Music Interview: Clap Clap Riot
New Zealand rockers Clap Clap Riot have just dropped their new single, Help Me, the first slice from their upcoming album. We talk to them about it:
Hi and thanks for taking the time out to speak with us at Something You Said. Firstly, congratulations on the new single and LP. The album was produced by Tom Healy, what did Tom bring to the table that really shines through on this LP?
Tom added a lot more colour to this record by encouraging us to toy around with sounds and chord voicings within the songs. The record feature a number of old electric piano sounds that we haven’t really dabbled with much as well as synth layers and percussion.
What was your biggest challenge in putting together this LP and equally what was a positive surprise during the process?
The challenge is usually the timing, you forget when you are putting together how long things can take as there are so many moving parts involved in making a record. The biggest positive surprise was how it has come together, the songs have really come to life in the process.
Were there any particular artists you were listening to at the time of writing/recording that (even subtly) influenced the overall flavour of the record?
I was listening to a lot of The Byrds and John Lennon and that has definitely shone through a little bit in the finished product. There’s a number of influences that come through from the rest of the guys as well.
Some of the subject matter in your tracks touches the frustrations of keeping up with the pace of modern life. What do you put this down to?
It’s more a case of watching people around you struggle to keep up with the 9-5, you get a sense that sometimes people start heading down a road that they can’t back out of.
There is also a sense of isolation and longing to be somewhere else. Does this stem geographically from living on the island of the long white cloud or more metaphorically whereby want you want is always in sight but just out of reach?
It’s more of a metaphorical thing, I think it’s something that a lot of people can relate to. Some people only chase what they want up until a point and then settle for second best. The isolation comes from the point of realisation that you’ve settled.
There have been a great many artists coming out of NZ recently like; Alastair Galbraith, Sarah Mary Chadwick, Plum Green. Is there a real groundswell of emerging artists right now?
There’s always great stuff popping out of New Zealand, we had a cool festival here called The Others Way a couple of weeks ago. That showcased some really great up and coming talent, there’s some amazing musicians out there.
On the back of your new single Help Me, can we expect to see you touring shortly?
Yes we’ll be working on getting some tour dates locked in for Australia in the next 6 months or so. It’s been a while since our last shows there so we’re really looking forward to heading back.
Interview by Courtney Dabb.