Spencer Clark of Monopoly Child Star Searchers on brain music, The Garnet Toucan and sick jetski videos.
Spencer Clark is a contemporary musician known for his work with James Ferraro in their boy band, the Skaters, as well as his solo recordings as Monopoly Child Star Searchers, Vodka Soap, Black Joker and more. The Garnet Toucan is his latest release, out now on Underwater Peoples, and is the final work in the “Romance Audio Trilogy”, following up on 2010’s Bamboo for Two (Olde English Spelling Bee) and the CDr, Make Mine Macaw.
I first heard Spencer’s music shortly after being turned on to Ferraro’s own solo work. I assumed Spencer’s record would be of a similar vibe, but I was surprised to find that, while there was certainly overlap between their solo efforts, Spencer’s compositions were introspective in a different way than Ferraro’s. He’s on a much more solitary and heady trip than Ferraro, whose inspiration seems to be contemporary cultural detritus. Whereas Ferraro has been more and more interested in shimmering surface play, in internalizing and reorganizing cultural noise, Clark is more concerned with his own idiosyncratic obsessions in the pursuit of what he would call “internal brain music”.
In 2011, I learned that Clark had released new music—and had been, actually, for the previous 4 years—under the Monopoly Child Star Searchers moniker. I listened to Bamboo for Two and I loved it; it was ecstatic, tropical club music. It also sounded like some of the most accessible music I had ever heard from either of the ex-Skaters, but no less bountiful or expressive for that.
Martin Lynch Hi Spencer. Thanks for doing this interview.
Spencer Clark THANKYER YUR WELKER.
ML Your new record is part of a trilogy. What binds the three albums, thematically or otherwise?
SC The “Romance” trilogy highlights the way I feel and have felt in the past few years; with dedications towards freely experiencing the world and with expeditions at every corner one can find a more inherent meaning in things that are outside oneself, like for instance nature. When one is free of worry and guilt and regret I feel as though one can see the outside world more as it is in it’s own nature, and not what it has to do with you directly. So the keyboard solos on Bamboo for Two are meant to highlight the imaginary and the romantic side of the percussive nature of Monopoly Child. Make Mine Macaw has never been released, and it will be on LP this year.