“We've pretty much all seen each other naked and been exposed to various bodily functions by now.” Scott, Ray, Nic and Greg live together. Well they did, in one form or another, for half a decade. This is Clip'd Beaks, whose brotherly love translates to a unified skull fuck of cogent noise. “We're more or less able to read each others minds at this point,” explains Greg Pritchard, guitarist and synthesizer dude number one.
Hoarse Lords, the LP recently released on Lovepump United, is a fiercely free collection of fragmentary jams, cut down into songs sharing a little of the druggy droning noise coming from 13th Floor ATL disciples like Deerhunter and Black Lips. Did the Clip'd Beaks guys experiment with hallucinogens in high school, when they were just starting to get down together? “No, but we majored in it in college.”
They're in Oakland now, but they grew up in Minneapolis where “it gets all brown and gray and cold and people kind of hibernate and start acting a little weird. We usually dealt with it by drinking a lot of beer.” They weren't really into The Replacements, but Pritchard quickly assured me they rep Prince, another hometown hero, as much as possible.
“[Drummer] Ray [Benjamin]'s aunt is a huge fan, supposedly she once saw him out at a club and handed him a photo for him to sign and he signed it ‘GOD’ and gave it back to her without saying anything.”
Their move to sunny California hasn't stifled their dirty Midwest dive bar state of mind. “We don't usually get asked to play the cool underground warehouse shows, I guess we're in a weird place where we're not lo-fi enough for the DIY scene and not 'pro' enough for the hipster bar scene.”
Still, and this is clear in their inherently jammy nature, “the west coast is our spiritual home.” But they're not talking Grateful Dead. “Even though it might not seem like an obvious comparison, we see ourselves as kind of the fucked-up inbred grandchildren of bands like The Doors and Jane’s Addiction.”
Slightly odd, only in that Pritchard describes Clip'd Beaks modeling itself after pop-oriented rock bands while also envisioning the perfect Bitches Brew of noise-jam experimentalism someday issuing forth: “I'm hopeful that we'll get to a point where we'll be able to just take a whole month to do nothing but just jam and record all day and all night and then at the end of the month we'll sit down and listen to what we have and realize that we created a masterpiece without even trying.”