The hardworking Oakland trio Clipd Beaks’ expansive second full-length To Realize (1/26, Lovepump) blows by 2007’s Hoarse Lords, an album that excited us enough to slap them with a Band To Watch tag. (It’s more in the spirit of their later “Visions.”) We spoke with vocalist Nick Berbeln about To Realize standout “Blood.” He gave us more info than we could fit in the newsletter, so in the interest of completism, you’ll find the entire Q&A, along with a chance to listen to the track, here.
STEREOGUM: Valleys and blood evoke the apocalypse. There are a number of elements here that point in that direction, but what’s the narrative exactly?
NICK BERBELN: “Blood” encapsulates the message of the album — that through working hard and believing in yourself, you can better yourself. Basic stuff, but pretty profound when it’s happened to you and you can apply it to your own life. I wrote the words about our band’s own personal story: How we’ve been through a lot with our band-lives (losing members, moving cross country, being broke from touring, etc.), how we could’ve given up at times but have continued to strive on because we believe in our music … I hope anyone listening can draw the same sort of connection from the song, maybe conjure some personal conviction within the listener about circumstances in their own life. If it works on you, the song should make you feel strong.
With the completion of To Realize we’ve reached a point where we’re at peace with our band, I think. We’re proud of our story and what we’ve accomplished, and feel stronger as a band and as individuals because of it. We feel Realized.
STEREOGUM: It feels like purification … bleeding out a sickness.
NB: Not so much bleeding out a sickness, but just plain bleeding. Letting out what is in you and of you, the pain of it, the release of it, and that through that process, there can be a realization. The whole “becoming awesome” line in the song, is talking about awesome in terms of great power … that through conviction and believing and struggle, you become stronger inside and out.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re damaged dudes. Like most everyone we haven’t solved our problems and won all our battles, but we’re stronger today than when we started this … With Clipd Beaks, we’ve often played around with the idea of “the End of the World,” as it’s pretty fascinating. But we want people to know that it doesn’t mean we are convinced that it’s taking place … making a song like “Blood,” has provided some much needed optimism into balancing our output….
Now that you know the story, take a listen to “Blood.” Look for a video in the New Year.
This week we also offered the chance to win a Sonos S5 wireless music system. That’s right: One lucky winner gets the Sonos ZonePlayer S5, an all-in-one wireless music system controlled by an iPhone, iPod touch, or any Sonos Controller. Yes, it wirelessly plays music from the Internet and your iTunes collection in any room. It’s a $399 value. This is what it looks like (though, of course, the iPhone is not included):
Here it is in a kitchen that’s nicer than ours:
A few key features:
- Room-filling sound: 5 integrated speakers and 5 dedicated digital amplifiers provide crystal-clear, great-sounding audio that fills any room with music
- Unlimited music from iTunes and the Internet: Play way more than what fits on your iPod, including all your iTunes, free Internet radio and millions of songs and stations from the Internet.
- Control with an iPhone or iPod touch: Download the free Sonos Controller for iPhone app and search for songs, choose the music and control the volume in any room from anywhere.
- Wireless expandability: Add more S5s wirelessly and fill your whole house with music.
You’ll find a demo here and there are plenty of technical specifications at Sonos. If you want to win on, though, you’ll need to ENTER HERE. (Also, there are a few days left to take home a DJ Hero bundle.)
CONTEST ENDS 12/16/09 AT 12PM EST.