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Interview: Daniel Collás and Sean Marquand of Phenomenal Handclap Band

By on Sunday, 23rd August 2009 at 9:43 pm

DSC01026-tgtfinterviewShortly before their group the Phenomenal Handclap Band took to the stage at DC9 on 21 August, New York City DJs and cofounding members and producers of the PHB Daniel Collás and Sean Marquand graciously sat down for a chat. They’re terribly funny chaps to boot. I’m always curious what Americans think of Britain too…and apologies in advance if anyone is offended about their opinions of the traditional fry-up!

From what I can tell, the UK just loves you. I first I heard of you was through the UK – I heard “15 to 20” on Radio2, Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie‘s show. And then I heard you guys doing a live set for them. Now how did that come about, were you over there for a tour?
Daniel: We paid them a lot of money. Payola! You know, that’s the one thing people are unwilling to talk about! Payola has made a bigger comeback than any of this dance rock or disco crapola that they’ll have you believe. The press should be covering payola.
Sean: No, I don’t know how it happened…I don’t know…
Daniel: (looks at Sean with a serious look) You can’t just take my answer?
Sean: Okay, fine…

Seriously? Okay…(all laugh)
Sean: No, they actually took a shine to us because they heard the song through Zane Lowe of BBC Radio1. They knew we were going to be in town, in Manchester, so they invited us to come by the [BBC Manchester] studios. Not the most interesting of stories of what happened but…being at BBC Radio2 was so much fun.
Daniel: Those guys were awesome.
Sean: We didn’t know who they were, of course. And so it was so cool to be around these major celebrities and be around these guys we’re supposed to know, but we were just able to appreciate their charm, like, at face value. Really charming.
Daniel: They obviously carry a lot of weight but we don’t kind of perspective on that, so we just saw them outside of all of that. They are really genuine and really cool. Maconie came to see us at Latitude [Festival] and they were genuinely enthused.

I didn’t know one of your songs debuted on Zane Lowe’s show…
Daniel: Actually yeah, that’s how Paul McCartney heard us and all that business…because before that we didn’t know who Zane Lowe was, and his sphere of influence.

Ah right, the Paul McCartney story. I’ve heard about this but can you tell it again for our TGTF readers?
Daniel: Uh, so Paul McCartney heard one of our songs on Radio1. And I guess he called in, wanting to know what it was. You know, heavy duty stuff! We were like, “what? Paul McCartney?”
Sean: So people asked us, “so what’s next, what’s next with this?” And I said, “I don’t care.”
Daniel: Exactly. I think that’s enough. And people asked, “are you going to meet him? Are you going to do a record with him?” Isn’t it enough that Paul McCartney like called to ask who we are. He knows who we are. We sent him an email, he wrote us a letter, and we wrote him a letter back. So he knows who we are, it’s amazing. It might take him a minute to remember, but at one moment our name passed through his lips, and that’s enough.

Continue reading Interview: Daniel Collás and Sean Marquand of Phenomenal Handclap Band


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