They’re probably the youngest band currently doing the gig circuit in Malta. And yet, to hear their sound you wouldn’t think it. Meet Clandestines, a self-described noise pop band made up of Dan Abdilla on guitar and vocals, Neil Stafrace on bass and vocals and Sam Xiberras on drums. Don’t let the tender years fool you, these guys know their stuff…as I was about to discover upon putting THE questions to Dan.

How do you describe your music?
Fun, maybe – at least for us! I’ll leave a bit of mystery in this for people who haven’t heard our music yet. They’ll just have to come to our gigs and see for themselves, right?

Which bands/musicians influence you?
We don’t set out to be influenced by any particular bands but musicians we like do tend to creep into our style subconsciously, without us noticing almost. If I had to mention a couple I’d say The Cribs, Pavement and maybe The Thermals.

What was the first CD/cassette tape you ever bought?
I can’t say for sure but it might have been Avril Lavigne’s Let Go. Actually it could’ve been Robbie Williams too… I’ve got about five of his CD’s running about at home so it’s bound to be one of those. Or Shakira, maybe?

Your top three albums ever and why?
It would be unfair to limit it to three albums from my favourite band so I’ll just put down one of them as my favourite.That would be Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever by The Cribs. Mainly because they’ve been my favourite band for quite a while now and that’s just a great album. Another two albums that I’ve been enjoying recently are Yuck‘s self-titled album, because it really is a good debut and King Of The Beach by Wavves.

Do you sing in the shower?

A song you hate and why?
Sexy Chick because it’s extremely misogynistic and pretty boring too. It puts most things I don’t like about a lot of music into one song.

Butterflies before performing?
I haven’t done loads of performing as yet but I suppose I do get a bit of butterflies sometimes.

A singer you’d like to duet with and why?
This is a tough one… it’s still early days for me so I hardly even consider myself a singer yet. But if I had to choose it would definitely be Cassie Ramone from Vivian Girls because I love that group and she seems so cool. Aaah Cassie…

Can you play an instrument?
I play the guitar. I used to play piano as well but I stopped after a couple of years.

Your go-to music when you’re happy?
More often than not, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

And sad?
Luckily for me, I don’t get that very often. But if it does happen, it’s usually something like Daniel Johnston. Having said that I listen to his music when I’m in a good mood too.

Do you listen to the radio?
Not on a regular basis. I definitely listen in if there’s a band that I like doing an interview or a live session. Or if I’m in a car with somebody else…

Three words to describe the Maltese music scene
Not very good.

Last good concert/gig you attended was…
The last local one I went to was Skimmed, which was good. They’re always really good. The Areola Treat‘s album launch was pretty memorable too. I also recently saw The Cribs live in London, which was great fun.

Which particular band would you like to see live and why?
Los Campesinos, because they’re one of my favourite bands and they seem like a really fun band to watch live… and  I saw them again at Long Division Festival in Wakefield, where Clandestines also performed.

What inspires you?
Nothing in particular. Either things I really like, or things I really dislike.

The music industry destroyed real music. True or false and why?
Well isn’t generally all music a part of the music industry? I don’t really think the music industry did anything to ‘real’ music, it just produced a lot of bad music along with the good music. So…false.

What do your family think about your music?
They’ve not actually heard much of it. I don’t expect them to be massive fans though.

Did you ever get the “music is not a real career” talk when younger?
It’s early days for that sort of question, but I don’t think many people have thought of it as a career for us. I’d like that to be the case obviously, but saying that music will be our career would be pretty optimistic.

This interview appeared on The TV Guide (Times of Malta).



  1. […] mash of vocals, bass, drums and guitar. The highlight from the mosh pit was probably seeing The Clandestines’ Daniel Abdilla jumping on random guy’s back for a heightened moshing experience – while […]

  2. […] doing what they are paid to do and who can blame them? But I have to say that, once again, it was The Clandestines’s Daniel Abdilla who gets the award for creative crowd surfer of the night. His antics on the […]

  3. […] – joining forces with lo-fi outfit Bark Bark Disco (The Beangrowers’ Ian Schranz) and Megafun (Clandestines frontman Daniel Abdilla) for an intimate concert delivered straight from one of the trio’s living […]

  4. […] their talent (check out interview with Daniel Abdilla, who is also frontman for Clandestines, here). Now that is cause for admiration. Talented teens, you will find aplenty. Yes, really. But […]

  5. […] their Friday gig for personal reasons (details here ) but… we still get to party to The Shhh, The Clandestines and Skimmed. Ticket prices have been revised and those who already bought their tickets can contact […]

  6. […] at Hairyamp Promotions are back with what promises to be another gig to remember, with Skimmed, Clandestines and The Shh. The Shh, in case you haven’t checked them out yet, are Alison Galea and Ian […]

  7. […] music scene. For those who need a quick refresher, you can read all about the participating bands here, here and here. This will also be The Shh’s debut in Malta, so it’s particularly […]

  8. […] Clandestines – if you missed their last gig at C&H, you got yourself a 2nd chance right here. And if you didn’t, then you know why you should be there tonight. […]