Clara Salyer and Howard Hamilton have injected a raucous edge to the Twin Cities music scene for years. Their last group, Prissy Clerks, placed high in our 2012 Picked to Click poll and won Best Rock Band in City Pages' 2013 Best Of issue. The pair are shifting gears a bit with a new project, Whatever Forever, that is set to make their live debut at the Triple Rock on Thursday night when they open for Howler.
The group is so new that they don't have any demos or rough mixes to their name as of yet. They do have a set's worth of original material that they are anxious to unveil and unleash upon a live audience for the first time. Gimme Noise spoke to Salyer about the origins and lineup of her new band, what they have planned for their first show, and the current status of Prissy Clerks.
Gimme Noise: So, what initially led to the formation of Whatever Forever?
Clara Salyer: Howard had been chompin' at the bit to play guitar in a band again, and his old pal Dave Gatchell from Selby Tigers was just returning from the last ten years in Japan. I think he literally emailed Dave right as he was getting on the plane home and called dibs. Plus, both of us had always wanted to sing together and share songwriting duties in a band, so it was kind of a no-brainer.
Were you after a specific change in musical direction with the new band, or was it just a matter of you and Howard wanting to jam with Dave?
I think with every band I've been in there's been a totally natural progression to want to get louder and faster, and that definitely holds true here. With Howard and I switching off on singing, it's given me space/time to do more technically on guitar, which has been super fun.
How quickly did the project transform from just rehearsal sessions to something you wanted to share with an audience? And what can people expect from your first ever live show as a group?
We've rushed ourselves into this one a little. We wanted a deadline to be ready by, and the Howler show just popped up. They're pals so I thought it would be a really fun way to kick a band off. It's come up real quick though, and I still have to finish some lyrics in the next 24 hours!
Do you have a set's worth of original material polished and ready to go, or can we expect some surprise covers as well?
All originals! I don't know about polished, but they're ours.
Do you have any future plans to record with Whatever Forever?
Well, we're really lucky that Sara Abdelaal (CLAPS) was nice enough to fill in on bass for this show, but we've got to track down a full-time bass player before we can do any more of the fun stuff. But yes, eventually! We've already got a lot of songs/half-baked songs to record!
Who was the marketing genius that came up with the White Castle tie-in? That was a stroke of pure brilliance, I must say.
The button idea was mine, but Dave is the Photoshop wizard who made it happen. One time he changed the Slayer logo to spell my last name -- he is a computer genius.
And what is the status of the next Prissy Clerks album?
Prissy Clerks is taking a little break. We lost a member [guitarist Dylan Ritchie], so sadly there's not much we can do at the moment -- but we'll be back in some form or another. I have some PC songs I'd love to release eventually. But everyone's got fun projects in the meantime, like Tim's [Leick] band Heaven on Howitzers, Emily [Lazear] is starting a new band which I *think* is called Child Psychic, which I know will rule. And Dylan will be focusing on Teenage Strangler/Chinese UFOs.
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