Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Saint Clare's EP Release Will Rawk

Originally published on Couch Assassin.

Every year, local community radio stations hold funding drives, including CKCU. As part of this year's CKCU funding drive, many sponsored events will take place between October 25 and November 10.

Indie City Madness, a radio show aired every second Tuesday from 5pm to 6pm on CKCU, is hosting 1 Night All Rawk 4: Fun-D CKCU on October 26 at Avant Garde Bar. During this event, many local bands will be performing, including the Apollohs, Tindervox, and Kings Quest, with DJ Eight Cubed from Toronto. The headlining act is Saint Clare, who will be celebrating the release of their EP "Half Holy".

Couch Assassin's very own Julie Cormier-Doiron had the chance to speak to Matthew Clare, singer and guitarist of Saint Clare, to discuss the band's history, their favourites venues and their ideal tourmates.

Couch Assassin: Tell me about the band. How did you all come together to play music? Did you know each other beforehand?

Matthew Clare: Two of the band members are from my former band, the Shakey Aches. Brad Sheffield, who also plays in Loon Choir, played with me in a few bands prior to Loon Choir - The Art Burn and a band that would eventually become Loon Choir (we joke now I was actually Loon Choir for a few days before breaking off to eventually play more punk/garage stuff with The Shakey Aches). Morgan (sax) was a Punk Ottawa ad find and Neil (violin) was brought to my attention through a mutual friend. We started playing as Saint Clare about a year ago and seemed to add members every couple months until we finished recording the EP.

The idea behind Saint Clare is somewhat that I just got tired of playing in "bands." After 10 years of playing in different bands and seeing people come and go for whatever reason, I just wanted a name to record under for the rest of my life - it's a nod to some of my favorite singer-songwriters in that regard: Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. I wanted a way to put out songs I'm writing with lasting power, regardless of who was contributing, playing behind me, or the type of music we were playing.

CA: Tell me about your EP. How long did it take to record?

MC: Way too long [laughs]. We started in April and would have been done in April had we not added sax and violin to the band. The songs have been finished for the last couple months while we put together merch (CDs/tapes) and PR plans. The EP's formal release is October 22 and we're looking forward to headlining the CKCU fundraiser 1 Night All Rawk 4 at Avant Garde on October 26 to celebrate the release.

CA: What other projects are the band members involved with?

MC: I have a long running side project band with a few friends from London and Toronto (Ontario) called Slut Kickin' Fist Mother. Brad plays in Loon Choir and Richard (guitar) plays in a bunch of bands: Mercy Buckets, Chautauqua and Casey Comeau & The Halfmilers.

CA: What are some of your favourite venues to play in Ottawa and why? Is there a venue that you haven't played that you would like to?

MC: Babylon - cause it's always really rowdy. Mavericks/ Café Dekcuf - cause the Spectrasonic guys are just pro and are super great to work with. Avant Garde - cause it's easy to pack. My last band had a dream to record and play a show at Academic Hall at the University. It's one of the oldest theatres in town. I'd still love to make that come true one day!

CA: What's the best part about playing live shows?

MC: I like to believe I give my all to performing, so it's really cathartic for me. I usually end up sweaty, shirtless, and if it's cold enough, steaming outside after the show and that usually is worth a few laughs. In all seriousness though, seeing people connecting with the music and vocals and channeling the energy is the best part. I'm not playing "sit down" or "jazz lounge" type music [laughs].

CA: Can you name some of the bands you've opened for and/or played with in the past? In an ideal world, who would you like to tour with?

MC: So far, we've played a basement house party with Derek from Loon Choir's side project Ballad Fiasco, opened for Loon Choir in Brockville, and opened for Eamon McGrath at Raw Sugar Café. Ideal touring bands would be Islands (of Montreal) or any of the bands from the Elephant 6 Collective - that I'm totally obsessed with (Beulah, Apples in Stereo, The Minders, Neutral Milk Hotel, etc.) Oh yeah, and Kelley Stoltz, cause he's rad.

CA: Why should people attend your EP release at Avant-Garde Bar?

MC: Well, there's no lack of great shows in town this coming Saturday, but I think we've definitely got one of the most diverse lineups in town that night and with CKCU being one of the best radio stations in town, we're definitely the best show in town on Saturday for the best cause!

You can catch Saint Clare at Avant Garde Bar on October 26. Their EP "Half Holy" can be streamed online at http://www.saintclareband.com/.

1 Night All Rawk 4: Fun-D CKCU
October 26, 2013
Avant Garde Bar

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