We sat down with Chandler Dunaway (guitar), Colin Cameron (drums), and Spencer Hollingsworth (vocals and keys) of Clothes after recording their Paper Thin Walls session to ask them a few questions about their recent release, Dear Bobbie White.
PTW: So the new record is called Dear Bobbie White. Who is Bobbie White?
Colin: She is my grandma but she’s also everyone else’s grandma by association. Some of the members of this band haven’t met her but she still refers to them as her grandsons.
Chandler: She comments on everything we do on Facebook.
After we posted the Clothes session, Mrs. White was the first one to comment.
Colin: I don’t think she has ever heard anything we’ve written but we could probably take two rocks and beat them together and I think she would love it. She is a great person, too. She has really inspired the way I see the world and the way that I love other people.
PTW: What is your writing process like?
Chandler: Collin basically writes the whole song and when we all get together each person takes their parts and adds and shapes it into their own style.
PTW: That’s very interesting. You don’t see many drummers being the primary songwriter.
Chandler: Yeah, Colin is way more talented then he lets on.
PTW: Several of you can play multiple instruments. Does it make the song writing process more difficult when you are able to play each other’s instruments?
Colin: No, not at all. Everyone plays more than one instrument, so it helps us write better songs because we can easily dissect songs in the early writing stage and give constructive input.
Spencer: I think it is more of an advantage because we are all speaking the same language with music.
Chandler: We haven’t been a band for very long, but it just gelled really well from the start.
Spencer: It was dumb how fast it clicked.
PTW: What would you say is your goal as a band?
Colin: I don’t want to be that guy who says super serious things and seems overzealous, but I think it is a good thing to release your thoughts, emotions, and feelings out into something. There’s nothing better than doing that with the really great friends that we’ve made through playing music.
Spencer: Yeah, we’re having a lot of fun.
PTW: What bands were you listening to when you wrote Dear Bobbie White?
Spencer: Colin and I were listening to a lot of Turnover and Day Wave.
Colin: The shells of roughly 7 of the 10 songs on this record were written while I was listening to a lot of Title Fight’s Floral Green. The songs on Dear Bobbie White were written with that sound in mind but made a drastic change when two very different musicians got ahold of them. Peripheral Vision by Turnover was also a heavy influence. I think it’s a near perfect record. A lot of Spencer’s vocal melodies were inspired by that record.
PTW: What do you think of Turnover’s newest, Good Nature?
Spencer: I think it’s great. I still think Peripheral Vision is my favorite but it’s still a great album.
Colin: I had to listen to the Good Nature in a different mindset. When Peripheral Vision came out I was kind of depressed and now I am in a totally different spot in my life. I’m getting married soon and I get to play music with some of my best friends. This new record is much happier and I can seriously relate.
Spencer: It ties back to what we were talking about. Clothes has been a really great outlet for releasing emotions. I’m in a super good place now but about a year and a half ago was really depressing. After lots of self evaluation and looking back on that time I’m realizing that is where a lot of the lyrics on our record came from.
PTW: What is it like playing these songs live?
Spencer: This is the first band I’ve played with in front of people. It wasn’t a big deal for me to stand in front of people and sing because starting off it wasn’t many people outside of my friends but talking in front of people gets me. I’m always like, “What do I say to these people?” It’s been a running joke in the band that between every song I should just say “We’re Clothes. Thanks.” And that’s it.
PTW: What is the song “Catch Me” about?
Spencer: That was the first song we wrote together as a full band. It’s mostly about being honest. I think it’s super important to talk to people when you’re struggling with things. Don’t try to work it out by yourself. Know that you have people on your side. Be honest with yourself if things are going on in your head and talk to someone.
Colin: Being sad and not talking about it is a bad combination, I think. There is nothing healthy about that.
Spencer: I think it is okay to admit and I feel that people are often afraid to admit it but we’re all struggling with something so know you’re not alone.