Bluesy Sludge Masters Clamfight Interview up
1. Tell us about the Sludgy Bluesy Post Hardcore love that is Clamfight?
Four jabronis in their late 30s who've known each other since Junior High, making very loud music about the sea. We've always gravitated to the heavier side but more recently have started exploring that more dynamic bluesy element that has been an influence to us.
2. III is indeed your 3rd album; how does it differ from I Verses the Glacier?
'III' is all about dynamics for us. 'Glacier' was intentionally shorter, crushing songs and it's a record we all love. At our last show before 'III' came out we played only songs from 'Glacier' and it really reminded us of how proud we are of that record. That being said, we're older now and probably better musicians than when we made 'Glacier' so we really wanted to make a giant, dynamic record that reflected where we are now as people and musicians.
3. You seem to work with a different label with each release. How did you come to work with Agronauta?
Our good buddy Brent Lynch from Hollow Leg got us in touch. Gero's great, he works incredibly hard and his hunger for this music, and getting this music out to as many people as possible was really obvious to us from minute one. It also helps that Argonauta covers such a spectrum of doom/stoner/whatnot bands. We're not really a full on sludge band but we're also a million miles from Kyuss worship or cos-playing the 70s, so it's great to work with a label that can get behind such a wide variety of heavy music.
4. What bands have influenced you to make Clamfight sound the way it does?
When it comes to 'III' you're talking Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Neurosis, Yob, and the soundtracks to tv shows like "Top of the Lake." When you're talking lifetime influences it widens out to Mastodon, Eyehategod, High on Fire, Pantera, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath, and if you want talk the sort of Clamfight zygote, that'd be composed of Clutch's self-titled record and Down's 'Nola.'
5. How a live show differ from the record works?
We're not too fussed about sounding exactly like our records so they can be fun and sloppy and chaotic. If we have a set list at all it's written on my arm about 5 minutes before we go on but we usually throw stuff out or switch is up as we go so a set-list is really only a suggestion. Beyond that it's just trying to break ourselves and our gear. We never want to have someone leave a Clamfight show and feel like we half-assed it. Ever.
6. What bands or music are impressing the members of Clamfight currently?
Hellrad, Shroud Eater, Kings Destroy, Green Meteor, Sheena and Thee Nosebleeds, Thunderbird Divine, Hollow Leg, Holly Hunt, Baba Yaga, Heavy Temple, Pink Elephant, and the mighty Brain Candle. All these bands are friends of ours in some way or another but they also all rule. It's nice knowing such talented folks.
7. You're from NJ; I was born there. How do you think that scene and the NYC area brings a sound or style for extreme music bands ?
As much as we love the City now, and particularly Brooklyn, we're all South Jersey boys so outside of bands like VOD, NYC wasn't really part of our musical upbringing. Pre-internet South Jersey was sort of a cultural wasteland so we pretty much only learned about new heavy music from Head Bangers Ball, a radio show called Rockers on WYSP, or the hardassed mullet and jean jacket wearing older dudes who gave us Sepultura tapes.
8. Do the members of Clamfight have other projects they work in or are going to create which you would all like to talk about?
We're all a bit too tied up in our jobs to make good side band candidates for other people but that being said, there is a Clamfight side project cooking. At the end of last year Sean and I wrote some really short, kind of rock and roll, kind of heavy tunes, sort of like Drive By Truckers meets Helmet if that makes any sense. It's absolutely our intention to record some of that material with Joel and Louis and get it out there, but the response to 'III' has been so positive that it's really inspired to get back on the horse and start writing the 4th Clamfight record. And as Clamfight is our main thing writing the 4th record and turning it around in hopefully a lot less than 5 years is the priority. That being said, I'd love some of the Drive by Shuckers (I can't remember which of our buddies called it that, but good on you) to see the light of day, and really think it might, but again, the next Clamfight record is absolutely our priority.
9. In 4 Words how would you describe Clamfight's Sound?
I only need 3: Amplified chest hair.
10. I've got to ask were did the name Clamfight come from and why is it used?
Youthful stupidity. We gave a little thought to changing it right around the first record came out but by that point we'd already made a little bit of a name for ourselves locally so changing it it seemed counter productive. Also, 99% of band names are awful anyway, so we'd probably be swapping a dumb name out for something even worse like Black Buffalo Weed Goat.
11. If you could tour with any band who would it be and why?
A couple of years ago we did some shows down south with Hollow Leg and Shroud Eater and it was an absolute blast...I'd have to say them along with Rukut, Brain Candle, Thee Nosebleeds and Kings Destroy would make for an absolute liver ruining, hug frenzy of a tour.
12. What's Clamfight thought on Social Media in 2018 (Youtube, Soundcloud, Facebook, Internet Radio) is it a blessing or curse?
I won't lie, I wasn't initially 100% comfortable that 'III' was going to be up in its entirety on YouTube, but things have changed in the 5 years since Glacier came out. It's at over a thousand views already, and with the way we've been moving copies of 'III" it's clearly not hurting our sales. This was definitely an instance of 'shut up and trust Gero' and the Boss Man made the right call. As for the rest of it, it's all gravy. We truly appreciate anyone with a podcast or an internet radio show who has been willing to give us close to 15 minutes of their airtime (which is what 'Whale Road' and 'History' from III run more or less). Social media has been great for our global reach obviously; it's insane to me that people on every continent except Africa and Antarctica have bought stuff from us and there's nothing cooler to us than when someone in Australia drops us a line and tells us they like what we're doing. It's really amazing and seriously, we appreciate it so much.
13. I know you're working with Earsplit PR . How has that experience been ?
Dave is a prince. Next to JJ Koczan from the Obelisk.net he's probably the person who's done the most for us. Honestly, if we could get him to come to a show we'd hug him so much it would get weird. PS-Dave, please come to a show. I want to thank you while maintaining intense eye contact.
14. Thank you for the time any closing thoughts here
Thank you, and hey, thanks to everyone who has bought the record, said something nice about it, and an extra special thanks to the folks who've recommended us on Bandcamp. We see the sales we get from that and we cannot thank you enough. Look, we're 4 slobby suburban dudes, we are not, and will never be cool, so the fact that so many folks seem to be digging 'III' is the best surprise we've ever gotten. Thanks gang, really.