Feature - Son Of The Pale Youth
Gary McClure has trod a particularly singular path on his musical journey, beginning in Manchester with the frequently wonderful Working For A Nuclear Free City and then moving to St Louis to form American Wrestlers.
Still ensconced in St Louis Gary’s new project goes under the name Son Of The Pale Youth and that’s where our questions to him began.
esoj - Tell us about the name, it is certainly very evocative, where does it come from?
‘Son of the Pale Youth is one translation of my McClure. I liked the ring of it and it fits with the feeling I've had making this music, which is one of a returning some fundamental root and
writing with instinct whilst attempting to stave off any logical reasoning-out of style and form, which ultimately only leads to something worryful and stunted.’
esoj - Why the change of direction away from American Wrestlers?
‘I'm always in disagreement with my creative past. I've only very recently been able to listen to the stuff i made ten years ago.It takes that long for me to hear it as someone else who didn't make it hears it. Most of the time I just hear failure and waste. I spent a long 6 months banging my head against the song 'Devils'(AW). I sang it into a microphone every night for half a year whilst changing everything about it and re-recording it over and over. It was worth it. It's definitely the best AW song, along with 'Ignoramus',
but I just couldn't do that to myself anymore.
One night, shortly after it's completion, I said fuck this thinking about music shit, just plugged in a guitar and mic and improvised about 14 songs over 2 nights.It felt very naturally brilliantly correct and it still feels like the right thing to be doing.’
esoj - What are your plans in terms of touring, recording etc
‘I'm working on the third SOTPY release of the year. Each one should be very different. I'm going to put together a band in the next month or so and look into touring. I miss it’
esoj - You started out in Working For A Nuclear Free City, and then moved on to American Wrestlers, on the face of it this latest project doesn’t share much with those other bands, would you say there is any commonality in the various records you have made?
‘Shit. I don't know. Like I said, I find it incredibly difficult to hear or judge or understand things I made.
I believe I know what I'm doing during the process of writing and making but it turns out that's just an illusion I weave in front of myself to keep myself interested in carrying on’
esoj - What are you listening to at the moment?
’The Breeders 'POD' - I heard it and loved it first when I was thirteen and revisted it for the hundredth time last week and i just realised that it's a miracle
The Melvins 'Houdini' - I saw them live not too long ago in St Louis and I Dale Crover is easily the greatest drummer i've ever seen
Ice Cube - anything by - The best. He and Mobb Deep for 90's, or just any, hip hop
Janis Ian - Between the Lines - My Mum used to listen to this a lot. It's so pure and so very sad and she sings with one voice but it always sounds like the sweetest harmonies to me’