Take deep, banging drums, a dark, driving synth bass line, lots of minor keys and you’ll have something that people who have heard Klubknight will find eerily familiar. This electronic duo from the Gold Coast are making waves at local clubs with their dark and distinctive dance tracks. Natalie O’Driscoll caught up with them to find out what they think about the insane year they’ve just had.
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“Two words: hard work”, says Chris Lamaro. “2014 has been really the start of it all so we have nothing to compare it to.”
The start of Klubknight is actually the culmination of years of industry work for both guys, who had both DJed throughout their twenties and were also musicians from back in their high school days. They met on the Gold Coast scene about five years ago and had talked about doing some original production together, but both were too busy with their solo projects at the time.
Along with his solo project Etoile, Chris also found time to promote other artists and venues.
“I had booked Brett for a couple of shows when I was trying to be a cool promoter”, he laughs but Brett doesn’t have the fondest recollection of that experience.
“Like that time you booked me for a DJ set at Cooly and told me that the CDJs were linked but it turns out they weren’t. So I had to scramble to find a second USB to use. Thanks.”
Still, the duo managed to find the time to get together in 2013 and start writing, and haven’t looked back since. When not packing out clubs like Elsewhere until they are bursting at the seams with impatient punters lining up outside, Klubknight have been diligently writing and recording.
I ask them about their writing process, and receive a slightly unusual response.
“Basically one of us will come up with an idea. Then we sit down together add bits and pieces that we feel we need”, says Brett.
“Our studio sessions are usually very silly. By the end of the day we’ve usually created a few made up characters. And we name most of our synth patches and plugins/presets. For example we have an effect processor we call Lenny. He usually helps us out when we’re stuck with a sound. So we invite him to join us for milk and muffins. We love Lenny. He’s from Sweden. We think. Hahaha.”
Imaginary Scandinavian characters obviously work for the pair, whose debut EP From The Whiteboard has been incredibly well received in both the underground club scene and by radio, with tracks from the EP receiving immediate airplay. With influences like LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire and Dillon Francis to name a few, Klubknight’s sound has a highly accessible vibe.
I ask the guys how they feel about live performing vs the recording process.
Chris shakes his head. “I don’t really have a preference. Working in the studio is always fun. Getting sounds right. Finding a synth patch that sounds really good with a particular kick. But playing gigs is sort of like a holiday we can let our hair down and get down to business and meet new people and all that.”
Although DJ sets might seem relatively quirk-free compared to a full live set with many instruments, they are not without their own difficulties. Chris remembers one such occasion.
“One funny time that stands out was when I pressed stop by accident to a full crowd at our Elsewhere show.”
Brett laughs. “That’s right! If anything it made it better, got everyone up and going for our next track, it wasn’t meant to be but it worked well.”
Chris shrugs. “I was really embarrassed at first, but these things happen.”
The boys are very grateful towards all their close friends and the people who have supported them along their journey so far.
“Shout out to Kendall James and Ash Mcdonald for being the first set of ears to hear fresh stuff”, says Chris.
Brett adds ”Rachel Lamaro for basically managing the business side of things. James Raper for mastering all our finished work. And Michael Mckeirnan from Various Artists for helping out with our first tour and publicity.”
Brett’s partner has also been a support for him, but Chris is currently single, to which statement he adds “So… Ladies…” We all laugh.
2015 looks as though it will only get bigger and better for this energetic duo with a follow up to 2014’s From The Whiteboard on the cards.
“We have been working on a follow up EP that we are in the process of finalising now,” says Chris. “It’s almost finished and should be ready for early 2015. It will be a little different to our first. But the concept is the same. Heavy electronic sound.”
The Klubknight boys are excited for the coming year.
“We have a big one coming up on Boxing Day at Essential Intentions in Byron Bay playing alongside some good friends of ours”, says Brett.
“Over the next twelve months we have a few goals we’d like to achieve. It’s going to be busy. But we can’t wait. Big things to come! Watch this space.”