Category Archives: Alec Ounsworth

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah [interview]

Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions for us before the band prepared for their show with Edward Sharpe last night.

We hope you guys enjoy the interview and that you get a chance to see these guys live on tour with Edward Sharpe.

Our thanks to Alec, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah + their wonderful teas, and thanks to Juana for setting this one up for you guys!

+How did you meet each other and what lead you to come together to create music?

I had some recordings I wanted to work on and I knew some people who were available to put them together… and then we did.

+How did you decide on the name?
It was someone’s graffiti written prominently on a wall somewhere in New York.  We borrowed it but were going to give it back.
+What can fans expect to experience at your live shows? 
Ecstasy or disgust …  nothing between. 
+Who are your biggest musical influences? Anyone “upcoming” that you are really into?
 At the moment, I like Beach House …  also enjoying Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes …  Are The Walkmen still upcoming?
Biggest influences?  Tom Waits and Tetsu Inoue.
+What do you think about online music sharing?
It’s a useful tool to get a glimpse but not the best way to really dig in …  vinyl is the best way and, for me, listening to vinyl using headphones.
+Where can fans best connect with the band?
At the live show, certainly.  I go to Johnny Brenda’s sometimes too.
+What do you feel is the hardest thing about being an indie music band/ today? What do you love most about it?
The hardest thing is touring.  I love touring… 
+Since everyone was a startup once, can you give any smaller or local bands looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Let it come naturally.  That is, be honest with yourself and work hard and sooner or later people will figure it out.  Even if they don’t (in the way you might hope — e.g. to be able to make a living doing it), at least you didn’t compromise…  this sounds like small consolation but I assure you it is the most important thing.
+When can we expect to see you touring and in which regions?
We are on tour right now with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.  We’re in Calgary.  We’ll be headed to Edmonton tomorrow and then back into the US to Indianapolis and on down to Florida, and then back up to Boston.
+Hysterical made a lot of people’s “Top Albums of 2011” list. When can we expect a new record from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah?
We are working on album # 4.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s finished but not yet recorded.
+Any parting words, a message to your fans?
Thanks very much for your support.  Thank you for the interview.  Sorry if some answers seem abrupt but I have sound check in just a moment and wanted to make sure I got back before too long …  brevity is the soul of wit?
+Well, we definitely appreciate your time! Thanks again Alec!