Apparently we here at the GTC got lucky or maybe we were just in the right place at the right time however you want to put it. Today we are looking at Manchester based trio I Am Kloot. It is not like we will surprise you with new music from the band, they released their last album „Let It All In” early in 2013.
In short, I Am Kloot have worked with names like Craig Potter, Guy Garvey (Elbow) and also Ian Broudie (Lightning Seeds) and for more than 16 years they´ve convinced us with brilliant and every so often twisty stories in lyrics as well as the melodic voice of singer John Bramwell in their traditional British lo-fi music and now promising us ‘The best is to come“.
What we have here today are very compelling A’s to my Q’s about life and being human in the music business Peter Jobson let loose, got candid and here is our conversation.
Pete, thank you very much for talking to The GTC, we have a few questions for you.
When you started out in the late 90´s what expectations did you have what goals were formed and where did you see the band in 15 years from then?
We always took one step at a time. All we wanted to do was to record one album and have it released properly. Beyond that all we knew was how to play live and that is what we did as much as we could. The year our first album „Natural History“ came out (2001) we played 285 gigs. On our return from touring our record company had gone bust owing us money and then we were back at square one. It has always been like that with Kloot. We like it when we have a fight on our hands and something to prove. Nobody does anything of any value from a position of comfort. We had no concept of what it would be like 15 years hence. Things have a habit of changing a great deal in 15 years, you know that when you look back at your old passports.
So would you say you have accomplished your mission?
We walk the path and if there is fire in the belly we play and write music and if the fire subsides we do something else. There is no master plan when it comes to Kloot. We are as we are. If there is an audience in front of us we perform and strive to provoke a reaction and leave a memory. Having a mission requires you have to contemplate a destination. We don´t do that. Keep your eyes peeled and your antenna sharp and follow where the path takes you.
BBC just aired the first episode of the mini-series „From There To Here“ for which you´ve written the music score? How did you like going into new terrain? Did you conceive it as something that will add to your musical experience?
Scoring the music for From There To Here was fantastic. It was superb to create music to visuals. No lyrics were needed which took a lot of pressure off the band. We composed separately and sent each other files of ideas. To see Andy work on rhythm pieces without any consideration for a preexisting song idea was amazing. He is an extraordinary drummer with enormous musical influences and tremendous imagination. He based a lot of his ideas on the work of Lalo Schiffrin who did so many great soundtracks using drums as the main instruments. On hearing Andy´s work I can say he has been limited by Kloot. Left to his own devices he is capable of much more. Kloot have always been very interested in film and especially soundtracks. We draw from a large pool of musical styles and soundtrack work is the perfect place to expound this wealth of music we have built up over the years.
We were lucky in that the writer and producer liked all the ideas we came up with. Blessed is the weaver and whoever asked us to do that job knew what they were asking for. We shall endeavor to as much soundtrack work as we can in the future. Very, very rewarding and completely boundless.
„Let It All In“celebrated its first birthday a few months ago. John went on a solo tour in April; you went on tour in March to support Nadine Shah on bass. A few festival dates have been announced for July and November. Are you already actively working on, maybe even recording a new album?
We have not seen each other in person since playing at the Apollo in Manchester last December. We rehearsed this week for a gig tomorrow (July 5th) in Hyde Park, London to celebrate The Libertines getting back together. When we first played in clubs in London in the late 90´s a band supported us every time, they later became The Libertines. They ask us to play whenever they are doing something. Bless them.
Our last 2 albums have been very elaborate and our business set up has been very corporate. Although that has brought benefits it has also distracted us from what Kloot is about. Some of the most commercially successful things we have done have been artistically and personally the most unrewarding. Klppt is a 3 piece punk band on the back foot with everything to prove. Us against the world. Without that feeling we are just another bunch of fellas knocking out tunes. Frauds. All the years we have been going we have tried all kinds of things. Now it is time to go back to the essence of what we are. Be true to thine own self and it will follow as night the day that you will be false with no man.
Any chance for fans to get to hear new material in July?
Afraid, not , although there is a soundtrack album of From There To Here coming out this year. We will get together and do some new ideas next year.
How is the camaraderie in the band anyway? Is it all brotherly love or are there days where it would be better not to call one another?
Like I say we have not seen each other since December last year. The mood now is great but we needed time to do our own thing. The last few years has taken its toll on our relationship. We were doing something we didn´t want to do. It took a while to find that out. Luckily we realized just in time. The future is a proposition and people will see the band change a good deal I think. We were pretty sick for a while there. We found the tools to make us all well again.
Do you read your album reviews? And if so does it affect you or what you do in any way? Could you give us an example?
I used to read everything that was written about us and gave it some thought. On the whole all the things about Kloot have been very good. But believing that can be as dangerous as believing the bad stuff. From now on I am not going to read anything about us. That way madness lies. The music is all that matters. Everyone has an opinion. Behind all of this someone somewhere is selling something so it is inherently twisted. Kloot is as twisted as fuck on occasion but we have the privilege of being able to be up front about it.
We are talking about more than 16 years of music making for all of you. Is there any particular time, a moment that was too good to be true or where you say you want to turn back in time and do it all over again?
We have done some pretty amazing gigs and at the time I did not realize the gravitas of the situation. I realize now and wish I had appreciated playing the Montreux Jazz Festival a bit more than I did at the time. Special event and very proud to be invited. I would not change anything about the past. I have loved a lot and learned a lot and it is because of the path I chose that I am who I am and I only have 6 months therapy left to go before the doctor says I can socialize again, so that´s proof isn’t it?
What´s next for the 3 of you?
Carnage I hope. Rehearsed this week and it sounded and it felt like The Sonics on crystal meth. More of that please.
Name 3 things on your bucket list.
The bucket list concept is pure shit.
Name 3 songs that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
She by Charles Aznavour,
Rasputin by Boney M
Cold Cold Ground by Tome Waits
The worst venue/ city you´ve ever played in.
Give us a stage and we will play the shittier the better is often what I have found. It brings out the fight in you.
Please tell us 5 things about I Am Kloot that the internet hasn´t already published.
Pete, again, we appreciate you talking to us.
Not gonna be talking about music for a long time now so this is the last interview for a while. Hope it has not left you frustrated. It is a point of principle that Kloot comes second xxxx All the best xxxx Pete Jobson – I Am Kloot