Caper Clowns has a great new record out. Sweet Sweet Music spoke with Rick Kingo about the creation of Abdicate the Throne, Danish National Radio, The Cavern Club, and being present in the moment.
What was the moment you knew you were on to something?
I have always felt like I was on to something. Since I wrote my first song at 15. Looking back now I know that I was not, and I’m very happy we didn’t start releasing music till much later, but at the time I thought it was absolutely brilliant.
How did this record come together?
I think we started working on it in late 2018, right after releasing A Salty Taste To The Lake. The five of us all write songs, so we just did a lot of songs, and then we picked which ones seemed to fit together. Originally, we intended to release the album in May 2020, but the pandemic made us decide to postpone it, redo some stuff, add two new songs to it (CAPS LOCK ON and I’d Be Me), and change the order of the songs, which I think made the album quite a lot more complete.
The meaning of success has changed over the years. What would success look like for the new record?
I think we would be happy to get some airplay, and some positive reviews, which luckily, we already have. Three of the singles have been on Danish National Radio, as well as multiple international indie stations, and so far, all reviews have been very positive. Our next goal is to get more and bigger gigs, and hopefully the positive reception of the new album can help us get there. It’s certainly starting to look that way, even though we’re of course still slowed down by the pandemic.
How great is the urge to stay creative? To keep writing songs and lyrics?
I think that’s inevitable for me at this point. Even if I had absolutely no audience whatsoever, I would still write. I would probably not spend years working on recording the songs, but the basic song writing, me and my guitar or a piano, that is just what I do.
As an artist, you chose to show your emotions to the world. Is it always comfortable to do so?
No, not at all. Letting people, especially people close to me, hear the more personal songs is definitely very uncomfortable and even scary. But there isn’t really any way around it, and after three albums now it is getting slightly easier to deal with, but I doubt I will ever feel comfortable doing it.
What’s the gig you will always remember? And why?
Our first time at The Cavern Club, as part of the International Pop Overthrow Festival. I had wanted to play there for years, but I never actually thought we would. So, it was huge to get invited, and to finally stand on that stage. The weird thing is I have no memory of playing that night, but I remember other little things, like repeatedly bumping my head into the ceiling, and being taught a new cool way to do a high five by a Scottish guy we met backstage.
When was the last time you thought ‘I just wrote a hit!’?
I think it must have been when I wrote the music to Kissing Daylight, from our second album, A Salty Taste To The Lake. It did get a bit of airplay, but it was by no means the most successful song on that album. By contrast The Way I Dream from the same album got a lot of airplay (still does), on national radio in Denmark, but I would probably not even have continued working on it, if my dad hadn’t heard me playing it through the wall, and walked in to inform me it was good, and I had to finish it. I ended up not really finishing it, but luckily, he and our bass player were able to do that.
Is recording a record easier than getting it heard nowadays?
I think both are quite difficult. Getting it heard takes hard work and a great deal of luck. Recording it takes less luck, but even more work, especially if you’re producing it yourselves, like we do.
Recording music. What’s all the fun about?
For me it’s the creative process. I just enjoy creating music.
Playing music in front of a crowd. What’s all the fun about?
It’s just being present in the moment, with a bunch of people all focused on the same thing. It’s brilliant.
They expect ‘the roaring 20s v2.0’. What kind of party are you looking for?
I think at this point, I’m looking for anything big and loud with proper music. After over a year of mostly just seeing the same ten people, it felt good to see a lot more people at our release party last week.