INTERVIEW: The Unique Sound of Andy Clockwise

P1040326Since the release of the EP Dancing World, Australian musician Andy Clockwise has a growing and loyal fan base of which contribute to his unforgettable raucous live shows.  Clockwise records, performs, produces and mixes all his record and has toured with The Black Keys, Julian Casablancas and Warpaint.  B-Sides caught up with Australian artist Andy Clockwise in the midst of a crazy SXSW storm to talk about his unique sound and his life on the West Coast.

 

I like the chain, it’s a nice touch…
Thank you darling, I appreciate it.

So you used to describe your sound as schizo-pop……
I used to describe myself in that sort of way, yeah.

So what would you describe yourself as now, what ailment would you use?
(laughs) Well schizo isn’t necessary an ailment now is it, do you know what I mean?

…It’s a condition
(laughs) It’s a condition. No, its something that somebody had tagged about me. It’s that I would jump from moods a lot musically and different styles of music. So it was kind of like the only way I suppose they could pigeonhole me, but that what journalists have to do, don’t they? (laughs) Yea, it’s always surprising of somebody interpretation of what you’re doing, you know?
You’ve been compared to artists like Nick Cave…
Wow that is a big order, isn’t it. Man I really hope I live up to that.

You’ve toured with INXS and you’ve been compared to certain artists because you got the whole 80s influence going on…
Yeah I did tour with INXS, yeah. Yeah, that was cool. Nick Cave — I sort of came from the background of music. Kind of like a folk background, really all about lyrics, and honesty, and depressing shit. And you know, I really liked all the 80s bands for that. I really love the Human  League and I really love Tears for Fears and bands like that, who have sort of that 80s production and with somewhat interesting lyrics.
So what’s your opinion on Whitesnake?
(laughs) I never really got into the 80s hair bands, that was more my older sister, you know what I mean.

And your opinion on house music now?
I really love house music. I love electronic music. That was another part of me growing up. That’s probably why people say (compare me to) LCD Soundsystem because I have a dance music background and when I left school it was sort of the first house music explosion in Australia. I was really into that scene. I was a punk rocker and went from overnight of people fighting at shows to all taking ecstasy and loving each other. It was a kind of interesting thing.

On your Wikipedia page its says you were “sent to a different school for getting into too much trouble at a fairly young age.’’ That’s in quotes so did you say that.
Well yeah, that’s somewhat true yeah…
A member of Andy’s tour lets us know tonights already postponed show will be cancelled

So what happens when a show gets cancelled?
I get to watch House of Cards on Netflix then just relax. I’m a bit bummed about it, I was really looking forward to playing. I’ve got some new songs. I’m really excited about playing them and I was really looking forward to that but for some reason in the back of my mind I knew that was going to be cancelled.
So you were inspired by imaginary radio station on your first album?
I was really bored about a lot of music that was happening at that time. It was sort of the year of the end of the album, you know what I mean? So I thought what should I’d do for my debut album, I should do a double album and make something crazy. So I came up with this idea, me and a friend of mine, we made up this surreal sort of radio station because it allowed me to musically pretty much do whatever I want. If I was pretending to do a sort of fake radio station, I could make the album into a complete shit show, which it was. Me and my friend, he played the radio DJ, and the whole idea of the radio station was you had this weird sorta hippie idea, and we thoughts let’s have a depressed sort of radio guy who sort of says these incredibly poetic things. That’s a long tome ago now too.

You moved to LA and then you released Yard Sale..
Yeah I forgot that (laughs). I forgot I released that- that’s great.

What’s behind the “Open Relationship” video?
We wanted to make something that was one of those situations of what I like about music those feelings of “what the fuck is this, I don’t know why I like this but I do.”
Things that you react in a way where you’re like “I don’t really understand why I like this, but I like this.” That’s the stuff that I sort of like. Stuff that makes me look at it a second time, musically I hear it a second time where I’m “like woah that’s sort of interesting.”

Oh, so more schizo-pop?
No, but like you said, things like that is what I think changes and evolves music in a lot of ways. So for instance, say a band like Joy Division in the 80s – to a lot of people they weren’t the normal of what was happening. It was sorta like, “oh this is weird.” So then they become like, the most seminal band of all time. Just me as a fan of music, that’s the stuff I like. and if I could do that and if I would be able to achieve that I’d be very happy as an artist or a musician or whatever you know.

So with the release of Socialite, we can tell you are very sarcastic…
I used to be…I like people to interpret what I do anyway they want to but I’ll let you in on a little secret that Socialite is basically about me moving to Los Angeles and sort of it’s not really me, it’s basically other people that I met in Los Angeles who I felt was interesting, so kinda like a I created a fake radio station, Socialite was fake character who sort of lives breathes and feels like you and me do but completely denies the understanding of that, you know what I mean. I have I reiterate something. It’s not really a joke for instance, I’m not trying to joke so much as just pretty much hold up a character that exits called the Socialite. It’s not necessarily something to be laughed at. There are some songs that do sort of comment on the culture that was sort of of surrounding me at that time. It’s sort of funny, I would never want to laugh at anybody. I think it’s sort of cruel to laugh at people. But it’s good to hold up a mirror to myself or you or him or people around me. That’s kind of what the idea of the Socialite was. You get people to realize what they are doing is ridiculous and you get them to laugh at it.

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