, that would fit on a vinyl, well we got one so …
Music Trespass: Do you have special additions of the vinyl?
Guy Connelly: No it purely lovers of the form, of I’m still kind of consider myself even though I haven’t brought a record in a long time and that’s mainly because I just a don’t ever really get a chance to listen to music or actually physically taking something out of a sleeve and putting it on, that would take up far too much time. I find it hard to carry around say you go to a show someone could easily buy your CD put it in your pocket, if you’ve got a vinyl you have to carry around this big thing all day and buy the time you have got it home its all broke and battered at the edges. That’s the thing you’ve got to take care of it, that’s part of the appeal. If you’re likely to batter it, then maybe it’s not a form for you.
Music Trespass: Can you tell me about the song ‘Clock Operation’ which you’ve got fans to send in samples for?
Guy Connelly: Well that came in after we had finished our album and before it came out, so we had a period of being frustrated and hanging around, you want it to be out there, and we were trying to think of ways to explain how we make our music and give a practical example of it and to involve people, so we just came up with the idea of getting people to send in samples, just anything around them because we make a lot of our sounds through playing around on instruments and percussion sometimes. So we wanted to use that technique, and people sent in loads of sounds of cats, buses, occasionally someone squawking, water, maid, robotic weather report from southern California, very little actual musical stuff which I liked because it made it more of a challenge and you have to try and find the music in non- musical sounds.
Music Trespass: Did you keep any of those sounds for future records?
Guy Connelly: No were not planning to use them again, it was just for that one project.
Music Trespass: There was nothing that you thought that’s really good I’m going to use that for the future?
Guy Connelly: I feel like we have used them already, its always fun to find the next one. Yeah maybe I didn’t really think of it that way but it was more of a quick project. We got our sounds in on Friday and made it over the weekend and then released it on the Monday, just online and then people played it on the radio Monday night, like the golden old days where you just record a song and then the next day it feels good. So it felt like a complete antidote to the writing a record over a number of years then waiting 6 months for it to come out. It was just over and done with it was a good thing to do.
Music Trespass: I think it was a nice idea that the fans feel like they were involved and can listen to the track and feel like they are part of the band.
Guy Connelly: Yeah that was part of the process we like to be inclusive, we want people to feel involved even if they don’t write the songs and in this case they get to be part of it, so that was cool, and then try to tag as closely as possible where peoples sound came in. Some of them were completely unidentifiable but it was good, good fun.
Music Trespass: Can you tell me about your trip to Japan, how did you find that?
Guy Connelly: Yeah, well I’m still recovering; my monotone drone is partly due to being in a different time zone. But yeah it was brilliant it was our first time there and we just flew out and we just ran around for 24 hours trying to soak up as much as possible, have you been?
Music Trespass: … I'm planning to
Guy Connelly: I cant tell you what its like I was only there for 48 hours but I had a great time, it was a brilliant experience. I loved the people loved just walking around a bit of Tokyojust such an inventive place, the respect of the people to each other, to there city. Everybody works really hard and the level of efficiently. Just being in the venue you had ten people around you providing you with stuff you didn’t know you needed until after they have given it to you, yeah just a brilliant, brilliant place.
Music Trespass: How did the crowd react to you?
Guy Connelly: Differently, we were told by a lot of people and a lot of people at the venue that Japanese crowds are a bit different. So we were prepared when we finished a song, and the venue is very well designed there’s no natural reverb so we were totally dead, so they applaud a bit and stop, and then you speak to them and they applaud a bit more and stop, and then you speak to them in Japanese and they applaud a bit more and then that’s it, its complete silence.
Music Trespass: Was it a seated venue?
Guy Connelly: No they stood and it was busy, packed but nobody lets go at all. We did a signing afterwards. We had never done one before and there were 4 of us sat in a row. And then they came out and there were one hundred people and then they let go a bit more but a totally different response. That’s the way they express what they thought.
Music Trespass: Were there lots of cameras?
Guy Connelly: Yeah, that’s when they express there emotions, they are all really grateful you’ve come.
Music Trespass: When I go see Japanese bands they often say you cant take photos during the show, because they don’t realise people in this country don’t take a hell of a lot of photos, but in Japan if they say you can take photos then they are the whole way through the set.
Guy Connelly: Right, maybe we should have opened that up. Yeah I didn’t know that, yeah that’s another example of Japan
Music Trespass: I suppose I’m really surprised because when I go see a lot of Japanese bands there’s a lot of Japanese fans and they’re going for it.
Guy Connelly: During the songs?
Music Trespass: Yeah but I’ve heard that over there its like that, probably because they don’t want to seem disrespectful.
Guy Connelly: But its not, its just a different way of doing things.
Music Trespass: Because aren’t the ticket prices like £60 to see any band.
Guy Connelly: Yeah it was around that we did a mini festival so that kind of justifies it but its still a lot of money.
Music Trespass: Who did you play with?
Guy Connelly: Local Natives, Efdoclan, Thirst for More and another one I can’t remember.
Music Trespass: You never have the band in the music videos its always a concept of the song or a little story line, why did you decide not to show yourself in the music videos?
Guy Connelly: It kind of happened one video at a time really. The very first one we did, well Andy did, for White Noise didn’t have us in, the next one Andy did had me in for a bit, and then the next one was a story, the next one was a different story. We decide at the time, it depends on the ideas at the time really. We always said, here’s the song here’s the lyric, what’s your idea to direct us. If your idea is to involve us that’s cool, if it doesn’t that’s cool. It turned into a sequence of short films but it was never our intention.
Check Out! the Video for 'The Lost Buoys' Below...
Music Trespass: Yeah because I looked at them and was like, where’s the band?, The guy from New Tricks is in the new one, how did you get him involved?
Guy Connelly: He’s Dans dad! Yeah little known fact. I would think of him as a great actor from many, many great films rather than the guy from New Tricks.
Music Trespass: Yeah my mum watches a lot.
Guy Connelly: Yeah but he’s a great actor so he was thrilled to be involved
Music Trespass: But is Dan involved anywhere?
Guy Connelly: No!
Music Trespass: Who would you most like to remix one of your songs?
Guy Connelly: Bjork, she doesn’t do remixes though I don’t think. But she could defiantly
Music Trespass: I think she has done a couple but they are very rare. She has a new remix album out which is really interesting which I would strongly advise you to listen to.
Guy Connelly: I didn’t know she had ever done any...
Music Trespass: I think it might be her remixing her own stuff but it’s really interesting
Guy Connelly: I’m sure it would be, big fan.
Music Trespass: Who are you listening to at the moment?
Guy Connelly: I’ve been listing to the new Efdoclan album as we were playing with them the other day. I saw them a while a go, I don’t know why but I just forgot about them for a bit, enjoyed that. Indigo Magic, I’ve had that one on a lot. It one of those ones that just sits there and improves every time, but like I say I don’t listen to a lot of music apart from my own.
Interview and Questions and live Photo's by Dan Devour
Check Out! the Video for 'Once and for All' Below...