Emerging UK crossover crew The Final Clause Of Tacitus return with an exhilarating new EP, Asinine Music for the Solemn and Staid, out on Friday 14th May. The eclectic threesome have also just delivered a brand new single and video, Something’s Gonna Break. Here’s the background on a band for whom the word “fiery” seems to have been invented for…
What are the origins of The Final Clause of Tacitus? How long have you been playing together?
About 4/5 years ago, Tom, our guitarist, had a few tracks lying around not really doing anything and decided to get together with our original drummer, Luke, to just jam them out and see how they sounded. It wasn’t even for the purpose of performing them anywhere – it was literally just for fun as Tom was currently in another band. Luke knew Andy, our bass player, and asked him to join in the fun. A few hours later, they emerged from the practice studio in stunned silence, realising that the music needed to be heard by others. An online ad found Matt within the week of that and we were gigging by about a month after that.
How did you feel performing your first gig as a band? And how was it?!
We knew no-one had a sound like ours. We couldn’t wait to show it off to our friends and fellow musicians in our hometown of Reading. The look on people’s faces when they heard it for the first time was something special. Strangers came into the bar to listen and dance and jump around to it, however, most of all, it was a relief. Before the first gig, we only had our own opinion that we were great, which counts for absolutely bugger all. That first gig reinforced all our beliefs in our music and no amount of money on earth can do that.
As well as being one of the earliest Greek writers on the art of war, Tacitus was also a character in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld fantasy series; is this where the band name came from?
I wish it was as cool as naming the band after a Terry Pratchett character, but it is actually named after the Roman Historian of the same name, who, despite being of huge historical significance, isn’t nearly as enjoyable to read as Pratchett. Still, our name alludes to the concept that all empires must fall. That, and Luke wanted a short snappy name – Tom being Tom, though, decided on a ridiculously long one.
What should people expect when they check the band out? How would you describe The Final Clause of Tacitus?
Heavy groove and dirty riffs. Think RATM crossed with RHCP. We’re not really political, like RATM, though we have a few courtesy songs about the state of the world. We are more about having fun. Having said that, our next release is more on the political side than not.
Something’s Gonna Break’ is the new single, what was it about this one that made you choose it as a single?
We are hoping it resonates with people. The last year has seen a lot of people put through really hard times and this song is about all of those who refused to be broken by their own, personal situations.
Is ‘Something’s Gonna Break’ indicative of what the forthcoming new EP, ‘Asinine Music for the Solemn and Staid’ will sound like? And, what can you tell us about the EP?
It certainly sets the tone for the EP musically, but each song is about something different. The last song on the EP is about how our singer, Matt, is still coming to terms with his father’s death, for example. We have a song on it that was a collaboration with Jahred Gomes of (HED) Pe and he went full political on it, sounding out against ISIS! The songs all fit on the same EP, but they are all different enough to tell them apart; we don’t want to become a simulacrum of ourselves.
What goes through your head in the run-up to releasing new music? Are you excited? Nervous? – Both?!
Usually, both as you never know how people will react to new music, but with lockdown, it has been oddly serene. We usually gig pretty heavily around releases (wearing ourselves thin for doing so) but without that, it feels somewhat distant. I think we just miss playing live as that is where we truly belong.
In what ways has the band grown since releasing debut album ‘Antiquity’ in 2019?
Well, whether it is growth or not, we wrote this whole thing stuck at home and Tom mixed it himself (he has spent many hours behind sound desks anyway so it was nothing new for him). We usually jam out songs together, but this was a totally new experience. We were a little bit shocked to see how well everything has come out, so much so that we will probably continue to write this way for at least our next release.
The band has played live shows with the likes of (Hed) P.E, Electric 6, DJ Lethal, Senser, 808 State, Hacktivist, Skindred, and Crazy Town, but in terms of a similar audience: who would be the ideal act for The Final Clause of Tacitus to support? – Sidebar – Senser are a dynamite live band!
Ha! Yes, they fucking well are! As for an ideal band for us to support, I’m not sure I could even say. RATM would be an obvious choice to support, but we have gone down well playing next to so many different styles of rock that maybe we would offer too much of that heavy riff-based music if we played with them. Faith No More would probably be a better fit, but equally, our (HED) P.E gig was a great blend of music.
What are your first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?
Tom: Music came to me quite late. I got my first guitar just after I finished my GCSEs. I just remember picking it up and not putting it down all summer – I must have played over 6 hours a day, every day. That summer was when I knew that I could never leave music behind.
Personally, who has been the biggest influence on you becoming a musician? Was it a teacher? A family member? A fellow musician?
Tom: I couldn’t say for sure. I wanted to learn guitar because all my friends had picked it up and started learning and I didn’t like that I was the only one who couldn’t play. When my friends formed their own band without me in it, though, that just geared me on. So I guess my answer is my own competitive nature has been my biggest influence.
What album do you have in your collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?
Tom: Everly Brothers, The Commodores, Tommy Emmanuel, The Planets by Gustav Holst to name four off the top of my head. I don’t like listening to only one style of music.
Although 2020 was a year to forget, there was some great music released; what would be your album of 2020?
Tom: Honestly, I really rated Bring Me the Horizons Post Human EP thing they did. Parasite Eve was a banger!!!
Who would you class as an underrated songwriter?
Tom: Matt Skiba from Alkaline Trio. He is also in Blink now but let’s not talk about that. He is an amazing lyricist.
What are your plans for 2021 should COVID ever disappear?!
Play live again with all our fans and friends. Can’t wait to get back on stage!
How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?
We try our best with socials, best place is Facebook and Instagram. We are crap with Twitter! haha.