Deafheaven frontman George Clarke is an unconventional singer. To start, he doesn’t sing. His vocals are pure exorcisms. He screams, growls, and scratches away at his throat as if he was descended from another species. And yet the effect of these outbursts is utterly human: People pay to see Clarke enact an extremity of emotion. His onstage demeanor has always struck me as highly performative. Dressed in all-black, Clarke dramatically sinks his face into his hands, waves his arms about like an orchestra conductor, and removes his gloves to lick his fingers. His expressions demolish the archetype of the hyper-masculine metal singer, as he confronts heavy topics that most of us just bury.
For this conversation, I met with Clarke in Brooklyn the day before Deafheaven played their biggest sold-out headlining show to date, at Manhattan’s Webster Hall. We discussed the art and literature that have inspired his lyrics, his onstage choreography, and what it means to relive your most lowest moments in front of strangers every night.
Click the button below to download the podcast interview, plus some exclusive photos and a special episode of Deafheaven bassist Stephen Lee Clark’s on-tour podcast series “TalkFoolRadio”, which was recorded specifically for inclusion with this installment of This Is How We Do It.