PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s been nearly four years since The Clarks released an album, but the wait is almost over.
The new album, “Feathers & Bones” will be the next chapter for the band.
“I think it’s got a little more of a modern sound. The last record was a little rootsier. This is a little more modern sounding. But, it’s just an evolution of the band. It feels very natural and our producer, Sean McDonald, plays a big role in it this time, since we’re putting it together a little differently than we have in the past. But, I think it’s going to sound great – a lot of good, upbeat Clarks rock and roll songs,” lead singer Scott Blasey said.
The band is trying something new with this release to give their fans a unique experience. Through their page on PledgeMusic.com, fans can get autographed CDs or even have the band perform for them based on the amount of money pledged.
Fans were certainly appreciative and hungry for new music as they reached their pledge goal in just a couple of days. However, there are still plenty of pledge prizes available.
Watch the entire interview here:
“We reached the goal fairly quickly. We set the goal pretty low. We weren’t sure what to expect. This was something new that our management brought to us. They said, ‘Hey let’s try this new thing, this new way of selling music and getting out unique pledge gifts or pledge prizes, premiums to the fans that you can only get through the site.’ And so far, it’s worked out really well,” bass player Greg Joseph said.
The band has been together for almost 30 years, which doesn’t seem to be the norm in the music industry these days. So, what is The Clarks’ secret to longevity and sustained success?
“We need money. I don’t want to get a regular job,” Blasey joked. “The other parts of it are that we still really enjoy it we still enjoy each other’s company. We still love to play live, we still like to make records. So, there’s still a lot of joy we get from that stuff, a lot of gratification from making music. We still have a lot of fans that want to see the band and want to hear new music.”
They also had some advice for those who are just getting into music with the hopes of making it big in the industry someday.
“The advice for kids certainly is to find people that you like to pay with, that you have fun playing music with. I think that’s kind of how we started. We’d play in fraternities, we’d play in small bars and just had a blast doing it. We’ve remained friends, because we are friends and it’s been a good ride. I think a lot of it today is the band scene has changed certainly since we started 27 years ago and you just have to stick with it and try and persist,” Joseph said.
Part of the persistence aspect of being a musician is finding the time for family, which is important to all of the members of the band. While it can be difficult at times, Blasey said you do what you have to do to make everything work.
“It’s kind of like a job of sorts. It has stranger hours, but it’s your job and you have to take time for that and if you need to get someone to watch the kids on Thursday night because we have a gig, or you have to leave early on Friday if you have a weekend full of gigs, you just do what you have to do. It’s not always easy. Sometimes, especially since were all married and you feel like you’re ships passing in the night. Especially me and my wife, she comes home on Fridays and I’m leaving on Fridays,” Blasey said.
Speaking of leaving town, The Clarks will be heading out on tour this fall in support of “Feathers & Bones.” Blasey and Joseph are excited to get back to some parts of the country they haven’t visited recently.
“It’ll be nice to get out of the area and get back to some of the markets we haven’t hit for a while – Chicago, New York, Philly, D.C., Carolinas and that’s just for the fall. We have a whole spring to keep promoting this record and keep getting back to those markets. We’ve gotten lot of feedback from people that want to still see us, so it will be fun,” Joseph said.
“It’ll be little road trips on weekends to various places and through social media, you get a lot of people saying, ‘Hey when are you coming back to Charlotte? When are you coming back to Chicago?’ And finally, we get to say November, instead of a couple years. So, it’s going to be a lot of fun to go see some old friends,” Blasey said.
5 Questions For The Clarks
For every backstage interview we do, we’ll ask the same five questions. Some are music related, others are just for fun. Here’s what The Clarks had to say:
What Was The First Album You Ever Bought?
“Do I have to answer this honestly? Boston,” Joseph said.
“Well, the first 45 I ever bought, I was 4-years-old and I got my grandmother to get me ‘Crystal Blue Persuasion’ by Tommy James & The Shondells.’ I was obsessed with that song and I was a little kid and I said I needed that to play on my little plastic turntable that was like a suitcase. I remember when I had my own money [in the late 70s,] I was old enough to go to a record store on my own I bought Eric Clapton’s ‘Slow Hand,” Blasey said.
What is your most embarrassing moment on stage?
“I’ve been really lucky. I haven’t had any major accidents or anything. I’m hard-pressed to even think of an embarrassing moment. I forget lyrics from time to time. There have been times where I’ve just gone blank and skipped half of a verse or something. That’s personally kind of embarrassing because I want to remember the words to the songs I write, or Greg writes,” Blasey said.
“I think broken arms and collarbones and shoulders. [David Minarik - drums] broke his hand and played with a broken hand. [Robert James - guitar] had a collapsed lung and played at least one show,” Joseph said.
What is your favorite home-cooked meal?
“My mother is Italian and I come from an Italian background, so spaghetti and meatballs with a salad and buttered-homemade bread, stuff like that. That’s my deal. That’s a Sunday evening for me with family,” Blasey said.
“Winter comfort food. Definitely meatloaf. Meatloaf is the way to go,” Joseph said.
What’s your highest bowling score?
“I’ve broken 200. Once or twice, I have broken 200. I used to bowl a lot when I was a kid, when I was a teenager and we had this thing every Thanksgiving called Turkey Bowl. When we were in our 20s and 30s and single and we would go bowling on Thanksgiving night. Outside of my hometown, there was this bowling alley that was open and that was the thing to do because bars were closed at the time,” Blasey said. “We would take six-packs of beer to the bowling alley and I remember one year I bowled a 203, 204. I was in the zone dude. That’s happened very few times. More often than not I bowl like a 102.”
“167. A pathetic 167,” Joseph said.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of music?
“I have two specific things. Golfing and bicycling. I could do that day in, day out especially in beautiful summer weather. Not hard to convince me to go out and golf,” Joseph said.
“I really enjoy, now at this age, the way I relax. I enjoy especially on summer days like this, is sitting by the pool with my wife watching our kids splash and laugh and play. They’re all good swimmers so it’s pretty relaxed. You can just sit there and you don’t have to be right in the pool with them. I enjoy relaxing, kicking back watching my kids and my family have fun and enjoy themselves. But I’m like Greg, I like to bike, I like to bicycle and I like to swim a lot too,” Blasey said.
Check out The Clarks’ website to see their tour schedule and much, much more!
You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sheavedice