Interview: Candy Claws
Published on October 2nd, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Candy Claws’ Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time is one of our very favourite albums from this year – think a cross between Loveless and SMiLE and you’d be close – so we sought to find out more from the band’s founder Ryan Hover.
Unlike most musicians, Ryan is actually a Ceratopsian dinosaur from one hundred million years ago dreaming about being in a band in 2013. He was charged with making “an album of the Sea, then the Land, and finally the Mesozoic”; Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time completes this trilogy, but fortunately for us he is yet to wake up.
Have yourselves an earful of the album – “the story of Ceres, a seal-like beast, and Calypso, her human partner, as they travel through the Mesozoic Era” – and then buy the thing, for it is truly wondrous…
At one hundred million years old, you’re quite old to be in a band. Do you feel you’re disproving the notion of rock and roll as a young man’s game?
At one hundred million years old I’m just slightly younger than Tom Waits, and his crazy throat sound when he does “Make it Rain” live is the most rock and roll thing. We’ll settle for the silver medal, though.
Do you get offended when people describe aging rock stars as “dinosaurs”?
On the contrary, it’s a compliment to them. Some deserve it more than others. Peter Gabriel, yes. McCartney, maybe not.
Are you a fan of T. Rex (the band and/or the creature)?
Big Yes regarding the band. Big Generator regarding Yes the band. Big No regarding the creature. Dr. No regarding the Bond.
How does a Ceratopsian such as yourself a) fit in a conventional recording studio, and b) operate fiddly gadgets and delicate instruments? Some ‘behind the scenes’ footage on YouTube would have been instructive…
I’m a dwarf dwarf dwarf dwarf dwarf Ceratopsian, meaning I’m actually the size of a dwarf dwarf dwarf dwarf elephant, or a large snail. Getting around the studio is a commute. The instruments and mixing desk are feats of strength and agility.
As I put in my review, if I had to describe Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time in a few words then I’d say it’s like a cross between Loveless and SMiLE. How does this sit with you?
Throw in some 23 and…magnifico!
What made you decide to put all of your music up online for free?
Well, it’s streaming for free. To actually download there is money or piracy involved, one of which helps us eat and keep making music, both of which help more people hear the music.
It’s ridiculously early to be asking, granted, but have you given any thought to your next project yet? If so, what can you tell us about it at this stage?
Nothing for sure yet, though I’d like to keep exploring DUAL MONO, as in…
Have you been playing at festivals this summer, and if so what have been the highlights of this for you?
No, we’re refraining from live shows right now. Traveling in Europe, actually. We spent the summer in the UK, and we’re in Switzerland right now.
Are there any plans afoot for you guys to come to the UK at any point?
As far as concerts go, no plans right now. And like I said, we just spent the summer backpacking here. Cotswolds, Falmouth, Wales, Dingle, Killarney, Wicklow, Glencoe, Edinburgh, London, Bath, etc. Best summer of our lives so far.
Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your days with the back catalogues of just five different artists, musical or otherwise, whose would you choose?
Music: The Avalanches
Books: Isaac Asimov
Art: Mark Rothko, as long as I get the originals
Hair: Uncle Jesse
Ryan Hover, thank you.