"There are already too many good love songs," says Klaxons guitarist Simon Taylor of his band's highly-literate, difficult-to-categorize pop. "We wanted to explore things that were still full of possi
"There are already too many good love songs," says Klaxons guitarist Simon Taylor of his band's highly-literate, difficult-to-categorize pop. "We wanted to explore things that were still full of possibilities."
Lyrically, the London-based group -- which officially remains a trio of guitar, bass and keys but travels with a drummer -- has found inspiration in books, making reference to writers like William S. Burroughs, Aleister Crowley, Thomas Pynchon and others in songs that conjure far-off worlds, parallel dimensions, lost histories and imagined futures.
The music of the band's debut album, "Myths of the Near Future," which debuts this week at No. 22 on the Top Heatseekers chart, follows suit. The tracks beckon listeners on a journey with its unexpected sonic twists and turns, crossing landscapes as varied as 1960s-style harmonic pop, post-punk, acid house, goa trance, psychedelic rock and standard-issue indie-rock. And don't let Taylor fool you: there's even a love song or two.
"It's a collage of ideas," explains keyboardist James Righton. "It's a reflection of our writing process. Nobody ever comes in with a fully-formed song. It's always fragments -- sketches -- that we piece together. And," he adds, "we always write quickly."
That mania comes through in the consistently high BPM rate of these 11 songs and has inspired the band's U.K. fans to always bring their dancing shoes -- and often their glowsticks -- to Klaxons' already-legendary gigs.
"People have just been up for losing it," says Taylor, "and that's what this is about for us: that element of euphoria."
Bassist Jamie Reynolds echoes his band mate. "For the past several years, seeing gigs has mostly been about standing back, in awe, of whoever's on stage. Just standing there, admiring. We've tried to change that, to take the emphasis off us. It's about the audience," he continues. "They should always be enjoying themselves."
But, so far, Klaxons aren't sure U.S. audiences are up for it in the same way as their European counterparts. While "Myths" debuted in January at No. 2 on the U.K. charts and the band has become press darlings both at home and abroad, previous U.S. gigs have been "awful," says Taylor. "People just didn't move."
Part of the problem, offers the band's manager, Tony Beard of Big Life Management, may simply be a lack of familiarity. While two singles were released in the U.K. prior to the album's debut, only one single has gone to radio in the U.S., and it's mostly been targeted at college stations. "Universal is holding out on modern rock," says Beard. "They'll start the attack at the end of the current U.S. tour, once the band has built something here, become real here. You don't want to ram it down people's throats."
Though the current tour concentrates predominantly on the East and West coasts, Beard says the group is "committed to putting in the work necessary" to build a following across the U.S. "Doing well in New York isn't enough. It's about doing well in every state."
The group's U.S. tour plans certainly reflect that philosophy.
After the current tour wraps up in April, following an appearance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the band will return during the summer for the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. A five to six week tour will follow in the early fall. The group is planning another U.S. run at the end of the year.
"The thing is, these guys have always wanted this, so they're completely up for it. They're having the time of their lives."
Taylor makes it clear: "We didn't set out to be a part-time pub band. We're making music for people to hear it."