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Klaxons are an English band, from the Midlands. The word 'klaxon' is derived from the Greek verb kraz?, meaning "to shriek", and most commonly refers to air-raid sirens or other warning devices. The core band members hail from the provincial UK towns of Bournemouth (Jamie Reynolds) and Stratford-Upon-Avon (James Righton and Simon Taylor). They are currently signed to Rinse Records, their own branch of Polydor Records in the U.K. They are also signed to Geffen Records in the United States, Modular Records in Australia and Because Music in France (who also release for Jarvis Cocker & Faithless).
The band's debut album Myths of the Near Future was released on January 29, 2007 following the release of single "Golden Skans" on January 22 of the same year. The album was produced by James Ford, of Simian Mobile Disco (who also provided the drums and percussion for the album, on all tracks with the exception of "Atlantis To Interzone" which was done by Steffan Halperin).
Klaxons headlined the NME Indie Rave Tour starting in February 2007. The London date at Hammersmith Palais sold out in two days. They have also had promising early success in Europe, Japan, and Australia selling out tours in November 2006. The band has recently completed their own sell-out tour of America and then continued to do the same on their UK tour throughout May 2007, and are currently trying to figure out how to get Dr. Dre to produce their sophomore album. They return in the summer to play a number of UK and Ireland Festivals, such as Glastonbury, T in the Park, Oxegen and Reading and Leeds
Simon Taylor-Davis attended school in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was taught guitar by James Righton, who was in the year below him at school. He studied Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University and was approached by Jamie Reynolds, the boyfriend of one of his housemates, to form a band.
Jamie Reynolds grew up in Bournemouth and Southampton and was active in several bands from his early teens, most notably the band Thermal. The bands quickly dissolved, however, and he dropped out of school to work in record shops over the next few years, studying philosophy at the same time. He moved to London after he was made redundant, spending his redundancy money on a studio kit in order to record with Simon and James under their early guise of "Klaxons (Not Centaurs)."
James Righton, like Simon, grew up in Stratford-Upon-Avon, working every summer on the river cruise and hire boats in Stratford-upon-Avon. His interest in music was fueled by his musician father. After studying history and politics at Cardiff University, he spent some time in Madrid teaching English, and arrived back in the UK on the invitation of Simon to join the band as they needed another vocalist/instrumentalist. Alongside members of Pull Tiger Tail (whom they had shared a flat with in New Cross) James and Simon had previously been in a band together called 'Hollywood is a Verb' which was very briefly active during the summer of 2004.
The lineup was recently bolstered with the addition of drummer Steffan Halperin (former drummer Finnigan Kidd left to focus on other band, Hatcham Social), who was recruited for live gigs after appearing on the track "Atlantis To Interzone" (the rest of the percussion on Myths of the Near Future was provided by the album's producer James Ford). As of early 2007 Halperin had become a quasi-official fourth member of the band, being listed on the Klaxons MySpace page and present in several interviews. He remains mostly absent from the band's music videos, appearing only in the early video "Atlantis to Interzone" and briefly in the 2007 re-release of "Gravity's Rainbow".
Klaxons' debut single, "Gravity's Rainbow" was released on March 29, 2006 on Angular Records. Only 500 copies were released, and all were printed on a 7" vinyl decorated by the band themselves. The band's second single, "Atlantis to Interzone", was released on June 12 of the same year. It was their first release for new label Merok and led to further coverage in the NME. The song even enjoyed BBC Radio 1 airtime from disk jockey Jo Whiley, who repeatedly, and mistakenly, called the song "Atlantic To Interscope". Zane Lowe also wrongly credited the song as "Atlantis To Interscope.
They released their first EP, Xan Valleys in the UK on October 16, 2006 on Modular Recordings.
In 2006, the band signed to Polydor Records. Their first single for the label, "Magick", was released on October 30 and reached #29 in the UK Top 40 the following week.
In August of that year, Klaxons played at the Reading and Leeds festivals, playing in the Carling tent on each festival site. The Carling tent, at both festivals, is the smallest stage and as a result large numbers of people were forced to watch from outside the tent. Fans sounded "Klaxons!" and cheered loudly between songs, brandishing glowsticks, seemingly giving credit to the "New Rave" (see below) bandwagon label. This term was coined by Angular Records founder Joe Daniel and later used by NME to describe the burgeoning scene.
The first single from their debut album, "Golden Skans", was released on January 22, 2007. It reached #16 in the UK Singles Chart on download sales alone, two weeks before the official release of the CD. It climbed to #14 the next week, eventually peaking at #7 after the CD release. On January 24, Klaxons performed on the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, performing "Golden Skans" and a cover of Justin Timberlake's "My Love", to great acclaim from Jo Whiley.
Their debut album, titled Myths of the Near Future, was released on January 29, 2007. It entered the UK Album Charts at #2, beaten only by Norah Jones's album Not Too Late. The band have recently collaborated with The Chemical Brothers on the track "All Rights Reversed", taken from the duo's new album We Are the Night and have expressed on several occasions an interest in working with Dr. Dre or Snoop Dogg on their follow up album (plans for which have not yet been finalized).