Q&A: Clap Clap Riot guitarist Dave Rowlands

Q&A: Clap Clap Riot guitarist Dave Rowlands

Clap Clap Riot have been rocking the Kiwi music scene for more than ten years, and their new album is looking to be hotter than ever. What's Hot New Zealand got the lowdown from guitarist Dave Rowlands.

Can you tell us about your new single ‘It’s Alright’? The single was tracked live at The Lab Studio in Auckland with Tom Healy. It looks at the way we often try and avoid our problems by running away. It’s then about the realisation that we are better to come back to where we all started, and face these problems head-on.

Your songs are characterised by a prominent rhythm – why is that? That comes down to our wonderful drummer and friend Alex Freer. Alex always has a great feel and sense for serving the song. He never overplays and knows exactly where to go all out and where to sit back. That in combination with Tristan’s bass grooves and Steve’s hard-hitting right-hand rhythm is probably where the heart of the rhythm comes from.

You’ve been on the Kiwi music scene for about a decade now – what have you learned? That the scene is ever-changing. The format of music and the way bands make a living, promote their music and reach their audiences has shifted dramatically in that short time frame. The joy of a live show has always remained, which is the one fantastic stable feature of music.

What’s changed in your music? We've grown naturally as we've continued. We've learnt a huge deal about songwriting from the quantity of material we've written and the various producers we've worked with. Our influences have diversified as we've gone on and we've felt more free to explore sounds and tones we may never have touched on when we first started.

What’s been your favourite town to play? Every town has its own lovely unique characteristics when you play a show there, so it's hard to pick a favourite. Christchurch is always such an epic show for us as it's where we started and where most of our family still reside. It always explodes when we hit the stage.

Who are your musical heroes? I've always loved John Lennon, The Beatles and The Kinks. To be honest, many of our friends in music hold that same respect from me. We have some incredibly talented friends that make amazing music who we've watched work so hard and grow, like Jono and Liz from The Beths; Mark Perkins [Merk]; Amelia from Fazerdaze; and Cass, Alex and Crystal from A.C. Freazy.

Any up-and-comers on the Aotearoa music scene you’re loving right now? If you haven't listened to Merk's latest album then you're a sucker. There's a Tuesday and Belladonna are great too.


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