Well-known to David Gray fans as the singing drummer who wears loud Hawaiian shirts, Craig “Clune” McClune is the longest-standing member of the popular singer-songwriter’s band. He’s also a key collaborator in crafting the melodic folk-rock of A New Day At Midnight, Gray’s fifth album and the follow-up to the platinum smash White Ladder.
“Clune is the musician I’m closest to,” Gray says. “In general I listen more for the melody, the general atmosphere, or the words and vocals. Clune helps me figure out what I want to feel from the rhythm and drums. But he’s more than a drummer – he played most of the bass lines on the record as well.”
An imaginative mixture of programmed loops and sensitive live drumming with his favored Flix Stix (fiber rods), Clune’s playing on A New Day At Midnight brings to mind the great Dave Mattacks. Witness the drummer’s proudest accomplishment, “The Other Side.” “I love how we dealt with the drums on that one,” Clune says. “It sounds like I’m pounding the hell out of the kit, but I’m not. I’m actually playing very quietly. What we did was compress the hell out of the sound. Even though I was playing lightly, the effect is just so big.”