MIMR Band Chat: Claw The Thin Ice

With a great influx of Manchester bands making a big impression on MIMR in recent months, it’s very hard to keep up with the outstanding music that is being produced in this very city at the moment. Many of these bands have already been featured with many more to follow on the blog very soon. 

Today’s MIMR Band Chat introduces you to Manchester Indie-Rock hotshots ‘Claw The Thin Ice‘ and MIMR was lucky to get a few words with Ian (vocals/guitar) from the band. The interview includes the makings of their new album ‘Exercise’ as well as the love for Vinyls and the band Keane

MIMRWelcome to MIMR, firstly I’d like to ask who are Claw The Thin Ice and was it apparent early on what musical direction you would take?

Ian: Thanks man, it’s nice to be here. Claw The Thin Ice are myself (Ian) on guitars and vocals, Jake on guitars and vocals, Toby on bass guitar and Danny on drums. Jake has been with us for about a year, he replaced our former guitarist John while we were recording the new album. Things originated as a solo thing for me, just doing kind of droney, occasionally incomprehensible music. I started to write some songs that were way more rock-band focussed, so I asked my friends to jam with me on the songs I had and the band was “officially” formed. We recorded our debut LP, called “Pony Walker”, a couple of months later and have just been on a roll since.

MIMR:  Tell MIMR about the album, what were the stages of production and were they’re any problems that occurred in its creation?

Ian: Well, we began writing it whilst “Pony Walker” was being recorded. It takes us ages to record, we do it in stages over months and months, basically due to day jobs and family commitments. 
A few months before we began recording, John found out he was going to be a father, so rather than that really being a problem it just gave us more drive to work on it. His son was born the morning after he’d finished his guitars, so we recruited Jake straight away.

The album is about the end of a failing relationship, the initial giddiness of a blossoming new relationship, the conversations you have together when it’s the middle of the night, weird dreams, addiction, night terrors and the niggling self-doubt when your anxiety sets off a panic inside you about the situations you find yourself in. 

As far as the stages of production, we recorded the drums and bass very quickly at Islington Mill in Salford and at our friend Jamie’s house first (Jamie recorded the album btw), then the guitars and vocals over the space of a couple of months at a place called Adelphi Studios in Salford which was really cool. All the mixing and mastering took place last summer and a whole lot of waiting around happened after that.

MIMR: Now the album is called ‘Exercise’ do any of the band have fitness regimes of any kind?

Ian: Haha! You know what? I think all of us tried to get into good regimes to try and improve our healthiness, but in all honesty I think we’ve all just given up. Gyms terrify me, the thought of people seeing me run or exercise in public breaks me out in a cold sweat and I get too distracted at home by my cat, so most of my time at home is spent to talking to a creature that doesn’t understand me. 

In terms of the album title though, Exercise can be seen as more like exercises in education. The last record was so negative and very personal, it was very focussed on death, heartbreak and self-assassination. This record is like, if you went through the same shitty situations again, what would you do differently from the lessons you learned last time? It’s like putting your previous experience and the things you’ve learned into practice and trying to change for the better.

MIMR: What’s your favourite place to gig or to go to see another band?

Ian: I used to totally love house shows, so I would always go for a good house show or a party. Even if the sound sucks but the vibe is good, that’s my fave. Venue-wise, I adore the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds and JT Soar in Nottingham. Both absolutely wonderful places run by excellent people. At home in Manchester, we’re big fans of Fuel, which is a vegetarian cafe in Withington. It has amazing food and a great venue space upstairs. It’s been a local hangout for the best part of a decade, it’s absolutely fantastic. 

MIMR:  MIMR is a big lover of vinyl records and its huge resurgence in recent years. What music format do you prefer?

Ian: Oh vinyl always. I personally tend to stick to vinyl and downloads. I have no problem with downloading, I have the policy of if you really like something then you buy it, but to just buy multiple records off the bat without hearing it first can be terribly costly in the long run. I used to buy tonnes of stuff on cd when I was younger, either through recommendations or just curiosity, and sometimes coming away liking maybe one or two songs on an album and not digging the rest. So I love downloading stuff, fully understanding an album, then getting the LP if I can. There are always exceptions to the rule though. Me and my housemate are terrible vinyl hoarders – it takes up a lot of space in our place!

MIMR: When and where can we see you play in the near future?

Ian: We don’t gig like crazy and touring is difficult because of our jobs and family life, but we have some stuff coming up to promote the record. Our album launch is on March 27 at The Star & Garter in Manchester at a club night called Party Hard and then we play London on Record Store Day (April 18th) as part of an all-dayer that our label Barely Regal are hosting at Birthdays in Dalston. We’re playing with our label mates Cousin, a fantastic instrumental band from Brighton, and a host of others. Oh and it’s a free show! Cousin are just next level brilliance. 

MIMR: Thanks CTTI for giving up your time to chat to us. Do any of your have any guilty pleasures of any kind you can tell MIMR?

Ian: It’s been a pleasure! Thank you for your support, we appreciate it massively. So, guilty pleasures… I think that most things that people laugh at and consider shitty and embarrassing is stuff that we collectively love without any hint of irony and take as a strong influence – especially people like Phil Collins and some 70s Classic Rock and Prog rock. I’m usually like “you shouldn’t be ashamed of anything you like”… But I have a soft spot for Keane even though I know they’re a bit shit. So yeah, they’re my personal guilty pleasure! 

Thanks again to Ian from CTTI for taking the time to MIMR, a band that will feature at length again on the blog in the future for sure. If you’ve got any sense buy their new album will you

Here as always are the essential links:

Bandcamp: (Where you can buy their new album) https://clawthethinice.bandcamp.com/album/exercise

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