I introduce to you [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Andy Clockwise[/lastfm], the Aussie transport who’s been tossed around like a rag doll on Jonesy’s Jukebox and Locals Only with Kat Corbett. He’s as musically savvy albeit unpredictable as they come, just the way he likes it, “I listen to lots of different types of music, I’m inspired by different types of music. I don’t think there’s any good or bad music…I don’t wanna make just one kind of music you know?”
Two tracks off his latest LP The Socialite, “(Let Them Eat Cake) Too Many Fatties on the Dance Floor” and “Love and War” continue to sizzle on Sunday nights, however both are stylistically (and titularly) worlds apart. There simply isn’t one type or genre of music Andy Clockwise plays. He labels it “schizo pop,” a musical polyglot of everything from folk to punk rock.
I had a chance to pick the man’s brain for a few minutes, and ask some questions regarding his background, influences, and thoughts on music in general.
Andy Clockwise is an artist stimulated by novelty, incapable of succumbing to repetition for the sake of his own piece of mind. He creates to avoid banal sensations, and it was a mad case of boredom that eventually landed him in Los Angeles. After touring his homeland of Australia, he became restless and moved to England. When Andy visited LA for a short rendezvous with a friend, he decided this was going to be his new home. I asked Andy what was it that made Los Angeles so much more appealing than his previous habitats, “It’s just bigger and its more crazy. It’s more flipped out and it’s more raw. I was sort of addicted to that when I got here….I sort of went on a week-long bender where I met thousands of people who were just freaks and weirdos and great people. I met my friend at a backyard party and we didn’t go home for about a week and a half…I just felt this was the perfect place for a runaway.”
Sure, Andy was all about embarking and fulfilling appetites, but he was also homeless. He lived on a friend’s couch who had asked him to produce an album she was making, then simultaneously began work on his first album,”We sent it in to the radio and it all happened from there, otherwise I really wouldn’t have a career. Then I toured a lot in Australia and made a second album called Classic FM. That was a double album about an imaginary record station that was put together by me and my friends, as if we hijacked a radio station for a day.”
Andy’s quick success might surprise some, but take into account he’s a three-headed monster. A classically trained musician that writes, produces, and plays every instrument on his albums. I asked Andy if he could put a number to his sonic tool belt, replying with some modest humor, “Ah man I can’t play any instruments [laughs]. I suppose like John Lennon would say, ‘give me anything and I’ll get something out of it.’ I play quite a few.”
(Let Them Eat Cake) Too Many Fatties On The Dance Floor
On both Classic FM and The Socialite, there aren’t two songs that sound alike. At one moment he’s singing along to a prodigious anthem, echoing a Beatles epoch with “Taking Over the World.” A track festooned with layers of pianos, thunderous drums, and hand claps that provoke participation. A few songs later, you encounter “Death to the Moths in My Head,” a screaming arsenal of punk rock. I asked Andy if it’s difficult for him to unleash creative thought that works, or if it’s a process that feels innate, “You know, I wish it was more contrived and those sorts of things, and maybe I could stick to one aesthetic scene more often, but the honest truth of it is I’m incredibly easily bored. It’s probably the ADHD that I got, but to me it’s second nature.”
It seems all eras of music play a role in Andy’s sound, referencing game changing-artists such as Nick Cave, The Beatles, David Bowie, and even Charlie Chaplin as influences. Traces of these artists surface at his discretion, but I wanted to know if living in Los Angeles, the epicenter of indie rock has any affect on his work as well, “All the time man, all the time. Nonstop. Ever since I’ve been here too, since the minute I first came LA. Everytime I go to a show there’s some guy on a new different trip and he’s doing his thing. And then you got to some other thing, and there’s some other band who have this whole other aesthetic going and it seems to have no rules.” He added, “Im sort of an embracer of anarchy in that way. I don’t like the whole scene aesthetic that I’ve been part of before where it’s all one uniformed ideal. I kind of like that everybody’s all over the place about LA. Every time I go to some gig there’s always something. Even if its terrible I sort of dig it in a way [laughs].”
Love And War (Live)
It’s hard to discover commonalities with Andy Clockwise, but there are certainly some recurring jabs at pop culture, and themes of heartbreak circulating. When I hoped to unlock some clarity on some of his song’s meanings, Andy preferred to leave those answers exclusively with the music, “I don’t know man I could, but these songs sort of speak for themselves I suppose. I have a song called ‘Fatties on the Dancefloor.’ A lot of people sort of misinterpret that song about what that is and understandably so. I mean, it is called ‘Let them Eat Cake.’ Maybe I should have thought of a different title [laughs].” Adding, “I like to keep that stuff to the music and let that speak for itself. Otherwise it’s too transparent and then where’s the mystery in it all?”
During my conversation with Andy, it became pretty apparent the guy is a workaholic. Even if his last album was released just this past April, I assumed he was already embedded in the studio grinding out new material. I was indeed correct. For a guy without a defining sound, hungry for anything that is fresh or foreign to him, I couldn’t help but wonder where he’s taking his music next, “I’m sort of trying to make the most stripped back, depressing album I’ve ever made…I started off as a folk singer you know, and technology gave me the keys to the candy store. I thought it would be nice to just get back on acoustic guitar and exorcise my problems.”
Andy is also currently wrapping up a duet album, featuring artists he’s played with throughout his many travels as a musician. You can expect to snag it later in the summer.
Andy Clockwise will be playing at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles Saturday, June 25 (Yes, that’s tonight people) and Saturday, July 2nd at 11pm both dates. You can purchase tickets by clicking on link above.
Also, be sure to check out Andy Clockwise’s website to purchase his albums and get info on upcoming shows.
Andy Clockwise just announced he will headline July’s FREE Monday night residency at The Satellite (formerly Spaceland).
July 25th The Satellite w/ Useless Keys