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New Kids on the Clock

‘Chop pop’ pioneers Clock Opera’s frontman speaks about Chaplin and his love of wailing.

‘Chop pop’ pioneers Clock Opera born in the bedroom of ex-The Corrections and The Fallout Trust guitarist Guy Connelly are, quite simply, awesome. Creating dramatic electronic tracks that sit somewhere between Four Tet and Autechre whilst sustaining a radio friendly pop sensibility, Guy quite literally chops sounds from guitars “and random bits of metal” to reassemble them into wonderfully orchestrated aural soundscapes. Think Lo Recordings remix project consisting of Thom Yorke, Steve Reich a choir treble and glissandos and you’ll be close. Forever the holist, Guy has also taken to chopping his lyrics – borrowing them stories and stitching them back together in a random order. No wonder The Guardian is noted as saying “we’d sign them if we had a label”. An accolade indeed  - slicing and dicing have never sounded quite so good.

We speak to Guy about Charlie Chaplin, his love of wailing and Welshman Aled Jones.

Dazed Digital: How’s it going?
Guy Connelly: Pretty good. On a train to Cornwall with my girlfriend who is the source of all my inspiration and genius/attempting to hijack all my answers when I go to buy cups of tea. We’re going to sit in a small boat and row out to sea.

DD: How did it start?
Guy Connelly: With me in a bedroom with a guitar, a computer, a hand fan and some bits of metal. Rapid recording of whatever is at hand is followed by cutting into tiny pieces, reassembling in a different order, wailing nonsense, writing words, re-writing words, then pressing play.

DD: Where did the term ‘chop-pop’ come from?
Guy Connelly: See above. Some people hear weird glitchy sliced-up sample music, some people hear pop songs. Either is fine with me. Some one else said like Aled Jones singing over Autechre, which I was particularly happy with.

DD: Is it just you in the band?
Guy Connelly: No, Che (Drums), Nick (Guitar/Samplers) & Andy (bass/keys) play too. They’re all very tall. I am of average height. This is deliberate, in accordance with Small Man Front Man theory.

DD: There’s something of the Bowie in Clock Opera. Have you heard this before?
Guy Connelly: Yes. I wouldn’t begin to compare myself with him, but clearly we both like a good wail, a bit of drama and Scott Walker.

DD: Who would you share a bill with in an ideal world?
Guy Connelly: Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton doing their sketch in Limelight

DD: What’s next in the world of Clock Opera?
Guy Connelly: Interspersing discussions with my girlfriend about the permanence of my beard with plans for a 7” and a soundtrack for a theatre show about meat.

DD: Whatever happened to The Fallout Trust/The Corrections?
Guy Connelly: We did an album as each entity. Then we parted company with the maimed behemoth that put out our records and began to breathe. Joe and Brother Matt are writing together, Gavin plays in Magic & Fur and Big Matt plays/dances in a samba band.

DD: Is there an LP in the pipeline?
Guy Connelly: It’s not in the pipeline, it’s in my computer. And it’s almost ready.

DD: Any last words?
Guy Connelly: I don’t like it.
I don’t like it.
I don’t like it.
Get off me.

We’ve also been given an exclusive ‘chop-pop’ remix. The first of series from Clock Opera spicing their music under the lyrics of one of their influences. This time it’s ‘Twenty-Once’ by Scott Walker over of ‘Once And For All’ by Clock Opera.
Hear the original Clock Opera track at their myspace.

Clock Opera will be playing at We.Are.A.Fever. @ Hoxton Pony Wednesday September 9th.