Interview by Jason Guest
Jason: Hi. Congratulations on The Dreamer’s Hideaway; it’s an absolutely incredible album (Ed: Jason’s review is here), as was the Eye of Needle EP (Ed: Jason’s review is here). To begin, can you tell us why you chose to release the material on The Eye of Needle as an EP and not as part of this album?
Yann: Because we had the opportunity to record in a Parisian studio, Jazz. Quentin Fleury is the basis for this project. He knew Klone’s music and he proposed to us to record two songs. Then we’ve composed and written ‘The Eye Of Needle’ in two chapters, and we added ‘Monster’ which came out of the recording of Black Days but was not used for the album. It was a challenge for him as well as for us, and everything went very smoothly.
Jason: Do you have any favourite tracks on the album? Are there any that, for you, mark a high point for the band in terms of its musical development?
Yann: Songs that make up The Dreamer’s Hideaway are different from each other. As for me, I don’t have favourite tracks, it depends on my mood. We wanted to present something different from our previous albums, the aim being to renew. In any case it’s the best recording quality that we have. For example, ‘Rocket Smoke’ has a faster tempo and a guitar tuning we’re not used to having. ‘Walking on Clouds’ is a long song which has a more progressive part in the middle. Each song has its own character.
Jason: The Dreamer’s Hideaway feels as if it has a narrative, as if there’s a line that can be plotted through each song leading up to the closing track. Is there a common theme or concept that ties the album together?
Yann: We could imagine that the bird (on the album cover) is leading the listener towards various landscapes and stories. We wanted to infuse a feeling of evasion in coherence with the music, the texts and the art cover. I think the title represents exactly the atmosphere and the guideline of the album. Klone’s music always had this mystical side and a psychedelic atmosphere. We just wanted to make something less dark than Black Days. The Dreamer’s Hideaway is like a call of travel.
Jason: Can you tell us about the song lyrics and where inspiration comes from for them?
Yann: I am based on the notion of movement, of mobility to write the lyrics, with different supports for each song. I always write lyrics after the music composition. The music guides my words and gives their meanings.
Jason: Is there a significance or meaning to the album title?
Yann: The meaning that you want! I don’t like to give much explanations on our songs, I’d rather let ours listeners get their own meaning to the title, to let them use their own imagination.
Jason: How does the band work together to create material? Is it a collaborative effort or do you write individually? Do you discuss ideas about what you want each track to do or is it an evolutionary process?
Yann: It’s a collective work. The starting point comes mostly by guitar riff. Around this, we work the structure of the song and start to build the drum and bass. We’ve got the spine of the song. Then it’s a simultaneous work between voice and arrangements. It’s a method that we using since a long time. We work as much in collective rehearsal as individually at home
Jason: Why did you choose to work with producer Franck Hueso? What did he bring to the album?
Yann: Because we like his moustache! Seriously, we know Franck for a long time. We’ve already worked with him for Black Days. It was natural for us to call him and to make the best job together that we’ve never made before. He lives in the same town as us and it’s also a more practical way to work. And his vision of sound is very pertinent as the guy too!
Jason: The artwork for The Dreamer’s Hideaway is fantastic. The more I play the album (which is a lot!), the more intriguing it becomes. How does it relate to the album? What does it represent?
Yann: As for the title, we don’t want to give much explanation. The artwork is explainable enough and in the same time gives a lot of space for imagination. And after all, nobody knows where the bird brings the man!
Jason: Who is the artist? How did you choose to work with him/her? And what was it about their work that drew you to him/her?
Yann: The artist is Kamil Vojnar. We searched on internet for works that interested us, and which synthesize our music and the title of the album. One day I saw this picture of this man and this bird and I’m saying it’s the one! It fits perfectly in the atmosphere that we were looking for.
Jason: Klone has a very eclectic sound. Who are the band’s main influences? And how have they informed your sound?
Yann: We listen to lots of different things and everybody come from different musical horizons. We listen everything that seem interesting, it doesn’t matter the kind of music. Our sound probably comes not only from these fragments of music but also what inspires us in everyday life. It comes from books, movies, meetings, moments of loneliness. In other words, everything that feed us
Jason: How has the band evolved since its inception? And how do you see Klone evolving in future?
Yann: The band has undergone some line-up changes since the beginning. Today the band is stable and more determined to continue the adventure. Musically, the shape is more affirmed and the sound too, but we always got the freedom to do what we wanted to do. We just play the music that we want to listen, and I think the future holds for us still new musicals experiences
Jason: What’s your opinion of the internet and its impact on the music scene? Do you think that because of the ease of making music available, the internet has affected the quality of music?
Yann: Internet is a good way to promote the bands because today it’s the main communication source. There has never been as many groups as now, the worst as the best. Without internet, Klone wouldn’t be there today.
Jason: Do you think that the digital era has made it better for musicians to write, record, and promote their music?
Yann: Yes especially because the home studios are more affordable. It becomes easier to record his band, and finally it’s cheaper and maybe more comfortable than a studio where one day of work is very expensive. In a home studio you can compose, record and after, internet relays the information. Everything goes faster, it boosts the band development.
Jason: Despite the argument that the internet and piracy is having an impact on the music business, bands are being very creative in packaging their music. For instance, vinyl has made a welcome return to the market and all kinds of packages are appearing such as digipacks, picture discs, booklets, etc. Do you think this approach is becoming a necessity for bands to survive?
Yann: I don’t know if it’s to survive but indeed, as you were saying, bands have to develop more the visual aspect and the artwork to stand out. There’s a lot of bands for a lot of public so, yes, I think it’s important to assert the band’s identity.
Jason: You toured the UK in November supporting Gojira alongside Trepalium. That’s a fantastic lineup! How did you come to be a part of that tour? (Ed: Jason’s review of the show in Wolves is here; well, doesn’t Jason like this band, huh?)
Yann: Gojira has chosen Klone and Trepalium because they like our sound, and there was a cohesion between these three bands. We knew Gojira, especially Trepalium. I think the affinity has played a role in their choice. And we also payed to be a part of this tour support. Today, everything has a price! It may seem surprising but you have to pay for this kind of gigs! Finally, we’ve played in a lot of big venues in front of a lot of people, which, for the majority, had never heard from us. We’ve visited a lot of countries and met a lot of people. It was an awesome experience, musically and humanly.
Jason: Have you played with either of the bands before?
Yann: Yes, we’ve known Trepalium for many years, we’re very close to them and we’ve often played together. We don’t know Gojira as much as we know Trepalium but we’ve already played with them on several occasions.
Jason: And how would you describe the Klone live experience?
Yann: From the inside it’s very intense. From the outside I think people feel something powerful, music with depths. And I think the audience keep some melodies in their head when the show is over. We play every single show with our guts.
Jason: Thanks for taking time out for this interview. Are there any final thoughts or is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
Yann: Thank you Jason and Midlands Rock for supporting Klone!
And you can visit Klone on Facebook here