“I fell into Klaxons by mistake”
I moved to London to start another band, that wasn’t happening, then I met Jamie through Simon who I went to school with, and then it took off. I just thought it was a big joke. It was funny because we played our first gig and I was gutted afterwards because we were terrible. We tried to play five songs I think and it was just a wall of noise and glow sticks and neon, whistles. Very bizarre. But we did this gig and then suddenly we got booked to do another show and there was a lot of interest and we were getting management but we’d hardly written a song together. Growing up outside of London and being in bands since I was a kid, I was always told and thought that being professional and good was the key to getting record deals and being able to do it for a career. Yet with Klaxons it was just the total opposite that generated such a buzz. We were just on this crazy curve where it just went straight up, then a slow decline.
“I was on a 10-year gap year”
I think Klaxons had a very strange lifespan and existence as a band that was quite unique really but we had an amazing time, an insane ride and we ticked boxes. I look back now and I think, God, we did so much… playing with Rihanna at the Brits, just bonkers stuff, meeting my heroes and idols. If someone had said, ‘You’re going to work with [one half of the Chemical Brothers] Tom Rowlands’, a hero since when I was 15, I mean, what, are you kidding? Then you meet [Bowie producer] Tony Visconti, you know. I think as a band we got to do some insane things and we did it right, that’s what I love about it. I was like 21, 22 when it started and I was on a 10-year gap-year.
“We got absolutely out of our minds”
Honestly, I’ve forgotten some of the bonkers stuff we did. In Egypt in the White Desert [for the video to ‘Echoes’], we got a white grand piano shipped over and set fire to it. The day of the shoot, the Egyptian government said we weren’t allowed to shoot so they had to get paid off. I mean, we were only a band but we were a pretty weird band, who got up to some pretty weird stuff. We blew literally hundreds of thousands on albums that never even got made, we won the Mercury prize – I forgot we even did that the other day – we got absolutely out of our minds. It’s weird now because in music it’s a lot easier to have a laptop and do everything yourself, you don’t need a band, but we were just like pirates, looting and causing mayhem wherever we went.
“I hated the idea of new rave”
The other guys wouldn’t mind me saying I hated the idea of new rave. I would do interviews where I would be like, ‘I resent this.’ I could see from that point on we were doomed. You can look at it one way and say, okay, it’s something that’s lazy and ‘tag-able’ and it’s a movement people can get behind of sorts, but it’s a weird one because there wasn’t any sort of sound. It wasn’t like punk or something where there’s a sound, this was based on an ethos and a random collection of… I don’t even know. It got people really excited and it gave us this push over and into the mainstream, but you knew at the time it was the death knell as well because you can’t ever live up to the level of expectation – you can’t grow in a kind more natural way, you can’t explore… you have to sell records.
“We’d said everything we could have said”
I don’t know if there was a definitive moment but there was a slow building feeling inside that maybe [Klaxons] were done. I can’t speak for the others – but I felt that we’d said everything we could have said within the collective unit that we were. I’m really proud of all three records and the EP that we made but I just didn’t know how we could exist anymore at the end of it. It just felt like it was so much effort to make records and in the end I don’t know what we were aiming for. It was this weird thing where we were a big band in a lot of people’s minds – a lot of people knew us – but I just remember that people would be like, ‘Oh yeah Klaxons, whatever happened to you guys,’ you know what I mean? We had two more records, we were touring but it was, ‘Oh yeah 2007, ‘Myths of the Near Future’, yeah.’ I think there’s only so much of that you can listen to before you think, oh man, I’m not sure I can do this anymore.
“I’m still in touch with the guys”
I love the guys but, you know, it’s really hard being in a band a long time. You grow as people, you change; you’re not the same people you were when you were 21. Your interests change; you might not be into the same things you were when you were 21, too. I ran into Jamie yesterday in Dalston, and Simon a couple of days ago – he’s back from New York. We live in the same areas. After spending 10 years together, lots of our friends are similar; we have a group of people who are our gang, because we grew up together. We hung out together and spent almost every day together for 10 years. Our circle became quite large, so you can’t just not bump into each other. It’s lovely, actually; I really love it.