The Complex Mind of Dan Klein: Vismets (2008)

danyHere’s a reminder for your diaries. Check out the schedule for Wembley Stadium’s summer concerts in 2013. If Dan Klein has his way, The Vismets will be rocking the UK’s largest venue with their psychedelic brand of electro-rock in the grandiose culmination of the Brussels trio’s five-year plan. “It’s a big target and an arrogant statement but if you don’t want that level for your band, then what’s the point?” Considering The Vismets have only been around for eight months, have only four recorded tracks available to fans and are currently unsigned to any label, one could be excused for dismissing this quote from the band’s singer and leader as typically naïve wannabe rock bluster. But spend any time in his company and it becomes obvious that Klein is an old musical soul in a 28-year old’s body and has been a rock star in the making since the age of six. Such lofty pretensions, one feels, have been given a lot of thought and that the band’s current tag of Brussels’ bright young hopes has not been bestowed lightly.

Klein began putting together a master plan for world domination in a Paris loft two years ago while studying drama in the French capital. After turning his back on acting, he joined his brother Anthony’s band, Talkshop, as a guitarist and tasted fleeting fame after the band won the 2006 Verdur Rock talent competition. While that experiment failed to ride the wave that success created due to artistic differences, Klein had seen the seeds of potential stardom sewn and vowed to carry on with his music. “Here I was, back from Paris after five years of building something, and suddenly I had nothing. But I had started the Vismets project on MySpace with some demos before Talkshop so I thought, hey, let’s do this now.”

After a six-month search for band members, the Vismets came out of the virtual world into reality with Klein as guitarist and vocalist, his brother on guitar and keyboards and drummer Nicolas Collaer completing the three-piece. It was a difficult birth. “At the start, it wasn’t good,” Klein says. “I wanted the rock’n’roll life, and I was living the rock’n’roll life…but there wasn’t a lot of music happening…” That all changed when a local promoter heard some of the Vismets’ demos and offered to represent them. “I got a call from Bernard (Moisse at Progress Booking) and he said, you have a gig in six weeks. I thought it was too soon and said no.” After a rapid re-think, the band got their act together and in just over a month, the Vismets were celebrating a triumphant debut gig as support to fellow Brussels band Montevideo at Le Botanique.

Since that show in October last year, the clamour for Vismets at home and abroad has increased with a burgeoning following in France swelling the numbers of the faithful in Belgium. “We call it a buzz,” says Klein. “We have a relatively small CV of live shows behind us but word travels fast. It’s down to communication as much as anything else. People like what they see and say so.”

Vismets have just finished an extensive three-band club tour of Belgium and are preparing for a busy schedule in June before a massive home town gig as part of the La Nuit du Soir line-up at Cirque Royale in September which should see the band’s buzz increase further. In between these shows, there is the small matter of finishing the songs which will form the debut album. It should be an eclectic selection. Equal parts raging egoist, vulnerable artist and control freak, Klein channels the spirits of like-minded mavericks such as Syd Barrett, Jim Morrison and Brian Wilson into his songs and adds his own contemporary twist, something he calls a baroque electro-rock frenzy. “You have to make the music of your time,” he says. “Artists are like historians, and our music should say something about the era we live in.”

Time will tell if the Vismets succeed in capturing the zeitgeist and or indeed if they reach the end of their five-year plan as stadium rock gods. But for now, rest assured that there is something special brewing in Brussels and in the complex mind of Dan Klein.

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