It’s been three years in the waiting but the new Klaxons album is finally here. After sky rocketing to fame in 2007 with debut album, Myths of the Near Future, fans and critics across the globe have been anxiously waiting for follow up, Surfing the Void, only to find out if lightning really does strike twice or the young Brits just got lucky.
Talking with keyboardist/vocalist, James Righton, here for their Downunder the Void tour, he shares how happy they are with what they’ve created.
“ I listened to the album on the plane over here last night. It was the first time I’d heard it for a long time and I’m really just very happy. I really love it, I’m so happy with it. It has been brilliant. We’ve spent all summer playing it all out. We’ve played nine out of the ten new tracks out live so far. So now we’re playing 8 new tracks and 8 old tracks. It is cool because people are still digesting the album, but we’re really happy with it and we’re not hiding it. We love it and we love playing it.”
“ I think the album kind of sums up our experience over the last couple of years. It is just a growth of our band. I think there has been a really positive growth. We’ve come from being kind of an idea to being an actual band. It is really just a good thing.”
Part of this process involved taking some time in New York with Daniel Pinchbeck to explore shamanism.
“ Jamie and Simon went over to meet him. They took part in an Ayahuasca session, which is kind of this medicinal, shamanic experience. I didn’t do it so I can’t really speak about it but from speaking with Jamie, I think he spent a while trying to search himself for the answers, to find out what to write about. There was no kind of direction lyrically and I think Jamie was really searching for that. After that experience, he kind of realised there was no need to search, he was kind of already there”
If that wasn’t enough to take the album to a truly personal level, the band chose to work with producer Ross Robinson (At the Drive-In, Slipknot, Korn), describing it as “incredibly therapeutic.”
“ Ross is an incredible man. You can’t hide anything from him. You can’t go into a recording session with him with any hang-ups or problems. It’s a big purge basically. There was no half assed, non-committal takes. You’re all in the room together doing it as if it was the last thing you were ever going to do. It was a real cathartic experience working with Ross.”
Despite the rest of the world saying it was taking a long time for the band to release anything new, Righton saw it as time needed for them to write anything worth listening to.
“It’s not really that long is it? It is quite weird if you think about a lot of other bands, you could take it to Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire, Cut Copy, Phoenix or whoever. It often takes three years. You need to have experiences, you need to learn, and you need to grow before you can put them into a record. Otherwise, what are you going to write about? What are you going to sing about? I think if you have got standards, and you want things to be the best, things do take time. I don’t know why but people were really in a rush for this album. It’s quite mad to think that really.”
Through it all, Righton feels the band are in the best place they have ever been. Over the past four years, they’ve been able to experience and achieve more than most people will ever know. Surfing the Void was a large step in discovering how to continue being yourself through everything that happens and I can hear in Righton’s voice, the genuine happiness of what he’s been apart of.
“ It has been a continual, never ending cycle of weirdness. Every week there is something really surreal that happens to us that is really memorable and odd. You just have to go with it though. All the weirdness and oddities of life is what makes it interesting. I think right now, we’re in the happiest place we’ve been as a band. We’re just best mates, having the best time ever. A lot of that was to do with Ross and his whole, no hiding, complete honesty with each other all the time. It’s really great for the band because there is nothing that ever can fester. Because you’re honest with each other, there is nothing to hide behind.”
Klaxons play Field Day Festival 01/01/2010 check out the full line-up here