Personnel: Mock Duck is Clay Johnson and Clay Jarvis. Johnson plays drums and lives in L.A.; Jarvis plays guitar and sings and lives in Japan.
Quote: This band’s always in a race against time, either in a rented studio or during holidays when I’m in L.A. or Johnson’s in Tokyo, so we never have time to write anything that would take a lot of time to learn and tighten up. We like to keep things as simple and immediate as possible, so it works great for us.
Next show: Monday, January 3 at Pehrspace.
So, Mr. Jarvis—or should I call you “Clay J. #1”? You and Clay Johnson are two American white guys but Mock Duck is “from Japan.” WTF?
We met at a guest house in Yotsukaido, this podunk city about an hour outside of Tokyo in 2004. We were both hired by the same company and just happened to arrive within a day or so of each other. We hit it off immediately, stayed in touch and when Johnson moved in to Tokyo and found a few places where we could rehearse, we started jamming on Saturdays before we’d go party or Sundays when we would be completely fucked. It’s always cool—and surprising—when you meet someone who you have that much in common with. If there’s a possibility you can also play music with that person, that’s an opportunity you should never pass up.
As far as billing us as “from Japan” is concerned, I suppose it’s technically true. That’s where we started. It’s probably more exotic-sounding than “from Minnesota and Saskatchewa.”
I can’t even wrap my head around what being a band in Japan is like, so maybe you could clue me in?
One of the few really great things about the Tokyo music scene is the number of fully equipped rehearsal spaces. Drums, amps, PAs, everything; and they’re only about $8 an hour. We’d usually play at one in Shimokitazawa, where Johnson also jammed with a few other guys.
We only played in Japan once or twice. I think the most memorable point for Mock Duck was when I came to visit Johnson in L.A. in 2009. We played some small shows here and in Mexicali, so at that point we could say that we had played three shows in three different countries. Probably to a total of three people, too.
Why did you go on hiatus?
I don’t know if that makes it a hiatus; more like a long-distance relationship. We play whenever we’re in the same city.
How would you describe your sound?
Unsophisticated without being dumb; intense without being dramatic. Italicized, bold, all-caps PUNK ROCK.
Did you have a lot of new music to write—or old songs to re-learn?
For these shows it’s about half and half. A couple songs from when we started playing, a couple from winter 2009 and the rest I wrote this summer. Re-learning a Mock Duck song isn’t so tough.
What’s Mock Duck’s New Year’s resolution?
Give more, take less.
Plus: DJ Happy Birthday (aka Paul from NASA Space Universe)
Starts 9:30pm sharp / $5 / all-ages
Pehrspace—325 Glendale Blvd., in Historic Filipinotown