July 2014 – Twenty plus years between music releases may give fans cause to think that there will never be anything further coming from a band. But after one such hiatus, the odd live performance thrown in here and there, indie pop legends ‘Close Lobsters’ have come back with not one, but two E.P releases – clearly deciding that it is time that “history is about to be made”.
Their latest offering ‘Kunstwerk in Spacetime’ also just happens to include ‘Now Time’, one of Soundwavmusic’s favorite tracks of the year, brimful of lyrical smarts that leave you smiling long after the track ends. So we put it to them, what was this journey you have been on and will it continue? And with 5 easy questions (+1) we got our answers in a delightfully intellectual way.
SW: Not many bands have a 20+ year gap between new music releases, the creativity never leaves right? – what happened….why stop? why wait so long? why record again?
CL: The gap relates to the now-time in the track. Not the hollow homogenous time of capitals modernity but the here and now of the revolutionary moment – “we went to a desert storm and never came back home sweet home, and hung on to a satellite too long”. The point of lobster lyrics is to leave them open for subjective interpretation and while these lines have some specific resonance – i.e. there were a series of ‘desert storm’ underground house parties that took place in the west of Scotland in the early 80s ironically sharing a name with a catastrophic ‘intervention’ in the middle east by the western powers – it is better the listener interprets them for themselves.
But on a more basic level…..this record just had to be made. You are spot on here, the burning desire to create never leaves.
SW: ‘Kunstwerk in Spacetime’ has one of our favorite tracks of 2014 in ‘Now Time’. Tell us a bit about how that track came to be?
CL: ‘Now Time’ was a track that we developed just before things went more than a little awry in the 1990’s. Great personal tragedy struck. It was originally termed ‘deep house’ and then reworked as ‘Now Time’. It is a form of melancholy soul that yearns for life,love, and light. We always intended to make something else but didn’t intend for it to take quite so long. The vicissitudes of life and fate intervened and were finally confronted.
SW: What is the difference between getting your music heard now vs back when the likes of “Going to Heaven to See if it Rains” came out (1986)?
CL: Nowadays we have been released from the pressures of commercialisation, hence the new kunstwerk aspect. The praise we have received for the single has been truly humbling, especially in the US. The decision to ‘locate’ ourselves in the USA in terms of the record has been vindicated by the reception. We remain obscure, outsiders, but it is within underground America we bode. The Topography of Close Lobsters is American.
SW: What bands do you think have stood the test of time and continued to be creatively relevant in the Indie pop landscape?
CL: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart continue to produce exemplary indie pop sounds. The June Brides were astonishingly good last December in Glasgow. Off that scene…. I’m all about the Stevie Wonderesque Frank Ocean.
SW: Some touring, new music….what is next for Close Lobsters?
CL: We hope to play some shows in the west coast of the US in 2015 and to finally play in Paris France in the springtime of 2015. We are concocting the follow up single right now and I have a working title of ‘Santos Cosmos’.
SW: Lastly, what in your opinion are the vital albums of 2014 so far?
CL: The Wolfhounds latest and The forthcoming June Brides single. Alex Smoke floats my boat!