Photo by Campbell Payne

Buz Clatworthy Does It All

Buz Clatworthy lives in a town called Ulladulla on the south coast of New South Wales, and he’s slowly but surely been working towards becoming Ty Segall.

Having just released two brilliant Hive EPs at the age of seventeen, it’s clear he’s well on his way to becoming the future of music as well. I sat down with Buz to figure out how this lumbering creature pulls it off.

Shit’s really worked out for you. You played one of your first real shows at the Lansdowne, and Kirin J.Callinan and The Growlers were watching your set. Is that weird?

Yes, very strange. We almost weren’t allowed in! My girlfriend, Grace, was playing tambourine with us because it was the only way for her to see the show. I think she’ll just be part of the live band for every show now.

What’s the Rock Music Fan Club (R.M.F.C.)?

It’s the stupid name for my punk band because I couldn’t come up with anything better. It’s good fun though; I like the silliness of it.

You shroud the project in mystery and try not to be too explicit about it being a bedroom project. Why the mythmaking?

I like the idea of having a character outside of my real self. It makes it easier to share things comfortably. I credit ‘Father Frog’ as the singer on my recordings as a way of undermining the sincerity of my vocals. It makes me feel better about listening back to my own voice, which pretty much everyone has trouble with.

Do you reckon there’s a broader reason for this shift towards fictional narratives in contemporary music?

Thee Oh Sees are an all-time favourite of mine, so I’ve always liked the idea of having a consistent art direction or theme to the whole thing. Like, I just think it’s a cool idea, but the world is a weird place—there’s lots going on at the moment, so maybe it’s a good mode of escape too.

You write all the parts for your songs, but when you perform, you drum and sing. What’s going on there?

I just picked up drums a lot better and earlier than guitar. I like the idea of doing my own thing. I’ve never really been able to collaborate with other people creatively, I don’t know if that’s a flaw, but I like being able to create things exactly as I visualise them. I’ve always idolised people that do it all themselves, and I’ve always wanted to be that person.

When you’re making music, are you working towards something or do you just take things as they come?

I’ve been working towards one thing at a time. I never have big expectations, but I have been very lucky lately. The guy that runs Erste, Theke Tonträger, emailed me out of nowhere the other day, asking about putting out a 12”. I’m a pretty big fan of that label, so I was heaps excited. That’ll be out soon. Being friends with the boys from Slime Street Records has been very helpful. Ishka from Satanic Togas has brought a fair few opportunities my way, too—most of our gigs have been with them so they’ve been a good launchpad for us playing live. I’m also doing a 4-way split 7” with Gee Tee, Sick Thoughts and Research Reactor Corp; I feel lucky to be a part of that, too.

You’re the only creative person I respect that isn’t depressive. What enables you not to be terrified and insecure about what happens next?

I feel like I don’t think about things… probably not even enough. I tend to just think of one thing at a time. It just became apparent to me through doing this style of music that you have to let the audience decide rather than being self-critical.

You’re the future of music Buz.

Ha! Thanks.

This interview appeared in MC #62, The Future Issue. Pick up a copy right here!

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