Hello Career…..Welcome to the Clunk Universe.
Thank you for making the clunk universe so welcoming!
Please tell us who does what in the band.
Joe is on lead vocals, Jack plays guitar and does a bit of backing vocals, Tom plays bass, and Jonny plays drums (and does all the studio engineering, producing, mixing, and a little mastering – he’s a very talented music producer and works as Bottle Rocket from his studio in East London).
How did the band get together?
JOE: The band got together because I spent approximately 10 years of my life asking people if they played an instrument, and if they did, I’d forcefully encourage them into being in a band with me. Jack and Jonny were the only two people that could tolerate me, so that’s how it got going. Tom joined after the two previous bass players had had enough.
JACK: Joe’s a fierce driving force and his answer cannot be argued with. All I can add is that we met when we worked together for a brief period of time and one of the first things he said to me was “do you play guitar?”.
Did anybody, perhaps a teacher or family member, advise you to get a ‘proper job’? Or have you all had encouragement all the way?
JOE: I don’t think I’ve ever been discouraged or encouraged by a teacher or a family member. I don’t think the teachers at school were that interested…
JACK: My dad went to art school in Norwich and plays guitar so growing up I always had a high level of creative encouragement which I’m incredibly grateful for. When I made movements towards studying art myself some teachers at school explicitly told me to pursue something “more academic” so it’s been a mixed bag.
You have a forthcoming EP, ‘Letting Out The Slack’. Please give us a run down of the songs, what are they about, what was the inspiration etc?
JOE: In regards to the lyrics, the songs aren’t about anything in particular. Microwave is probably the most lyrically cohesive of the tracks. Jack had the riff and the words “my head feels like a microwave meal..etc”. So I tried to make the rest of the words as singular and focused (on microwaves) as I could. The lines and words in the other tracks come from all-over-the-place. Most of them are just thoughts that I was having at the time I was working on them. I aim to not be precious with any of the words and I don’t want what I write to be read as or taken seriously.
JACK: Yes so the EP is made up of five tracks (Natural Energy, Microwave, Cup, 100 Karat Gold, Dripless Perception) and I think the oldest one is Dripless and that’s probably been in the set since Spring 2019. We definitely wanted for this EP to feel a bit more fun and energetic and less self-serious compared to the previous EP (self-titled) so hopefully that comes across. Apart from Natural Energy and Microwave the titles don’t really relate to the content of the songs, which is something I’ve always admired in other bands. Cup was previously Cup of Time, 100 Karat Gold was a phrase that made us laugh and implies a pompousness ripe for pricking. I don’t think that has anything to do with the lyrics but it stuck! Dripless Perception is a nod to a band we’re all massive fans of…
The Ep comes out on Bingo Records. Have you met all the lovely people there, have they taken you out for dinner, bought you some champers? Or maybe some beans on toast?
JOE: Nope! We signed the deal after having a zoom chat! I’ve heard stories about bands being wooed with luxurious gifts and Michelin star banquets! But right now I’d probably accept a trek bar and a can of Cranston’s rhubarb. We’re very happy to be with Bingo, and we hope that we can somehow repay the blind faith they showed in us!
JACK: We can’t wait to be featured on the Beans on Toast youtube series! We can only assume the champagne will be provided once we’ve hit triple platinum, which is of course a guarantee as it currently stands. Being based in London we’re really looking forward to touring again, heading up to Sheffield, and meeting everyone in person.
What music did you folks grow up listening to? Are there any musicians in your families?
JOE: Top of the tops (and TOTP2) was probably the main thing for me. I liked it as in-between the novelty or pop acts they’d always have a serious band or person perform. It felt very democratic. Any musicians? Nope.
JACK: So early teens would’ve been Big Rock. Foo Fighters. Zeppelin. The Beatles. Man I was obsessed with The Beatles. Sad Rock. Radiohead. Arcade Fire. Then it got all metal with Mastodon, Baroness, Oceansize. “The guitar chops”. This was all peppered with stuff from my aforementionedly musical father, stuff like Simon & Garfunkel, Leo Kottkee, Albert Lee, Joni Mitchell.
How have you been keeping yourselves amused during lockdowns? Jigsaw puzzles? Board games? Baking? Fitness jump-abouts with Joe whatsisname?
JOE: I’ve been going to work!
JACK: I’ve been furloughed from my usual part-time job (as it stands…) so I’ve been able to go into my studio to focus on painting which has been amazing. Lots of board games like Seven Wonders: Duel, Bananagrams, Istanbul. Cooking, baking with a lot of apples, cycling when I can. But mainly painting!
Do you have plans for an album during 2021 or perhaps a tour?
JOE: We’d love to do an album! We’ve got enough new material to do one, but we have been hampered in our attempts to get them polished and ready to record! And yes. A tour please, that hopefully people are allowed to go to!
JACK: As soon as we’re able to tour safely, we absolutely want to tour. We’ve been able to remotely work on some new stuff which is exciting, and are hoping to record an album at some point with the new stuff.
If we come to hang out with you for a weekend where are you going to take us? You are the Entertainments Committee!
JOE: I would probably ask you what you’d like to do! Perhaps on a sightseeing tour of South East London?!
JACK: Joe’s sightseeing tour of SE London would actually be really good! He’s lived in the area for a good while, has seen a lot of change, and has a surprisingly high appreciation for architecture! I never really used to look at architectural features that much when I was out and about, but having walked with Joe a lot (gear in tow, going to band practice, going to gigs, pedestrians forever!) I now look around as much as I can.
Thanks for taking the time with Clunk. We are looking forward to the EP. Don’t forget to come to Carlisle when you get out there on tour!
JOE: I’d love to go to Carlisle! I still have a t-shirt commemorating the 2010 Johnston’s paint trophy final between Carlisle and Southampton!
JACK: Thanks very much for having us! I’ve got family around Penrith and Kendal so I’m well overdue a visit up the road to Carlisle.
career is Jack, Joe, Jonny, Tom.