This is the second part of my interview with Samantha McClymont. The first part can be read here.
The McClymonts’ new album, When Worlds Collide, is out now. The McClymonts are touring Australia from August to November – dates appear at the end of this post. Do yourself a favour and get along to a show – they are amazing live performers.
I think the band’s played the RSL circuit, for lack of a better term, in Australia since the start and I notice that you often don’t go to the same clubs, at least not twice on the hop, like you might circle back a couple of years later. But that’s a big circuit and it’s a lot of small gigs. A lot of artists who are reaching your stage would probably be tempted to play one big show in each capital city and maybe in large regional cities. But it’s obviously important to you all to keep that RSL circuit up.
Yes. Probably the last year and a half we have moved out of clubs a bit, though; we’ve been doing a lot more theatres. This next tour from August, I’d probably say it’s 80 per cent theatres now and 20 per cent clubs. But probably because we are seeking new areas as well. We are going up the north coast and making sure we do Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Forster, and they all will be clubs because we haven’t been there for a couple of years, as you said, but because it’s a shorter tour, we obviously can’t do all of the Sydney clubs, so we’re doing the Enmore Theatre and making it one big show. We can’t do a lot up in Queensland, so we’re doing one big show in the Surfers Paradise club, which has a theatre in there, and then going back to Brisbane and doing a theatre show. So this tour is probably a lot different to usual because we’re only doing two to three shows a week, where usually we were doing like five shows a week.
That’s a large number of shows each week.
Yeah, we were doing a lot, so this tour is going to be very different for the three of us. It’s going to be quite strange not doing as many, but we have been touring for six years, we want to do something different, and maybe by going into theatres we can put on a bigger show and that kind of thing. And, as you say, I’m glad you’ve come along and seen a different show each time, and this is just adding a different element this time to a different space that you can hear us in. But we try and fit to, also, the areas we’re going to. We try and travel as much as possible, and you kind of work with what’s there in that town, if you need to go to a certain area – if it’s a club or if it’s a theatre or if it’s an outdoor place or something like that. So we kind of like to mix it up each time.
What’s your favourite venue been to play in – not necessarily your favourite town – but have you walked into any venue – I suppose the Grand Ole Opry will count high on the list.
Yeah, that’s true, that’s true.
As performers, what’s a great venue to play in?
There are so many, I’m just trying to think of a few that I just absolutely adored. I do like going up to Lizotte’s on the Central Coast, it’s a very intimate feel. And people have dinner and they sit down and you can only fit a certain amount of people in there – it’s very small, very intimate, and I guess we can kind of let our hair down a bit more and chat a bit more and get to know the audience. Sometimes having it a bit more intimate is just different and nice.
Often when I’ve seen you play, I always think your parents must be so proud of you all. They’d have to be, because it’s their three children working together and creating something amazing together. So do they often come to shows?
Rarely! They do come every now and then, maybe one or two a year. But Dad always says he enjoys it more when he’s sitting down the back, having a beer, and we’re singing with our guitars at home. So he’d rather hear us then than up on stage with a band. Mum comes along every now and then. But they were so involved with our music growing up that I think they kind of enjoy taking the back seat now and just enjoying it from an outsider’s perspective and just watching every now and then – us calling in and updating them, and they’re not kind of running around after us anymore and I think they enjoy it a lot more now.
I’ve got to say, if I were them, I’d actually feel quite relieved that the three of you were on the road together, it wasn’t one child off on her own. It’s like, oh well, there’s three of them together, they can take care of each other.
Yeah, well there’s also the downside – if it doesn’t work out, we’re all going home. So that could probably worry them as well.
It seems to be working out okay at the moment.
Yeah, so far – so far, so good.
The harmonising of your voices is obviously one of the most distinctive parts of your sound, and it always seems like a really natural thing for you to harmonise together that way, but it’s probably not. Did you all grow up singing like that or is it something you’ve worked at?
Most of it is just natural. We obviously have been singing from such a young age that harmonies just came naturally, picking a high part, picking a low part. But we play so much that you obviously are working on it without it being a conscious effort. There are certain songs that you do need to work at harder than others and you actually need to sit down and sing acapella together and work out the harmonies – but then other songs just come really easy. So it’s a bit of both, but I think when it comes to harmonies, you kind of either have them or you don’t, because that makes a nicer blend and creates a warmer sound, I think, than learning a harmony. We’ve been lucky that we can all do it together.
One last question, and this is about Brooke’s pregnancy. Are you and Mollie are going to have a break for a little while when Brooke has a baby?
Well, kind of, hence only two shows a week at the end of the year – it’s kind of played a big part in that. I think we’ll get Christmas off, which is nice; we’ll have about four weeks off around Christmas time and then we’ll probably start getting back into rehearsals again for the Tamworth Country Music Festival, because as artists you can’t miss that one. I think we’re just going to take it as it comes and see what happens – we all kind of know that the baby is going to be a bit of a gypsy and just be passed around everyone and come out on the road and be a in a travelling band. It’ll be pretty cool.
Well, that sounds good and you can breed a new generation of McClymonts.
Absolutely. One of us might be over it in a few years and need a replacement, so it’s perfect.
Well, I can’t imagine that but Samantha, thank you so much for your time.
Thank you. We appreciate the support.
Thursday 23rd August 2012
Gympie Muster, Gympie QLD
Friday 24th August 2012
Twin Towns Services Club, Tweed Heads NSW
Friday 31st August 2012
Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, Nowra NSW
Saturday 1st September 2012
Enmore Theatre, Sydney NSW
Thursday 6th September 2012
Panthers, Port Macquarie NSW
Friday 7th September 2012
C-ex Services Club, Coffs Harbour NSW
Saturday 8th September 2012
Club Forster, Forster NSW
Friday 14th September 2012
Lismore Workers Club, Lismore NSW
Saturday 15th September 2012
Toowoomba Empire Theatre, Toowoomba QLD
Friday 21st September 2012
Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane QLD
Saturday 22nd September 2012
Vikings, Erindale ACT
Friday 28th September 2012
Deniliquin Ute Muster, Deniliquin VIC
Saturday 29th September 2012
Evan Theatre, Penrith Panthers, Penrith NSW
Friday 5th October 2012
Newcastle Civic Theatre, Newcastle NSW
Friday 12th October 2012
The Palms at Crown, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 13th October 2012
The Palms at Crown, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 3rd November 2012
Mud, Bulls & Music, Jimna QLD
Sunday 4th – Sunday 11th November 2012
Cruisin’ Country – South Pacific Cruise