Today I present to you the British band Klammer, born in Leeds, a city with an impressive musical legacy and home to iconic bands such as Sisters Of Mercy, Gang Of Four, The March Violets and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry.
Klammer has released two powerful albums with post punk influences. Auslane and Klammer.
Additionally, the group has edited a vinyl EP called Everything Depends Upon The King b/w High Life that is distributed by Rough Trade West.
Steve Whitfield from Klammer was kind enough to grant me this interview. I hope you enjoy it while discovering the great sound and lyrics of this band.
Let’s start with a brief history of the group.
I’d done some mixing for Poss’s old band and when it split up, he asked me if I fancied writing some songs with him. We wanted to write someting very angular, dark, loud but still melodic. Very quickly we had 12 songs demo’d, and then thought we should record them. So we got a drummer friend of mine (Dez Ford recorded drums on the 2 albums so far) to record the drums and we then had our 1st album Auslane. Next we thought, ‘mmm’ we have an album, maybe we should play live, and we were very lucky that Poss knew Jordan and he fit in perfectly on bass. It was all back to front really, we then had to go back to the songs and learn how we were going to play them live.
What do you recall about the beginnings of the band?
The 1st album just flew out of me, I wrote all the songs (music) in a couple of months. Then Poss would come over to my studio and we’d work on getting his lyrics to fit the existing music. There were some songs where what was the verse and chorus got swapped around from what I thought they were going to be.
At the beginning we just wanted to write and album we were happy with, after that we thought it would be good to do a couple of gigs. Before we new it we were a real band with loads of gigs under our belt and 2 albums and a 7” vinyl single out, none of that was the at the start.
What do you think has been the most important milestone in the history of the band?
Tough question! There’s been so many so far. Getting the first album released, our first UK tour with Richie Ramone, playing the famous London venue the 100 Club to a sell out crowd and getting our hands on our first vinyl release (Everything Depends Upon The King on Curious Fox Records).
Who are the members of Klammer?
Poss Strickland – Vocals and Guitar
Steve Whitfield – Guitar, Keys and Backing Vocals
Jordan Stead – Bass
Mark Ashwell ‘Ash’ – Drums
Are some of you engaged in other activities besides music?
Steve has been a producer and Engineer for many years and has worked with the likes of The Cure (he engineered on their album Wish). Jordan has started promoting gigs for other bands. Ash is a film and video director.
Before joining in Klammer, did any of you play in other bands?
It’s Jordan’s first band but the rest of us have been in many bands before, but no other projects/bands at the moment for any of us. We are concentrating our time and effort into seeing how far we get with Klammer. I really feel this is the best band I’ve ever been in. Everyone is really strong at what they do, no weak links.
I read about you on the Internet and the comments people leave often compare you with big post punk bands such as The Cure, Joy Division and Gang of Four. What do you think about these opinions?
I do really like those bands but I listen to so much more. For a start, I really love electronica like Boards Of Canada. I guess we have little bit of influence from those great bands but we all bring so many more influences. We’ve had a bizarre list of comparisons so far from early Roxy Music, New York Dolls, The Stranglers to the bands you’ve just mentioned. I do think we are bringing so many influences in and mashing it all up to create the sound of Klammer!
I think people can’t help themselves list bands that they think you sound like, it’s just to easy a way to put it in a review. Radiohead were the new U2 and then Muse were the new Radiohead and I’m sure that there are bands out there being called the new Muse now!
Then, what bands do you regard as the most influential on your style and sound?
It would be pretty much everything I listened to and liked from my whole life. For me it’s always been about the noise/sound and melody. The first two bands I got into as a kid were Kraftwerk and The Sex Pistols. I have a massive soft spot for the first two Comsat Angels albums and The Fall have been a constant for so many years, but I also like perfect pop like Kylie’s ‘I Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ and OutKast’s ‘Hey Ya’.
What do you think about the response from critics and fans for your albums?
It’s been really positive so far, we’ve not had a bad review or response yet, but that of course will happen at some point.
What countries, besides United Kingdom, have embraced your musical production?
We seem to be getting a good response in Germany, Brazil, Peru and the US at the moment. Damn we’d love to play in Peru and Brazil but it’s not finacially viable at the moment, but who knows in the future! Germany is a lot easier for us to contemplate and we are hoping to go and play there next year, hopefully France to.
We are all excited about our next tour with Richie Ramone in Nov/Dec, as it will take us out of the UK for the first time to Ireland.
Are you working or planning to produce an album with your new label Under Dogz Records anytime soon?
We have already written all the music for the next album, have lyrics written for five of them and have started rehearsing those five. So hopefully we’ll record it next summer.
How come you decided to release the single “Everything Depends Upon The King” as a 45rpm vinyl?
I contacted a label in London that specialises in releasing 7” viynl singles and Bob from Curious Fox came straight back to me that he’d like to release something for us. I still think it’s most bands dream to release a 7” single.
What do you think about the current British music scene? Have you identified any new interesting bands?
I could get myself in trouble here, but I think there’s too many bands in the UK that have been to music college. It’s all technic and no soul/anger/emotion. Then at the other end there’s too many bands just copying the past with nothing new added to it. But there are still lots of interesting new bands around.
I wonder if you could share a final word for subterock.com, your fans in Latin America and those who follows the independent/alternative?/indie rock…
Hola + um beijo! And we hope to come and see you someday. If there’s anyone of your readers who can help us organise it, please get in touch!
— Muki Records (@MukiRecords) November 11, 2016