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Was a song like “I Want You” from Clay Class a conscious attempt to make something more open and emotional? Or just to express a pretty dark sentiment in a way that sounds almost like a love ballad? (Do you think it is a love ballad?)
SH: It is definitely a love song. it’s a bit dark but isn’t love? We definitely wrote it as a sweeter part of the album. the bass and guitar play with each like a partnership in a bitter-sweet kind of way.
TP: It wasn’t conscious or planned. But yes, probably all of the above is true.
Other than “minimal”, “divisive” is maybe the word that pops up most in relation to your records, and I’ve read interviews where you’ve fully embraced that. Do you think making art specific to oneself necessarily cuts it off from a big swath of humanity?
SH: We make pop music. It just seems people have different ideas about what pop music is.
TP: I never think that way. that’s too much like being the marketing man. I don’t make music to be popular or get rich. that’s lucky because i’m neither. I enjoy words. and the juxtaposition of sound. I never write with an audience in mind. if someone listens to one of our songs and it changes their day in some small way, then that’s amazing. If they don’t, that’s fine too.
Have you started work on a third album yet? If not, do you have any forming ideas of where you might go from Clay Class?
SH: There are some ideas going back and fourth but after all the touring we’ve done around the second album I needed a break. To remember who I was and what it was like to live at home, see my friends and have a life outside a tour bus! I do know whatever we do will be true to how we are feeling on those given days—and who knows how we may feel once we get in the studio again.
TP: I’m looking forward to making a third 'horn record. But Suzi and I have worked out that there is no point writing together until we are ready. We just waste time, we just go round in circles and drink too much in a dark room—the studio does not have windows. We spent nearly 300 days on the last record, so we are still just enjoying the novelty of daylight!