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Inbox: Phenomenal Handclap Band

Daniel Collas, co-founder of the funky New York-based Phenomenal Handclap Band collective, chinwags with XLR8R in this week’s Inbox. Collas sets the record straight about his living circumstances, rags on a lame band, laments a rookie dating move, and flashes some very sexy vocabulary. The Phenomenal Handclap Band’s self-titled debut album is out now on Friendly Fire.

XLR8R: What are you listening to right now?
Daniel Collas: “The Night” by Frankie Valli.

What's the weirdest story you have ever heard about yourself?
There was this rumor that I had been living the rough life: staying up nights, wearing scuffed Nikes.

What band did you want to be in when you were 15?
The Selecter.

Worst live show experience?
I went to see Dungen and Life on Earth last fall, and the local opening band was absolutely terrible. I'm more open-minded than most when I go see bands, but this was horrendous. It still occasionally comes up in conversation with my friends who had come to the show.

Favorite city in which to play?
Other than our own [New York], it would have to be Bilbao, Spain.

You are stranded on an island. Which of the following sounds do you take with you: a handclap, a referee whistle, the Road Runner’s salutary double “meep,” a tickled wind chime, James Brown’s soul wail, or white noise?
You're probably expecting us to say "handclap," but really, that's the best of these limited options. As much as we love James Brown, I think it would be creepy to have his disembodied wail following us around an island.

What is your favorite thing you own?
My Vestax portable record player.

Name one item of clothing you can't live without.
The bandana.

If you could reduce your music to a single word, what would it be?
Pulchritudinous.

For what did you always get in trouble when you were little?
Fiddling with stuff.

What other artist would you most like to work with?
We just saw Bat for Lashes at Latitude, and it blew our minds. So I'm gonna have to go with that.

What's the last thing you read?
When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris.

Complete this sentence: In the future...
There will be dinner.

Stupidest thing you've done in the last 12 months?
I was dating this girl for like two months and I had been calling her by the wrong—albeit similar—name.

What's next?
We're playing an NPR Showcase at Joe's Pub with Lee Fields in an hour and a half.

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