Golf Clap Talk About Their Stage Dynamic And How They Prepare For Sets In iEDM Exclusive Interview
The first time I was exposed to Golf Clap was when I was handed a Golf Clap logo lanyard on Holy Ship. Then after watching them crush multiple sets on the boat that weekend, I was fully reppin' Country Club Disco.
Together, Detroit producers Hugh Cleal and Bryan Jones have a fluid DJ style with great chemistry laying down house style tracks with heavy bass.
Every show I have seen has been an unforgettable dance party. They rocked the psychedelic stage at Sonic Bloom with groovy disco beats, and were hands down my favorite set of the weekend.
This EDM duo should be on your must-see list this festival season.
I got the chance to sit down with them at Electric Forest moments after they walked off stage from their epic set on the Forest Stage to talk about their success and what they have planned for the future.
iEDM: You guys have been both playing for a while and started making Golf Clap a thing in only 2013, what brought that on that decision?
Bryan: After we realized we did a few records together and we realized we were going to keep doing them. Bryan Jones and Hugh Cleal together doesn't sound good. It's too long. We needed a logo.
Hugh: Those aliases and everything that was released under them represented a different time in house music where we were trying to do something different.
iEDM: I would describe you guys as that newer future bass house. Is that what you were going for?
Hugh: It's what it turned into. We played deep sunrise afterparty house for a long time. Then the next progression as the crowds grow was we had to get a little harder.
Because there are two of us, there is always a check and balance on the sound we play, which I think is a huge advantage because most solo artists are like up on a plateau and don't have anybody to be like 'hey that sounds crappy.'
Bryan: It's hard to be objective when you are playing. For me, I get a little anxious and I just keep my mind busy and so a lot of times I won't be looking up as much as I should be for a second, but he would be.
Hugh: Yeah, you can't look at the crowd and be looking down at the same time.
iEDM: You guys have a really great dynamic on stage. You guys interact a lot.
Bryan: Yeah, sometimes it's 'oh hey I already played that,' especially new promos we both got yesterday and we don't know every song by name.
Hugh: We have small hand signals. And it helps that we have played close to 1,000 shows together as Golf Clap, which is something that people I respect have also said, that we have a specific chemistry on stage together. There are a lot of people who do back to backs or tag teams or duos, and some of them can perform solo, like one person can show up and it's not going to change the show. But we the thing we are priding ourselves on right now is doing something unique and interactive.
Bryan: We figured out how to do little unrehearsed routines where a lot of times we don't the songs each other is even playing and there might two songs playing and a little vocal from something else, but we both know how each other are going to react to it.
iEDM: So we've all seen the saying "Detroit Hustles Harder." Do you think that's true?
Hugh: I don't think it's fair to single out Detroit. It may sound corny, but I think in general, the people in America, are stepping up their game because recent events and what not.
I think in general the people in the music business are reinventing themselves and those people who haven't been around in a long time are coming back and doing bigger stuff. Especially the advent of the young superstar DJ that just got equipment is all of the sudden blowing up. That is something new. In the music business before you had to like work at it for many years and know a lot of people.
iEDM: I saw the Golf Clap billboard on my way here and it looked awesome.
Bryan: We had been talking about it for a whole year. We were 80% it was going to happen then it was like 'it's going up Monday.'
Hugh: Electric Forest has been a home festival for us since the beginning. Through a few friends of ours, we made it happen and it was successful and we're really grateful.
iEDM: You guys are playing multiple sets throughout the weekends, how do you go about preparing for so many sets?
Bryan: For the last month or so, we have been putting things away and really just organizing all the music. There's way way more to choose from right now, we both sat there and went out our way to hit up everybody we know like hey send us new stuff. Then we had to sort it out by genres so if we're by the pool playing chill deep house, we can find it really fast. Here, we were ready for bass heavy stuff since people come here for Bassnectar. We always play what we want to play but we will play to the crowd.
Hugh: The way the folders are set up, we can have each other's drives, any other DJs can have each other's drives. It's something cool we've kind of like adopted. On Holy Ship, they had a meeting where they say 'everybody's allowed to tag with everybody so come prepared.' It's one of those things we got in the rhythm of doing. I feel like it's one of those things that like the bands and hip-hop artists did back in the day, like having people drop in. We're super stoked, we had Shiba San scratch. We think that's super cool when electronic artists support each other.
iEDM: So what are you working on right now?
Hugh: We have July blocked off for music and to get our lives in order for the next Country Club Disco Tour which will be in all the major markets with other people from our label.