The Clause Exclusive Double
43 Questions with Birmingham's finest band.
When did you decide a music career was for you?
I think we’ve all known since a very young age after watching our heroes performing on stage and listening to their records. I don’t think any one of us can really remember ever wanting to do anything else.
Collectively as a band we all have very different influences and music tastes so it’s hard to pin point certain artists or influences. We’re trying to craft a new sort of sound which follows on from our latest Top 50 single “In My Element” and has been described by some as breaching into a new Disco-Rock genre. Our influences for this obviously come from the 70s and 80s disco decades through artists like Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Donna Summers and Nile Rogers. Predominantly take influences from Rock and Roll bands like the Rolling Stones and The Doors who are our main inspiration.
3 things about yourself that people may not know?
Liam and Pearce actually met at a JAWS show in 2015 at the Birmingham Institute.
We’re all extremely different people musically and personally, so we work really well together in a strange kind of way.
None of us have any musical people in our immediate family.
What song best describe you?
I (Pearce Macca) would have to say In My Element. The whole groove and feel of the track is pinpoint accurate to the sound we’re trying to craft and fits best with our combined musical tastes. Different reviews of the song have said that it’s a song which makes you want to get up, dance and have a good time which describes us best as people.
What’s been the best gig you’ve done to date and why?
We’d say it would definitely have to be our Institute 2 show in February. It was amazing, we feel as though we were always not somebody’s first thought in Birmingham, so when it Sold Out off our own back it was like we knew we had to be taken seriously, it was a real statement gig...we had a point to prove.
If you could perform a gig at any venue where would it be and why?
It sounds really cliché but I think Glastonbury is our goal, we wanna be the biggest band about so I feel like that’s our main goal.
What has been your best achievement to date and what would like to achieve in the future?
Selling out our debut UK tour with no manager, label, agents, prior festival or support slots. It was self promoted, nobody gave us a leg up. For a Birmingham band to sell out even in Glasgow is unheard of really, we want to continue doing what we do and make the tours and songs bigger, we owe it to the people that support us and ourselves.
Tell me a story from backstage or after a gig?
There’s been so many...some we can share and definitely some we can’t haha. We played a festival last year (the only one we got offered) and everything that could go wrong, did. It was thundering and lightning and the phrase ‘a man and his dog’ literally happened, the crowd was the sound man and a chap with his Yorkshire terroir.
What do you like best about being a musician and why?
The fact It’s an outlet, it allows you to be creative and really let things out without being obvious if that makes sense. We always say when we look back on it a lot of our general friends and memories have come from doing what we do.
If you were not in the job you are now what would you be doing?
Writing compulsively, we love being together and being creative. Because we’ve had to work for so long to put all we can into the band, the idea of not having to do that is really strange.
What has been the best gig you have been too as a fan and can you tell us about it?
If you asked all of us you’d get a different answer every time. We all went to the Kasabian King Power show in 2016 and it blew us away. Recently Noel Gallagher at Isle Of Wight was amazing, because we played and got to stay and watch all these bands was special for us cause we never had anything like that before, we never take it for granted.
What would your ideal festival line up be and why?
Hmm, we’d say for the 3 headliners it’d be The Rolling Stones, The Doors & Chic. Collectively they’re our biggest influence id say, and there’s just no denying how good and important they all are. Its as though you don’t get characters like Mick Jagger or Jim Morrison in music anymore.
What would you say is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
It’s a weird one for us, we’ve had to kind of trial and error up until now, nobody’s every gave us a major leg up or put us on the straight road. Someone said once don’t ever dismiss different genres of music, and now we find ourself being influenced by everything. I feel as though you can hear that in In My Element? We feel so anyway.
What things make you happy and what things annoy you?
The general highs of being in a band are what we live for, the good gigs & being in the studio are when we’re happiest. The main thing that annoys us about it is how blatantly money oriented a large majority of the industry are, they don’t care unless you’re marketable and doing well which is such a shame, we’ve seen so many bands with strong songs but lacking in other areas and they don’t get a second look.
What things do you like to do when you are away from music?
Really hard question haha, as 90% of our life is music. We’re big on clothes and getting together to have a drink in our spare time, but to be honest, we don’t get much of it and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Do you think social media and the internet are a good thing in the music industry?
