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Arizona music fans have certainly noticed a void in the scene of late. Tempe's bluesy pop crew Gospel Claws have gone on a hiatus that will extend through the end of 2009.
Previously, the band was anticipating the departure of drummer, Scott Hall, who felt that he did not have the time to fully commit to the volume of gigs that the quintet were playing. However, guitarist Wesley Hilsabeck said, "We've come to an agreement to only play one show a month... Maybe two, depending on the opportunity, but we're really going to try to stick to one."
That agreement won't go into effect until early next year, but in the mean time the Claws are recording a full-length with Bob Hoag at Flying Blanket. Experimenting with recording live to tape has garnered great results, successfully capturing the band's dynamic and giving songs more character, Hilsabeck said. A bit more recording in November, and the record will be set for mixing in January. "It's hard to be patient sometimes but we want to take the time to ensure that our songs come across the right way on this record."
As for plans post-recording and post-hiatus, Hilsabeck said Gospel Claws are shooting for a performance at SXSW this year. "The timing would be perfect and a great way to get back into the groove."