I spoke with Guillaume Bernard, from KLONE, about the upcoming release of the new album, 'Le Grand Voyage'. Cool album. Hopefully we'll see them tour Australia again soon. Check it all out below.
If you'd prefer to read the interview, click here.
In recent years, French atmospheric rockers Klone have built their name on making music that’s as deeply introspective as it is sonically powerful. Le Grand Voyage, the band’s first release for UK post-progressive specialists Kscope, is an album brimming with that sense of searching and self-discovery, its 10 tracks living up to its name in unabashed no-stone-unturned existential exploration.
“Our music allows the listener to travel and ask, ‘What is the spirit? What is the matter?’ and those kinds of questions,” says guitarist Guillaume Bernard. “The title refers to the wandering of the mind. It all came our singer [Yann Ligner] who came up with something in English like ‘The Great Journey’. We all liked the meaning but weren’t sure how it sounded. Eventually we realised it would be easy enough for people to translate and understand in our native tongue.”
Much of the inspiration on forthcoming singles “Breach”, “Keystone” and “Hidden Passenger” came from pondering the great philosophies of life, those eternal unanswered questions like who we are, where we are going and, ultimately, what happens next. It was the uncertainty and confusion surrounding mortality, the notion that something or nothing awaits us, which felt like an unlimited creative playground for the French art-rockers.
“Me and Yann were watching documentaries about near death experiences,” continues the Klone guitarist. “We’re no specialists on the subject, but we found it exciting to think about. Our music is really connected to universe. We used a lot of reverb, almost as if we were to touch everything in space… we wanted our music to resonate in the cosmos!”
What came out the other end was bold in sonic ambition, twisting dark guitars and electronic ambience into a modern masterpiece that feels excitingly new, yet in many ways feels like a contemporary take on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. Now is an exciting time for progressive music, says Guillaume, because audiences are open-minded. “We don’t have to respect any particular rules when making this music.”
Lead single Yonder, which also serves as the opening track, bridges the gap between this latest opus and 2015 studio full-length Here Comes The Sun. Mixed by Francis Castes at the Sainte Marthe studio in Paris, Guillaume describes the music as a “natural and logical continuation of the song The Last Experience which concluded our previous album.”
“YONDER tells the story of a quest for peace, to an unknown place, far from everything but which seems familiar. A dreamlike journey between the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. YONDER introduces the album in a progressive way with a heavy and powerful atmosphere, and a massive production. The song opens "Le Grand Voyage" with aplomb, naturally following in the footsteps of Here Comes The Sun. Based on an idea by Yann Ligner, we worked on the video with Arthur Jarry. In order to enjoy the wide-open spaces and for the needs of the clip, we went to shoot in the Bardenas desert in Spain”
Having racked up a lot of interest on home soil after previous albums Here Comes The Sun and Unplugged, Klone are now looking to focus on and extend their international operations. They’ve performed in the UK with cult grunge heroes King’s X and French metal titans Gojira, toured with Devin Townsend and landed supports for Helmet, Orphaned Land and Anneke Van Giersbergen. They cite new labelmates Anathema as one of their biggest influences and right at the top of the list of bands they’d hope to tour with…
“Sometimes rock music has no soul,” explains Guillaume. “That’s why bands like Anathema are so important – they can go deep enough to touch their audience. We try to have the same sincerity of our music. I think you have to be reaching for something higher, possessed by something stronger and deeper. …”
Higher. Stronger. Deeper. When you hear the music, it all makes perfect sense.
Le Grand Voyage will be released on CD, LP and digitally.
Digtal pre-orders receive “Yonder” as an instant download.
Pre-order by clicking the album cover below.
Metalhead who hates bad parking.