Tracey Moyle chats to the Irish punk/alt-rockers about their move to London, signing to the legendary Alan McGee’s Creation 23 label and the inspiration behind their new single.
Punk built its foundations on the honesty, authenticity and freedom that a DIY attitude brings. It’s a genre with no restrictions. An ever-evolving sound that has continually evolved. No matter what country or culture it touches, it manages to find its own voice whilst still embracing the all-important punk ethos.
Keeping with that mindset, The Clockworks, with their punk/rock/alternative blend, have just dropped their new single Feels So Real – a song that is helping keep the band’s momentum building. A momentum that was ignited with the recent hit Enough Is Never Enough.
With its alternative-laden punk rock attitude, the band have once again given fans a dynamic new single worth getting excited about.
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Feels So Real is more than just another song. The band says it’s a ‘captured feeling put into words and wrapped in the emotive power of music’. The Clockworks have built the track, not around an event or a thought, but an awareness.
The band’s vocalist/guitarist James McGregor explains.
“The song is written about a feeling. The lyrics describe a stream of consciousness – that ‘one with everything’ feeling. The general story is about walking through a city and feeling the rapture you can get at times. Sometimes that feeling’s so powerful that not even the least beautiful things you see – like a (hypodermic) needle on the ground – can taint this feeling of excitement that you have.”
Drawing an image of their song, the vocalist likens it to that feeling an opening scene of a movie tries to portray.
“Think of a cliche New York film opening. It would be rolling through the city, picking up bagels or something. Then this Rolling Stones song playing or something. There’s that kind of feeling of ‘presentness’, and I think in the way they use it in films, it brings you straight into the present moment.”
With the past year giving artists plenty to write about – with isolation and equality obviously being two big topics – The Clockworks have dug deeper and built their new single from the emotion up.
“The feeling came first and everything else just took place as a result. The lyrics were finished first. The music was about capturing the feeling and the lyrics were just writing it down.” says James, who penned the words.
The band says that because this creative process worked so well the track came together incredibly quickly.
“The music came together in one hour, and that’s not even being dramatic,” guitarist Sean Connelly says. “It was one of those evenings where we just tried something new and we hit record. Almost the first thing that came into our heads is what you hear on the single.”
The Clockworks evolved from a friendship between school friends Sean, James and drummer Damian Greaney and their love of music. Moving from Loughrea to Galway, they met bass player Tom Freeman and The Clockworks were born.
A move to the UK found things falling into place immediately, with Alan McGee from Creation 23, signing the band before they’d even settled in London.
Sean recalls, “Myself and Tom moved over first to find a house before the boys moved over to make it a seamless transition from Ireland to London. All the while we were sending messages to record companies and one of the messages was to Alan (McGee). He was so into it and came out to see us two weeks later. It was before the boys had even moved over, so it was kind of a crazy situation that really validated our move”
“It was really good because we were willing to just move and figure it all out as we went,” says the band’s drummer Damian Greaney. “We had always planned to move to London when the time was right, but then getting involved with Alan and Creation so quickly just gave us such a clear purpose. Also, just his experience and knowledge has really helped us in the last two years”
The interest from McGee is no surprise. The Clockworks have something special. They take raw rock energy and inject the attitude and heart of punk into their lyrics and performance.
With punk rock ever-evolving there is no doubt it has become more than just another genre. It’s become a platform for honest expression. It’s in the attitude, of taking your voice to the world with music and lyrics. It’s putting a dialogue to your feelings on any matter.
Despite what the fans hear the band won’t pigeonhole themselves.
“ We may be punk in the same way that The Pogues are in that non-traditional punk way,” says Sean. “As you said, it’s down to the attitude.”
The Clockworks’ influences are broad and paints a picture of how their unique sound has been brought to life. From rock, to indie, to post-punk to punk. With influences ranging from The Clash to The Velvet Underground and the Libertines to The Strokes there is no doubt music is embedded deep within the souls of these four guys from Galway.
“Punk can be Interestingly broad.” says bass player Tom Freeman. “The Clash and the Sex Pistols are so different. The Stranglers even, those three right there, we could take three separate things from each of those bands.”
With the new single about to power onto playlists everywhere, what is next for the band?
“The plan, for now, is singles,” says Damian. “Just going to keep releasing them. An album is certain and we do eventually want to do one but it’s something that we want to do right. We want our first one to be impactful and to come at the right time. Not just throwing it out and hope people like it.
“We want to keep putting our best song forward with singles because that’s been going well for us. We’ll stick with the plan and then when the time is right we’ll drop the album that we all want to make.”
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Everyone should have a soundtrack playing loudly in the background of their life. I was born moshing to my own beat and have never swayed from my love of music. Spreading my passion through the written word is my soul’s purpose. My punk heart beats loudly with the rhythm of my rock soul. I plan to continue to mosh like no one gives a shit.