Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit
TLOBF Interview // Clinic

TLOBF Interview // Clinic

04 October 2010, 11:15
Words by Adrian Mules

Clinic‘s sixth, and most mellow, album is due for release on the 4th of October. Adrian Mules caught up with Ade from the band to discuss how it came together.

Hi Ade, how’s life with you today?

Very happy, it’s sunny and that makes me feel good.

Cool, that’s quite apt, as you are about release your new album Bubblegum which is significantly less sinister than your previous offerings, have you mellowed after six albums together?

We wanted to just make something different. There have always been mellow songs in the past but not over a whole album. We thought it’d be good to make a dinner party record. Some easy listening for a change.

So was there a conscious effort to make a more mellow record from the off or did that evolve through recording?

From the start the songs were all done on acoustic. So rather than just add noise or discordance, we let the songs breathe and allowed the melodies to come through.

There’s a bonus disc version of the album with acoustic songs, were those the starting points for the tracks or are they stripped down versions of what’s on the album?

They were done after the LP – so kind of back to front – by that stage we’d learnt how to play the songs. But they’re all how the songs started out, still pretty rough round the edges.

There’s also some really beautiful orchestration on the main record. Who arranged those sections?

John Congleton, who co-produced the record, arranged the strings. He has a string section he uses in Texas, from previous work with things like Bill Callahan. I like the way the strings are subtle and not overdone.

So has the writing and recording process remained the same for you over the years?

The process has always been a mish mash of approaches – sometimes based around rhythms or just a daft idea or sound or melody – like this time around. We’ve never had a fixed or standard way of writing.

Did you worry during the swine flu scare that there would be a shortage of surgical masks? Or do you have them stockpiled?

We’ve muddled through.

Okay, you are setting off on tour soon, you’ve got quite a following in America, when did their love affair with Clinic start?

That started just after Internal Wrangler. We hadn’t toured there but people just seemed to pick up on that LP in America. They could see that it was something different and outside of standard indie guitar music

Do you get a different reaction from the American fans than the UK ones?

It’s quite similar as the music seems to appeal to the same type of people in both countries – degenerates and misfits.

I love the video for ‘I’m Aware’; tell me more about The Starlake Cosmic Sun Owl Commune.

That was all Pete Fowler’s ideas. He wanted a video that looked like an old 70′s kids show but with an acid tinge to it.

How did you come to work with Pete Fowler?

The song is quite bright and summery, as you said it’s less sinister. So Pete was an obvious choice. I liked the colours and psychedelic look to his previous work. We were lucky in that he’s a fan of the band and was up for doing it.

I first heard you played by John Peel, he was a great man and source of new music. Do you think the musical void he left has ever been filled?

No. Not really. A lot of the bands John Peel played would really struggle to get radio play now. Like a lot of things, once the old guard has gone, the move is to something more conservative – his tastes were so broad and unique – I’m not sure anyone could replace that.

So how do you find out about new music?

Through friends and radio. I like wfmu, that’s good for discovering new music, as is the head heritage website.

And what new bands are you into?

I really like Sun Araw and Magic Lantern – as well as Stig Noise and Mugstar. They’re both from Liverpool, nothing like people’s general conception of Liverpool bands.

Well neither are you guys, so what’s the magic formula that keeps a band together and producing relevant material for so long?

If one exists, I’d say to avoid fitting in to any trends or bandwagon jumping. Just to make music that you want to make yourself. It probably won’t make you rich but hopefully a bit more longevity to it.

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