Klaxons are a indie rock band, based in London. Following the release of numerous 7-inch vinyls on different independent record labels, as well as the success of previous singles "Magick" and "Golden Skans", the band released their debut album, Myths of the Near Future on 29 January 2007. The album won the 2007 Nationwide Mercury Prize. After playing festivals and headlining tours worldwide (including the NME Indie Rave Tour) during late 2006–2007, the band started working on their follow-up album in July 2007.
Jamie Reynolds grew up in Bournemouth and Southampton in his early twenties. He dropped out of studying philosophy at Greenwich University to work in a record shop, before moving to London and being made redundant. He met James Righton and Simon Taylor-Davis, who was his girlfriend's roommate. Righton had been working as a teacher at the time. All three had previously played in various other groups, including Reef and Oasis cover bands. Simon and James grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon, where they attended the same school. They shared a house with members of Pull Tiger Tail in New Cross, London, briefly playing a gig together as 'Hollywood Is a Verb' in 2004. Live tracks from the gig are available on the band's MySpace page.
James taught Simon how to play guitar, and with Reynolds' redundancy money they bought a studio kit. They began recording and performing live under their early guise of "Klaxons (Not Centaurs)", including an appearance at the 2006 Camden Crawl. The name came from a quote from Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's futurism text The Futurist Manifesto. Initially the band played with drummer Finnigan Kidd in 2005, until Kidd left to play with fellow New Cross band, Hatcham Social. Replacement live drummer Steffan Halperin joined in February 2006, with the band announcing him as an official member in an interview in Prefix Magazine in early 2007. He remains mostly absent from the band's music videos, appearing only in the early video "Atlantis to Interzone" and briefly in the 2007 re-release of "Gravity's Rainbow". Around this time, the band began playing under their new, shortened name of Klaxons.
Early releases and debut album (2006-2008)
Klaxons' debut single, "Gravity's Rainbow" was released on 29 March 2006 on Angular Records. Only 500 copies were released, and all were printed on a 7-inch vinyl decorated by the band themselves. Xfm's Jon Hillcock was the first DJ to play the band on the radio. There followed exposure from the likes of Xfm's John Kennedy and Radio 1's Steve Lamacq, who invited them to play a Maida Vale Studios live session on the strength of the single. The band's second single, "Atlantis to Interzone", was released on June 12 of the same year. It was their first release for independent record label Merok Records, and led to further coverage in NME. The song enjoyed radio coverage from Zane Lowe and daytime airings from Jo Whiley, who repeatedly, and mistakenly, called the song "Atlantic To Interscope". Zane Lowe also wrongly credited the song as "Atlantis To Interscope". They released their first EP, Xan Valleys, on 16 October 2006. It was released on Australian record label Modular Recordings, and contained their first two singles alongside various remixes. The band played their first North American dates in New York's East Village in October 2006.
In August 2006, the band signed to Polydor Records for a reported £500,000, following offers from numerous different record labels. Regarding the amount, James Righton said that the fee was "absurdly off the mark", and that the band signed for considerably less on the condition they would be given their own label imprint, Rinse Records. The band then released "It's Not Over Yet", a cover version of a song originally by Grace. The track included the "My Love" cover as a b-side, and peaked at #13 in the UK Singles Chart.
Their debut album, titled Myths of the Near Future, was released on 29 January 2007. It entered the UK Album Charts at #2, beaten only by Norah Jones's album Not Too Late. Percussion and drumming on the album was provided by the album's producer James Ford, with live drummer Halperin recording on "Atlantis to Interzone".
On 20 September 2007, it was revealed that the band was to release a double album featuring 27 tracks mixed exclusively by Reynolds. Entitled A Bugged Out Mix, the band follow in the footsteps of Miss Kittin, Erol Alkan, Felix Da Housecat and Simian Mobile Disco, who have all made similar contributions. It was officially released on 1 October 2007.
