From sleep talking and breastfeeding to new tracks and being on tour; we got to catch up in an interview with Mike, Evelyn, Saul and Ross from Clean Cut Kid on their tour with Fickle Friends at The Louisiana Bristol. Here’s what they had to say…
ON THEIR NEW SINGLE ‘PICK ME UP’
Mike: It’s seemed overwhelmingly positive. We have had almost 100,000 views on the video in like the last four days.
ON THEIR NEW MUSIC VIDEO
Evelyn: Joe Connor (director) just came with the idea. We gave him references of stuff we liked and he was able to describe it in one sentence and that’s what the video was about.
Mike: He does like Paul Weller and Jake Bugg so we kind of knew his video themes would be simple and known and gritty. We gave him a load of references and he was all over it. He totally got the Wes Anderson thing and we gave him Risky Business.
Saul: And Napoleon Dynamite!
Evelyn: It was painful though we all got whiplash from head banging too much. We had to head bang for eight hours. If you look at the video close enough, you can see all our faces nearly crying towards the end!
ON THEIR FIRST SHOW OF THE TOUR IN LEICESTER
Mike: It was alright. I think it might be a thing that Leicester just don’t dance. They definitely enjoyed it there was a lot of smiles but just no moving.
Evelyn: It might just be a generation thing, I don’t know. We need that Beatles hysteria back, with the front row going wild.
ON THEIR FAVOURITE PLACE TO PLAY
Mike: It’s hard for it not to be Liverpool. We didn’t come out of the Liverpool scene. Before we got signed nobody knew about us anywhere and then once we were signed we kinda did the London thing. We didn’t mean it but all of our stuff kind of came out of London. The Liverpool following has come late but it’s really starting to pick up.
Saul: Everyone’s been excited for us and about what’s been happening.
ON THEIR FAVOURITE FESTIVAL
Mike: Tough one. Leeds or Reading? Leeds! Leeds was great yeah.
Evelyn: I really liked Latitude because that was our first ever festival. We had only did four gigs before we even did Latitude. It was so weird, it was packed. We didn’t think anybody would be there. I was like there will be four people there and then the tent was just packed. It was amazing. We were really surprised.
Mike: Every time that happens is amazing but those first few festivals where they were just packed with loads of people and everybody was singing the words that was surreal. It was mind-blowing. It was like how do I not know these people. It’s so weird. How do they know the words to our song?
Evelyn: Who are you?!
ON BEING SASSY
Evelyn: I really like playing ‘stay’. I feel dead sassy when I’m playing it. I feel like an 80’s business woman walking down New York in Times Square just playing it.
ON PLAYING LIVE
Mike: We made the first few tracks just in the studio without live practice and then we just hid away. We did everything, just not in the public.
Ross: Have we even done 40 gigs yet?
Evelyn: We have rehearsed so much
Mike: Yeah, we did a year just buried away. We were all professional musicians before this band. Between us we’ve got thousands of gigs under our belts.
ON THEIR FAVORITE TYPE OF CROWD
Evelyn: We did a date with the Courteeners at the Apollo in Manchester and that was mad. Their crowds are amazing. I love a rowdy crowd.
Ross: They were a football crowd!
Mike: At Courteeners we had the Liverpool/Manchester football rivalry, I just came straight on stage and went, we are from your favourite city Liverpool and everyone started screaming and then we just started playing. I thrive off the rowdy thing.
With Circa Waves, the only thing I struggled with is there is no direct reaction to you delivering something within a song and the crowd’s reaction. You will play something that you’ll know people usually react really well to and they’ll just be like okay. They’re not really into the gig for the music, they’re just there for a stage show. So you find yourself jumping round like a clown even when that’s not what the song even calls for. If we went crazy at a gig we would get a crazy, amazing reaction but if we just played a great gig musically and just delivered it they would be like what’s this. We love Circa Waves and their tunes but you can tell their gigs are geared for that. It’s just what the crowd want.
ON BEING ON TOUR WITH A MARRIED COUPLE
Mike: [in reference to Saul and Ross] They’re like our children in more ways than you can believe.
Evelyn: I breast feed them…that’s our angle as a band…I don’t really, please scrap that!
ON SLEEP TALKING
Evelyn: I was crying. I was really upset in one sleep talk session where I was just going. ‘I can’t believe it Mike, I’m a girl’
ON FINDING THE BAND
Mike: When I found Saul he was living in a practice room below where I was rehearsing. Six years later when me and Ev put the project together I was like there was this crazy guy who would be perfect and a couple of days later we found him buskering in the street at one in the morning. I was like that is the guy! The day after it just kicked off in the studio.
Ross: [in reference to Mike] We met on a train…
Evelyn: Eyes met across…
Ross: I gigged with Mike, we were teaching kids doing this rock school sort of thing and we just got to know each other on the train.
Mike: I’m into loads of obscure bands that people have never heard of and Ross knew all of them and I was like wow that’s weird. Then I stalked him and went to all of his gigs.
ON THE NEW ALBUM
Mike: We’ve done 15 tracks, it’s just in the process now of getting a few tracks together with the guy who produced ‘Pick Me Up’. He did The Suburbs by Arcade Fire, he’s a guy we’ve idolised for ages and now he wants to work with us.
Evelyn: We’ve got an aim for the end of the year
We then caught their show afterwards… Kicking off the set with the fun pop indie riffs from track ‘Run Away’, Clean Cut Kid took over Bristol’s Louisiana with their energetic burst from the outset. The band delivered such enthusiasm and excitement in such a short set list. Their set was like an inhalation of laughing gas; a short but exciting shock which left you wanting more. Each track giving off fun vibes with bouncy beats and catchy riffs, combined with the surprisingly soft voice which juxtaposes lead vocalist Mike Hall’s hairy tank persona.
Clean Cut Kid are significantly good at exciting the crowd. Bassist Saul, the hairy Rapunzel; part human, part pogo stick was particularly great at maintaining the energy throughout the set. Lead vocalist Mike had to ensure the crowd that track ‘Stay’ about ADHD was in fact not about Saul!
However the highlight of the set was the amazing reception from newly released track ‘Pick Me Up’. Being released only four days before the gig, the crowd loved it as there was not a still person in the room. Having such an enthusiastic crowd to such a new band, with not even an album released yet predicts that we need to brace ourselves for what’s to come.