Interview: Clicks & Whistles
Posted in Interviews
"it's a combination of drawing from past influences spread across different genres and what I think creatively still has a lot of room to explore."
Trying to figure what genre the music coming from Charlotte duo Clicks & Whistles fits into is like asking M.I.A. to be composed when placed in front of a camera with 11 million viewers watching. It's just not going to happen. Sure their influences read "hip-hop, dubstep, and UK garage/funky," but what Clicks & Whistles specialize in is music that's yet to be explored. As T&A describes it, "Their beats could be instrumentals for Waka Flocka Flame or Rick Ross, but also bring to mind the bent minimalism of post-dubstep innovators such as Joy Orbison and Jamie xx." We couldn't of said it better ourselves. Since joining forces about a year ago, Clicks & Whistles have released a grip load of stellar EP's on a number different trendsetting imprints such as AC Slater's Party Like Us Records. For being such a new group to the scene--which is already crowded-- the amount of hype these dudes have been able to build for themselves is pretty impressive. But then again, when you have the beats to back it up, the sky's the limit. Recently we caught up with Clicks & Whistles and talked with them about their backgrounds, recent touring experiences, and what's in store for C&W.
Jorge, Petey, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. First of all I know you guys reside in Charlotte now but originally where are you both from?
Jorge: I'm originally from Miami, FL but have been in Charlotte for 11 years.
Petey: I've lived between Roanoke, VA and Chicago my whole life. I just moved to Charlotte in July.
How did you guys meet?
Jorge: We met off an Internet message board actually, while Peter still lived in Roanoke, VA. Started making music together after I booked him for a show here in Charlotte when our initial production sessions went really well.
The music you are making is so far removed from anything out there right now, it's great. I'm interested in the influences behind it though. What veered you guys into this particular style?
Jorge: I've been an avid fan of dance music most of my life. Really for me it's a combination of drawing from past influences spread across different genres and what I think creatively still has a lot of room to explore moving forward.
Petey: Mostly metal, ragtime, and timbo. I used to make slammin' electro house but that shit sucks now.
You toured America with Africa Hitech last year. First of all, congrats--that's a pretty special bill to be placed on. How did crowds in the south, where you're from, differ from other parts of the U.S. you visited?
Petey: Everywhere is different. The west has better sound, but the south has more people who make requests. It's easier to smoke weed and not get arrested in the west, and I'm into that.
Also playing with Mark Pritchard, who makes up 1/2 of Africa Hitech. Dude's been producing/DJing for over a decade and is a certified legend. Was it a little nerve-racking playing with an artist of that caliber?
Petey: Mark is super down to earth. I had a lot of fun just shooting the shit with him, he has a great sense of humor. He and Steve taught me some new vocabulary I was a little obsessed with for a while.
Your most recent EP, Can't Believe, has to be our favorite release from Clicks & Whistles thus far. Tell us about the idea behind Can't Believe, because it had a relatively different sound compared to your previous work.
Jorge: We seem to go through various phases with tracks we write, not really settling down on any one particular genre or vibe. This last EP on Party Like Us is an example of that where we really went in a bombastic and energetic direction compared to say our first EP on Idiot House.
To get a better idea of what you guys are listening to in your free time when you're not making music, what was your favorite track of 2011?
Jorge: Hard to say, but favorite albums would have to be Machinedrum's Room(s) or of course Rustie's album Glass Swords.
Petey: Scott Joplin- "Maple Leaf Rag".
What's in store for Clicks & Whistles in 2012?
Jorge: We've got our sophomore EP for Embassy Recordings that we're finishing up along with remixes here and there for other artists. We're also looking to play both at SXSW and WMC this year in March and are really looking forward to that.
Petey: I'm starting work on my concept album about my fear of the wind. I also plan on getting some terrible tattoos.