Fresh off the release of his latest track, If ( P.S.S. Symphony In C Minor), the artist known as Clibbus took some time recently before his performance at the Ritz Ybor as a special guest opener for the Welcome to Hellvetica Tour featuring co-headliners I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME and Joywave to chat with me about the music, Haribo candy, and more.
Manor 208: How would you describe yourself?
Clibbus: Myself as in the music or a person?
208: Both, the entirety.
Clibbus: Just like everything else – fruit, wood – a natural and organic human compound. Pretty run of the mill. I like smoking cigarettes. I like candy.
208: What kind of candy?
Clibbus: Particularly Haribo. I’m working on trying to get a Haribo sponsorship. They’re one of my prerogatives right now, trying to get Haribo to sponsor me. I eat Haribo almost every single day. One second, it’s really hot out here.
208: Just a little bit, yeah…
[This is where I note that we are both standing out in the sun, and Clibbus has a black sheet covering himself – as if he were a ghost.]
Clibbus: All right, where were we?
208: You were talking about your attempt to have Haribo to sponsor you.
Clibbus: Oh yes. I would love to have Haribo to sponsor me. I am a huge fan of especially the Starmix. The Starmix is what I eat most regularly of. We’ve been getting a lot of Sour Bears as well on a day-to-day basis which is also very good. All around, I think it is one of the best candy products out on the market right now and I think that they are the perfect balance of sugary sweetness without being too bad for your teeth.
208: Have you thought about taking it to Twitter as far as your campaign [for sponsorship]?
Clibbus: I have really no desire to go to Twitter. I find that the internet in itself is all too consuming. It takes too much of time out of our daily lives. In order for me to do anything else, I couldn’t spend more time doing that.
208: Fair. Speaking of the internet though, if I recall correctly there is something going on in Richmond. A plan for [the Richmond, VA date of the Welcome to Hellvetica tour] if you get a thousand downloads?
Clibbus: Yes, I just released a new solo Clibbus single titled, “If ( P.S.S. Symphony In C Minor)” I’m trying to get at least 1,000 people to listen to the song in order for me to come out and play it again in Richmond as they have been requesting me to do. It’s not a financial campaign, it is solely getting people to listen to the song all the way through as it is an eight-and-a-half minute long single.
208: Where are you at now as far as download counts?
Clibbus: I think I am currently at about 73 downloads. Time is running out.
208: Time is running out. When is the deadline?
Clibbus: The day of the show, which is I don’t know what day that is… I think it’s a couple of weeks from now.
[Editor note: the Richmond date was in fact on September 25, 2022, I can’t attest that 1,000 did in fact listen to the song, but the good people of Richmond got their Clibbus set]
208: It’s some day that’s not today, basically.
Clibbus: Yes, yes. Definitely.
208: Well, what inspired you to write an eight-and-a-half-minute symphony?
Clibbus: I didn’t have enough time to finish it.
208: So, it was supposed to be longer?
208: What was the initial idea as far as how long it was supposed to be?
Clibbus: There wasn’t an initial idea as to how long it was supposed to be. It was just not as long as I would’ve liked it to be. I’m a huge fan of measuring stuff, and this is a very measurable length of time. I would like to make a song that is unmeasurable in both time and audio sensibilities.
208: Do you think you’re going to do a part two then?
Clibbus: Most likely. I’m planning on releasing a solo release of multiple Clibbus classical compilations, but I’m also trying to fit more time in for the Clibbus Trio that exists back home in Rochester, New York where that is the primary focus of Clibbus International.
208: Interesting. What would be the difference between you as [Clibbus solo] and you as [the Clibbus Trio]?
Clibbus: It’s two different things. Clibbus exists solely to have as many creative outputs at one time as it feels necessary, but I find the most gratification playing as a trio. I think it’s the most enjoyable expression of artistic creativity. So, when I have the time, being as how I spend as much more of my time alone & away from the trio, I use it primarily as means to move forward and create an output of Clibbus International. Then that way, I can come home and have more ground if you will with Clibbus International.
208: How would you describe your live show to someone who has never seen it? I would say it’s utter chaos, but [in the best way possible].
Clibbus: I would say it’s enjoyable.
208: I’m not saying it’s bad chaos. Chaos can be amazing to watch live (in the sense of bewilderment).
Clibbus: I don’t know if it’s so much chaotic as it’s… I don’t know how to describe it. There’s fruit, usually. There’s measurements, as of lately. There’s people smiling and clapping. It sounds like an event, celebratory usually. Questioning. I need more people to ask the question of, if? A lot of people are asking why. I think we should change the trajectory to the question of if.
208: Why if?
Clibbus: Well if not why, then if. Nobody ever says if, they’re always saying why. I figure we should start asking if. It’s also one of my favorite words lately.
208: What are some other favorite words?
Clibbus: Right now, it’s just on if.
208: Just if?
Clibbus: Yeah, just if. Do you like the word if?
208: That’s a fantastic word. It’s very short, very straight forward.
Clibbus: Yeah, it’s kind of to the point which I think is pretty sweet. There’s really not too many ways around it. I just like when people say if as opposed to why. It feels good, I think.
208: You know what the problem with this is? I can’t expand on [the word] if. It’s pretty out in the air.
Clibbus: But everyone can expand on the word if, you can put an exclamation point or a question mark after it, or a sequence of periods if you choose.
208: Yes, you can.
Clibbus: Yeah, I like if. But I think that would be the main, as of these last three shows going on, would be the main focus is if. A few months back there was a lot of focus on the length of things, which is still prevalent, but I think if is the new protectory that I’d like to see [with] the youth especially. I don’t think enough people are aware of “if” yet.
208: You’ve kind of already answered this, but what would you say is next for you other than playing a kickass show tonight?
Clibbus: After tonight I’m hoping to make some more measurements, make my way back home to Rochester, New York. Meet up with the other guys, Gourd Master (Mike McGee) and Lettuce Head (Graham Balcomb), and continue on making some more music, and hopefully release a new full-length album this winter or following summer – depending on how long it takes us to record. But we’ll be playing some live shows as a trio in and around the Northeast area, and I’m also hoping on putting out a new book of art and other multimedia things as well.
208: Sounds awesome. That’s all I’ve got unless you can think of some other question that you haven’t been heard that you would like to ask yourself?
Clibbus: No, I would just like to ask all the youth out there and everyone else attending the show tonight if not why, then if?