CLOVES Interview - Breaking Barriers

Meet CLOVES, one of the greats transcending the alternative and indie scenes over the years. So far, CLOVES has boasted a remarkable career, performing at Sundance Film Festival, Billboard Showcase, Coachella, and Lollapalooza, along with amounting a formidable collection of tracks. We had a chat to CLOVES about her forthcoming debut album One Big Nothing, her headline shows at The Lansdowne in Sydney, and Northcote Social Club in Melbourne, and much more!

Futuremag Music: What’s your relationship with music been like over the years?

CLOVES: I find it quite difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when I decided I wanted to start creating music. It’s something I’ve always been drawn to, I guess. Over a time, my relationship with music has been quite personal, I’ve had ups and downs with it. I’ve had times where I’ve really enjoyed myself, yet I’ve had times I’ve put so much pressure on myself that it’s become something stressful.

When I was making the album, I was so determined to make something I was really proud of and this meant that I was putting so much pressure on myself. It almost become not fun anymore. I almost worked myself into a state of severe writer’s block.

My relationship with music is the foundation of what my life is built around. When I get an idea for a song, it’s the biggest high imaginable. It’s something I absolutely love. You can’t replace that feeling.

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Futuremag Music: Has that always been the case with writer’s block and the pressure to perform or something that’s come on with the development of the CLOVES project?

CLOVES: I’ve always been so serious, so there was never really a starting point for CLOVES. I’ve always been a very ambitious person, and I’ve always been a music head, if you will. As I evolved, I just wanted to get better and better. I wanted to write songs, educate myself on production, do production, learn arrangements, and really understand what a song means, to translate a feeling into sound. Now that I’m out of the album process, I’m really proud of what I’ve done. I feel so prolific and I’m able to write a bunch of new songs straight away. Now I feel like I’m in a really good place with it all.

Futuremag Music: Talking about albums, can you talk us through your single ‘Wasted Time’ and your forthcoming album One Big Nothing?

CLOVES: So ‘Wasted Time’ is on the album, and the track is revolved around the topic of feeling overly self-critical. The single came somewhere in the middle of the album writing process, where I was struggling with writer’s block, and doubting myself. These feelings were seeping into all different facets of my life, not just music. I felt isolated from my own friends, I felt anxious, and there was a lot of self-doubt. We went into the studio and played around with some stuff, anxiety and self-doubt was the topic that came out, and people feel like this all the time. People don’t usually talk about anxiety, because it doesn’t make you feel cool or in control, so people keep it to themselves. I think it’s important to understand that everyone feels like that sometimes and people should be less critical of themselves.

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Futuremag Music: Throwing it to tours, how’s the Aussie tour with The Rubens going?

CLOVES: It’s been so sick! I have to say that out of everyone I’ve toured with the guys are so fun and lovely. I’ve actually be duetting their new single with them, after my support set. It’s such a great crowd as well. The people who come to see their shows are enthusiastic and enjoy the vibe. It’s just been such a great first tour in Australia, and it’s just been really really fun!

Futuremag Music: Along with touring with The Rubens, you’re doing two headline shows, one next Tuesday at The Lansdowne in Sydney, and the other at Northcote Social Club in Melbourne. What can fans expect from your solo performances?

CLOVES: So basically, I’ve been rearranging my entire set, so everything feels full on and intricate. I’ve been creating intros for the set, and little in-between interludes. I want it to feel like when you step into the room you feel like you step into the 90s, which is my main inspiration for my music. When you step in, the music will sit heavy on your heart, and you can just do whatever you want to do and be yourself.

Futuremag Music: Sort of a funny one to wrap it up, if ‘CLOVES’ was a cocktail what would be in it, to best describe yourself and your music?

CLOVES: I feel like I’m taking this question as if you were asking me “what’s your favourite drink?” hahahha. Anyone who’s ever met me would know I’m the biggest ambassador of a gin and tonic with cucumber and cracked pepper. It’s literally so amazing, and I’m always walking around offering to put cracked pepper in people’s gin. If there’s cracked pepper, gin, tonic, and cucumber there’s definitely a CLOVES somewhere close!