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Interview with Klone at Hellfest Open Air 2019

Klone is a gold nugget, made from rock and (post) metal, and quite unknown outside of France. The band is about to release its 8th album, “Le grand voyage” on September 20th, 2019 on K-Scope (Anathema, Porcupine Tree, Katatonia, The Pineapple Thief , Steven Wilson, Ulver, TesseracT, …). Carried by Yann’s sensitive voice and Guillaume and Aldrick’s flowing guitars, Klone’s went back to electric shows on the stage of the famous Hellfest Open Air festival, after an acoustic album and a very intimate tour.

We had the opportunity to meet and discuss with Guillaume and Aldrick, both guitarists of the band, about their comeback on stage and the release of “Le grand voyage”, after their magnificent concert on the Mainstage.
Hellfest 2019 - KLONE

How was it to do your “electric show” come back, especially on the Mainstage of Hellfest, after an acoustic album and tour?

It was great and exciting experience to play on this huge stage! It was the 4th show after the end of the acoustic tour, right after Complexity Festival in the Netherlands, Outbreak Metal Fest in France and Vacuum Fest in Germany.

We had to fit to this big stage. Feedbacks have been very positive on our show, even regarding the sound despite the wind. We also had to find out how to propose a dynamic set, with our long title formats and only 30 minutes of time.
The feedback from the crowd was really overwhelming, as for the rest of the bands for this special day “frenchy” line-up on the Mainstage 2, with bands like Lofofora, Mass Hysteria, Dagoba or Gojira. It’s quite different from playing on bar stools!

The acoustic tour lasted more or less 2 years, with more than 80 shows. This allowed us to reach a new audience. Strangely, death-hungry metalheads who did not dig our electric albums really liked the acoustic album, but my grandmother prefers Klone’s electric ones. Nevermind …

Your new album (the 8th) “Le grand Voyage” will be released on September 20th on K-Scope. Can you tell us more? How was its composition, with your schedule taken by the acoustic tour.

Tracks were written for a while and the album got recorded, mixed and mastered in a year. We did this in parallel of the acoustic tour, in order to prepare the release in the best possible conditions. There were a lot of things to plan for this release: the departure from Pelagic Records which was quite heavy to handle, the shooting of the music video for the single,… We also wanted to coordinate the announcement of the release and the broadcast of the music video with the Hellfest show.

This is also the first time we released a music video before the release of an album. All the stars were aligned. Besides, we no longer make decisions without consulting an astrologer now!

A new music video / short movie for the title “Yonder” was released just before your concert at Hellfest Open Air. Where was it shot and why did you chose of this track?

This is the opening song for the album. We have often done the same on previous albums, with Rocket Smoke for example. The title is very representative of the album and what Klone is.

The title is 8 minutes long and out of the single format standard. It’s almost a short movie. This allows us to set an atmosphere, and we find the tempo and the same kind of atmosphere as the last title of “Here comes the sun”, or the previous album. There is continuity also in the lyrics. It’s a way to make the link between the 2 records. The video was shot in Spain in the Bardenas desert by Arthur Jarry.

Klone’s core is  Guillaume, Yann and Aldrick and it’s also the line-up for acoustic concerts, but there are more people on stage for your regular shows. It’s a desire on your part?

We kept the 3 most beautiful guys for the pictures! (laughs)

We are often asked questions about this: “Why is not Florent Marcadet (Carpenter Brut, Hacride, Step in Fluid, …) credited on drums ?” but for this album, the drums were performed in studio by Morgan Berthet (Myrath, …). This is mostly due to the schedules of each of us. The new line-up will be official in September with the album release.

You had a busy day this Friday, June 21th, with your show on the Mainstage, then a second show the same evening in Poitiers, and even a third concert for Guillaume, with Polar Moon.

It was such a marathon. Every show went well. We also played on another festival the next day. Everything happened very quickly at Hellfest, after our get-in: setting on stage, sound check, show, load the van, and than returning to Poitiers for the evening show.
We have a little back pain and we did not think to take advantage of the artist’s backstage massage stand!  (laughts)

You are relatively all active from an artistic point of view. Can you tell us about your other projects?

Guillaume (guitar): I also play in two poppier projects: Polar Moon and Cloud Cuckoo Land. One focus on dreamlike atmospheres and the other is more in an electro-pop and folk vein. Cloud Cuckoo Land’s album was released last year and we toured with Klone. Polar Moon is more recent and is taking its first steps with some shows and an EP, with already a good feedback from the press and the audience.

Aldrick (guitar): I play in Step in Fluid, which has just released his second album and we’ve started playing some shows, after a 9 year break ! The album is named “Back in Business”. We propose an extremely open fusion between metal, rock, jazz, world music, hiphop, …

What about Yann (vocals) ? Any projects?

Yes, a big one! In a month, he will be a dad! Maybe he will make his baby sing and become his producer, then make a lot of money! (general laughter). So we’ll have a break in July to allow him to prepare for the arrival of his child, and see how it fits with the band’s schedule.

Thanks to Guillaume, Aldrick, Pat and the Hellfest Press team for making this interview possible.

About Seb Tarridec

I've been involved in bands since the early 2000's and have been releasing records and touring since then, as bass player in instrumental Post-Metal band The Lumberjack Feedback. I'm working for more than fifteen years in graphic design, artwork & merch industry and as also a solid background as concert promoter, sound guy and stage manager.