Clem Snide home
Music fans are in for a bit of a treat at the Faraday festival this year. The pint-sized festival with a killer location (just down the coast in Vilanova) are hanging the expense and flying in alt-country band Clem Snide to play an exclusive set: a homage to Neil Young’s album Zuma. Natasha Young caught up with singer/guitarist Eef Barzelay via email to find out how the packing was going.
I can’t speak for the US, but in England it almost always rains at music festivals and you have to pack an umbrella and sturdy shoes. Faraday festival is in the grounds of an old house on the beach and is always sunny. Are you looking forward to it and what essential items will you be packing?
I am very much looking forward to it. It's true about England, Clem Snide once played the Fleadh festival and it was terribly muddy, but that may have been from all those drunken Brits pissing everywhere.
For this trip, I won’t be packing much because I travel very light. I'll try to remember to bring suntan lotion.
Have you been to Catalunya before? Will we see you whizzing past us on the tourist bus in Barcelona?
I don't think I've been there but maybe once I'm there it will all come back to me. You’re not likely to see me whizzing past on a tourist bus but if you happened to be in NYC about ten years ago on one of those sightseeing buses, I may have been your guide. That was my last job!
You've chosen to play homage to Neil Young for Faraday. Why?
(In Spanish) Es musica perfecta para la playa, no?
You have a very American sound. Did you grow up listening to country music or was it something you came to later?
I grew up listening to the usual classic rock that was, and is, the soundtrack of suburban America. When I started trying to write songs in my early 20's I did get very into old country music like Hank Williams, but also Otis Reading and Al Green and of course Neil Young and Gram Parsons. Really I just like to keep it simple and soulful.
The band have reformed again after you spent a while going solo. How’s it feel to be back together as a band? Is it like seeing family at Christmas?
It feels great yes, like a Jew at Xmas.
I read that you were once described as: “One of the finest current songwriters in America that get quietly ignored”. Is it true?
If we want to believe it's true then it is I guess. I'm flattered by any praise I get but really I'm just a vessel.
Do you still go to other people’s gigs?
Not really. I crave silence these days, shhhhhhhhh.
Your music makes me want to drink red wine. What does it make you want to drink?
Red wine really? That's cool. In vino veritas. Red wine seems a little too romantic. I taste more lukewarm black coffee.
Speaking of wine, what’s on your rider? Is it swimming with alcohol or is it all mung bean salad and organic celery?
The guitar doesn’t get tuned until the pool is filled with Hennessy!!!
What are your plans for the rest of the year after Faraday? More live dates, back in the studio or time to put your feet up?
I hope to abolish my false self and commune with the spirits of truth, light, and eternal, everlasting love.