We caught up with Warmduscher front man Clams Baker Jr live from the battle bus travelling between shows, to find out more about the tour and the mystical place called ‘The Hot Spot’ where all the wierdo’s hang out.
As a means of introduction, how would you want to introduce yourself to an uninitiated person? How would you sum yourselves up?
Basically the easiest way to do that is just to see us live because it’s where it makes the most sense. A lot of people get lost in the translation if they look at us online and stuff like that because we like to have a lot of fun but we’re 100% business when it comes to the music and all that shit and putting it on where it makes the most sense. And we work real hard and we work hard at putting on a good show. It’s not the same thing twice usually. You know what I mean? I’m blessed with really, really amazing musicians around me. And so it’s like we always put 150% and also the team of people around us working with us and making stuff happen. Everything’s just awesome. So for the first timers, just like, shut your mouth, go buy a ticket and come and see us. And then make your minds up!
So initially when I was introduced to you guys, I thought your band name was something to do with warm orifice cleaning. But I see it doesn’t have that context at all and it’s more to do with the German die warmduscher translating into a warm showerer meaning a bit of a pussy or someone who doesn’t like to leave their comfort zone.
Well you said it, I didn’t, so that’s fine.You summed it up man. That’s what it’s about. That’s all good. Because I just love wordplay and shit like that. And really long story long, I had some German friends a long time ago that used to call me, ah die warm duscher, because I was on a tour with another band and I was complaining a lot and they’re like, “Ah, you are such a warm duscher.” And I loved it. I was like, because it sounds so masculine and so tough but it’s actually the opposite. It’s a joke on that. But then being a simpleton, I didn’t think of the connotations that people might think of like a douche. Maybe it pigeonholed us, maybe it hindered us in some ways, but it’s all good man. There’s nothing wrong with a warm douche There’s nothing wrong with a douche or being a pussy. So it’s all good stuff.
Your latest album, whilst it’s got some of your pure DNA, it is quite a transition from your earlier stuff like Khaki Tears and the second album, Whale City. They had some pretty dark corners in them as far as the tracks go and At The Hotspot feels perhaps a little bit more polished with perhaps a few less abrasions. How did that come about? Was it a strategic plan to make it more accessible or was it just a logical progression in your music?
Basically the way that we did the albums in the past, it’s not much different, but it’s always been time constrictions and money constrictions and stuff like that, we only had limited time. We had to do everything within three hours, three days, sorry, three hours, that would’ve been great. Three days was the first album or the second album. And then basically we had to do everything in one go in one day and yada yada yada. I don’t want to go on too much about that. Basically, time constriction and money constriction.
And then weirdly enough, I was in the studio with Joe and Al doing a different project with Laima and Igor Cavallera and Dan couldn’t do this album, the Hotspot album. And I was like fuck! He got Covid. Luckily the guys Joe and Al stepped up and they’re like, “Oh, we’ll do it.”And so it wasn’t a conscious effort to make it more polished or anything. I think it’s just the way that their emphasis is more obviously on synths and stuff like that. And Dan’s emphasis, I would say, I mean this is in a nutshell, it’s more sort of guitary and raw vibes. But it wasn’t anything planned out.
We just do what we do and just try to keep progressing and we get a misconception that we’re jokey or whatever, but it’s not. We put a lot of work and effort into what we’re doing and how we do it. And basically, in the past, if anything sounded rough or sloppy, it’s just because we had to do it so fast. But that was also by design, because Dan saw us at a house party. He saw us playing a house party for Mika Levy, and he wanted to capture what we did there onto an album. And that made everything go fast. So no conscious effort. It just is what it is. And thanks to Joe and Al.
We can’t say thanks enough to Joe and Al. They’re Dons man. They took us on and let us come into their amazing studio and just basically… We essentially recorded the album the same way we did with Dan, but differently, you know what I mean? Just in a different setting. And they hopped on a few more times and put in percussion and stuff like that. So hats off to them. They’re awesome guys and nothing but love to all of them.
Talking about the hotspot generally, what the fuck is the hotspot? Is it a place? Is it a state of mind? You reference it quite a lot on the album.
The concept started off simple as in, I think it was Ben and Marley came in as we were writing during Covid, and they were talking about this culture around the hotspots in the cities. And in London and where you can charge your phone or you can make calls and get on Wifi. I had no idea, because I’m in my own world half the time. And they were like, “Yeah man, using the hotspots planned.” And I’m like, “Nah, no.” And then I looked it up and we started just vibing over the fact that you have these technological, or these things that the city’s put up to basically sell advertisement and shit, but they always wind up doing the right kind of advertisement, which is selling the underbelly of the city or you get freaks around it and everything else. So it started around that kind of culture. If you look up hotspot in New York, you’ll see people sitting out with lawn chairs charging their phones and shit like that and doing what they do. So it started out like that, but then it evolves into basically making it sort of ambiguous, so people can make up their own mind for it. It could be anything. But if I’m honest, that’s how it started about the culture around that. So we took that idea and ran with it.
Well yeah, I mean it’s funny. I just find it really funny. There was this guy, this old African dude that used to come with about seven batteries, those portable chargers, in a little boom box, a little, I don’t know like a Bluetooth thing. He would just chill out there on a bench, plug in all his batteries charge them up. He didn’t even look happy, which actually, I found it even funnier. So you have all these contrasts and these weird things and obviously Covid was going on and it’s just fun. It created a world on its own.
You appeared on Jules Holland and I mean, he’s renowned for introducing the next big thing. You kind of lost a bit of momentum. I think you were sort of heading in a good direction before Covid. Do you feel like now’s your time, are the planets aligning?
