Clothes Make The Man

Clothes Make the Man Aim for National Exposure

I first saw Clothes Make The Man (CMTM) perform at this year's Edgefest. At the time, there was nothing doing on the big stage so I wandered over to the smaller stage and was lucky enough to catch these guys.

They play good, honest rock music. They're not into eight minute songs, or placing a pretentious symphony in the middle of an album that no one really understands. What they offer is just bare-boned, balls-to-the-wall, rock'n'roll, which I like.

CMTM are playing at the Horseshoe Tavern on Saturday, December 12, as part of Audio Blood Media's showcase. With the show coming up and an album freshly recorded -- but not yet released -- I decided to meet up with a couple members at Sneaky Dee's. It was, after all, a cheap beer Wednesday.

When I arrived I found Ross Machon (bass guitar) sitting towards the back. I was immediately impressed by his beard, but unwilling to admit this to his face. I finally got past the beard as we began speaking about how CMTM got started. It turns out that although the band has only been around for about six years, most of the members have been friends for much longer.

"Four of us are originally from Ottawa and we all played in different bands in high school, so we've known each other since we were really young. After university I was playing in a band in Toronto, and we were all kind of giving up on what we were working on, so we were just like 'do you guys wanna play together?' And so we just started the band here."

Enter a tardy Ryan McLennan, the frontman of the band. He made up some feeble excuse about the streetcar.

"I waited for like twenty minutes for the streetcar. And I was in that position where I'm like do I start walking? But if I would have seen the streetcar when I was walking, I would have fucking strangled somebody. Plus it's raining -- I don't like the rain. I love swimming though."

CMTM are on the verge of releasing a new record. After one full-length and a couple EP's, they've decided that they would like a little label-lovin' and Ryan told me a bit about it.

"Yep. We have the record and we're sitting on it until we get a team to release it properly. We are selling it at shows. We want national distribution and for it to be marketed on a national level. We're really close, we had a lunch today -- free lunch baby!"

It's very clear that CMTM do want some level of commercial victory, and Ryan says that they aim to get a piece of it with this record.

"We want some success, like radio. I think we qualify for it, and I'm not going to apologize for wanting that. We want to be on the radio with this record."

I can't hear them on the radio just yet, but I am able to see them play some tunes this Saturday at the Horsehoe Tavern.

I also learned that while recording Ross discovered that he was something of a pinball champion. Ryan brought this up, but I think he regretted it.

"We played the fuck out of that pinball machine! In the end Ross won, but I was definitely a worthy competitor."

As Ross confirms, "Ryan had the high score the whole time and I beat him on the last hour of the last day."

But "it was mostly because I had more work to do in the studio," Ryan explains

Clearly pleased with himself, Ross decides to show me his high score, which he had recorded on his cell phone.

It was very impressive, and so too are Clothes Make the Man...

Photo courtesy of Clothes Make the Man.

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