Welsh lads Clockwork Radio are about to release their debut album 'No Man Is An Island' on September 8th 2014. A summer release, the album showcases the band's upbeat, indie sound that has already turned heads at BBC 6Music and Radio 1.
Guitarist and singer, Rich Wiliams, stopped by to answer some questions ahead of the album release to tell us a little more about the band, their forthcoming single and their most important lessons learned.When did you realise you wanted to form Clockwork Radio?
Well it started as a side-project and morphed into a band over time. Me and Iwan decided to move to Manchester from Wales in around 2010/2011, we got together with Dan and Sam and started touring and from there we've just kept doing it and just kept trying to write better songs and put together better live shows.
What are your main musical influences?
I don't think we care about a particular genre of music or anything, wI think most people just like good music that's real and honest. I think they're the songs that connect with people.
Currently we're really into Jack White, Tame Impala, St Vincent, Gymnast, Kristian Harting and Jackson 5. We listen to a lot of the band and musicians who give us their CDs on tour too which is pretty special as we'd of never got to hear that music without touring and getting out to europe.
What's your latest single 'Fever' all about?
'Fever' is about a lot of the stuff we see on TV, news papers, magazines etc and how things are twisted and certain types of people, especially women, are portrayed I guess.
So it's about seeing all that and looking past it, hoping that more people will see that a lot of what we are exposed to is purely rubbish.
Sometimes I think the news and every thing is put out there to distract and it can make people fear everything. Also how people are made to feel bad so they buy things, particularly beauty products etc. There's a few lines which I think comes from all the airbrushing that goes on, that get's plastered on advertising boards and magazines, that sometimes make especially women feel they have to live up to something that is completely fabricated and unachievable.
I think it's quite an chilled song musically but the vocals are pretty aggressive which gives it a weird contrast, it's one of the best to play live too because it has a cool groove.
Tell us a little more about the album 'No Man's An Island' - what is it about?
The album is about humanity and honesty and trying to make something that sounds like 4 guys in a room. It's something we kind of carried on from the 'Ubuntu' EP we released in 2012.
It's all about people working as collective, just purely for the passion and love of doing it not for money or ego. It's something that's come from touring where people are so generous and warm, they have a massive love for music and supporting music. It really shows you that there's a lot of good out there.
The aim of the album was to try and capture the live sound we have developed whilst on tour. We opted to go into a studio for 2 days rather than a week or so. The result, we hope, is an honest, raw and energetic record.
Dream gig - who are the top five bands on the bill, with you guys headlining?
Dream Jockey, Marvin Gaye, Band of Gypsies, Bob Marley, Joe Cocker (Mad Dogs and Englishmen era) and then Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Virgo doing trick shots in-between bands. We put together a line up of mainly dead people so maybe it could be some kind of hologram show.
What's it like being a band from Wales?
Really don't think it has made any difference to us really,I don't think it's any harder for us than it is for other bands.
We've never really been part of a 'scene' anywhere to be honest, we've just gone our own way and done our own thing. Which has sometimes made things harder.
I know from playing in bands in the past that Wales can kind of be closed off to the general outside music world but there's a lot of good Welsh language music out there.
What's been your favourite live show to date?
I think most the shows leave you with some good memories, you can always take something different way from them. However the first show we ever played in Paris was really amazing, the place was packed, everyone was into the music and we had the best time in the city.
We also played a small acoustic show at a tiny bar called Face Bar a couple of years later there and that was really amazing because the place had this really cool atmosphere and the crowd and venue owner were so great with us.
Can we expect to see you live any time soon?
Yes, we'll be touring in support of the album release from September onwards, we'll be playing around the uK and then heading to Holland and hopefully some more EU dates. We'll be trying to get to some new countries that we haven't toured in yet we're planning on sorting some shows in New York, Austria, Switzerland and anywhere else we can get to,
There are so many indie bands out there now, what makes you guys stand out against the rest?
We play live a lot so the shows are always fun and I guess I'd say we actually sound better live than on a CD because of the vibe and energy. I don't think a lot of bands now, because they don't play so much or because everything is so reliant on computers, can say that.
Also we're the best dressed band in Manchester apparently, no our words...
What's the most important lesson you've learned from being in a band so far?
Don't moan on tour is a good one, our friend Kristian told us that one, touring is tough as it is but it's also a great opportunity to experience new places and people you know. Sometimes you get tired and all that but you have to remember to enjoy every minute because it's so much better tun doing something you hate.