Klaxons take on the indie world and come out on top after just 8 months of being together.
Putting a foot wrong doesn’t seem to be something that Klaxons are able to do at the moment. Even if they wanted to dabble in a little self-inflicted sabotage, in an attempt to smudge their name and stifle their accelerating rise, fans and critics alike would undoubtedly applaud it. Since their birth, just eight months ago, few have been able to get enough of this whistle blowing, day-glo pop/dance trio.
Call it ‘New Rave’ if you want (more on that later) or indie dance or underground pop. Whatever you’re comfortable with, Klaxons will be too. After all, they’re clearly having a blast being the most interesting band in town. Currently in the studio, recording their debut album with James Ford at the helm, James, Jamie and Simon are creatively drawing up a plan to take the pop mainstream by sheer force. And you’d surely have to be a fool to bet against them succeeding.
If their extremely brief history isn’t impressive enough (“”It blew up after the first two gigs, which is fucking crazy,”” says a still startled Jamie. “”It’s been a whirlwind ever since””) their impending future sure as hell is.
Once the record is in the can, the band are set to play everywhere from Reading Festival to Iceland, Ibiza and Australia. And that’s just for starters. As we catch up with Jamie to fill us in on what the future holds for Klaxons, it soon transpires that while many have called them ‘the next Test Icicles, soon to implode through the pressure of being such a buzz band’, such claims couldn’t be further from their minds.
As a band, they may well appear to be living for the second but that’s not to say that Klaxons care little for the future. Like any band that are successful from the off, these three friends are inevitably (and unfortunately) going to be due a backlash sooner or later, which could be why they’re refusing to contemplate just how important they’re considered to new music right now.
At the heart of all this fuss is one Yamaha keyboard, a simple sampler and two fluorescent guitars; wielded onstage at live shows that are less gigs and more like special events. Whether you’ve seen Klaxons ripping up a warehouse party on Old Street or wrecking the tiny stage of White Heat, you’ll no doubt have been converted to the new rising scene of young bright sparks that Klaxons appear to be at the forefront of – princes, if you will, of indie music that affects your dancing shoes to the extent that you more often than not completely lose the plot when ‘The Bouncer’ is dropped down Trash.
To say the whole movement is reminiscent of late 80’s Rave is somewhat missing the point. To simply call it a hell of a lot of fun is more what Klaxons would agree on it all being about. From the sound effect heavy ‘Atlantis To Interzone’ to the double speed boy band anthem of ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’, Klaxons raise a smile, not least because they are grinning from ear to ear themselves.
How does it feel to be considered the most exciting band around at the moment?
Jamie: “”It’s a funny one. It’s kind of a ‘don’t think about it’ situation because otherwise we’d lose our momentum. So we don’t want to think about what position we’re in. But yeah, it’s exciting basically and we’re just excited that people are really enjoying what we’re doing. We just don’t want to think about it too much. We haven’t finished our record and if we start thinking that everything’s all alright we wouldn’t get the work done or come out with the best record that we can make.””
How’s the album coming along?
“”Yeah, it’s going really well. We’re in the studio at the moment with James Ford. It looks like everything we’ve done to date is going to now be demos. We’re just starting to make the final record, which is really exciting. We’re on track four at the moment.””
Would you rather be playing live than be locked in a studio recording an album?
“”The interesting thing about the studio thing is that we’re not going to make a record that people are going to expect. There’s going to be quite a few slower tracks on the record and it’s interesting for us to slow things down, re-evaluate them and put them back together in the studio. We’re really enjoying that part of being in the studio. It’s going really well and we’re completely loving it to the same extent of playing live. Every aspect of being in this band is absolutely mental. “”
What made you start a band?
“”We decided what we were going to do before we started and what things we were going to patch together. It was literally to provide exciting gigs as we were going to see gigs and weren’t really getting excited by anything that we saw. It was just a case of lets make something ourselves to get excited by.””
Your gigs are infamous for their insane energy. What’s the craziest/best gig you’ve been to recently?
“”We’ve not really had a day off since day one so we’ve only really seen people that we’ve been playing with. We’re really into Shy Child and Metronamy and we were really excited last week about Crystal Castles from Toronto coming over and they did a weeks worth of shows here, which were fucking great. The unexpected one that we enjoyed last week was a gig in Germany with The Horrors. There’s always been some sort of stand off with that band but we ended up having an absolutely great time with them and really enjoyed their gig.””
Is there a grand Klaxons plan or are you just playing it by ear?
“”The plan was always to make a completely fucking classic album. Since day one we always wanted to put on some absolutely mental live shows and make a completely accessible pop album. So, the plan is through stage one. We’ve got the interest, we’ve got people enjoying themselves and now we feel that we’re on stage two, which is to make the best album that we possible can. So after that’s done we’ve got to go back out there and make sure we can play the album that we’ve made.””
In a recent interview Lily Allen said that she loved you guys because you’re weirdos. Is that a fair observation?
“”That’s true. We’ve had some funny times with Lily Allen so it’s a fair observation from the time that we’ve spent with her. We ended up meeting her through a friend of a friend and we’ve had some good nights out with Lily. She’s a good girl.””
A good girl who went to number 1 no less…
“”Yep, for two weeks in a row now.””
Do you think that it’s proof that pop music can be just that without pretending to be something else?
“”Exactly. That’s what we said from day one. We’re a pop band and that’s all we’ve wanted to be. The funny thing is we’ve got a lot of tags along the way. But all we’ve ever said is that we want to be in a sing-a-long pop band.””
Does it annoy you then that you’ve been given the fictional tag of a ‘New Rave’ band?
“”The funny thing is that I made that whole thing up before we started. That was like the first premise but it’s a joke. It’s not something that we wanted to tag ourselves with or put ourselves in any boxes. It was just an in joke that we found funny and now when you open the page and you see something that you thought was funny in print, it gets even funnier. But it seems like the kids are up for it. The craziest thing is when you get a 13/14 year old kid turning around and saying what their up to and I think ‘Jesus Christ, what have I done?’. (laughs) It’s fucking great. Go for it. I want kids to be making these bands.””
What’s in the Klaxon’s diary for the rest of the year?
“”Everything’s mapped out until the end of the year. It’s fucking crazy. The single should be out in October. We’re not sure what it is yet but we’ve got a month or so to decide which track we want to use. And then it’s basically UK tours and we’ve now got dates in the US, Europe, Japan and Australia.””
How excited are you?
“”It’s just a fucking dream come true isn’t it? To be able to start a band and travel the world a bit is mind blowing. It’s all a complete dream come true. It’s going to be absolutely mad. As long as we get this album right, we’re going to have the time of our lives.””