AN INTERVIEW WITH…MIKE HALLS (CLEAN CUT KID)

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CLEAN CUT KID

CLEAN CUT KID are popping up here, there and everywhere – and to be perfectly honest, I still can’t get enough of them. After a string of festival performances over summer, the Liverpool-based band are heading back out on tour this month.

But the fun does not stop there – if you were lucky enough to bag tickets for The Courteeners you will have the pleasure of Clean Cut Kid as main support for the full tour.

Loose Cardigan Of Ideas had the chance to speak to Mike Halls ahead of what is certain to be a hectic, yet brilliant, end-of-2016.

YOU PLAYED TWISTERELLA AS A REVERSE HEADLINER – WHAT KIND OF FEELING DID YOU GET FROM THE EARLY SET?

“Evelyn is from the area and her family are based in Guisborough so we get the same feeling that it is a hometown gig and we get the same feeling as a Liverpool gig. No matter what time we play we always get a warm reception.

“We have never played a reverse headliner, though, but there was a lot of that at SXSW – there was no hierarchy and big bands were playing in the middle of the day. The gigs were still cool!”

YOUR NEXT NORTH EAST SHOW IS AT NEWCASTLE’S CLUNY – CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GIGS IN NEWCASTLE AND MIDDLESBROUGH?

“There is a bit of a difference. Middlesbrough is a smaller town and feels more home-y whereas Newcastle is more of a big city crowd – it is hard to explain! We have played so many gigs in the last twelve months and you get a feel for the crowd.

“We have always had a good response up there. We write pop songs, but the live sets are quite loud and heavy. Both crowds are exciting to play for!”

AFTER THAT YOU ARE PLAYING THE FULL UK WITH THE COURTEENERS – HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT THAT?

“Super excited! We supported them at Manchester Apollo and it sold out. It is a bit of an intimidating gig on paper because their fans are crazy about them. When we supported them ten months ago, we were virtually unknown, but I guess the reason we got the job is because we did well.

“When we came off stage on the night it was like a football crowd – proper laddy, gig crowd. If you have seen us live we don’t get intimidated and we give as good as we get. The Courteeners have been awesome posting about us and I think Liam is a fan so that will help!”

WHAT IS IT GOING TO BE LIKE PLAYING ARENA SHOWS?

“Our biggest indoor gig is Brixton Academy which is about five-and-a-half-thousand and we have played Festival Republic and the other big tents at festivals. The arenas we are playing are nine and eleven thousand so they will be bigger than any gig we have played before.

“Once it gets past being a small, intimate room it becomes a sea of faces and you can’t look anyone in the eye. We are going to have to work out how to step up for the arena shows!”

WHAT HAS THE REACTION BEEN LIKE FOR THE NEW SINGLE ‘MAKE BELIEVE’?

“We have been snowed in with reactions since it was The Hottest Record to be honest. We have a lot of things built around the Make Believe campaign such as a B-side and an acoustic version.

“It is a strange one, though, because We Used To Be In Love was commercially our big song and we didn’t realise the reaction would start picking up now. I think Annie (Mac) played it over five times in the last 24 hours and it feels like people are starting to get the band.

“It is so much nicer when people understand what you are trying to do as a band. We don’t want to be a bullshit bubblegum pop band, we want to be respected and that is hard.

“We are so made up that Annie Mac is on board because she is the one for supporting new music and new band – Hottest Record was a dream.”

WHEN THIS TOUR IS OVER, WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM CLEAN CUT KID?

“The album is pretty much recorded so we have a few little bits to patch up. Basically from the day we finish Courteeners’ tour until Christmas is filled up with boxing and mixing the album. To everyone else it will look like we are winding down, but we will be in the studio intensively.

“We want the start of next year to be the release because 2017 is going to be the year of our album. It was going to be 2016, but we realised that we should have just kept the music flowing with singles.”

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Tickets for Clean Cut Kid’s upcoming tour are available here.

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