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I Am Kloot - Interview with Jonny Bramwell Part 2

  by Anthony Dhanendran

published: 20 / 7 / 2004

I Am Kloot - Interview with Jonny Bramwell Part 2


In the second part of our interview with acclaimed Manchester group I am Kloot, frontman Jonny Bramwell talks to Anthony Dhanendran about playing Glastonbury and the band's recent collaboration with Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston

PB : The new single – why did you choose to release [album track] 'Proof' and do the video with [Doctor Who-to-be] Christopher Eccleston? JB : I think we’ve actually now decided that it’s not coming out. We didn’t want to do any singles any more, but Christopher Eccleston got in touch – and I’ve never met him – but I’ve seen him in the audience at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire when we played there, and in Manchester, last September. He’s the kind of face that you do kind of clock. He got in touch with us to say he’d like to do something with 'Proof', like an acting experiment. Well, not an acting experiment, but it was just going to be a shot of his head and shoulders, and we liked its simplicity and abstract-ness. So it was more to do with, like, let’s just do something visual with Christopher Eccleston. So as it is, I think it’s out in as much as, if you go to our website or the record company’s website you can download the single and video. But it’s not going to be a single per se. It was just, I wanted to do that with him, and it was great. I like it – bizarrely, it’s getting a lot of stuff on television – not masses, but it’s getting stuff that otherwise we wouldn’t get. Because we’ve done it purely from an enjoyment point of view, and an experimental point of view, and it’s had resounding results. MTV2 are ringing up saying, “We get sent 65 videos a day and this one stood out over the whole week.” Because it is kind of enthralling – in a lot of ways, nothing happens in the video. PB : But it’s not going to be a conventional single. JB : No. I don’t think there’s any point in I am Kloot – at the moment, anyway – trying to do singles. We’ve kind of put stuff out but even then it’s like, it’s got six tracks on it so it’s not eligible. Because we know we’re not the most hyped band in the world, and we know that we’ll probably be number 60 in the chart, and that’s not really what it’s about. PB : Is it a long-term plan to not be a singles band, then ? JB : No. I think that we do stuff as it seems right at the time. I think everything’s in flux, whether it be time, creativity, the motion of things… I can’t predict, but there may be times when we go, “That is a single, and we’re going to release it!” And suddenly out of the blue, we’ll be a band with a single out that’s in the top 40. And then we’ll just kind of jib in there and jib straight out again. And I think that’s the right way to be, otherwise you just spend your whole life trying to be… We’re very insular – very very insular – if you asked me about other bands, I don’t really know what’s going on, and I never have done. And in the same way, with singles and what’s in the chart, I have no idea what’s at number one –not because I think it’s crap, I just have no idea. PB : Is Glastonbury the only festival you’re doing this year? JB : We’ve just done our second European tour – we finished that about two months back. After Glastonbury we’re leaving straight away for Germany, to do two festivals there, on the Saturday and Sunday. Then we’re off to Roskilde – last year we did Benecassim. We’re doing festivals every weekend, somewhere in Europe. And then we’re going to New York for our first gig in America. PB : What do you think the Americans are going to make of you? Is there something very British about I am Kloot? JB : Yeah, there is something, maybe – I wouldn’t say we were quirky. It’s the accent, isn’t it, and it’s not a Manucunian accent, it’s a Lancashire accent. But I think what the Yanks will like about it… It’s easy to underrate ‘em, because their foreign policy’s absolutely crazy. America’, hiwever, bigger than Europe. I can’t imagine us going to Dallas, but if we’re going to New York, or Los Angeles or San Francisco, I think they would like it. I don’t think it’s because we’re quirkily English, I think they’d like the fact that, let’s face it, I’m a great singer, and they’ll get proper tunes. I think that’s what they’ll get from it, which is different from what, maybe, the English will get from it. And the French get from it that this is, kind of, songs about love, but it includes all the dirty shit. The Germans like it because it’s full of schadenfreude and a quasi-intellectual thing. So