We think it’s good that every band can put their content and their whole brand if you like out there, but the problem is there’s thousands doing exactly the same. So what do you do to make yourself stand out? We think it’s obvious that there’s not much money in streaming, so it is a shame to see artists not get the money for all their work. But it’s just the way it is.
How important do you think you look and image is when it comes to being in the music industry?
It’s majorly important, cause it’s what makes you stand out. It’s what makes you marketable and profitable. People high up will see, the songs are good but would they look good on a poster? In a strange way, recently we feel as though there’s too much interest in a groups look, how strong the songs are will always be the most important.
Can you tell us about any tattoos have and the significance of them to you?
Only Liam has one, it’s the Rolling Stones tongue on his arm. We wish we could tell you a really cool story behind it haha, but he just loves the band.
If you run the country for a day what would you change about it and why?
Hmm, on quite a serious note we’d love to sort the homeless problem out. In Birmingham it’s never been so bad and it’s such a shame. We’d make the NHS fully funded again and give the unsung heroes behind it the pay they deserve and need.
What would your ideal day consist of?
Our ideal day is in the studio when we do a residency, we record at Vada studios and there’s no place like it. Being together and writing in the middle of nowhere is such a different vibe that we’re not used to. You’re not worried about returning to your Job at Costa or being late for the bus.
Can you tell me one thing about each member that people might not already know?
Jonny has a thing called Dyspraxia, he’s the clumsiest guy in the world.
Niall is a grade 8 in 3 instruments, a real musical talent and ear for it.
Pearce is a Top of the Pops fanatic, a love for 70’s / 80’s / 90’s groups and popular music.
Liam isn’t actually musically trained at all and doesn’t class himself as a good musician, but loves doing the marketing & presence online behind the group.
Can you tell us about any new releases gigs or anything else coming up in the future?
We actually can’t say too much at the moment, but if you thought we were busy over Summer, we’re just warming up for some major stuff over the winter.
If you could say one thing to your fans what would it be and why?
It is cliche but definitely thank you, it blows our minds that people have stuck with us for so long and it’s like a family constantly growing. I’d say stick with us, we’ve got some amazing news and activity coming soon.
How would you answer the question Who are The Clause ?
What was the first record or song you purchased and why?
When we were growing up and old enough to understand and enjoy music, Arctic Monkeys dropped their first album. Although we’ve drifted from that sound now, for a lot of the band that was what we first brought. We feel that’s the same for a lot of people our age for sure. It was amazing to see these working class lads from a council estate in Adidas Hoodies just doing it...it was inspiring.
What would say to someone thinking about becoming a musician and getting into the music industry?
Do it, you’ll have highs and you’ll have lows but we couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
If you could collaborate with any other band/singer or musician who would you choose and why?
We think we’d write a good tune with The Doors, because Morrison was a pure poet, the first band to do psychedelia, real pioneers.
If you could have written one song from history which would it have been and why?
Lately by Stevie Wonder, the most beautiful song to exist.
If you wrote a book about yourself what would it have in it?
We ain’t the most academic haha, definitely more pictures than words. Can’t go wrong can ya?
How did you each individually get into the band and apart from the vocals or instruments what do you each bring to the band when travelling etc to keep you together?
Pearce, Jonny and Niall got in it at the same being friends from school. Liam joined a few years later at the start of 2016 after meeting Pearce at a gig in town. We all add a separate element to the band which makes touring and band life so enjoyable. Niall is the sensible one of the group, he keeps everything in tact and makes sure we’re all behaving. Jonnys one liners never fail to keep us entertained when travelling. Pearce hogs the aux lead and picks the tunes on the road, he has soundtracked our touring life to date. Liam is the lightweight of the group, always managing to get drunk off one can of red stripe.
What do you guys like to do in your time away from the band and how much time do you spend off together?
Our life pretty much revolves around the band. Pearce plays football and Niall and Liam are follow it off the pitch. If we aren’t doing band stuff we usually do things that relate to it like DJ sets and sorting out promotional material. We host a club night in Birmingham every month called Cloud 9 playing Disco, Funk and Soul music, that’s probably our main joint hobby. We spend next to no time away from the band, we’ve seen each other at least 4 times a week this year.
Take us through a day on tour for you guys at maybe one of your recent shows,how do you prepare for a live show and how do you feel whilst playing the gig and after the show?