Klaxons singled out a new song that has strong prog influences as a guide to one possible direction the album may go in, revealed recently NME. Guitarist Simon Taylor said: "We wanna make something that's bigger and softer and louder and lo-fi and heavier produced - just lots of contradictions. I think it's gonna be like the last record but swollen. We've been listening to a lot of European prog music and dubstep and dance and folk. A huge broad variety of things really. There's one track we've been playing in soundcheck, it's this massive prog opus."
Klaxons performed with the singer Rihanna on the song "Umbrella" which had "Golden Skans" mixed into the background during the Brit Awards 2008 held in London on 20 February 2008.
Klaxons won 'Best Album' at the 2008 NME Awards held at London's IndigO2 Arena on 28 February 2008. This followed having won 'Best New Band' the previous year. Klaxons also won 'Best International Album' and 'Best International Track' for "Golden Skans" at the first American NME awards, which were held in Los Angeles, California.
Second album (2008-present)
The band first began talks of a second album in November 2007, during the band's winter tour of the United Kingdom. Taylor-Davis said influences included dubstep, dance and folk music, mentioning that the band were playing an untitled "prog" track during soundcheck. The band features on Steve Aoki's debut album Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles, contributing the Soulwax remix of "Gravity's Rainbow" for its release in January 2008. After a long break the band made their live return with a series of gigs in Holland, Poland, Estonia, Russia, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. At these shows they debuted two new tracks: "Valley of the Calm Trees" and "Moonhead". The band also made an appearance at Modular Records's NeverEverLand festival that toured around Australia in December 2008.
At the beginning of 2009, it was reported that the band had been told to re-record parts of their second album, after it was rejected by their record label. The Sun confirmed that Polydor deemed the record "too experimental" for release, with Reynolds stating that "...we've made a really dense, psychedelic record" and that "it isn't the right thing for us [the band]".
In an interview with the BBC in April 2009, Reynolds revealed that the songs "The Parhelion" (previously entitled "Valley of the Calm Trees"), "Moonhead" and a new song "Marble Fields And The Hydrolight Head Of Delusion" would 'probably' make the final tracklist.. Other titles that have been gathered from live set lists include "Imaginary Pleasures", "Silver Forest" , "Echos", "Venus", "Hoodoo Bora" and "Future Memory".
HMV describes Klaxons as "acid-rave sci-fi punk-funk", a phrase lifted directly from Tim Chester's Radar feature in NME, while their MySpace page touts 'Psychedelic / Progressive / Pop'. However, they are one of the isolated acts being referred to as New Rave, a genre term coined by Angular Records founder Joe Daniel, who released the trio's first single. Though the band's sound is rock-based, they draw upon some less common influences - notably the rave culture of the 1990s, which they appropriate and redefine in a post-modern fashion. Their influences are perhaps most represented in their covers of rave hits "The Bouncer" by Kicks Like a Mule and "Not Over Yet" by Grace. Both tracks have since been released by the band, the first as part of a double a-side with "Gravity's Rainbow" in March 2006 and the latter as a single on June 25, 2007 titled "It's Not Over Yet".
While the band is consistently hailed as the defining act of the sparsely-populated New Rave movement, Klaxons have worked to avoid being typecast as champions of the genre. Even so, Klaxons member Jamie Reynolds expressed no regrets at the dubious honour, saying that "...it's great that it started as an in-joke and became a minor youth subculture".
|Year||Title||UK Top 40||Album|
|2006||"Gravity's Rainbow" / "The Bouncer"||—||N/A|
|"Atlantis to Interzone"||-||Re-Recorded for Myths of the Near Future|
|"Magick"||29||Myths of the Near Future|
|"Gravity's Rainbow" (Re-recording)||35|
|"It's Not Over Yet"||13|
|"As Above, So Below" (French Only)||N/A|
- 2007 NME Awards: Best New Band
- 2007 Mercury Music Prize: Myths of the Near Future
- 2007 XFM: Live Breakthrough Act
- 2008 NME Awards: "Myths of the Near Future" Best album
- 2008 Ivor Novello Awards: "Golden Skans" Best Contemporary Song (Nominated)
- 2008 NME Awards USA: "Golden Skans" - Best International Track
Biography from Wikipedia