Rising house DJ Claptone reveals new album will sound out of 'left field' different

William Laws, AOL.com

A masked DJ with a secret identity -- who better to host a Halloween bash than producer and DJ Claptone? He dons a golden, slightly creepy Venetian mask during his performances and even though his popularity has grown in recent years, his identity remains unknown. 

Claptone took his Masquerade event series to Los Angeles Oct. 28 and headlined Minimal Effort’s Halloween party, where he laid down one house hit after another. Clad in a giant plague doctor-like mask towering over the indoor stage, Claptone didn't stand out much in the sea of his fans adorned in costumes -- which is just the way he likes it.

AOL chatted with Claptone about Masquerade and his next album following his 2015 debut LP Charmer.

AOL: Last fall you released the Masquerade mixes, one each for day and night parties. Do you imagine a Masquerade-themed album with original songs could be a natural follow up?

Claptone: I’ve been working on a new album that’s going to be dropping next year, and there’s a new single coming out soon. But this album doesn’t have anything to do with Masquerade. It’s more of a song-based album like Charmer was. Then after that, there will probably be another Masquerade mix that’s more club-themed and focused on the music that’s played at Masquerade events. I want to mix it up.

AOL: So the next album is going to take on a totally different tone than club music?

Claptone: Exactly, it'll be more like a left-field indie pop album, with a lot of features from interesting people. Not club focused at all actually -- even compared to Charmer, it’s far further from the club than Claptone has ever been. I didn’t want to put out an album full of club tracks, because I don’t think it reflects what the format of an album stands for.

AOL: Let’s talk about where you draw inspiration for the songs on that upcoming album. You’ve commented on capitalism in the past through the song “Puppet Theatre” on Charmer, and I’ve seen you speak out against nationalism in interviews. Have you been motivated to become more outspoken on your next release as nationalism surges around the world, or do you want to give people an escape from all that?

Claptone: If people ask me, I tell them what I think. It’s interesting you mention that, though. The new album is probably more of a retreat or escape from all that. The new album is quite romantic, actually, and quite escapist in a natural way. It’s not political at all. You might think [I thought] that would be more important than ever, but it turned out to be the opposite [during the songwriting process]. I’m still a very political person, but what happened in the last year didn’t trigger exactly what I thought it might be, musically or lyrically. It just turned out to be a totally naïve and romantic album.

This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

What to Read Next