When I enter the Camden Barfly (the last remaining one of the chain) Klak Tik are sat around the table laughing and drinking, easy banter, buzzing post soundcheck. I start with the obvious question, ‘so…Slow Club?’
‘I had heard of them’ says Jon (Beyer), ‘and then when we were booked I looked them up…Harry Potter is in their video! (2012’s Beginners) We had to say yes.’ Playing at London’s Proud Gallery alongside Slow Club and Moats, as part of the Good Sex series, the band are in a cheery mood, having just completed a successful soundcheck.
Their unique and intricate music is one of the reasons that, where possible, they fly their own technician with them wherever they go – ‘like travel insurance, but way more important’ says lead everything Søren Bonke. After seeing the show it is clear why the band need a special touch to really allow their sonics to deliver. A fantastical and emotional escapade through physical and emotional landscapes, the music is both meandering and immediate, a flood of instruments and intricacies, the four piece (Søren Bonke, Jonathan Beyer, Matthew Mitchinson and Andy Joseph) have an air that is both organic and well honed.
What Klak Tik do with their combination of folk, alternative rock, orchestral grandeur and experimental melodies is summed up simply on their Facebook page as ‘we make music.’ Very much the vision of lead singer, lead guitarist, and general leader, the Danish multi-instrumentalist Søren, he cites it as his idea of the perfect musical output, ‘or certainly not far from it, and that’s the key achievement of my life.’ It’s a sentiment echoed by Jon, who feels as ‘in the moment and as joyful as I can be playing music’ when playing with Klak Tik.
Born out of Six Day Riot, the alt pop band who Søren and Jonathan were both members of, Soren has started the band and looped in the talent around him, and he still has an air of leadership. Matt quips that ‘it’s got to the point now where Søren lets Jon answer his own questions. We did have to sit down for a briefing session before this interview though.’
Over time of course the band has evolved to be an entity in itself, rather than a leader with followers, and on second album The Servants (out on Safety First) what is often a sparse genre is made rich, lush and intense. This verdant sound is one inspired by rain. Not a fan of rain myself, I inquire as to why such a fascination with precipitation. ‘It’s the hydration element’ explains Søren, ‘the rain basically brings green.’ Influenced by the sound of rain hitting the tent, when you feel safe and separate from it, its rhythmic rapping on the canvas soothing. It’s a sound used to great effect in the show, when I genuinely have to look up to check that the sprinklers have not turned on at points. Far from gimmicky though, the sound of rushing rain is like a fifth instrument, another layer to the multifarious sound from the stage.
Concerned that our conversation of leadership may have sparked rivalries, I comment that surely there never can be a leader of a band – everyone contributes in some way and it is impossible to quantify the value of those contributions. ‘I have a spreadsheet’ throws in Matt. The ensuuing debate about whether energy and hard work is worth the same as the snare beat that makes the song, and the law suits that have argued this is a lively one, and I am aware that the interview needs to wrap up. To wrap up, I mention that there are of course numerous studies that claim to have discovered the formula for a perfect pop song.
‘Yeah, I don’t have that book.’ says Søren.
Klak Tik’s album The Servants is out now on Safety First Records, and the launch party takes place on April 16th at London’s Sebright Arms. You should go.