Formed in 2013, Joe Salgo and Ross Procaccio, a.k.a. Of Clocks And Clouds, create indie rock that has seen them explode outside of their Brooklyn home-base to earn themselves considerable support and acclaim from music outlets and fans alike. Now promoting their new album Better Off and keen to play as many shows as possible in the near future, Joe kindly agreed to this interview to chat dream show line-ups, social media and song-writing inspiration.
PW: How would you sum up the band and your music in a couple of sentences?
Joe Salgo: Hey this is Joe Salgo from Of Clocks and Clouds. We play psychedelic alternative rock, ranging from hard hitting rock onslaughts to synthy ballads.
PW: When did you first realize you wanted to be part of the music industry? Was there a concert you attended or album you bought that inspired you?
JS: I always wanted to play guitar. When I was in pre-school I built a guitar out of wood and rubber bands and I used to run around my house with it while listening to "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits. Marty McFly and Back to the Future was a pretty big influence for me as a kid also. That scene where he plays "Johnny B Goode" It's such an epic guitar tune.
PW: Which bands and artists did you grow up listening to and how did they influence you? Have such influences changed over the years?
JS: I grew up with the grunge era bands: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden etc, but I also listened to metal bands like Pantera and Metallica. Primus was the first concert I ever went to. My dad had all the essential classic rock vinyl back in the day- The Stones, The Beatles, the Who. When I discovered Pink Floyd everything changed. My girlfriend in high school got me "The Wall" for Christmas and I listened to that non-stop. Then a friend was like: "Hey if you like that, listen to this." And he handed me the "Wish You Were Here" album. My Mind was totally blown. Dave Gilmour's guitar sounds like someone singing. Today I continue to be influenced by old and new. I want my music to sound like a mix between a psych blues Jimi Hendrix riff and the "Stranger Things" score by S U R V I V E.
PW: Is there a band or artist out there you might say you're similar to?
JS: There's a lot of diversity to our songs so different tunes sound like different bands. We often get compared to Queens of the Stone Age especially the song “She Had To Go”. We've been compared to TV on the Radio and Kraftwerk- meets the Black Keys.
PW: Tell me about your new album Better Off. How would you sum it up?
JS: The songs on 'Better Off' were written while both Ross – Procaccio, who plays drums, and I were going through some heavy breakups. The songs became our way of dealing with what we were going through- so they have this arc of pain, bitterness, heartbreak and ultimately acceptance.
PW: Do you have a favorite track on the collection and if so which is it and why?
JS: It’s hard to pick a favorite. They're all my children! I will say my favorite part of the album is probably the bridge of “She Had to Go”. The synth arpeggios come in and the vocal harmonies fit so nice and it builds up in tension and then explodes. I'm really pleased with that part- as if you couldn't tell already.
PW: How easy/hard do you find the song-writing process and who/what most inspires you?
JS: It's fairly easy to write a decent song- but writing a great song takes time and dedication. Not simply going with your first idea and allowing things to gestate for some time is essential. That being said, the frame work for many songs on the album came from improvised jams. It’s hard to say what most inspires me. Perhaps a desire to challenge myself. I'm never content with what I've done, because I'm always thinking about the next thing and how I can be better.
PW: Which song, in your opinion, is the greatest ever written and why?
JS: Wow these questions aren't getting any easier! The greatest song ever written? Didn't Tenacious D write a song about that? I'll give you three how's that? “Billie Jean” - because if you don't wanna move to that bass line there's something really wrong with you. “A Day in the Life” - because it's a song written about the simple mundane things in life- but the music is so intense at times. It’s just a beautiful song. “Superstitious” - see “Billie Jean”.
PW: If you could play one venue anywhere in the world, which would it be and why?
JS: Red Rocks Amphitheater. There are places that carry a certain cosmic energy/power to them. Red Rocks is one of them.
PW: If you could share a stage with five other bands or artists, who can be living or dead, who would they be and why?
JS: Jon Bonham - beast, Jimi Hendrix – savage, George Harrison – saint, Kurt Cobain – poison and Jaco Pastorious – infinite.
PW: What are your touring/performance plans for the rest of the year?
JS: We play a fair amount in NYC but intend on playing outside of our hometown more and more. We would love to tour so if you want us to come to your town, let us know.
PW: What are your thoughts on social media and do you agree that it's necessary for bands and artists today?
JS: Social media has become essential to every business especially artists and musicians. I think it's good and bad. Facebook changed their pages algorithm a while back to the point that if we want all 3,300 of our followers to see our post, we have to pay. It's bullshit. I think after a while something is going to shift.
PW: What does the rest of the year have in store for you?
JS: We're headed into the studio to record a few new songs with our awesome bass player John Santiago. Shooting a video or two, and playing a bunch of shows. You might see some B-side releases and experimental electronic tracks too.
PW: Finally then, what's your ultimate ambition as a band and whose career would you most like to emulate and why?
JS: If I can make a living, even a modest one, traveling around and playing my music for people- that would be a dream come true. I want to buy a home upstate NY and build a recording studio. I want to be able to keep making music.
You can listen to "She Had To Go" below, and, for more information on Of Clocks And Clouds, visit their website, give their page a like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and Instagram. The album Better Off is available now on itunes.