Clock Opera are a band that has milled around our musical membrane for a couple of years now yet the quartet, fronted by Guy Connelly, is only just preparing the release of its debut album ‘Ways To Forget’. The record, which has a reoccurring theme of memory running through, will, perversely, be one of the most unforgettable albums of the year. The band will play its first headline tour this April, while new single, ‘Once And For All’ includes a remix by none other than Andrew Weatherall. A sign of intent? We took notice, and the remix is being debuted right here on Dazed. We caught up with Connelly to see what he remembers about the past, present and to get predictions of the future.
Dazed Digital: Do you think Andrew Weatherall’s done a good job with the remix?
Guy Connelly: He’s done a very good job – it was a real privilege to get him to do it. Weatherall’s a don. We’ve been very lucky with the people who have remixed us so far – Tom Vek did his first ever one for the last single but I have absolutely no idea how the this one came about: I don’t know him and I don’t think anyone I know knows him.
DD: And Clock Opera do their fair share of remixes too…
Guy Connelly: Yeah, I do a few remixes that go under our name. I’ve just finished a couple but the last one was for Feist - there are some great opportunities to remix artists and work with material that I really love.
DD: Does the album encompass writing stretching back since the band’s formation?
Guy Connelly: Yeah some of the songs were written right at the start and others have been done on the way. It’s been a methodical, exact process – meticulous is a good word to describe our approach I suppose. Once it’s out you can’t change it so we have taken our time but we’re very proud of it.
DD: Was judging that the album was finished a hard to decision to make?
Guy Connelly: Not really, it was more deciding what to leave off. We had a period of filtering, processing and shrink-wrapping the whole thing and making it as succinct as possible. It was more a process of deduction rather than trying to write the final track. We always had enough – even when we’d started – to release an album. It was just about convincing everybody else. There are other songs that didn’t make it which we hope will see the light of day as the album lives its life.
DD: Do you notice a change in your writing throughout the period?
Guy Connelly: I think we’ve zero'ed in on what we are. In the beginning we didn’t have a plan or a definition of what we were. As you go along and you see what works, you can concentrate on a particular road. I think we’ve worked out what the band was on the way and defined our sound. I don’t think you’d be able to tell the difference from a writing perspective but we’ve certainly become more focused.
DD: Where does the album name come from?
Guy Connelly: ‘Ways To Forget’ is all about memory and the way that you can forget who you once were and the inevitability of change - how the brain works, forgets, invents memories and fills in gaps.
DD: Is that a running theme in your writing?
Guy Connelly: It appears to be! When we looked back on all of the material that was going on to the album it does seem to be a common theme. It’s also the name of a song, which doesn’t appear on the record, but it tied everything together and linked them in a way that we hadn’t really noticed until we looked back. It must have been something on my mind.
DD: Can you recommend anyone new to us?
Guy Connelly: I heard the new Breton EP the other day and it is amazing. They’ve been around for about the same amount of time as us and will have an album out fairly soon too.
DD: What does the year ahead hold?
Guy Connelly: That’s up to everyone else I guess. We’re going to touring in April around the album, so far it’s been all about riding other people’s coat tails and doing amazing support tours but this time we’re going to headline our own. That’s a big thing for us – and we’ll see who’ll come out. After that it’s the world and beyond.
Clock Opera's 'Ways To Forget' is out April 9