In session for you this week, and in celebration of the fact that their brand new single Once And For All (MoshiMoshi/Island) is heading straight for our playlists, we thought we'd revisit the wonderful Clock Opera, who came in to The Amazing Sessions back in September.
You may remember that Lesson No.7 was the video we first featured on this page - and one that thousands of you have now watched over on our YouTube channel. Well, just to keep you on your toes, we've switched to the just as engaging, (slightly earlier track,) Belongings which we played relentlessly back in the summer.
They've been incredibly busy since we last spoke; putting the finishing touches to their album, which is set to drop in April this year, playing shows all across Europe and generally having their inimitable musical skills courted by the likes of Andrew Weatherall, More4 and pretty much every corner of the music press you could think of.
We love the new single, we can't wait for the album, and if you haven't been lucky enough to catch them live yet, then we strongly suggest that you do. Check out the new single Once and for All here. Below is the original interview with singer Guy Connelly.
From the outside looking in, it would seem you've had a pretty hectic 2011 so far. Had it been planned like this or has there been a bit of a snowball effect?
There is only so much you can plan, I guess the speed and size of the snowball depends on how people respond to you. We feel very lucky that, powered by the great reaction we’ve had so far, our ball is beginning to thunder dangerously.
How long have you guys been involved with each other creatively? Can you tell us how you all came to work together?
I used to live with Andy (bass) and recorded his old band, which included Che playing drums. I remember being very impressed with his whirlwind style and the three of us got playing. Dan (keys) joined a little later and totally cemented the band with his great voice and playing skills.
Speaking of the session, how did you find the day itself? Are you used to recording that way - or do you prefer a different approach?
No, we tend to take about 6000% longer, but our writing and recording processes are much more intertwined and convoluted than other bands, sometimes occurring in reverse order, so that's ok. We loved the session we did for you, really nice studio and people, sounded great. And yes, it feels good to work a little quicker once in a while.
And how was the tour itself - any favourite venues? Or bands you met along the way?
We had a spectacular weekend in Iceland for Airwaves, two amazing shows followed by 30 minutes of sleep, a 4am bus journey from hell and delayed flight next to a lady who threatened to vomit for 4 hours. The same day we played at Brighton Komedia and we were all deeply subdued up until the moment we went on. But then some strange alchemy took place and we ended up having one of our best ever gigs. Playing with Metronomy at Bristol Trinity was a particular highlight for me too, homecoming and all that.
We first started playing Belongings on Amazing Radio back in May, the track seems to have had such a huge impact across various platforms, do you still enjoy playing it? How did the actual release with Moshi Moshi come about?
Every time, there are frequent grins during Belongings, can't really help it. Stephen from Moshi had come to a few of our earliest shows and funnily enough it was hearing Belongings that made him decide to put pen to paper. Can't remember if he was grinning too.
You're a band who excel at, and enjoy, the entire process of releasing a record; designing the artwork and the documenting of the entire process - everything synonymous with being on a smaller label. With the move to Island Records, do you think it's a necessity to relinquish a little bit of that control?
What a pertinent question. As you say, we're involved in every aspect of what we make and do. As a big fan of Charlie Chaplin, who wrote, starred in, directed, composed music for and edited his films, I'm a big supporter of doing what you can yourself. Both Moshi and Island understand how important this is and support it. That's not to say that we think are the best at everything ever though, so we're glad of the opportunity to work with masters of the various required forms, as your following questions reveal.
The new single, Lesson No.7, is - as far as we're concerned – a masterpiece. The session version is just stunning. When you passed it over to Tom Vek for the remix were you surprised with the results?
Thank you indeed. Tom is an old friend. We were so pleased that he decided to break his remix cherry for us and were overjoyed with the results, I absolutely love it. I wasn't surprised though, I expected it to be that good.
We all love the official video here too (directed by Aoife McArdle). How much input into the actual story did you guys have? Was Aoife someone you'd worked with before?
We asked for something to be as bold as the song, that was it. I think it's stunning. I get so involved in the film that I forget it's our song playing. Yes, Aoife made our very first video with Andy a while back, for White Noise. We've always wanted to let her run loose with an idea.
What's up next for you all then?
A few shows: Paris with Metronomy next week, London Electrowerkz on Dec 1st, Dublin on 2nd Dec, Cork 3rd Dec.
But aside from this, our album is finally finished. We made the following Public Service Announcement to mark the occasion:
Lastly, who are you listening to at the moment? Any new bands or artists we should know about?
We were made aware of our new favourite band at the Newcastle show we played after the session for you: Mammal Club. So you should tell us really.