The ClockTower are a British indie ”Rock n Roll” Band who formed in Wolverhampton in Late 2009. We met up with the group’s bassist, Andy O’Brian, to ask a few questions…
Fourpiece The Clocktower, who hail from the Midlands, last year released their debut album ‘The Days of Rosey Row’. It’s a proper straight blast of good old British indie-rock, with some smart song writing & cracking vocals all wrapped up with real energy & catchy as hell tunes like ‘Kiss ya Glass’, Naught little Head’ and ‘Sounds like Heartbeat’ Days of Rosey Row. Chances are it will win you over on first listen.
Louder Than War: Loving The Tales of Rosey Row, where are The Clocktower from and which artists / groups have shaped your sound?
Andy O’Brian: The band formed in Wolverhampton in late 2009 and consists of Ryan Evans and Ian Dowdeswell, both of whom do vox, guitar & songwriting. Then there’s me on bass and Conner Dowdeswell on drums and percussion. Our Influences are worn on our sleeves really, groups like The Beatles, Oasis, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Small Faces, The Byrds, The View, & OCS for instance.
There are some great tunes on The Days of Rosey Row like ‘Kiss ya Glass’ with its cracking production, the album’s got a top sound…where did you record it and what’s the reaction been like to the album since its release?
The Album was recorded in Zip studios in Wolverhampton by a maxing producer and friend Ryan Pinson.
When the album came out the feedback was incredible and straight away people that were close to the bans and family were buzzing about it for days – well before it hit the shops & people got a chance to buy it.
So where do the tunes from the album come from, what are tunes like Kiss Ya Glass and Naughty Little Head all about?
All the songs are written by Ryan and Ian and they’re all from the heart! they write daily and never ever fail to disappoint with their catchy lyrics, superb hooks and their way with words! ‘Naughty little Head’ is a tune about our mate Tom Brown who was a WWFC football fan who used to follow the footy around weekly, it just lets you know how serious and passionate he Is about the ban and football club. ‘Kiss Ya Glass’, although having an upbeat sound the lyrics tell a different story of poverty, alcohol dependency and a wish to try and beat the system, whilst the government have a strangle hold on people.
Would you say you’re quite a tight group, and what’s the midland’s music scene like, plenty of clubs and new groups about?
We will always be real close on and off stage and we definitely have a very unique setup. Yes, there is more to do in Shrewsbury where I live, promoting and also playing solo sets! its a great small town with lots to offer the music industry and Andy definitely works with and nurtures that !
Do you think now, in 2013 we’re sort of lacking for groups like The Arctic Monkeys, Oasis and The Libertines right now?
We’re definitely lacking raw home grown talent with electric guitars, an acoustic sound and sharp rock n roll vocals. Although there are some great bands that are coming out I just think some of them feel like they should be offered success on a plate and not work really work hard for it.
You’ve played some pretty good gigs through the years haven’t you, some great support slots and venues around the UK, but how hard is it for a group today trying to take it all the way?
We feel that if you work hard, believe in yourself & have great songs, passion and drive then its just a matter of time before people see this. And your fans definitely decide how well and how far you go!
Playing and promoting gigs yourself as well as being in the band, how does that work out for you and the group?
My passion is massive and I wake in the morning and go to bed at night thinking the same thing. I work hard and I have a great fan bass in Shrewsbury, I owe my home town so much.
You have the best of both worlds, playing solo and with the band, do you release your own acoustic work as well then?
Yeah, when I met the band I was solo and was noticed by front man Ryan Evans because we both were the warm up act for Tom Hingley, the former Inspiral Carpets front man. It started as me putting the The Clocktower on as a 3 piece then later on being invited to play bass guitar with then.
Lastly, what have The Clocktower got planned for this summer and the rest of the year, are you playing any fests?
This year we’re releasing an E.P & we’re working just as hard. We’re looking out for someone in the industry or an agent to get us on the bigger stages.
All words by Carl Stanley. More of Carl’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.