Keyboardist/vocalist Ade (not Abe) Blackburn enjoys performing in new places. That's why he's looking forward to bringing his band Clinic to Salt Lake City.

"This will be the first time we'll play there," Blackburn said during a telephone interview from his home in Liverpool, England. "I hope they like what we're doing."

The members of Clinic — Blackburn, bassist/flutist Brian Campbell, guitarist/clarinetist Hartley and drummer/pianist Carl Turney — perform while wearing surgeon's gear, complete with face masks and scrubs. And the band has found its niche in experimental melodic soundscapes.

A look at the band members' musical influences explains why they sound the way they do. "You get a lot of input when you're in school," Blackburn said. "You're usually influenced by music that is happening at the time. We had bands such as the Teardrop Explodes, the Stooges, Television and a lot of '70s punk bands.

"It's funny, because when I heard the Teardrop Explodes (led by the eccentric Julian Cope), I wanted to learn about the people who influenced him. So I did some research and found Iggy Pop and the Stooges and Television, and then I went back to see who influenced them, and it opened a lot of new avenues for what kind of music we wanted to play."

Clinic plays music that reflects the band members' individual personalities, said Blackburn. "We wanted to do something original. We're not like anyone else, and we wanted to make sure we put that point across."

The band's songwriting technique relies first and foremost on the rhythm, he said. "If you have a strong beat, you can do almost anything. And you don't necessarily have to return to the chorus and do that whole 'structure' thing. But you need to be able to lace the song with some strong hooks that will catch people's ears.

"The music we play is not your typical pop. It's a little too skewed and odd for the taste of the general public who like the mediocre pop. We're obviously not mainstream, but we appeal to people who want a little more depth in their music."

That depth can be heard in Clinic's album "Walking With Thee." "It's got a very spacious sound," said Blackburn. "It's moody and with dynamic changes in tempo and styles throughout."

For the next album, on which the band has been working for the past few months, Blackburn promises a simpler approach. "The new one's going to be a little more earthy. It's a bit more streamlined. And we know our fans will understand what we're doing. And as long as you have people liking what you're doing, you just keep going.

"And it doesn't matter how much money we make. We've never been a band to say, 'OK, in this many years we will be this successful.' It just doesn't happen that way with us."


If you go. . .

What: The Clinic and Low Flying Owls

Where: Liquid Joe's

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

How much: $10 and $12

Phone: 467-8499 or 1-800-888-8499

Web: www.smithstix.com


E-mail: scott@desnews.com