The name of the tall, perennially smiling man with the ancient Chinese hairdo is Wellington, which endears him to the imagination almost immediately. Then there’s his fantastical style: layered cakes of frothy lace, purple velvet sheens, and jaunty neckerchiefs. He’s a magical sort of person, and his music is an ode to the pop/rock electro experimentation of the late ’70s and ’80s new wave genre. Along with sidekick Brett Patterson, Wellington & the Brett bring to the Durango music scene what they call “Electro Quirky Dance Pop.” Keep an eye out for this visually impossible-to-miss duo and an ear to the ground for their synthpop musings.
The 411 on Wellington Clark
Birthed: Deep in the heart of Texas
DGO: What sort of arenas do you occupy?
WC: Elementary school teacher, musician, groundskeeper. I’m currently a Zen raker with time to dream and play music.
DGO: What’s the soundtrack of the Wellington Clark adolescence?
WC: Pretty much always punk rock. Started out with a little bit of “Poison – Flesh & Blood” was the first album. I had black spikey hair, I yelled, I was aggressive. I hated hippies.
DGO: Has that changed?
WC: Well I’m not gonna hate myself, so I’ve had to say that yes, it’s changed. I don’t hate hippies anymore. I was just pissed off that people could be so relaxed when the shit was going down. But that was long ago. What I wanna talk about now is me and Brett, and how we’re really into quirky, soulful, electro dance parties.
DGO: How would you describe your voice?
WC: Like a bullfrog – unicorn rodeo where we’re riding the people! But I don’t really want to ride people. I’m not anti-people… I just don’t approve of the choices most people make. But then again, they don’t want my approval!
DGO: What can you tell us about Wellington & the Brett?
WC: We really love making music. We’re a little bit black sheepish playing ’80s music here in Durango, but if you like quirky electro pop, come out of the cracks and say hello.
DGO: How will we recognize you?
WC: We’ll be the ones doing jump kicks and singing our hearts out.
DGO: What are you working on right now?
WC: We’re recording and will soon be gallivanting out and about, so keep your heads up. If you play an instrument and sing and are into pop, well then, good for you! Stop by and … say “hey!”
DGO: What are you concerned about in the world right now?
WC: I taught elementary school until my heart was broken and I still hear the voices of the children in inner city Denver schools, and all over for that matter, asking what the [expletive] is this? I’m so inspired by what education could be. I’ll be so excited when school becomes something that kids look forward to. If we make school about keeping kids from becoming who they are, then we’re going to lose innovation. Just think of what would be possible if we did education right? Kids know that what they’re looking at in the stupid textbook isn’t real life. They’re looking at us and saying, “Hey, we wanna join you.” Education could be delivered in such a better way.
I feel like music is my passion, but I keep thinking about the kids, and I know that I’ve gotta help in some way.
DGO: If you had a time machine, where and when would you go?
WC: I’d go back to England sometime around the Victorian period and go shopping – get a bunch of ruffled shirts, top hats, petticoats and then come back and just crush it. But only if I was guaranteed to get back safely without being killed by looters or scarlet fever.
DGO: What are you excited to see in the future?
WC: I want to see vegan states! I’m just excited to see what happens. I’m glad that music is more electronic now and that the sound is going back to the ’80s. I hope we continue to be electro-tastic and quirkified.
DGO: Parting thoughts?
WC: (Singing) Don’t go for second best baby, put your love to the test. Go on express how you feel and maybe then you’ll know your love is real. Express yourself!
— Jaime Becktel
For more information about Wellington & the Brett, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/wellingtonandthebrett.