Summer 2004, somewhere in Flanders. Kloot receives me in his home studio, surrounded by keyboards, microphones, mixing tables, about ten guitars, one tape recorder, one fan, a Tribute to Bob Marley poster (featuring KPW), lots of concerts pics, sexy pictures and panties. Kloot is in great shape, wearing long hair and T-shirt, just like Robert Plant.
Doro : How did you met Roger-Marc ?
Kloot : I don't know… I guess it was in some kind of meeting with Brussels bands and musicians. Michel Lambot was here. I knew him before because he had released a single from the Sweeties, and I was making some kind of synthesizers noises on that one. So we talked together… But I started music before the Punk generation.
D : When did you start ?
K : I started with the blues-rock, Led Zeppelin, stuff like that... I was already 22 years old the first time I heard the Ramones, in 1976. So I met Roger-Marc because Michel Lambot asked me if I was playing with some other bands, and I was working on some solo stuff at home, in re-recording, with tapes recorders and synthesizers…

D : You were also into synthesizers?
K : I was into Kraftwerk.
D : You too? Roger-Marc told me once you were mostly into guitars.
K : that's right, but I like all kind of musics, and to me, Kraftwerk was perfect music.

D : Do you appear on the B9 compilation?
K : I do, with Rel Rex. The tune is called Programmed.
D : was it your very first band?
K : It was me, myself and I. Just like Polyphonic Size was Roger-Marc himself. And so we met together there, talked together, and decided to begin to work together.
D : just after B 9 ? from the PS 12", in spring 1981 ? So, you're playing with Polyphonic Size from spring 1981 to summer 1984 ?
K : yes, and our very first gig was The First Belgian Rhythm Box Contest.
D : oh ! Did you record it on tape ?
K : No, but I played 2 times that evening. One time with Psize, and one time with De Minz. A kind of Captain Beefheart band. Very different from Psize.
D : When did you release your first record ?
K : in 1978, with the Misters. A full Lp. Then, from 1980, I began to work on solo cassettes. under the name of Klaus Wagner.

Murder Music, 1982

D : Why didn't PSize give any concert before fall 1982 ?
K : I guess it's because Martine and Roger-Marc were still students. They had to do some training courses… (laughs). So, I was playing with some other bands, but at one point I had to make up my mind. And that's why I quit The Employees.
D : The Employees ? with the Ever Meulen sleeve on the first single ?
K : That's it. We were playing many gigs in Belgium. Three times a week. But with Psize, we could play in other countries, and that was really great.
D : How did things work during the recording sessions ?
K : we used to set up everything before. And then, begin to record it with Jean-Jacques.
D : No improvisation ?
K : No. De Minz was improvisation. Total improvisation! (laughs). I remember Roger-Marc and I, spending hours in the cellars, programming things, with a very little screen… We had to note down everything, making mathematics… (laughs).
D : Do you know what means the title « On the Way to Medora » ?
K : no idea… some mythical place probably. We all had some special language. Creating our own words. For instance, to say " salut" (hello), we used to say « Sal’ !». And to say "comment ca va" (how do you do), we would say "Com’ ?" (laughs).

The Employees, 1981. Sleeve : Ever Meulen.


D : Let's talk about the first album. Seems that there were many sessions before the final recording of the Lp. Very different versions of NBC, King Of Hong Kong…
K : There was always a big difference between live and studio versions. We always had to fight against technology. We could only record on 4 tracks. No sequencer in those days… We had no money to buy one. We used to record bass and percussions on tapes, spending nights and nights programming. And then we went on stage but things weren't really working alright. So I said, we need a real bass guitar, I will play more bass with a real bass guitar, and it will sound more human. And Roger-Marc said, I can play some guitar too. And that's how songs like King Of Hong Kong would become more punk, more agressive.
D : The rhythm tapes you used on stage in 1981/1982 still have an incredible minimalist modern sound that looks pretty much like what is made in some electronic music today.
K : Well, compared with Front 242, we were the human side of that scene. Two girls… some real instruments, real melodies. We could go into another territory.
D : what kind of instruments did you play on stage ?
K : guitar, bass and synthesizers.

