Francesco Leali and Federico Maccherone keep it coming on time like Clockwork. With an upcoming album on Life And Death and a hot new live band show on the horizon, the Italian music freaks have been working up a sweat since their debut release on Hot Creations this February. Filling dancefloors flawlessy at intimate party joints across the globe, next Saturday the boys will be bringing their twist on the low pitch breed of techno to Room Three alongside Life And Death boss, Thugfucker. A slice of which you can sample on their fabric mix, which they’ve told us, is a far cry from your conventional house mix and features unreleased cuts you’re going to love. But before you press play, hear what Clockwork have to say about their passion for dubstep, classic albums, as well as the story behind their live show and new LP, "Based On A True Story."
Let’s start from the begininning....how did you guys meet?
We met when Francesco was 15 and Federico was 20, working together for an Indie label opened with fiends, making music and listening to lot's too. We didn't really get a long that well at the start, it took us 3 years apart whilst Francesco was in London and Federico was in New York to bond.
What's the story behind the name Clockwork? Did you always know you'd end up making a music project together?
As we mentioned previously we didn't really get along that well when we first met so making music together wasn't really something we were both looking forward to. But we're both immensely glad that we decided to team up on this project as we both couldn't have done it without one another. We believe compensation between two individuals that work together is of vital importance. We feel very blessed to be able to travel the world making and playing music we love. As for the choice of picking Clockwork… well that would be catalogued under "Randomness".
Tell us how you hooked with Hot Creations for your debut EP, “It’s You Again”?
"It's You Again" was conceived in London by Francesco when he was abroad for his studies but later perfected it with Federico, that’s when we decided to teem up and see what came out of this "experiment". A couple months after completion Federico met Lee Foss in New York and passed the demo to him and they signed it; we were ecstatic! Later that month we finished "Running From Spaces" which was the B side to the "It's You Again EP" and that was pretty much when the deal was sealed.
Would you say the Clockwork sound is closely linked to the kind of beats you like to make and play out?
That would be a no. We kicked off with a pretty contemporary house and disco oriented EP, closely following the industry's flow, emulating it but also re-interpreting it in our opinion. This brought us to follow certain kinds of musical standards to be coherent with all our releases. When we perform we tend to play a darker low pitch breed of techno, which we love, and this is why our productions are taking that kind of flow now; we've definitely been influenced a lot by other genres such as dubstep too and we noticed through our latest work we've benefitted from it.
We’re excited to hear your working on your first on Life & Death album called ‘Based On A True Story.’ Can you tell us a bit about the different sounds and ideas we can look forward too?
Well "Based On A True Story" kind of tells our story, the musical path we went and are going trough highlighting how we are influenced by the music and people that we are surrounded by. We've been listening to a lot of stuff outside the "four quarter" kick boundaries and researched more dubstep, trip hop and pop oriented productions and artists. This expanded our horizons and gave us the chance to experiment with new sounds, instruments, production and recording techniques, and the result is: "Based On A True Story".
What have been the biggest challenges in writing and producing so far?
That would be time and originality. When you get to tour and get as lucky as we are getting right now it’s truly amazing, but you never get as much studio time as you'd like to. We also tend to be get picky and very auto critical when it comes to delivering a final piece for both remixes and EP's, as we endlessly try to give it a distinguishable sound that characterizes us in order to make it stand out and not just be a new anonymous record, and we hope it's working out.
You've witnessed the development of technology and digilitalization of music industry etc. How do you find yourself as musicians now?
We started off making "computer music" as "computer musicians" but that didn't last very long as a duo. We immediately started fiddling around with analog machinery such as Jomox drum machines and a variety of
synthesizers that taught us a great deal and evolved our sense of production. We are also lucky enough to have a studio that allows us to record our own kits and any other instrument we chose to integrate in the track we're working on, so that pretty much eliminates plug ins and samples from the equation most of the time. Said that, we still like to use plug-ins on occasions, they can be real life savers.
Can you pick one of your all time favourite albums that you never tire listening too? Any new ones that have blown you away?
We think the same way on this so an all time favourite would be: Feist - The Reminder. Whilst for recently released albums we have quite a few we really like: Mount Kimbie - Crooks And Lovers / SBTRKT / Little Dragon - Ritual Union / Fink - Perfect Darkness. We consider all the artists listed to be highly inspiring people for us and appreciate every single piece of music they make.
Are you working on a live performance? Tell us about your set-up and what you’re looking forward to most about the project?
Yes we are working on a live performance which we are planning to kick off with right after the album release. As it's far from completion we can only anticipate it will not feature just us as Clockwork Live but we will propose a Live band show, this will consist in having other two elements added to the duo.
Can you tell us about the mix you’ve done for us?
The mix was fun to put together! We didn't want to do a conventional house mix so we added some of the stuff we play but also some of the stuff we just like to find when listening to a mix, that excludes instant club hits and over played tracks. We instead decided to add some unreleased material such as our A side to the EP we did for No.19 "Hail". Hope you guys enjoy it!
Finally, if you could both live in another era when would it be and why?
FL: That would be the Future, does it count? The reasons are, I want to own a flying car really bad and I'd love to have a "roger like" alien as a buddy to hang out with.
FM: I would like to be in New York during the late 70s early 80s because living for four years of my life there has been terrific, but I always wonder how it would be to live there during that period.