Claptone Talks History, Dream Collabs, ‘Charmer’ + More [Exclusive Interview]
If you don’t know Claptone yet, then you are not alone. Even though many people have heard of him, no one truly knows who or what he is. The only certainty however, is the captivating music he makes. We were able to interview the mysterious producer to discuss his recent album Charmer, his thoughts on ‘genres,’ and much more in this exclusive interview.
MUSIC + INTERVIEW:
1) What is the history of Claptone and what is the meaning behind the name?
It feels as if I’m around since hundreds of years, but there’s not much I know about the world. The only thing I know for sure is that there is no certainty. I can only assume that I am. But am I a human being, do I really feel or am I just in your mind, a mystique figure you create, a shadow you fill with life when listening and dancing to my music? To explain the origin of his name, the being dressed in black, wearing white gloves and a golden Venetian mask claps his hands and you hear a sound.
2) What has been your favorite show to date? What’s the craziest party you’ve ever been to?
Our whole planet is beautiful and the distinctive difference between events, clubs, crowds and places is the reason of this beauty. I don’t prefer one to another I enjoy the differences. The advice I can give everyone reading this is: Go places, travel, no matter where, because the cultural differences not even within the club context you will experience will change the view onto your own culture and maybe upon your life.
3) What are the Top 5 songs on your iPod/that you listen to everyday? What is your favorite all time song?
I love variation so there are no songs I listen to every day. That would be a waste of time as there is so much good music out there. Whenever I find the time I listen to new Promos or I pick a record from my extensive vinyl collection and listen to it. It can be anything from Adrian Sherwood to Portishead, The Doors to Jay-Z, The Sisters Of Mercy to Popol Vu or from Friendly Fires to Der Plan.
4) How is the EDM scene in Germany vs USA?
In Germany you don’t have an EDM scene at all. In fact the term EDM is used to discredit music in most parts of Europe. What we do have is different scenes of Techno, House, Deep House and other electronic genres. They would not want to be filed under EDM though.
5) Who/what inspires you?
Life inspires me.
6) If you could collab with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
I love music so there are too many to mention all of my favorite singers. But Jim Morisson, Peter Gabriel, Kurt Cobain, Lana Del Rey, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Kate Bush, Sting and Dave Gahan would be amongst them.
7) What was the inspiration behind your upcoming album’s name ‘Charmer?’
To different people at different times the music on ‘Charmer‘ has a different but charming effect. I like the connotations of that word, which are positive overall, but there is a slightly darker almost dangerous deeper end to it. For some it’s just a nice soundtrack to whatever they’re doing, for others it feels really good and touches their souls. And there’s those who fall under it’s spell completely they dance to my beats like the snake to the flute of the snake charmer. But fear me not I mean well. Claptone is about bringing people together through music on an emotional level and there’s no harm in that.
8) Do you have a favorite song off the album?
For me this is an album that’s best when you listen to it in one go. All these songs are favorites of mine even though I have to admit that one day I like ‘Leave A Light On‘ the other day ‘Party Girl‘, one day ‘Ghost‘ the other day ‘The Only Thing‘. All in all, the entire album for me is the strongest when listened to in one go.
9) What is the average day for Claptone?
Every day is different and that’s the beauty of my life even in it’s saddest moments
10) As many artists nowadays are branching out into many different subgenres, what are your plans regarding genre expanding?
I don’t think in genres at all. Sound as far as I can recall has always attracted me even in it’s most crucial form. The breaking of waves, the singing of birds, the whispering of the wind. All that is my musical background. What we now call popular music is not such an old phenomenon when you think about it. Elvis, the Beatles, the Stones, it all happened after WW II. But I never neglected any music, I try to stay open minded towards new developments and I integrate those songs into my life that speak to me. I have always welcomed sonic revolutions. In fact these inspire me more than anything. This attitude allowed me to be touched by very different music. The Doors, Kraftwerk, Queen, Devo, Depeche Mode, Public Enemy, Nirvana, Kind Tubby, the Wu-Tang Clan, Portishead, the Strokes or Radiohead. No matter if it’s Soul, Disco, 80s Funk, Hip Hop, Dub, Chicago House or Detroit Techno I was always involved in musical environments and I will continue to be until I die.
11) How do you feel about the growth of EDM? Where do you see it going?
To me music is always evolving hence growing no matter if it’s Hip Hop, Rock or Dance music. But you are right there is more output than ever and we can call ourselves lucky to chose from all these songs and tracks.
12) What are your future plans? EP/Album? Etc?
I have a never ending album tour ahead of me.
13) If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I don’t need a super power. My everyday magic tricks are more than sufficient