24 March, 2016

[Interview] with... Clean Cut Kid

Nicely chilled out backstage at Fruit in Hull, we caught up with Clean Cut Kid before their support slot for Fickle Friends recently, here's what was said...

Jase Hare: Thank you very much for even entertaining us for 5 or 10 minutes pre gig...

Mike Halls: Aww no it's a pleasure mate, we love this s**t!

Evelyn Halls: We're sorry it's not very glamorous

JH: Ahh it's fine, to be fair I feel like I'm at Leeds Fest under a gazebo! Haha Ok, first of all Loving your guys work, think it's absolutely class and over at It's All Indie.com we've blogged about you for a little while now...

EH and MH: Oh yeah! Yeah, we've seen your stuff on twitter...

JH: Do you feel like it's been a rapid rise recently after putting in years of hard work?

MH: Totally, 15 years to be an overnight success!

JH: HAHA it's got potential that line hasn't it.

Saul Godman; And i'm only 16!

ALL: Hahaha

JH: You've had a tough paper round my friend.

MH; Yeah it was, it was like super quick, we haven't even had a second to take stock of it. We recorded 'Vitamin C' and 'Runaway' two years ago, sat on the material and rehearsed, got the live thing together, didn't leak anything, then i've been working as a session player with a manager so we gave the management the CD and said yeah it's ready, start managing sort of thing. He put together a team of five or six industry types to come watch us play a secret gig in London, under a different name and it leaked from that. We were like, S**t this is going to kick off quicker than we know! Then by the time we were doing the second gig we had a guest list of 120 industry people, 5 major record label presidents coming down and the gig sold out in an hour.

JH; Wow, phenomenal reaction...

MH: we got like rushed out into cars, driven to the Ivory lounge, and then I spent a month living in London meeting 9 record labels and before our third gig we had signed a deal. Tenth and eleventh gigs we headlined Reading and Leeds BBC Introducing stages.

JH: Yeah we were there in Leeds...

EH; Oh were you there?

JH: Yeah you played Friday. We walked past and I remember looking at my programme thinking "Yeah I need to see them" but I only knew 'Vitamin C'. Those stages are becoming iconic that must have been odd to be playing them so early?

EH: We didn't understand what was going on because like that was our tenth gig, we were just like "how has this happened?". We were just so so so surprised.

JH: Do you guys realise how good a tune is when you write it?

MH: Erm I think at every single stage it has to give you that level of feedback, so I write them and basically I'll get the music together first but then building section after section i'll have to kind of be blowing my own tits off, you know, like Aww that pre-chorus just did it for me. Then me and Ross will go in and the usual formula we'll nail the drums and guitar, like map it out then Saul will build his bass on top. I have to then lock myself away for three or four days and I'll imprint the bands sound on the demo. The record label then fall in love with the demo, naturally haha, and ask for certain things when we go to record it. You never really get it properly because it comes from me getting one hours sleep and just being buried away. You try and do that in a pro studio its always like that magic you can never get but what you do get is it's own thing.

JH: I tweeted the other day that "20 Years From Now" is such an important tune on my playlist currently because when it keeps coming on I get so involved in it and it's not a "mainstream" song you know? You'll probably never hear it on the radio etc but do you get a bigger sense of achievement if you like from fans getting really involved in something you've written?

EH: We saw that tweet and liked it! Thanks for that, meant a lot yeah. When people latch on to the B-Sides you know they're the really heart felt tunes written from deep...

MH: The label promised us when we signed like that we want to make hit singles with you guys but we'll always do vinyls, we'll always give you a B-Side and that'll be an avenue for you to get out the more personal tunes. We supported Circa Waves last year, we loved their record and they were like two thousand people venues and it was rammed every night but with kids which is fine but you'd play something, probably your best performance of the best tune you've ever written and they'd be like "What's this?" but then you'd jump up and down, wave your hand around abit and they'd be going screaming and jumping up and down!

Joe Brumby: Yeah we've been to plenty of those gigs!

MH: Gigs like that though mean less for me than one person saying "wow I just can't get this tune out of my head"

JH: Well I never tweet anything I genuinely don't believe so it's a huge compliment to you guys from me personally. Random question because of 'Pick Me Up' being about someone's voice picking them up, anyone in the world, who's got the best voice?

Ross Higginson: David Attenborough definitely, yeah!

MH: Morgan Freeman!

JB: Always appears on those kinds of lists.

EH: Signing wise there is a band called 'Vaults' you might want to check them out, there's a girl in that band called Blyth I think, she's got one of the best voices I've ever heard, especially live. Or speaking I'd have to say the late great Terry Wogan, he pretty much bought me up!

SG; My bird...

JH: That's pretty sweet mate. Really looking forward to this evenings set...

RH: Hopefully you'll stay for the whole set unlike Leeds! Haha

JH: Apologies but yeah we're definitely staying the whole set this time.

MH: I think cos you've got on board with the music hopefully this live set will be just improving all the time!

JB: Your cover in the Live Lounge of 'Stitches' was class I thought aswell.

MH: Do you know what?! We got given 'Stitches' two days before and had to smash it out, We were actually going to cover 99 Souls - the boy is mine remix tune that's been around and they said no to it because it sounded like it should have been on the record!

JH: Well us guys have really tiny sessions at my house in a bar i've built, you're more than welcome to come smash that cover out there if you're ever in Grimsby Haha.

MH: After festival season we'll be playing some headline little slots, we'll come play it!! haha! Greater fans in house gigs for sure.

JH: Got only 2 more questions guys, clearly I need to mention it, who's the biggest babe magnet?

ALL: wayyyyyyy!

RH: 100% not me!

SG: I'm married!

JH: so that wins right?

EH: Mike gets a lot of love because of the beard naturally.

RH: Every day the struggle is real for him.

MH: This is probably the longest is ever been.

JB: it's majestic when you swing your head in your videos.

EH: In slow-mo videos it's glorious.

JB: Ok last question... favourite Quality Street?

MH: Purple One!

EH: No... Orange with the crispy bits inside!

RH: Coconut.

ALL: What!!

EH: That's like the nan's choice!

JB: Always happens that someone gets scolded by the rest of the band haha!

JH: Every band is divided.

SG: I'm vegan, I just make my own with xmas wrapping paper.

MH: Think I love Roses abit more aswell though.

JH: Anyone who goes toffee fingers, can't trust them. Thanks for your time anyway guys, really enjoyed that and we'll grab some snaps if that's cool.

EH: No thank you! It's been fun.

Huge thanks to Clean Cut Kid for their time, their management for arranging this and Photo Credit to Joe Brumby as usual.

Gig review for this can be found... HERE!!!