Since the ‘90s Clinic have stood out from the crowd. Never once wanting to follow the conventional path, their ever-evolving, post-punk psychedelia sounds has enraptured fans across the world.
From their debut 2000 album Internal Wrangler, Clinic released stellar albums every two years up until 2012’s Free Reign. Then, after a seven year absence they returned with the stand out Wheeltappers and Shunters, confirming that they’d lost none of their unique quality during that break.
In October, they return with their 9th album, Fantasy Island, so we caught up with frontman Ade Blackburn to find out more about their latest record, the band’s influences, favourite gigs and more.
Uncover Liverpool: You’re back with the new album Fantasy Island on 22nd October, what can you tell us about it?
Ade Blackburn: It’s a fun and exotic sounding album, in keeping with the tropical title. We thought it’d be good to make something colourful at the moment to combat the darker side of things.
Uncover: How did making this album compare with previous ones?
Ade: We went down a more pop and electronic route than before, which really opened things up to fresh ideas. It felt a lot easier and more enjoyable to make.
Uncover Liverpool: Each of your albums has been completely distinct from any of your other releases. Does that come easily to you or do you feel a pressure to make a completely unique record?
Ade: It doesn’t always come easy, we have to work at it. With each record we try and use different and unusual/vintage instruments (whether we can play them or not!), that approach usually means you get a different end result.
Uncover: Is there a favourite/standout track on the new album for you?
Ade: My favourite is ‘Refractions (in the rain) it’s our semi-serious take on eurodisco and quite a demented dancefloor number. It’s probably the most out-there song on the Lp.
Uncover: You’ve had to postpone your planned gigs for now, but are you excited about playing live again?
Ade: Unfortunately we had to postpone due to illness but hopefully we’ll be playing live soon. It has felt a really long time.
Uncover: It feels like your on stage look will actually feel very relevant in the current climate, with the pandemic making masks commonplace! Can we still expect to see you in masks and surgical scrubs?
Ade: Yes such a strange turn of events, I never thought we’d see that. We’ll be back with masks and scrubs but with a different twist based around the totally tropical theme.
Uncover: Favourite gig/s you’ve ever played?
Ade: My favourite was playing a London gig for the DJ John Peel. I’d always been a regular listener so it was nice to be asked. He was very supportive of the band and I think everyone still misses him and the programme even now.
Uncover: Favourite song/s to perform live?
Ade: I’d say Ferryboat of the Mind, a nice merseybeat instrumental and Shopping Bag, a full on demented punk song. It’s good to have a mixture of things live.
Uncover: Is there somewhere in the world you’d really like to play that you haven’t yet?
Ade: I’d like to play in South America, I’ve never been, the audiences seem passionately into music and dancing, which would suit us down to the ground.
Uncover: What’s the music writing and production process like for Clinic?
Ade: We record everything ourselves so it’s fairly self-contained and DIY. With the writing, the songs are based around rhythms and then we let the ideas develop from there.
Uncover: Do you have any particular goals or ideals that you want to push forward with the music and have those changed over the years?
Ade: I think it’s essential that less mainstream music is still heard. Our ideals and goals are all wrapped up in that, to keep an alternative going. Not just with ourselves but other bands and artists.
Uncover: Who are your main influences, and have your influences changed over the years?
Ade: The influences have changed over the years, the new songs have quite an 80s pop influence, from things like Fun Boy Three and Kid Creole and The Coconuts. The main underlying influences though would be early rock ‘n’ roll and The Velvet Underground.
Uncover: Favourite review or feature someone’s ever written about you?
Ade: We were featured in Vanity Fair as an example of eccentric Liverpudlians, which I was quite chuffed about.
Uncover: Favourite current Liverpool bands?
Ade: I like Eyesore and The Jinx and also Prison Behaviour, they’ve both got a really good sense of humour to their music and visuals.
Uncover: What’s next for Clinic? Will there be another album on the way after Fantasy Island?
Ade: Yes all things being well, we’ll be back with more mayhem and eccentricity!
Clinic’s new album Fantasy Island, is out on 22nd October and you can pre-order the Limited Edition Colour Vinyl now via https://www.dominomusic.com/artists/clinic