I just feel it’s always our time and there’s always something to either say, it’s not our time or it is our time. I feel like there is no time, if that makes sense. We just keep going, man, keep doing it. We’re already working on a new album. It’s all about the long game for me and for us. Listen man, shit’s hard right now. I’d rather be an investment banker, but I’m not. Well actually I’m glad I’m not. Doing music is not easy right now. But it’s what we do. So it’s what we will continue to do. And I don’t know whether… I hope it’s our time, but I hope continually it’s our time. So I mean like the flash and the pan, whatever.
Well thank God you can get out on the road again and tour and spread your love around a bit.
Yep, totally! I’m in a bunch of different projects and not to be a prick, but I actually welcomed the break for a minute. I was away every weekend. It was a weird breath of fresh air. And like I said, because we work so fast and speed and everything, it was nice to slow down. It made me realize what I was missing. When you’re touring all the time and playing every weekend in one thing or another, it gets the world’s smallest violin cued right now… Basically it was a blessing and a curse like most things. And it allowed me to appreciate what I wasn’t appreciating in some ways.
Going back to your other question. It actually allowed us to work more on that album. Maybe that’s why it’s more polished. It was like we didn’t have to just go like, okay, we’re going to go do a tour for five days and boom, now we’re going to go write an album in three days. Boom, now we’re going to go back… That type of stuff. This was nearly two years of, for one mainly an excuse to get together and do something rather than just sit in your house all day. And two, to make music, which is what we do. And three, I don’t know what three is, I guess hang out and party with each other. So it was the perfect storm for us anyways. And I don’t mean to, I don’t say it loosely because it wasn’t a great situation for a lot of people, so I don’t want to pop that off as being like whatever. I don’t want to make it sound like it was a great time or some shit like that because it’s not obviously. I know people that died, so I’m not trying to throw that out there either. But for us musically, it worked.
Can you tell us about the final leg of the tour?
Well, listen, the Brixton Electric Show is something that, I come from a background of promoting club music and being in… I used to work for Strictly Rhythm and I was immersed in the dance world and electric music, but also growing up being into punk music and hip hop and rapping, blah. So basically being in a band, I’ve always wanted to throw a night where I could combine all that stuff. Or we could combine, it’s not just me, it’s all of us doing it. And we’ve always tried to do that with nights, but usually they make you leave after midnight because they have a club night, which is fair enough because they have to sell whatever they’re going to do. So this is a night thanks to Brixton Electric and the people that run it, that actually allowed us to be like, okay, yeah. You can have Electric Brixton and you can stay and you can curate the whole night and boom, you got the keys of the place. So do it. So yeah, it’s kind of the ultimate kind of party to, or celebration I’d say, for the album, for all the work, for all the two years, everything we put into it, everyone helping us, it’s all that. You don’t want to put too much into it or whatever, but it’s like we’re going to just… It’s a celebration of everything that we’ve done.
We got start to finish, live music from nine o’clock till one, I think almost two. And then still live music. It’s not stopping. There’s no pausing. There’s going to be performances in one form or another all the way till six in the morning. We go on at 12:30, there’s going to be people in the crowd messing with people in a good way. You know what I mean?
There’s going to be Ash, he’s going to be doing opera, greeting people as they come in. And you’re going to have Simone Marie DJing and Primal Scream. You have the Sports Banger Crew, that dude’s so much good for the city or for the world really, for the NHS, for everything else. They’re putting on what they call a crime rave. I have no idea what that is, but we’ll see. And we have the amazing Jeanie Crystal and Taboo TV, which put on some of the best nights. The Underground in London, they’re putting on a two hour DJ set with performances, with drag queens and performance artists, everything. That’s going straight from 2:00 to 4:00 AM. We’re starting off with Palsy, which is an amazing band. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them. Basically everyone is just… So starting out with Palsy, nine o’clock, they got new music out, They’re an amazing three piece band. Boom.
And then it goes into Josh Caffe’s live show, look him up. It’s like basically… Well, I won’t go too much into it, but it’s a live performance from Josh Caffe and then it goes right into a live performance with Opus Kink who have been supporting us on this tour, which are amazing. And then we do our set And then in between Simone Marie of Primal Scream we’re DJing and then Jeannie Crystal and Taboo TV come on at two. Sports Banger come on after that. And it’s like, boom. It’s a lot of bang for the buck, as I said.
And are you going to have enough left in the tank for that one? That’s going to be an endurance affair at the end of the tour.
Well, I tell you what, I hope so. I take care of myself, whatever. I get a lot of rest. So I’m looking forward to that. And it’s like, it’s all well deserved. Everyone from top to bottom has been helping us out. It’s just a celebration of all that, you know what I mean? People putting in the work and people coming out to support us and see us and buying tickets and stuff like that. And over the years, it’s literally in our backyard for most of the band. And we never ever… Sorry, this will be the first time I’m pretty sure that we finished a tour in London. Usually we go to Brighton the next day. So this is great.
You can catch up with Clams and the rest of the band Lightnin’ Jack Everett, Quicksand (Adam J Harmer), Mr. Salt Fingers Lovecraft (Ben Romans-Hopcraft) and The Witherer aka Little Whiskers (Quinn Whalley). The tour has three nights remaining, Reading, Norwich and Electric Brixton.
ELECTRIC LATES is a brand new series of late live shows at the iconic music venue Electric Brixton in South London, presented by Electric Brixton and Crosstown Concerts.
Combining the intimacy and exhilaration of live music performance, with the hedonism of an all-night party, each edition of Electric Lates is carefully curated by the headliner of the night. This unique concept will include surprise acts, both old and new material from the hand-picked line-up, captivating DJ sets, and spectacular late-night production, offering a brand new take on nightlife in the capital.