Exclusive: How did John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra inspire jazz collective Max Clouth Clan?
Frankfurt-based jazz collective Max Clouth Clan’s music is largely defined by the influences they have discovered in the Eastern culture. When frontman Max returned to Germany after a three-year stay in India, he looked to form a band to give shape to the compositions he had created here.
“My love for India began after I listened to John McLaughlin’s band, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, which fused electric jazz and rock with Eastern influences. I was so fascinated with the power of Indian sounds, beats, and tones that I spent four years training in classical music under renowned tabla and sitar artiste Nayan Ghosh,” Max tells us.
The band is back for a multi-city tour and is set to perform in Kolkata on December 20. We caught up with them to know more about their plans:
What do you think about Indian listeners?
Our India tour will definitely deepen our influences and bond with jazz in the country, its people and soundscapes. We feel that Indian audiences have unique access to our music because they perceive it in a different way than European crowds.
How would you define your sound?
It is hard to say for us, but people say we play with powerful, sometimes anthemic melodies, cinematic-atmospheric sounds, and striking themes. You’ll find strains of Indian, rock, electronic, and even West Asian music.
"Kamaloka", our album which was released last year, is a term from Sanskrit and comes from ancient Indian culture. It literally translates as ‘place of desire’, where one detaches oneself from the material world. The album aims to take listeners on a road trip giving them the music for an episode movie shot on the roads between Germany and India with European and Indian stylistics, acoustic and electronic facets merging into a personal, yet global sound.
Do you enjoy the global contemporary jazz spectrum as a performer?
Yes, absolutely! People have increasingly become more experimental with what they’re listening to and in turn, are open to new forms of music.
Can you tell us what you're working on next?
As a matter of fact, we are working on our new album which we hope to release in the Fall of 2020, we did the recording for two brand new pieces during an off-day on our Delhi tour.
Can you tell us what's on your playlist right now?
CAN, Kraftwerk, and electronic music - Vitalic, GoGo Penguin, Mötley Crüe, John Roberts, and Sarathy Korwar.