Name: Clever Thing
Members: Daisy Coburn (vocals/ guitar), Rich Fownes (guitar/ vocals), James Drohan (drums), Charles Buttons (bass)
Genre: Swing Punk
Started in: 2015
Releases: Single “In A Tissy”
You’ve played in a lot of bands before starting Clever Thing. In which ways is Clever Thing benefiting from that?
Rich: We got credit cards in their names and caned them into the red.
Daisy: In the way that abandon is the priority as oppose to trying to find yourself. Obviously artistically you are always evolving, but when you can draw references and comparisons from your own history, it becomes much more natural to be in the moment and enjoy what you’re creating for what it is.
Your music is fun, groovy and sexy. What do you want people to feel when listening to you?
Daisy: I want people to feel natural, it’s the best way I can describe what this band is for me. It’s very grounding and genuine, and I embrace that every day, it’s spiritual like that. And I can only hope that’s what radiates, it’s supposed to be passionate, but inviting and familiar too.
Rich: I think you got EXACTLY what we were hoping you would from it. This is a mean, dirty band but it’s not negative. I think there is a slinkiness and sexuality to the riffs…all the ideas we dig are from sultry big band, dark soul & hard funk music. That stuff is raunchy as shit and I do miss that fun when I watch a lot of bands these days…sexy doesn’t mean leather jeans and dodgy perms though. We’re sexy like Mrs. Robinson; and the crowd is our Dustin Hoffman.
You’ve started the band only a few months ago but released a couple of songs already. Do you have any specific goals for the future?
Rich: Nothing very specific for me personally. I think that kind of thinking is what I’ve been guilty of in the past. Giving yourself quotas and goals for success is a pretty good way to shit in the hat of creativity.
Daisy: It’s easy to maintain being satisfied when the juices are flowing so comfortably, and as long as that’s the case, we intend to generate as much content as we humanly can.
The video to your single “In A Tissy” was filmed by photographer Steve Gullick who’s quite a legend for working with bands like Nirvana. How did the video come together and how was it to work with him?
Rich: We met the man, the myth, the legend through the almighty Duke Spirit. Daisy & I were fortunate enough to share the stage with them for the touring of their Kin album. Steve recorded the video for ‘Hands’ and we had a good rapport. When we needed a performance video he was the only person we wanted. He is the only director who can make a performance video that you actually want to watch until the end, in my cynical opinion.
Daisy: Rich met Steve whilst shooting a video with The Duke Spirit, and fortunately what followed was a few encounters and a lot of ass-kissery from us, because obviously he’s brilliant! So we very gratefully bowed down as he shone his legendary camera in our silly faces.
You have to give away all your records except 3. Which ones do you keep?
Daisy: Tricky.. Buffy Sainte Marie – It’s My Way, Joni Mitchell – Blue and Pink Floyd – Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. All these records are nostalgic and sentimental, as well as jaw droppingly beautiful and raw. I could never live without them.
Rich: Oh maaaaan, that question hurts!! I guess I’d keep the records that I could learn the most from, which is not to say my top 3 of all time but albums that strike me as dense, effortless and brimming with varied musicality: Deerhoof – Friend Opportunity, Richard Hell & The Voivods – Blank Generation and Busta Rhymes – Extinction Level Event.
Photo: Steve Gullick