Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Kleptones

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Just for the record, why "The Kleptones", since there's already a band with the same name?

Well, there's actually been two other artistes with that name, & also there was also a record label co-run by Vicki Bennett from People Like Us - not that we knew about any of them when we adopted the name four or five years ago - it started as a side project from something else I was involved in (it was derived from the name of one of the tunes we did), & blossomed from there. We checked the name on a couple of band registers & it came up blank, so we used it.

We were boggled to find the other Kleptones, but nobody seems to be getting us confused (apart from a couple of people on GYBO), so that's cool. In these enlightened, google-enhanced days, we're a lot more careful about checking out names & stuff now.

What are you up to these days?

At the moment, assembling stuff for the next two albums - there's probably going to be a Detroit To J.A. Part Two, & then the one after that, but I'm not saying anything yet - it's far too soon!

So what are the tunes that have been bangin' in your head lately?

Apart from ours? All sorts of stuff as usual - Kaiser Chiefs' album is a blast, looking forward to seeing them next week. Loving "$10" off the M.I.A. album, The Boy Least Likely To album, Aphex's "Analord" singles, the new Out Hud album, Optimo's How To Kill The DJ mix album, the new NIN single (dunno about the album though), Gruff Rhys's album. And Amerie's "1 Thing" - tune of the summer by a mile. Tons of stuff.

Can you list out five of your all-time favourite albums?

I always refuse to answer these - it's bloody impossible. Off the top of the head, then, here's my favourite five classic (almost) forgotten 80's albums:

It's Immaterial - Life's Hard & Then You Die
Thomas Dolby - The Golden Age Of Wireless
Propaganda - A Secret Wish
Wolfgang Press - Birdwood Cage
Dexy's Midnight Runners - Don't Stand Me Down

Bugger, should really include Talk Talk's Spirit Of Eden in there too...see how impossible this is?

When was the first time you bought a record that was utter brilliance? Where did you buy it?

David Bowie's "Space Oddity". It was the first record I bought, from the record department of the Co-op on Dover High Street. I remember being with my Mum & pointing up to the singles rack, going "that one, please!!". "Bohemian Rhapsody" followed soon after, so you could say I was off to a good start...

Which artiste, other than yourself, have you ever wanted to be?

Bill Hicks (not now, obviously).

Can you recall what are some of the most bizarre or embarrassing moments that you have encountered? Give us the juicy details!!!

Most are too disgusting or embarrassing to recall, but the first time I ever mustered up the courage to DJ at a party, someone was so appalled at my ineptitude (or it might have been my choice of tunes) that they flung a huge cut glass ashtray at me that bounced off the deck, just missed my head, then smashed through the window behind me. Even the people throwing the party were pissing themselves laughing. It took quite a few months of courage-building before I tried it again... Some would say I haven't improved much!

What is the most outrageous rumour you've heard that is said about you?

That I'm Norman Cook in disguise.

The Last of The Kleptones:

Last film that gave you the creeps = The original Japanese Ring. Don't watch many creepy films though...

Last encounter with the opposite sex that involved a music album
= A couple of days ago. And yes, it was one of our albums. And no, I'm not saying any more.

Last book or mag you read that gave you wood
= Kembrew McLeod's Freedom Of Expression.

Last concert you went to that was awesome
= Dead Can Dance @ The Forum in London t'other week.

Last mash-up you heard that made you go "Damn! Why didn't I think of that?!!"
= DJ Zebra's "Are You Gonna Be My Motherf**ker". Been playing it out loads - chopped & re-edited it up with more Jet bits, though.

In your opinion, where do you think the whole bootlegging scene is heading?

To hell in a handcart, & no-one's driving. Which is the way we like it.

How about the concept of bootleggin' an entire album? You seem to have mashed-up quite a fair amount of albums yourself. What is the allure of doing an album?

You get to hold people's attention for longer. We like the idea of having a concept, or a thread, to tie things together - it makes it easer to smuggle in opinions & comments, & to get people listening to things they never would have picked out of a download list. Maybe it's also something to do with all the prog rock I was exposed to at an early age too. We want to take people on a journey, maan.

Have you received any legal warnings or praises from the people involved with the albums you booted?

Not directly, no, although Waxy, who was linking to mirrors of A Night At The Hip-Hopera got a cease & desist threat from Disney, who own Queen's catalogue in the States through their Hollywood Records subsidiary. But it faded away quickly, thank zod. Ironic really as we were poking fun at EMI on the album, not realising that they didn't own the Queen catalogue outside of Europe. Doubly ironic given that Z-Trip is signed to Hollywood Records too - no wonder he had such a hard time trying to do his mix album.

Where do you get your inspiration from?


Has the involvement with bootlegging changed the way you listen to music nowadays?

Not really. I've always been a sample-head, so I always listen to everything with the mental scissors primed, just in case there's something worth appropriating. Can't help it.

Let's play word association. We mention a name & you give us your thoughts...

The Heptones = Fatty Fatty.
Dragon Attack = Blessed Brian.
Loo & Placido = 80.75 BPM in the key of A.
Bastard = Motorhead before Motorhead.
Mercury Rev = They hold the sun in their hands.
GYBO = At it's worst, a million monkeys with typewriters. At it's best, a hotbed of inspiration & creativity. Usually, it's a hotbed of a million monkeys.
Acid Pro = A wall on which to throw shit.
MOJO = Mine's working.
Jennifer Aniston = Irrelevant.
Starbucks = Waste of money.

Which genre of music do you consider the most "under-used" in bootlegs? Why?

Ambient. A while ago someone (can't remenber who, sorry) did a few excellent boots that used things like Autechre, Global Communication etc... I thought they were excellent. Maybe we should do some...

What do you remember about the following years:

1984 = Sexcrimes
1987 = Pointy boots
1993 = 101s, 303s & 909s
1997 = Choppin' breaks
2004 = Sorry, short-term memory is totally shot. Who are you again?

What's your favourite Saturday night record?

Queen - "Don't Stop Me Now"

And your Sunday morning one?

David Bowie - "Station To Station"

So what can we expect from The Kleptones in the near future?

See above. And more blogging. And more gigging - Off to the States soon, so we'll see how that goes.

Complete the following sentences:

I describe me as...one of the good guys.

Music changed me by...giving me a medium in which to express myself.

When it comes to vices...I'm your man.

The last time I cried was...Dead Can Dance gig last week. Heartbreakingly beautiful. First time I've cried at a concert since I saw Brian Wilson sing "You Still Believe In Me" for the first time.

My most treasured possession is..."I can't tell you but I know that it's mine..."

The way to heaven is...self-realisation.

If I have any regrets...they don't affect the way I live.

Lastly, I'd like to be remembered as...the best great-great-great-great grandfather that ever lived.

You can check out The Kleptones' website here or visit their "Downloads" page directly here.