D : So, you began to work on the first LP by yourselves, then JJ arrived… How long did it take to record the album ?
K : 2 or 3 weeks. But JJ did a lot of work by himself too. And that was a little… hard for me, because he used to manage everything in the studio. I didn't want to fight against that, 'cause I understood it was a great opportunity for us to work with somebody like JJ. But live on stage, things were different.
D : Your own songs were Happy Couples, Why Do All Those Men, l’Europe. Did you write l’Europe lyrics ?
K : yes, but they were changing all the time. I was improvising, doing in jokes.
D : Did you ever sing in flemish ?
K : no… nobody would have ever understood. Flemish was for picture sleeves. Take a look at the Walking Everywhere cover. The map. All the words are written in flemish.
D : Let's go back to the first LP. JJ was producing, but he was doing much more, because he also sang Je t’Ai Toujours Aimée et Winston & Julia.
K : yes, but you know, now I'm a producer too. In the studio, you've got to find a good compromise. You must feed your own ego, but not too much, because you also have to think : is this gonna be a good album ? Actually, I'm quite sure most people don't know JJ is singing on the record. And don't forget JJ was the Stranglers bass player. He didn't sing most of the Stranglers hits.
KPW in Paris, Les Bains Douches, 1982  

D : Let's talk about the second album. JJ and Roger-Marc went along to record it in England and decided that they will call you when they will need you.
K : Yes... It was a rather difficult situation for Roger-Marc too… Now I've changed, I would not act the same. You know... Roger-Marc and I could really work together pretty well. There was a kind of unity between us. And it was more easy than with JJ because I was living around. JJ had the Stranglers. But when we decided to make the second album, they told me : we will call you is we need you. I've waited for the phone call…
D : Were there already any troubles, quarrels, during the first album recording ?
K : No, never… But there was something wrong between JJ and me. In those days, I didn't really dare to say what I was really thinking. I was a rather introvert guy. I was happy to be there, but I was feeling something didn't work between JJ and me. He was afraid of losing control of the situation, because there are many things he did with PSise first, then with the Stranglers.
D : Which songs are you thinking about ?
K : Not any special song, I'm rather thinking about atmospheres. In Feline, which they did in Brussels. La Folie…
D : What was your first impression when you discovered the Walking Everywhere tapes ?
K : Now, I don't like it very much. But in those days, it sounded rather… special. Not far from the first LP, but softer, more melodic… I think this record is still unfinished. Guitars are missing.

D : did you record any demos before RM et JJ went to London, or did they do everything there ?
K : yes, I think I've got some tapes here… Live sessions…
D : At this point, did you think about leaving the band ?
K : Yes, but I was playing with other bands too. I loved playing with Psize, but I was doing some other stuffs too. For instance, I worked on a Marc Dixon's single, produced by Mirwais (from Taxi-Girl). It's called Vroum Vroum. With a great picture sleeve à la Hergé.
D : when I listened to the 1984 tour live tapes, I didn't find many tracks from the album, and the versions sounded very different.
K : We couldn't play them live. So we had to add some other songs. Siberia, Artist, Femme Fatale… Martine played some bass. Ann played some synthesizer. So I could do more guitars.
D : At this point, don't you think there were 2 different Polyphonic Size ? One in the studio with JJ, the other one live on stage with you ?
K : definitely.
D : There were more sessions after the second album LP :" Do The Hou", for instance, and a fantastic track called "La Plante", with you talking on the phone, just like on the Black K7 (Kloot On The Phone). Were you specialized in telephone jokes ? (laughs).
K : Do the Hou ? no, I don't remember that one… When I left Psize, I didn't want to play with bands anymore. I was tired of this situation when everything must be discussed all the time. I wanted to do everything by myself. So I registered for the Humo Rock Rally contest in 1986, and I got a special prize for "Why Do All Those Men".
D : Were you still in touch with Roger-Marc ?
K : sure.
D : Did you keep on making music ? Didn't you want to start up something else like Roger-Marc did ?
K : Oh no, music is the only thing I'm able to do (laughs)!

Interview recorded in Belgium, 6/8/ 2004. More infos about KPW on his website. Photos : KPW and Roger-Marc archives.