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An interview with London band Claw Marks

We sat down for a chat with Sev Black, drummer in new London punk band, Claw Marks. Dubbed ‘The UK’s most exciting new punk band’ by music big wigs, there’s already a lot of expectation on their shoulders just a couple of months after forming.

Jason Scott discusses who they are, what they’re all about and why it’s always a good idea for bands to bath together.

A note to any label execs reading this – they’re not signed yet.

When we first met you were going up and down to Brighton to play in bands down there. How did Claw Marks come about?

Tom and James were lost walking down a highway in Texas and came up with the idea. We all play/have played in various other bands, played at the same shows in those bands, all live fairly close to each other so yeah, smooth sailing so far.

NME called you the ‘UK’s most exciting new punk band’? How does that label feel so soon after forming?

I don’t think the NME have a big enough look into the punk scene for us to fairly accept that statement, it seems completely ridiculous, as we’ve only played a few shows. We enjoy playing on a chaotic live show but there’s probably a hundred better UK punk bands than us.

How would you describe your sound?

The word ‘weird’ gets thrown around a lot when we’re practicing. It’s like if your distant Uncle turns up at a family event and decides to get his Birthday Party records out and hit the whiskey hard. Then finds out someone’s laced it with speed.

Even though you’ve only just formed, it seems like you’ve already developed your own style. How did you get to it?

We don’t practice a lot. We write most stuff just going into the room and have a muck around – the energy you get from creating music there and then on the spot can usually transfer well to the stage, and it’s loads more fun.

What are the band’s main influences?

Daughters, Jesus Lizard, Pissed Jeans, Tom Waits, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, The Locust, The Shangri Las…

What’s been your favourite moment so far in Claw Marks? 

Our second ever show was in a pub squat in Hackney. It was 2 in the morning. No one knew our songs, including us. We didn’t have any recordings. We started playing and the place just went completely mental. Potted plants were eaten and disposed of, fire extinguishers were let off, people were making out in the middle of mosh pits. It was all pretty weird. (Our EP is named after the instant message sent from our bassist Bill minutes after the incident)

What can we expect from your live shows?

Hopefully more of the above.

What the hell is that NME picture all about?

They asked us to send them a photo. As a lot of their features seem to be based on a band’s image more than the music, we decided to try create the most visually insulting image we could. Plus Jack just really wanted to try and see if we could bath in a bath of wine.

What’s next for Claw Marks?

We want to do a UK tour and then a European one early next year. Apparently Prague has a lovely climate in January.

You can see all Claw Marks’ upcoming gigs on Facebook.

Jason Scott