Clubfeet : Baywatch To Baywatch Nights
Following 2010’s critically acclaimed debut Gold on Gold (“instantly charming” 7.7 – Pitchfork), a sleeper hit on seminal New York underground dance label Plant Music which steadily worked its way around the globe over a two year period, Clubfeet return with what is destined to be their breakout sophomore album, Heirs & Graces. We surely want dig more about the band’s new album and the story behind it. Luckily, we got a chance to interview the bassist of Clubfeet Yves Roberts so we can reveal them all!
Hi,Yves! This is Alonzo from Svanapaper.com. So, How did the tour go? Was it greater than the one that you have done before? I saw on your web that tour ended on the 1st day of March. Any plan in doing some more?
Hey Alonzo! The tour was epic, sold out shows across Australia – seeing a sea of people dancing along to our tracks was a pretty amazing (andaddictive) experience. We’re supporting Tegan & Sara around Australia in late April and May and then we’re planning on doing another Australian headline tour in July. By that stage we hope to have the Clubfeet Concorde refurbished and up and running to get us between shows in an appropriate and efficient manner.
I have listened to all of your tracks in “Heirs And Graces”. Great album! Do you guys have any particular song (from the new album) that you enjoy the most to perform?
Thanks for the compliment. It’s been pretty fun playing ‘Heartbreak’ with Chela on the road with us – she’s a real character and to say she’s an ‘energetic’ performer is probably an understatement. Another favourite of the new tracks would have to be ‘Get Loose.’ Much like the title suggests, it’s a slow party jam and seems to get the crowd loosened up and moving. We encourage krumping.
Gold On Gold was such a hit at your early career. Does it give you guys some pressure in producing “Heirs And Graces”? Because people will be like comparing one to another. Or you feel like Heirs and Graces should surpass what Gold On Gold has achieved?
We had zero expectations with Gold on Gold and its traction overseas was a pleasant surprise – but we don’t really put pressure on ourselves in that way. With Heirs and Graces we took a similar approach – we recorded and produced everything ourselves at home. The sound has definitely progressed and we’re very excited to be able to finally share it with the world.
Some music medias said that they hear some differences and changes in Heirs And Graces. I also feel the same. What made you guys to decide to make it into something deeper than Gold On Gold? Is there any experience that influenced Heirs And Graces in becoming deeper and more complex than Gold On Gold ?
If Gold on Gold was ‘Baywatch’ then Heirs & Graces is our ‘Baywatch Nights!’ I think we definitely spent more time breaking down each song to its core elements, rather than building layers and layers of sound. We had also been playing live quite a bit and I think this influenced the sound. There are still some deep electronic tracks, but we also brought in more live drums and percussion.
I heard that Vincent Van Gugt (which I later found that he did amazing stuffs for Nick Cave, Depeche Mode, and PJ Harvey) mixed the album! How did you guys end up having him to mix your album? Any cool story that you guys want to share to us about working the album with him?
We met Victor a couple of years ago and we all hit it off really well. He grew up in Melbourne so we have some shared history there. He has a great little studio on Christopher St in NY. He’s more of a band producer than a dance music guru and I think he was great at taking the album to the next level. One night he took us to see his friend Martha Wainwright play and afterwards we went out partying with her and Jimmy Fallon. Victor not only looks like Michael Fassbender, he keeps good company!
Canberra Times stated “but on this album (Heirs And Graces) they have begun to establish a signature sound of their own”, do you also feel that this album speaks the real clubfeet? Who are the influences that helped you guys in forming Heirs And Graces?
It’s encouraging to hear that people are able to identify the music as ours. We all have such varying influences in the band and we all bring those elements to the writing. Some key influences on this album would have to be Peter Gabriel, the Go-betweens, Underworld & Talking Heads.
Your collaboration with Chela is really great. Who’s female musician that you guys would love to work with in the future?
Beyonce! If not her, Samantha Fox.
I wanna ask about your perspective in seeing music. Nowadays we can see there are loads of people who argue about Indie music and mainstream music. What do you guys think about that? is indie music actually more to the personality of the band itself or is it just a matter of how big the label is?
Interesting question. I think the first issue is classification. I don’t think there really is a line there. You could be a band with an indie sound signed to major label or you could be writing pop music but be distributed through an indie. Another issue is major labels buying up indie labels who still operate semi-independently. For example we have the AIR awards here in Australia, which are awesome and specifically award indie artists only. But artists released through independent labels that are owned by major labels are still eligible. There’s a bit of a grey area there. In the end major labels are now fighting in a very competitive market with the indies. It’s pretty fair game for all whether you’re signed to a major, an indie, or just doing it yourself.
What is your proudest moment of your career? And what’s the worst situation that You guys ever been to?
Proudest moment: probably our recent sold out tour in Australia.
Worst situation: when Sebastian’s passport got lost in the mail just before a run of dates for CMJ in the States. The passport was found last minute and Sebastian made it to the first show at Pianos in NY with about half and hour to spare. True story!
Let’s play some fun (or maybe silly) scenario, If you guys were chosen to write a song for Justin Bieber, what the song would be about? and what the tittle would be?
The song would definitely be about driving a Ducati and we’d maybe title it: ‘Second gear, Third base.’
What are three things that people probably do after listening to “Heirs And Graces”?
Eat an iceberg lettuce salad.
Pour a Grey Goose on ice.
Smoke a menthol cigarette.
So, what’s next for Clubfeet?
Summers in Biarritz and winters in Whistler? I think we’re just going to keep doing what we do and see how it all unfolds. Once we’ve toured Australia in July our plan is to head back to the States for some shows and perhaps South Africa too. We’re also keen to keep writing and remixing and playing rad shows.