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In the Spotlight with Clint Slate!

Written by on August 12, 2021

In today’s “In the Spotlight” I have a Huge treat for you all.

Hi Clint and welcome to “In the Spotlight”

1, What is Clint Slate about?

Clint used to be my shield, my stage persona, a character through which I could express more.
Clint Slate is born out of a dark time, out of Gregg, out of a ‘clean slate’.
I used him to create anything that came to mind while I was grieving in the shadows.
Now I made peace with him and Clint and I are now one and the same.
But for the listener, it’s a stamp for ‘experimentations mingling with melodies’, something
you wouldn’t think could work but gives birth to songs anyway.
At least, I hope it does!

 

2, How would you say that your music has changed over the years? Both in how you write,
play and think.

I started playing guitar and singing when I was around 15 and I quickly started to compose,
learning how to play other instruments and record at the same time.
Nearly 30 years later, the process is still the same but the gear has changed and, of course, I’m
much better at what I do now.
I’ve had milestones as a songwriter along the way, songs that made me think I’d changed gear
and needed to work harder to stay on par.
I recently thought of a project I call ‘The Vault’: One part compilation of old recording that I
think are still great, one part compilation of reinterpretations of other older songs, to see what
my ‘now self’ can do when duetting with my ‘then self’.
Who knows? Could be fun. I just need to figure out if people would be interested.

 

3, What are your plans for the future?

Apart from crazy last minute ideas like ‘The Vault’, I will release 2 Eps with Iona James to
complete our trilogy (October 21 and January 22), there will be a video performance where I
cover U2’s ‘Achtung Baby’ album in full (that’s for November), I also have a solo album in
progress now, a lost concept album finished for years that I’d love to release properly
someday, radio shows for Radio TFSC, the live shows I’m part of should go back on the road
in September…
I’m always onto something, I love ideas. They drive me. Crazy. But they drive me.

 

4, What is the one thing you would like to tell your fans?

Thanks a lot for being here!
Support is essential to the creators, more so these days when everything is digital and, let’s
face it, quick and lonely.
I’m more than glad people connect to these weird kids of mine, these songs that I carved out
of thin air and cherish more than anything.
I hope you’ll like the next projects and remember:
Support the indie scene now, or soon there will be no more indie scene to support!

 

5, What is the one thing you would like to tell the Music Industry?

Give us our royalties, hahaha!
Now everybody can be ‘heard’ by uploading songs/creations/art on the Internet, trying to
gather an audience in the meantime AND getting paid.
And this is where it gets weird as people now pay 10€ for a streaming service when they paid
this fee for a simple album not so long ago.
And they don’t realize they don’t pay the artists, they pay Spotify, Deezer & co.
Music, and art in general, have become like water: It’s everywhere, you don’t even notice it
anymore, and you don’t want to pay for it, why bother?
A site like Bandcamp allows people to get their career back, but people have to be educated
more and learn that they can use it, that ‘indie artist’ doesn’t mean ‘hobby artist’ or that it’s
not because you made it to The Voice on tv that you ‘made it’ or are better than others.
I don’t know if it’s not too late, I hope not.
Creation takes its toll, it’s a 24/7 job, not something you can achieve with 3 jobs on the side.
It takes focus, determination. And sometimes madness.

 

and here is a bit extra from Clint!

Milestones songs:
(well, some of them, those that are available online…)

Nonsense Paradise (2009)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfLF6hdu8fw

This is a song from my first (and last) album with The Sunchase and my first music video.
I like the poetry in it, the darkness is still there but there is a hope, an unstoppable joy
lurking behind the shadows.

The Road (2010)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fauwzS_2KqI

I wrote this when the father of a close friend died. I was shocked and didn’t know what to
say or how to express it, so I wrote this song.
When I created the ‘One Month One Song’ project with a director, I thought it would be nice
to use it so I choreographed it and I still really love how it turned out.

Circle (2010)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdj3YToBO6s

Still from ‘One Month One Song’ but I now see it as an embryo for what I would start to
experiment with Clint Slate a few years later.
I still really like it and I may cover it at some point.

Endless Summer Day (2015)

https://clintslate.bandcamp.com/track/endless-summer-day

I lost my father after months of illness in July 2015, a few days after his birthday and I wrote
this song as the last conversation we could not have as he was already in a coma by then.
I wrote and recorded it in a single evening, back from the hospital.
Never touched it again.
I included at the end of the album ‘Before The Dark’ and played it during his funerals.
I’m proud of it because it helped me, still does, and I know he liked it, wherever he may be.
I also played it on stage when I transposed the album live:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVozm0kvNq0

Flowers (2016)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fWtn_qjSx4

I wrote this one in 2009 and knew instantly I had stepped up. I also knew it was the end for
The Sunchase as we could not give it what it needed.
Flashforward to 2016 and the idea of recording an album from a theater, with a band and a
choir, live on Youtube… in a single take!
‘Flowers’ came back as I thought it would be the perfect moment to give it the intensity it
needed.
The jazz sax solo is improvised, I only gave Olivier a few guidelines on what his story needed
to be in the whole story.
By the way, this is a short story of Love after Death. Probably the one song I’m the most
proud of.

No More Voice (2018)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxTrEHtx18I

I was, and still is, a HUGE fan of Soundgarden, Audioslave and Chris Cornell. So when he died
suddenly in 2018, I was in shock. I tried to pay a humble tribute to him by nodding to his
career, lyrics and styles, but with respect, never as a pastiche.

Dark Is Wire (2020)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaDI0ZZwn5c

I had writer’s block when lockdown hit in May 2020. Hadn’t written a song in nearly 2 years.
As I wanted to go back in the saddle, I decided I’d use the cut-up technique, where you cut
and paste various random sentences in order to create abstract and surreal poetry.
It was very liberating and this is the first song that came to life with this new project.
I know it’s ambiguous at best and doesn’t make any sense to many, but I hear and see so
many amazing images here that I can’t help but go on a journey.
I hope the listeners too!
It marked the start of a new album (Dragons) and the flame of songwriting got bigger than
ever again.

No Way Out (2021)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hyTRHhkrMY

I encountered Iona James, a Scottish singer, totally by chance in February 2021. SLE Radio
had put up a ‘Wheel Of Collaboration’ and fate put us both together with the task of creating
a song in a month. After a bit of chit-chat, I sent Iona a guitar riff I had, she sent me back a
vocal melody and… we had the song before the evening!
We decided to see if this was pure luck or if there was something to harvest in this
collaboration and ended up with 12 songs in 3 months, thus… 3 EPs!

 

Thank you so much Clint for sharing your story with us.

I can’t wait to see what you have for us in the future!

 

And YOU can find Clint here

https://twitter.com/ClintSlate

https://linktr.ee/clintslate

https://songwhip.com/clintslate


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