Listen to Klaxons on Rhapsody and/or MySpace...
By: Chris Pacifico
The British music press is a relentless machine, a hungry beast that never sleeps. It has no qualms about whom it makes or breaks, and their word travels far. So far in fact, that American fans can already be sick to death of a band before their first full-length drops. You've probably seen the Klaxons name emblazoned on many magazines, but this London trio is worth the hype. Where Coldplay sing perfect lyrics to get you laid and The Streets rhyme about everyday blokes getting fucked up, Klaxons leave this world and go into fantasy on their recent debut, Myths of the Near Future (released March 27 on Geffen Records).
Myths attaches a flux capacitor to the so-called "dance-punk" movement to create blazing, blistering punk-pop that speeds through time and space with crafty hooks, blaring air raid keyboards and techno laced high ends with a mod twist that makes this a cryptic, way out, futuristic scion to XTC's White Music and The Jam's In the City. You can mosh to it like early British punks did at Sex Pistols shows, where they flopped around like sizzling bacon and pantomimed ringing fellow concertgoer's necks or you can dance until your shoe rubber smolders. Either way, Klaxons are something so new and fresh that many have already dubbed them as the patriarchs of what is being called "new-rave".
"I find it amusing that we've been given the name of some non-existent music genre," says guitarist-singer Simon Taylor-Davis, who notes that while he and his band mates are influenced by dance music none of them were ravers. "We make psychedelic, subversive pop music that's quite heavy and made on guitars."
The piercing shrieks and trance inducing glitches and bleeps in their music bring to mind the London acid-techno scene of the '90s, specifically respected DJ-producers like D.A.V.E. the Drummer and Chris Liberator, who almost always used the treasured and out-of-production Roland 303 drum machine. While Klaxons haven't listened to the abovementioned, Taylor-Davis and company prefer to be frugal in their choice of synthesizers, no matter how big they've gotten. "We basically have this really cheap keyboard," says Taylor-Davis of their Yamaha model keyboard which they put through their "cheap crap" guitar pedals.
Klaxons made their Glastonbury Festival debut this summer, which bassist-singer Jamie Reynolds attests was the happiest day of his life, even though he was caked in mud the entire time. Even bad weather can't stop loyal Klaxonites from jittering their asses off. "I think it's all about the crowd," says Reynolds. "We don't ever want anything to be all about us. We want to create an environment people can enjoy themselves in, and we, 100-percent, feed off the crowd."
Taylor-Davis and Reynolds are Klaxons' primary songwriters. Reynolds studied philosophy in college and Taylor-Davis art, so it's easy to hear where they gained their creative impetus and penchant for reverie-based lyrics. "We get off on the fact that we can put certain things in a pop context that shouldn't be there," Taylor-Davis makes plain. "Basically we made a fantasy album about nowhere because we wanted to make a record about somewhere that you couldn't see or touch or have heard of or know about or have an understanding about. So, in opposition to making music about reality we wanted to make an album about unreality and pure fantasy and intertwine that into everything."
With the recent state of tumult and disillusionment in Great Britain due to terrorism, the economy and other social upheaval, there are listeners who try to decipher whether or not there is any political message in the Klaxons' music. The lads say they make an effort to steer clear of any political commentary. "When politics and music mix it often becomes an embarrassment and that's something we wish to avoid," asserts Reynolds. "We're a band that bases ourselves on fantasy and not on reality and politics. We're about escapism and not about trying to think about what's going on in the world."
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