Music Interviews

Clor interview: “We wanted something that was primitive and urgent”

Getting signed to Parlophone after only six gigs is nothing short of wondrous, yet London-based band Clor managed to do just that. musicOMH finds out from frontman Barry Dobbin that the inevitable media buzz surrounding them isn’t affecting them in the slightest. Rather, all they want to do is focus on their music. Fair enough.

If you’re in a band and you’re desperate to get signed then look away now. For Clor managed to put ink to Parlophone contract after only six gigs. Yes – six. The London-based band, although frontman Barry Dobbin hails from Rochdale, didn’t even bother to send out their demos to many people. The whole smooth ‘n’ easy process just sort of happened.

But Dobbin certainly doesn’t come across as a musician keen to pimp his wares – there’s no smooth chat or well-rehearsed ‘sound bites’. There’s only quietly-spoken affability and a tacit recognition that Clor has indeed been blessed with good fortune.

“People just started giving our demos to other people that they knew. We’d recorded it and we given it to one guy in order to try and get a gig, a guy at the Windmill in Brixton, the promoter there, and he just really liked it and he I think had passed it on to other people. People we’d never heard or seen before started ringing us up about it and things, it was really exciting, incredible!”

Like a true musician who’s perhaps a little baffled by suddenly being flung into the limelight, Dobbin takes the media hype in his stride where many may have been succumbed by its charm and flee off to the nearest trendy hairdressers. “Well I’m not really aware of it (media hype) as I’m in the middle of it. I suppose I don’t really read about us that much and I’m not around to listen to the radio and things like that. I’m just interested in the actual music part of it and doing the performances – if people like it then all the better.”

“I suppose I don’t really read about us that much and I’m not around to listen to the radio and things like that.” – Barry Dobbin from Clor is almost oblivious to the hype.

The Clor sound developed from a club night Dobbin and co-musician Luke Smith ran in London called Bad Bunny. “We made some tracks there just to play in the club and people got really in to them. And then we met the other musicians of the band who worked in the club or around the club doing various things, they came on board and we formed an actual band and really quickly it sort of escalated to the point where lots of industry people were coming down and friends of our friends came to see us and it turned into a little scene. It was just a kind of happy accident.”

When it comes to describing their style I bring to the fore what Dobbin himself once said in an early interview – ‘dancey indie band’. Laughing at his own “foolish” quote, Dobbin has evidently changed tack when it comes to answering that ‘describe your sound’ question. “You don’t want to be pigeon-holed into any of those categories, you want people to discover what it is for themselves I think. People can dance to it and it’s got guitars in it, it’s electronic and it’s sort of experimental – but people can come up with their own genre for us, maybe …CLOR music!”

Citing both country music and techno among their musical interests, perhaps CLOR music is the best way to describe them. So considering this then, what is the word Clor all about? “We wanted something that was primitive, urgent or ambiguous sounding and slightly technological sounding. I wrote it down and I wasn’t sure what people would make of it and that struck as quite a good thing really.”

“People can come up with their own genre for us, maybe …CLOR music!” – Barry Dobbin from Clor refuses to be pigeon-holed.

New single Love And Pain, out on Monday April 25, is tipped by the music movers and shakers to take them to the top of the tree. Certainly the band’s EP made quite a few ripples on the hot new band radar. It says much of the band’s own sound that Parlophone brought out the EP as it was, without any need for embellishment.

“Well Parlophone heard the CD and they didn’t know who it was or what we looked like or anything like that but they met me and Luke and decided they wanted to put out the demo as it was, as an EP, so that was Welcome Music Lovers which was out last year. And they came to see us one night and one of them had been down to see us a few times and had obviously told some others at Parlophone and the next we get this call, went in for a meeting and then everything changed.”

Releasing debut album July 25th on Regal Records, the onslaught of the media circus may be huge, but it’s a safe bet that through all the madness, Clor will be standing with feet firmly on the ground.

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