We are surprised and elated — dare I say, clapping our hands saying "yeah!" — that our pal April got responses not just from the manager of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah but also a member. Read the previous post if you're lost, then, judge these responses for yourself.
First, from the dude in the band:
Thanks for coming to the show last night. We're very sorry for the misunderstanding. We agree that local music and the people who support it are vital to what we do and what we've done. I am continually amazed by the enthusiasm of music fans and the variety and depth of talent in each new city we visit. Our band has absolutely benefited from local support in NYC and Internet buzz and we'll never forget it. We're thankful and flattered to be able to do this music thing full time, whether it be in Kansas or NYC.
To set the record straight, we were indeed unaware that any band besides the Brunettes was opening last night until about 5pm. As I understand it, this was the venue's (i.e. local promoter's) oversight. They failed to inform us (and our booking agent) that a third band had been added. You ask if this is normal. I can only speak for the touring I've done since August, but I can say that in all of those situations (save for the gong-showesque CMJ and South By South West festivals), the headliner chooses the openers. We were chosen along with Talkdemonic to open for the National this past fall. We toured with Dr. Dog and the Brunnetes in Europe and stateside. Again, these bands were hand-picked. Out of the around 90 shows we've played since then, I can think of once or twice when we've played with a local opener. (As an aside Lee and Tyler's band before this one was "scheduled" for months to open for The Sea and Cake only to be cancelled last minute due to an oversight by, you guessed it, the promoter). This fact has nothing to do with any disdain for local bands, it's more about making sure that you're putting on a good show.
With no malice towards ad astra per aspera, we'd never heard their music before. I don't think it's unreasonable for a headliner to have control over whom they choose to play with. Again, with no offense to ad astra per aspera or the local music scene in Lawrence, just because a band is local and "indie" doesn't make them good. We had no way of judging either way, just a couple of hours before the show while we were soundchecking and getting ready to play. I don't think putting a local opener on the bill necessarily has anything to do with the quality of the show, and that's what we're concerned with.
I would hope that you came to see our music last night because you genuinely liked it, not because Pitchfork, the internet, or the scene told you to. While, all of these entities have undoubtedly accelerated and augmented the recent success of our band, I think at the base of it all, the songs are good and that's all that should matter.
I'm not really sure what "attitude" you're projecting upon us in your note. I can't really say that any of us have been affected by our moderate success, and your suggestion otherwise is too bad. Would we be justified in having an "attitude" if we'd sold more records? I don't get it. Personally, I'd prefer to play in a place like the Bottleneck to a theater or larger venue any night because of better sound on stage and proximity to the audience.
Sorry for the longwinded reply. Hope this sheds some light on your questions.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.
And now, the manager's reply:
i'm sorry, but we don't even know who ad astra per aspera is....our tour is with the brunettes and always has been announced as such. we don't have any third bands on this tour at all, for many reasons. one being that the stages aren't that big and there's alot of equipment. another being that with two bands playing before us it's very hard to get the sound good - it makes a soundcheck almost irrelevant. and another being that it allows us to keep our ticket prices low and makes it easier on the venue. nothing to do w/ supporting local bands, it's just the only way to make this tour work.
that being said, if you're angry at someone be angry at the venue, we had nothing to do with this nor do we know anything about it.
also, alot of hard work goes into being in a band, and making a band work. i'd like to think it's that hard work, good musicianship, and songwriting that makes clap your hands successful, not just a pitchfork review. I hope someday you'll try it yourself to know how hard it really is before telling me and the band who our success is owed to.
i hope you enjoyed the show. sorry about your friends band, but you're angry at the wrong people.
manager - cyhsy