#LALbandchat 1: Clean Cut Kid


First up in our #LALbandchat series for 2017, the lovely Clean Cut Kid caught up with us to fill us in on what they’ve been up to since last year’s event…

Hi Clean Cut Kid, thanks for playing Live at Leeds…other than the gig what are your plans for the day? Tell us about your favourite pre gig spots to eat? Any odd pre gig rituals?


You’re welcome! Gonna be a belter, this festival is always class. Other than the gig we’ll be trying to catch some bands and get some good coffee. There’s that one near the station, Laynes Espresso maybe? Soooo good. We really wanna see Frightened Rabbit and Slaves and our mates Fickle Friends are on our stage just before us so we’ll be seeing them too. 


This is your second year in a row at LAL (congrats you lucky buggers), what’s been the best gig you’ve played in Leeds so far? 


Thanks for asking us back! Best one’s gotta have been our last headline show at  Headrow House. That was a good gig, and it was the first city on the tour that sold out so before we even got there we were pretty pumped. We’ve never had a let down crowd in Leeds, so always feel good going there to play a show! 


We love the lyrics of your songs like ‘Jean’ ’20 years from now’, ‘Vitamin C’ and ‘We used to be in Love’…what provides the inspirations for your songs as they feel very personal?


The lyrics are almost always autobiographical. For example the songs you mentioned are about everything from loved ones dying, to parents working away from home; to broken relationships that totally divide whole friendship groups!  All of our musical heroes managed to turn personal experiences into something that resonated with huge audiences: we’re just trying to do the same. 


You just announced your debut album ‘Felt’ is due for release on the 5th May… what does it mean to you to finally release a full length piece of music into the world? How long did it take you to record the album and who / where did you work with it on? 


‘Felt’ is basically the realisation of a vision Mike had for a break-up album. It covers every feeling and emotion experienced from one relationship falling apart, to another forming in its wake. The album is honest and (at times) painful in its subject matter, but at no points bleak or miserable. 


We took a lot of time and care in getting the sonics of the record just right.  It had to be super-wide and three dimensional, but retain all of the garage-indie-abrasiveness that makes CCK unique. Achieving such a fine balance took two full years of recording and meant we worked with producers like Rich Turvey (Blossoms, Cabbage, the Coral), Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Paulo Nutini) and Cam Blackwood (George Ezra). We were also lucky enough to work with some of the worlds best mixers including Michael Brauer and Spike Stent. 


Can you tell us what other artist you’re most looking forward to seeing at #LAL2017? Also, could you recommend our readers a brand new act they may not have previously heard of before? 


We really wanna catch Slaves, we’ve heard their live shows are something  you’ve gotta see, and Frightened Rabbit had the best record of last year so we’re dying to see them too. You should check out a band from Liverpool called ZuZu and a guy called Blue Rose Code, he’s an incredible writer and has one of those voices that you get lost in live. Also check out a band called Sad Girls Club. Three piece from Brighton, they’re just kids and SO good! 


Obvious question, but where did the name come from…and in the band who was the most clean cut kid?  Do you have any photographic evidence of this?

The name was a suggestion from Mike’s brother, it refers to a Bob Dylan song and maybe Ev, she’s the only one without a beard….but there’s still time! 

Don’t miss Clean Cut Kid playing at Live at Leeds 2017, buy tickets here


8.15pm | Leeds University Union Refectory – The Independent Stage