A native New Zealander, Scott first met Zac in the country in 2013 through mutual friends. The duo spent the following years writing and playing music together, nurturing their strong creative connection. Early on, Scott toured in HALFNOISE as a guitarist and even co-produced 2016’s. Sudden Feeling LP, which received glowing praise from the likes of Stereogum, Billboard, DIY Magazine and more. Fast-forward three years and Scott is multi-faceted artist living in Los Angeles with his wife and new-born baby, releasing music with his best friends.
Unheard Gems: Welcome, Scott Cleary, to Unheard Gems! We are so happy to get to hear from you on behalf of your band And That! How are you today?
And That: I'm doing very well thank you. Fulfilled from an enjoyable weekend, the sun is shining, what more could I ask for.
Unheard Gems: Just for our readers to get to know you a little bit better can you tell us a bit about how you got started in music?
And That: My parents bought me a guitar when I was 12 or something. I always loved music, but I didn't really take to lessons and the guitar never held my attention for too long. My limited skills got me into a band with some friends when I was 18, and it quickly became a big part of my life.
Unheard Gems: How did And That come to be? I always love hearing band origin stories.
And That: And That started as a collection of songs/ideas I'd been holding on to that didn't fit into any other projects. My wife always gave me a hard time about never writing a song about her - So when I decided to finally finish some of those ideas, I chose to right them all about her. I played the demos to my friend Zac Farro, who offered to produce and release the EP on his label Congrats Records. Bringing these ideas hidden on my computer to fruition was the birth of And That.
Unheard Gems: Follow up, how did you select the name, I know it can be a mundane answer but sometimes there are crazy stories.
And That: In New Zealand "and that" is a slang term that you can throw on the end of a sentence. It's used to say all the things that accompany something, without having to say them. Like, if some asks what you've been up to - You could say "Oh, you know, work and that." Meaning, you've been working and all the things that go along with work. Zac and I used to joke around about it and it just made sense to name the project after it.
Unheard Gems: You recently dropped an EP called “This”. Really love that when you read the info on the EP it looks like “This” And That. Makes me smile. Anyway, how does it feel to have this debut EP out in the world?
And That: Glad it made you smile. I got the idea from Van Morrisons first band "Them" - A lot of their album titles played into the name. "Now & Them", "Them Again", etc. It feels great to have "THIS" out. It's the first thing I've written and completed myself. The first thing I can call my band, my music. So the fact that it exists and people are enjoying it is very fulfilling.
Unheard Gems: Do you have a favorite song from the EP, it can be end product or process that makes it a favorite.
And That: I like them all for different reasons. If I had to pick a favorite it'd be "Amirite". It's simple, feel good, swimming with guitar parts that are fun to play - kind of all I wanted And That to be.
Unheard Gems: You also dropped a music video for your song “Somewhere”. I love the old school vibe of it. How did you come up with the concepts and how was creating the visual?
And That: Zac Farro directed the clip and we put a couple fo days aside in the desert to shoot something. The direction developed pretty naturally. Just pulling from the lyrics and seeing what pictures came to mind. "I was out of signal" + "I thought I called you back" could clearly be read as some long distance relationship phone conversation. I had the idea of an endless phone wire and from there we just built it up. Drove around Joshua Tree madly shooting for 4 hours until the sun went down and that was that!
Unheard Gems: Any other big plans coming up this year that fans and new listeners should be excited for?
And That: Planning another EP for later in the year which I'm starting to write at the moment. And excited to do a couple more shows in and around LA soon.
Unheard Gems: I love hearing what the artists we talk to are listening to. Who are some artists you think deserve more attention in the music industry and why?
And That: All the names you'd probably expect. Mac Demarco, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Kevin Morby, the indie who's who kind of stuff. In terms of some who deserve more attention - I've been loving Steve Lacy for a while now. And the new Hand Habits record is beautiful!
Unheard Gems: Lastly, for all of our readers, where can they find you and your music and is there anything else you want to leave us with that we didn’t talk about in our questions?
And That: Spotify is best. Thanks for having me. Thanks for reading.
Interview by Hannah Schneider