Country Club Disco Records founders, Golf Clap, are coming to North Coast Music Festival with a ton of momentum after having their most successful summer to date. With festivals like Spring Awakening, Mystery Land, Up North and Dirtybird BBQ under their belt as well as guest mixes on Claude VonStroke’s radio show “The Birdhouse” and Insomniac’s “Metronome” series, the duo is ready to take you on a musical adventure on Friday at 6:15pm in the Heineken House. We recently sat down with the Detroit bad boys to discuss the inception of Golf Clap, their musical style and their indie record label.
The Dankles: What are your names? How old are you? Where are you from?
Golf Clap: Age, sex, location!? (laughs) Hugh Paul Cleal and I’m 36 from Detroit, Michigan. Bryan Jones, 34, lived in Detroit the last four years, but I’m from Indiana.
TD: Describe your sound to people unfamiliar with Golf Clap?
Hugh: House music without a lot of different things going on. We are both Chicago house heads at heart.
Bryan: Depends on if you are talking about the music we make or our sets. Our sets, we do a four deck setup with a lot of live remixing, lots of effects. Anywhere from deep house to almost straight techno and everything in between, but it’s all pretty much four on the floor, up tempo, dance music, party music.
TD: Do you have any type of musical background?
H: I played violin as a kid and sang. My father is a musician so music has always been a part of my life.
B: I played drums since I was 8 years old. When I was 16 years old, I realized all I listened to was house music and Master P and neither had real drummers so I sold it all and bought a really bad sampler and drum machines. When I first got a MPC, I couldn’t go on google and look up how to use it, you had to find people who knew how to use the equipment. I would go to shows and wait until after the show to talk to the artist and ask them how they did certain filters and what menu it was under.
TD: How did you discover your love for dance music and what album or artist paved the way?
B: I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana which didn’t really have a nightlife scene. There was DJ Dan and Bad Boy Bill who were the only house DJs with decent albums you could buy in a mall with that type of sound. Daft Punk’s album, Homework, was iconic, more than anything, times ten. Also, Josh Wink’s, Herehear. Once every three months, I would schedule a trip to Chicago to go to Gramophone to buy as many records that I could afford as well as mixtapes from people like Paul Johnson. This is how you heard new music since their wasn’t SoundCloud.
H: It should be noted that it was all vinyls back then. That was the only way to get any music. What I fell in love with was going to warehouse parties and hearing someone play two or more vinyls. You would hear these combinations of songs and it was next level. I’m not trying to say that it isn’t done now, but most producers were forced into DJs and they are not performers by nature. The reason I linked up with Bryan is because he was one of the only other people I knew that liked to play combinations of cool tracks. That’s our sound. What you hear during our sets is never going to be the exact same. We always like to do something different to keep ourselves interested out of camaraderie and competition with each other. You will always hear a unique performance from us.
TD: What type of setting do you like to be in when creating music?
B: Sometimes we wake up early and go in the studio together and knock out some tracks. Sometimes he will send me a song and I will add some parts to it. It all depends, in the end, it’s all going to be Golf Clap.
H: When we first met, Bryan had been writing music for quite a bit longer and came from a gear and analog background. I started from software so when we got together, he was making the transition to software and hardware. He showed me what he knew and I should him what I knew, but we always come to the table with different ideas. We don’t like to cram our ideas into a box. We’ve had a lot of opportunities come and go like doing a remix or producing something, but we always chose to do the right thing and if it fits it fits. That’s the tough part. Their are a lot of people who are too eager to get on one project or one label.
TD: How did you start your label Country Club Disco and what’s the ultimate goal or idea behind it?
B: We have too much music and so many friends producing great music that it would just be silly to not have a label.
H: There is a lot of great music out there.
B: It’s kind of a hobby of mind to find people all around the world that are making great music that aren’t plugged. I like to help them out.
H: Country Club Disco isn’t necessarily about big names, but it’s about big music. It originally started because there was a lot of music we wanted to handle ourselves and these labels had a lot of say. Making an indie label was just the necessary progression.
TD: How did you come up with the name Country Club Disco?
H: Well, we hate naming things. It was just a name that worked at the time and it went against everything right with branding because we are not a country club, we do not play disco music and it’s not country music. It’s just gone too far now that we can’t go back. (laughs)
TD: What can we expect from Golf Clap for the rest of 2016?
B: Well, Chicago is our number one market. We have the most people come out to see us and it’s where the most people listen to our music, besides London. We decided it was time for us to play Chicago festivals since we have played Primary Night Club like nine times. We love Primary, but it was time for us to play festival stages like Spring Awakening and North Coast. Right now, it’s moving the fastest it’s ever have. Everything is just getting amped up so it’s hard to say where things are going.
H: I want to give a huge shout out to Mija and the whole OWSLA crew for their support on everything recently. The skies the limit! Thanks everyone!
TD: Their rise in the growing underground makes for a very promising future for Golf Clap and we’re rooting for them!