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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah talks Culture Collide in L.A.

October 7, 2011 |  2:20 pm

Alec Ounsworth, lead singer of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, is looking forward to finally getting the band onstage in Los Angeles this weekend at Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide Festival in Echo Park.

Well, at least he hopes so. “You never now what can happen,” he muses on the phone from his home in Philadelphia. Ounsworth has good reason to be skeptical. The band was originally scheduled in August to perform at Sunset Junction, but the festival was abruptly canceled.

“We scrambled around to find a another date in L.A. and then Hurricane Irene happened and the rest of the band were stranded on the East Coast. So it’s been kind of a mess trying to get to L.A.,” he said. “It might be safer if we take a train or just start walking.”

The indie rockers, who perform Sunday, released their third album, “Hysterical,” in September, returning after a long sabbatical.  After a much-lauded self-titled debut release in 2005, the band embarked on a relentless national and international touring schedule, pausing to quickly record 2007's “Some Loud Thunder” before hitting the road again.

“After three years we were exhausted. We had no choice but to take some time off. We could have forced out another record that we would have been really passive about but we didn’t feel that was an option,” says the lead singer. 

“I don’t think any of us had a real plan of when we would get back together, but earlier last year we just started recording some demos at my house and it felt like we were starting the band anew again,”  he says. “Like most things we do it comes very naturally. There is no business plan. We just do what feels right.”

Self-releasing their albums has offered Clap Your Hands the opportunity to fully engage in the process of creation. "It just so happens that we have the means to do it ourselves and we enjoy doing the bits and pieces you need to do to make this happen, like designing album covers and building websites,” he says. “It’s easier to have control of it yourself rather than having a conversation with someone else about it.

“We are really defining ourselves as a band," he adds. "When you listen to a band like the Cure, you know within 10 seconds who they are. I think we are getting there.”


Cultures will collide in Echo Park

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"Steve Jobs gave the blind eyes; the deaf ears" -- Stevie Wonder

-- Katherine Tulich

Photo: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Credit: Courtesy Big Hassle.