This tour in particular has been special, we’ve managed to bring all our pals along and they’ve all got little jobs to do. We meet quite early in the day and load the van, then hit the road blasting disco tunes to get us in the mood. We’ll soundcheck and set things up then go off for a few beers and unwind before the show. When playing the shows we’re in the zone definitely, just focusing on putting on a special show for those who paid to see us! After the gig we try to meet as many people as possible and stick round for a chat and some photographs.
Tell me one thing about each member that your fans may not already know but might like to know?
Jonny is the most uncoordinated person in Birmingham, we’re always worrying he’s going to fall of the edge of the stage at every gig. Niall is grade 8 in 3 instruments. Pearce is half Scottish which means you’re always guaranteed a good night out after a gig in Glasgow. Liam is the worst dancer you will ever meet in your life, he has no rhythm whatsoever.
What do you think makes you stand out from other bands and what do you think makes you popular with your fans?
Our music definitely, there’s something real and natural about it which we feel is lacking in a lot of recent music. I think that’s what makes us popular, we aren’t trying to be or sound like anybody and I feel a lot of our fans can relate to what we write about.
When many years down the line The Clause comes to an end what would you like to have achieved and how do you want the band to be remembered?
The thought of it ever coming to and end is hard to accept, we’re very much in it for the long term. I suppose if it ever did happen, we’d want to be the biggest in the world. We’d want to be remembered as a group of lads who proved that if you work hard enough and follow your dreams anything can happen, no matter where you’re from or who you are.
One of your most popular songs last year was In My Element. Can you tell us the process of writing the song ,making the music video and what the song is about! Also what do you think of the song?
We love the song, it was certainly a game changer for us. We switched our producer and studio just before we recorded it to try and produce a different sound to our previous records. We have actually had the riff tucked away in our back catalogue of demos for a good few years but had never progressed into writing a song with it. One day it just popped back into Pearce’s head and he wrote down all the lyrics and created a structure for it. After playing it live and watching people’s reaction the the song we knew we needed to get in to the studio and record it. The song is about being in your zone and experiencing the euphoria of nightlife or being at a festival. We felt shooting it in snobs nightclub would be fitting for the theme of the song. After we shot the video the DJ picked up the time and has been playing it every week since.
Name me a song that you wish the Clause had written and performed on stage and why that song?
That’s a hard choice. Lately by Stevie Wonder is an absolute masterpiece, that would’ve been good to write a song like that. In terms of writing and performing one on stage I think “The Whole of the Moon” by The Waterboys would be a collective favourite, one of the finest songs ever written.
Can you tell how the signing with Universal Music happened?How did you feel when finding out this was happening and what doors will open for you with this contract?
We got an email quite soon after In My Element was released, after a meeting with the guys at the label and negotiating with them we felt it was a perfect move for us early in our career. We were obviously over the moon, but felt it was important to keep our feet on the ground and work even harder than we have been doing. It gets us involved with the right people and hopefully take us to the top which is where we want to be.
Which song of yours stands out for you the most?Can you explain the meaning behind the song and why it means alot to you personally?
Where are you now is definitely one that means the most to us, it’s our only slow ballad that we’ve have released so far. Pearce wrote it after losing one of his relatives and the pain that comes with it, something everyone can relate to. Whenever we play it the audience is deafeningly loud and it’s just amazing to see how much the song resonates with people.
How do you feel about the social media part of being a popular music act?
It’s definitely important, we enjoy engaging with fans and putting out content. Nowadays it’s vital that you use these platforms to connect with people. Word of mouth is still just as important though, we try to focus on these things as much as possible to increase our fan base.
Rate these things you guys do in the order you like the most to the one you least like to do?
What a 2019 it has been for you!What have your highlights been and what gigs or moments from the year stand out the most personally to you and why?
It has been a crazy year, getting singed was a massive achievement for us and we had a great time travelling the country to play Isle of Wight, Truck and YNot festival this year. I think our sold out tour of the UK in February was very special. A main highlight has to be the release of In My Element, to watch the song hit No.1 in the ITunes Rock Charts and stay there for a good few days was really special, it even charted at 44 in the general charts on ITunes. For a band who weren’t managed or singed at the time it felt like a massive achievement for us and the start of something special.
What does 2020 have in store for you and what things would you like to achieve?
Same as every year, we’re gonna turn things up a notch and work harder than ever. Bigger gigs, better music. With the help from the label and our amazing team we can take on the world.