Interview with The Klaxons

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Cream speaks with Klaxons guitarist, Simon Taylor-Davies, about sending cats to the moon, doing forward rolls on stage, and whether to drink or not to drink.

YOUR NEW ALBUM ‘SURFING THE VOID’ IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM ‘MYTHS OF THE NEAR FUTURE’, KIND OF DARKER…
Some people say it sounds really different. Others say it sounds like a continuation. I think lyrically its sounds a lot more positive than the last record. The last record goes on a bit about magic and funny horses, dancing towards the apocalypse, and this one is more about love and just about being alive. We were a three-piece on the last record and we’re a four-piece now, so if there’s any aggression on this record, it’s coming from the drums.

YOUR NEW DRUMMER, STEFAN, IS QUITE THE PRETTY GUY.
He’s pretty but he’s also clever. He is the most ridiculously incredible drummers ever. Really musical. He’s been with us for years, but we just recorded [our first] record before he was fully in the band.

IS IT TRUE THE KLAXONS HAVE GONE SOMEWHAT SOBER?
Uhh, we’re not alcoholics or anything but we’re certainly not sober. I think it’s just that when we were recording the new album, we were living in Los Angeles and were just pretty chilled. It really wasn’t the place to go out getting drunk. Anyway, we’re not, like, alcoholic lunatics or anything.

ON THE SUBJECT OF SUBSTANCE USE, WE’RE CURIOUS TO KNOW WHERE THE KLAXONS’ OBSCURE LYRICS COME FROM?
The lyrics are very much inspired by books as well as certain other-worldly experiences. But this record is very much about being aware of now, essentially. It deals with that as well as other kind of strange existential matters: just the mixed up kind of stuff we’re all really into.

WE LOVE THE SPACE CAT ON THE ALBUM COVER.
Yeah, we think it’s awesome. There’s a huge one in the underground in England, and it looks amazing. We love that cat. He’s been to space and he’s come back and he’s just not bothered about it. He’s, like, ‘Why worry about outerspace when you have a universe inside of you?’

TO THE SINGING, NOW, WHO GOT BLESSED WITH THE FALSETTO VOICE IN THE GROUP?
Everyone but me!

SO EVERYONE CAN SHRIEK EXCEPT YOU?
Yeah, they can all go high but I can’t. At times I get quite upset about it, so I sometimes say that it means I’m more manly.

WE’VE ALSO HEARD ABOUT THIS NEW CRAZE YOU GUYS SEEM TO BE PROMOTING: CONVINCING OTHER MUSICIANS TO PERFORM FORWARD ROLLS ONSTAGE?
Yeah that’s something Jamie was doing at Glastonbury, but I have no idea what any of that’s about. I wasn’t there. I think it was one of those ‘You had to be there’ things. It’s like when you go on holiday with your mates and you kind like, I dunno, find a piece of ham really funny. And you get back and show your other mates and they’re like ‘What the eff are you talking about?’. Just one of those moments.

THERE WAS A MASSIVE GAP BETWEEN THE ‘MYTHS’ ALBUM AND THE NEW ONE. WHY THE LONG HIATUS?
We were just touring – the planet! Nonstop all day, every day. We didn’t stop until September last year. We love touring, so if anyone asks us to go play somewhere, we’ll go play. Soon we’ve got to start saying ‘n’’ because we would like to release a record every year, really.

‘Surfing The Void’ is out through Modular / Universal Music.