there is something within Kloot that every different culture could take. Within any group there are going to be people that are into it. And I’m interested in finding out who the fuck they are and how many of them are there! PB : At what point did you realise you were a great singer? JB : It was about two weeks ago! No, only because… I saw a playback of a TV show – I was doing it on my own, and it wasn’t live so they played it back. I don’t listen to our own stuff, and I sat there and I thought, “It isn’t bad, this!” Within yourself, you always think… if you’re writing, as you’re doing it you might be thinking, “Oh, this is crap.” But then you look back a year later and you think, “Fucking hell, I was right on it, then.” But I was surprised by how intense it was. I’ve seen myself before, but I don’t really look at it. In this situation I had to look at it, because they were looking at me for some kind of authority, saying, “Is this right?” I didn’t tell them that, actually, I don’t know, but it sounds fantastic. If I weren’t me and looked at it, I’d be into it. I’d be into me. But you’re got to keep a separation there, obviously. PB : What are the new songs you’re playing tonight? Are they brand new or older songs that you haven’t played before? JB : Well, one of them’s very old. It’s a song called 'I Believe', and I’ve always liked it, but never felt that I could actually sing it with the duality that’s required. I wrote it a long long time ago, I think I wrote it about eight years ago and I think I played it once at a gig on my own. It was almost as if I’d written a song but I wasn’t able as a person to get over what I was trying to get over in it. But I feel like now I can – it’s weird, you can have a song like that, and it just has to hang around until the right time. PB : Do you think that’s the case with your first album – that more people got into the band after the second album because the music had had time to sink in? JB : I have no idea – I get on with what I’m doing. I do know that the first record, after its initial bout of people buying it, is selling the same amount every week now. I can only think, well, we’re not actually doing that. It’s just doing it itself – I love the fact that it has a life of its own. The second LP, I’m not far enough away from it to know what’s going on. If somebody had said to me, six years ago when me and Pete were working in Night and Day, putting gigs on, “Six years from now, you’re going to be travelling the world, and you’re going to be selling 40,000 records,” I would not have believed that, no way. I’d kind of written myself off by then. PB : Does the idea of playing to so many people at Glastonbury faze you or excite you? JB : Both. I get nervous, I’ll get nervous tonight. I want it to be the best it can be, and there are some nights where everything gels together, and some nights it doesn’t. You can’t predict it, and that’s what makes you nervous. I want it to be great, which is why, as I say, I want to take a rest. If you’re doing it every night it rocks your nervous system too much. It’s always a challenge, you’ll always be nervous. For the first time in my life, I want to go home and have a cup of tea and watch telly, whereas previously I’d be like, “Fucking hell, I’m sat here watching telly!” But as soon as you start hankering for it, that’s a sign, isn’t it, that you need to lay off. Apart from some of the stuff coming up – there’s something coming but I don’t know what it is. PB : An afternoon slot at the festival feels just right for your style of music. JB : Yeah, I think it is. We played the New Bands tent last year, us and Goldfrapp! We’ve gigged with them in France quite a bit, and there we were. I was talking to Alison [Goldfrapp], saying, “So, we’re in the New Bands tent.” And she said, “Yeah, and Keith Flint’s on after us!” During the day, I’d prefer to play in a large marquee – it’s still 2,000 people, but we’ll see how it goes. But my job – job, or whatever you want to call it – is to do something compelling. It’s my duty to make you compelled, and it’s a challenge. PB : Thank you

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I Am Kloot - Interview with Jonny Bramwell Part 2

I Am Kloot - Interview with Jonny Bramwell Part 2

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Interview with Jonny Bramwell Part 1 (2004)
I Am Kloot - Interview with Jonny Bramwell Part 1
One of the leading lights of the Manchester music scene, I am Kloot recently played a one-off show in London . In the first of a two part interview frontman Jonny Bramwell speaks to Anthony Dhanendran about his band's hard touring schedule

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