Cler is the new project of multi-instrumentalist and multi-talent Max Hauer. As if playing in Clara Luzia’s band, being a founding member of Fotzhobl and the Fearleaders wasn’t enough, the mucisian decided to try his hand at some solo work of his own in the form of Cler. Aided by many friends along the way, Cler’s debut album is a eclectic roller coaster of sounds, styles and influences which leaves you feeling all the more richer for hearing it.
We caught up with the artist to find out a little bit more about the project and the music itself.
Cler’s debut album is out on Asinella Records and can be bought digitally here or old school by getting in contact with Cler at firstname.lastname@example.org and then paying him a visit!
Where does the name Cler come from? The name Cler comes from the street I live in: Clerfaytgasse. I just wanted to have a sort of surname for my solo projects and was looking for something more unusual than Max, Billy or Franz.
You play in Fotzhobl and Clara Luzia, what made you want to start making music as a “solo artist”? Well, I cowrite the songs for Fotzhobl and at Clara Luzia Clara is the one who writes the songs. I wrote lots of riffs or song parts that I thought were worth recording some day and didn’t quite fit for Fotzhobl. After releasing We are fish with Clara Luzia we played the tour and then I had some time on my hands because also with Fotzhobl there wasn’t much going on. So I decided to found Cler and spend my free time recording Assembled.
There are lots of special guests on the album. Who was the most fun to work with? It was really fun and easy with everyone actually. But because I already recorded albums with Clara Luzia and Fotzhobl and know how the guys work in the studio, probably the most interesting songs were the ones with Robert Frittum and MTS.
Were there any songs that proved to be more difficult to record than first thought? We kind of had a chorus for the vocals Disassembled before recording which turned out to sound weird. So we wrote the whole chorus in the studio again and it was far better than the usual version. But for a short time I was a little scared the song wouldn’t work.
The art work has a certain element of Gotye about it, what was the motivation behind the art work? I just asked a good friend of mine to paint on my body without any special requests. I actually just realized after the photo shooting when I first saw the pictures that this has a Gotye style about it. But we all really liked it and I think it fits the record. But it was no homage or something like that to Gotye.
You are also one of the leading figures of Vienna’s favorite cheerleader crew the Fearleaders. Will we be seeing any Fearleader elements in upcoming videos or Cler shows? We are now shooting a video with the band Chronic City. After that we want to make a Cler video starring the Fearleaders. Would be crazy not to do it. Every video needs at least one Fearleader.
How would you sum up the Austria music scene at the moment? Are there any local bands which we should be checking out or should be getting more praise than they are at the moment?
I think Austria has lots of very creative bands in all kinds of genres. I also like that many bands are to my ears searching for new sound elements with every record and don’t stick to one sound that worked on the last record. That to me makes it very vivid. Unfortunately if you are not really interested in Austrian bands you won’t find them through radio or magazines (excluding a few). But good for Justin Bieber.
Concerning the bands you should check out: Maybe you heard of a small band called Bilderbuch (check out our interview with Bilderbuch here) . Really nice music and a little insider tip from me. Of course it’s never wrong to check out Clara Luzia, Fotzhobl, PauT or MTS. I also stumbled upon a guy named Jo Strauss (we featured Jo last year – great voice), who has really cool arrangements and since we’ve been working with them with the Fearleaders: Chronic City and Sleep Sleep (our feature here) are two bands for the electronic enthusiasts.
What do you have planned for Cler this year? How are you going to balance all of your musical projects? I am experimenting a little with the sound of my next record. Which does not mean it is going to be recorded soon. In September we are planning to record an EP with Fotzhobl and maybe after that I will find the sound and probably start preparing to record again. Also I’m starting to look for singers that want to sing one or two songs on the next record!!
Cler is my on-off project. Like Ross and Rachel. If I have nothing to do with Fotzhobl or Clara Luzia I write or record and satisfy Cler. And Clara Luzia and Fotzhobl turned out to be very manageable and satisfied with the time I offer them.
What would you say are your musical influences? How would you describe your music? I try to change my influences from time to time. There are times I really like to listen to Keith Jarrett or Thelonious Monk. There are times I like to listen to Machine Head, The Foo fighters or Rage against the machine. Right now I really like the sound of Parov Stelar or Bilderbuch obviously. And I think the music I write correlates with the Bands I just listen to.
It’s hard for me to describe my music. I try to find the right mixture of thinking and feeling while writing the song. And at the end if it feels right it is right.
Are there any Austrian bands out there at the minute which we should definitely take notice off over the next few months? Again: Check out Bilderbuch – I think they could be big. Fotzhobl will bring out a new album. And unfortunately right now I am very full with work and have little time to search the jungle that is the Austrian music scene. But check again in 2 months and I will present my findings.
How will you be spending your summer musically? I want to play and practice a lot. I haven’t played lots of my instruments in a very long time so I’m really looking forward to just playing for myself in my stinky room. Maybe I can also start writing a little bit and find some sort of sound for the new record. Any concerts that happen I will be happy about but so far nothing has come up.