This is the second episode of the partnership between Clubber Confession, Trybe and Fuse Brussels.
This time, we met with the one and only Claptone ahead of his gig in Brussels on the 29th of December. In the meantime, Trybe has been back at Fuse with some special nights, with De Sluwe Vos & Traumer and Boris Brejcha. Next big night scheduled is the one with Joseph Capriati on the 30th of April, make sure to check these events out!
Before getting into Claptone, you can check here the first episode with the interview we had, just a few weeks ago, with Edwin Oosterval (NL – Rejected, Green).
But now… Claptone time…..
You can try to plan an interview, study the artist you are going to have in front of you, read previous pieces about him, checking the latest news and then rely on your experience and knowledge of the scene. This works for almost everyone.
It does become different when you are about to interview a mask, and not just a regular mask.
When you are about to interview Claptone, the game changes. Because you cannot expect regular answers, sometimes the reply is a new questions, other times you are taken into bumpy roads far away from the directions you have carefully planned.
Claptone is of course one of the most acclaimed artist in the electronic music scene, with a personality that exceed traditional borders and barriers, but is also a multi-faced identity, even though the face he shows us is always the same – golden – one.
The conversation that follows is a clear example of what you should expect by Claptone, not just in a discussion, but also from his music.
Expect the unexpected!
First of all, thank you for this opportunity. It is a real pleasure to meet with you.
How is it to play in Brussels? We know you have been here before, and as a dj you have played anywhere in the world from intimate clubs to huge festivals. Still, I am curious to know if playing in a club like Fuse, one of the most iconic venue in the history of techno and electronic music, is in anyway different. Do you feel something special, a special vibe, in a place like this?
Claptone: How could one not feel overjoyed while receiving all the positive energy from the people of Brussels? Every time that I’ve been to town has been better than the last. In Brussels, I try extra hard to present something special and this time will be no exception.
We see you around with this beautiful golden mask, but no one knows who you were before. I guess you started djing and mixing before wearing it, but how was it? Which kind of artist were you before the mask?
Claptone: Before the mask! This is in fact something that I can hardly remember! Oh how its golden forms have adapted perfectly to the contours of my face – I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve been a blacksmith, a chemist and goat farmer. I’ve sailed the seven seas in my trusty canoe and ventured into deep into Mount Etna. Art is beauty and there is beauty in all that this sacred world has to offer.
Last thing about the mask.. It is absolutely a great marketing idea, since I believe it helped you creating a mystery aura around you. However, don’t you think it is also a risk in terms of credibility, especially in certain underground circles?
Claptone: We all play roles, we all wear masks, even more so DJs do. Steve Aoki is the cake thrower, Richie Hawtin the headphone bender, Sven Vaeth the shaman, you have the lad from next door and the drug indulging freak. An of course Daft Punk are Daft Punk, Redshape is Redshape and Claptone is Claptone.
We have seen you pretty busy during the summer in Ibiza, now it’s winter season and you keep playing all around the globe. On the 31st of December you are gonna play in New York, Colombia and then Indonesia, the same day! Do you think this dj lifestyle is sustainable for life? Or maybe you have different plans for the next future?
Claptone: I am totally enamoured by music at the moment, caught in its flowing web of rhythm and melody. I have absolutely no plans to weave from my path as a DJ, however I think I would have made a fine sommelier.
I have read that you prefer not to be confined into electronic music, but you are influenced by “the sound of the universe” instead. You also said you didn’t have a formal musical training before becoming the artist you are today. Can you tell us a bit more about the process that led to Claptone, one of the most successful producer in the scene? Did you have any mentor, any specific musical hero that inspired you? Have you always been into music or maybe you had a revelation moment when you discovered that this was meant to be your life?
Claptone: I’ve learned quite a bit from listening to Michael Jackson records. Although we never had the chance to meet, I feel his energy present whenever I visit the studio. Groove, harmony and vibe – everything that I love about a good song. Going down as one of the best ever, I feel that we have a special, unspoken musical connection.
We are called Clubber Confession, and we have this tradition with all the djs we interview, asking them if they have been clubber before being djs/producers. Have you been a clubber? And do you think it is necessary or helpful in order to be a good dj?
Claptone: I’ve danced many-a-nights away in the ballrooms, halls, clubs and festivals that this world has to offer. Although I firmly believe that one can do whatever they put their mind to, I will be eternally grateful for the hundreds of nights that have turned into mornings, listening to some of my favourite artists.
Anything planned in the next future? Can you give us any anticipation about future releases or projects you are working on?
Claptone: I must water my cacti. Here in my winter-time home of Bangkok, I’ve amassed quite the garden collection. Strange, special and mysterious, they are my favourite plant. Everyone should have a cactus. Besides this, I might release an album next year and a single before that.
Name a club or a festival in the world where you would love to play but didn’t have the chance yet.
Claptone: The Paradise Garage.