Like a dramatic slow clap excitedly gaining momentum, Clap for Daylight began as a cavalier suggestion in an Atlanta dive in 2007 and has since originated a powerful album with a dramatic sound uniquely their own. As Nashville roommates, fellow music students Greg Vilines and Alex Arnett discovered they shared more than milk and the same dingy bathroom, but also a mutual interest in eclectic music styles and an admittedly arrogant taste in artists. When fate landed them both independently in Atlanta, they took it as a sign and combined talents to form Clap for Daylight. The band recorded their new album Fire Escape at Glow in the Dark Studios in Atlanta, attracting drummer Mitch Kiley, keyboardist David Oliver and a chorus of local talent along the way.
We caught up with Greg Villines before their show this Saturday at Vinyl. Click here to check out a previous interview with the opener, Misery Loves Chachi.
What is the strangest thing a fan has done for you? or at your show?
At our last show, a very very drunk guy looking for a reggae band stumbled in. He ended up standing directly in front of the band, drunken shamble dancing by himself, even during the song breaks to reggae music in his head.
What is the funniest moment you have had as an artist/band so far?
At one of our first shows, we played at Lenny’s (RIP) in Atlanta. The band that opened for us was a trio that was beyond wasted. By the time they were on their last song, they were incoherent and were basically playing different songs. The drummer at one point stood up, stopped playing and yelled “Play the f****** song, Chris!” to get his bassist to listen. It didn’t work, so at the end of the song, he just tackled him. Off the stage.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
We’ve gotten into doing this big group hug right before we go on to psych ourselves up and generate positive feelings before we get up there. And yes, we’re all guys.
If you could describe your music in one word, what would it be?
One word? Delightful.
How do you connect with a crowd?
One of the things that took us a while to learn was how to create a compelling show…song transitions, keeping the energy at the right level, and ordering the set just right is so important to keeping an audience engaged. Once you’ve got that, it’s all about throwing yourself into it and just letting yourself go.
How did you come up with your band name?
Some of us were out with some friends in October when we all realized that the next day was daylight savings time and we got another hour of sleep. We were so excited about it we started a slow clap across the bar and got the entire bar to join in. So we thought about naming ourselves “Slow Clap for Daylight Savings”, but thought that was too long, so we became “Clap for Daylight”. Really, our band exists just because we like sleep.
What is the best way to write music?
There’s no real best way to write music. There’s probably some wrong ways, though – like writing music while watching the Real Housewives. Usually, the way we do it, we’ll start with some basic musical idea and then build off it. After that, I’ll add lyrics and a loose structure to it, then we’ll layer all the parts and pieces on top of it. Once we record a demo, we’ll also try to take a fresh look at it and try to undo and redo things to get the perfect sound and combination of parts.
See Clap for Daylight w/ Misery Loves Chachi at Vinyl on Saturday, Feb. 9th!