Clawjob – Wed 1/7 – TT The Bear’s

Clawjob is the musical brainchild of Nick Burgess and Mike Gintz, two friends who went from re-making Mega Man soundtracks together as undergrads at BU to starting the most conceptually adventurous band in Boston.

Spacecrackers, Clawjob’s debut album released in 2006, is an outer space rock opera about love and world annihilation that sounds like Ziggy Stardust on a steady diet of Chocolate and Cheese. The story line is well worth following and highly rewarding as long as you don’t neccesitate a happy ending. What needs to be accounted for here is that this band is imaginative beyond where most bands would be willing to go and deserve acknowledgement on that merit alone.

In 2008 they released their follow-up album entitled Manifest Destiny, a concept album about life in 19th-century America that displays the band’s ability to vary not only their lyrical content but the music as well. The phrasing has veered away from theatrical towards a more direct Wire-y approach that corners you with it’s immediacy.

Both of these gents are obviously well-versed in historical context and at every turn look to reveal the humorous patterns of self-destruction embedded in civilization. Bear witness to Clawjob in all their deconstructive glory this Wed at TT’s.

Q&A w/ Clawjob

  • Q: When talking about the thought process behind your recently released EP Manifest Destiny, you’ve been quoted as saying, “We were looking for parallels between the US 150 years ago and the US now. They had a kind of optimism for the future, with new discoveries and the thought that technology was going to save the day.” If technology is not going to save the day in 2009 then what, besides Clawjob, is capable of doing so? Or is you’re outlook as a band entirely fatalistic? 

A: Our first album ended with the destruction of humanity, and we have at least a few more apocalyptic projects in the pipeline, so the failure of the human race does seem to be a pretty constant theme in our work. Mike is currently reading “The World Without Us” and we’re both, for better or worse, fascinated with the awful things that people have been doing to this planet. That said, Manifest Destiny is still less about the future being completely hopeless than it is about the danger of repeating the mistakes of the past, and less about the fact that nothing will save us than it is about the fact that people are probably going to keep acting and feeling like people for as long as they exist. 

  • Q: How does having a second album, that is not a rock opera, effect the way in which you present your music in a live setting?
A: We only performed Space Crackers as a complete rock opera once, because playing it in its entirety is a pretty rigid live show, with no surprises for anyone. Now we tend to play shows with a more mixed-up set list; it takes a lot of the pressure off and lets us experiment with new songs and ideas. Lately, we’ve been playing shows as a duo, and that’s helped make our shows feel looser and more spontaneous. It’s also allowed us to start adding more new songs to the rotation, which is good because we write songs a lot faster than we record or release them, and we always like playing our newest stuff.
  • Q: What is the most flattering/sickening band comparisons Clawjob has received from fans, friends, family, press etc…?
A: We’ve been lucky enough to mostly get comparisons to bands we like. Like, a lot of people have said that Space Crackers sounds like Queen or David Bowie, which is great, even if we think the whole “rock opera” thing probably put those bands into people’s heads more than the actual sound of the record did. But if those references give people a starting point, that’s good. Some folks said some songs on Manifest Destiny sounded like Unwound and Wire, which made Mike happy. thinks some songs on Space Crackers sound like Hootie and the Blowfish, which is less satisfying.
  • Q: Your 2006 debut Space Crackers was an ambitious rock opera based on a completely original story line. Did you know you wanted to make a rock opera before coming up with the story? If so, what other story ideas did you come up with that eventually lost out to the Space Crackers story?
A: We did know we wanted to write a rock opera, specifically a space rock opera, before we had the story completed. There weren’t really any big story ideas that we dumped, because the plot grew fairly organically, but we did drop some things along the way. At one point, Greg, the loser main character who ends up dying in the vacuum of space, was going to sing in a British accent for the first few songs in an attempt to impress Madeleine, the woman of his dreams. We dropped this pretty early, but “I Got My Space Pass” retains a little Blur influence as a result of this. For a long time, Madeleine was going to sing a song called “I Don’t Know How To Kill Him,” where she contemplates ways to kill Greg, who has gone crazy. When we actually tried to write the song, we realized it wasn’t really in her character to do that.
So, nothing major was lost or changed, just weird little ideas.
  • Q: If you could play a show in Boston with 3 other local bands who would they be and at what Boston venue would you play?
A: We would play with Piles, The Secret Gay Senators, and Tristan Da Cunha at a sold-out Agganis Arena with riots outside. Or we would play with Guillermo Sexo, The Red Royal, and The Modern Voice at T.T. the Bear’s Place on Wednesday! 







One Response to Clawjob – Wed 1/7 – TT The Bear’s

  1. adameasuremen says:

    sweet these guys are sweet like a sweet box of sweets

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