Interview: Chris Clark, Computer Music Guy
Chris Clark is signed to Warp Records and has recently released Empty the Bones of You. He makes fast-paced, stacatto stuff you can dance to. He'll be heading off on a tour of the USA soon. Here we ask him a few questions ... Warp Records
Mstation: One of the things that's interested me for a while is the fine line between trying new things and disappearing up ... somewhere inaccessible. I was at the Brick Lane gig a little while back and people were getting right into your stuff. Do you make any conscious decisions towards accessibility or do you do what you do, and let the cards fall as they might?
Chris: I don't really plan it at all. and I don't make any conscious decisions towards accessibility. I just it into shape the way I like it. simple, really.
There's a harshness to some tracks that could have been born of the Industrial scene. Were they?
i used to be right into death metal, and cheesier stuff too, like megadeth and pantera. but never really industrial. didn't really get front 242 and stuff like that although I had mates that were well into it.
When putting your latest album together did you have a plan as far as the total thing was concerned ... a sort of sonic story?
No, I definitely didn't think of it as a "sonic story". you have a kind of skeleton to start with, and you think of ways of fleshing it out but this just gets to studied and rigid afer a while, coz you might have a decent week and write about 4 tracks that you want to put out. so plans are never set in stone, they just help to get the ball rolling
One of the great things about right now is that with a laptop, some software and some knowledge and talent, you can produce music that other people will be happy to listen to (and pay for!). Do you use studios for any stage of your production process? Stereo mastering?
no I do in it all on my own. I like doing it that way. Isn't most mastering done in stereo these days or is my name Phil Spector.
The downside of this ease is that it's easy to produce boring, formulaic things. Do you think God is in the details here, or the wide conception, or both or neither!?
I quite honestly haven't got a fucking clue what you are talking about.
What sort of kit and software do you primarily use? Anything that you don't have but are pretty keen on?
Mainly using drums and an old tape player plus a nippy pc at the moment. I like limiting myself to just a few things. although I have a lot more gear that I relish the prospect of getting stuck into, just bought an mpc. this bloke managed to knock it off the coach that I was travelling on the other day so the scrub wheel has come off. you can still use it but it's a bit fucked. The bloke just ran off! What a Cunt! if i ever find him I'm gonna bludgeon him to death with my mpc. and then sample it and have each bludgeon sound as a sample on one of the pads. So you see the creative process really can be applied to anything. Even murder!
Have you got any gigs coming up?
yeah u.s tour. With Plaid and Luke Vibert. Should be a jolly good time for all, I hope.
No worries. see ya