Yves Klein Blue

Yves Klein Blue

 Brisbane, Queensland, AUS
BandRockPop

I have been telling people that are interested that it’s kind of like The Clash and The Band combined. We’ve drawn from the complete anthology of British music in the 70s and 80s and American music from the 60s and 70s. Any style will do, we love and play it all.

Biography

Everyone searches for their place, but along the way it’s easy to forget that the real essence of living is to engage in it, to not only experience it but embrace the chaos and uncertainty and elation and pain and everything in between. As Jack Kerouac so poignantly and simply put it, it’s the ragged and ecstatic joy of pure being. It’s this desire to experience and live all life has to offer that so brilliantly pervades Brisbane’s Yves Klein Blue debut album, fittingly called “Ragged & Ecstatic”.
“That summed up the whole experience; everything that’s on the album is about being alive and finding out about the world and your place in it,” frontman Michael Tomlinson explains. “It was the dilemma taking up a lot of my thoughts during the past couple of years: What is this place and where do I fit in? What do I have to do? And the highs and the lows – that’s what life is.”
The past couple of years have seen Yves Klein Blue (“Eve Kline Blue”) walk a path of highs. From the moment schoolmates Tomlinson and guitarist Charles Sale bonded over a love of music and realised their aspirations stretched far beyond their jam room, their path was set. Adding drummer Chris Banham and bassist Sean Cook, the quartet quickly and organically crafted their own sound that swam against the tide of the music scene around them. And with their 2008 debut EP “Draw Attention To Themselves” and single ‘Polka’ leading the way, the band’s skewed and playful pop hooks, refreshing rhythms and Tomlinson’s way with words, Yves Klein Blue sounded fresh but timeless, classicism mixed with youthful vigour. Incredibly, the four were barely out of their teens.
“We all like certain styles of music, but it’s impossible to be everything to everyone,” says Sale. “As difficult as it may be to have a universal-reaching appeal, we want as many people to appreciate, or at least respond, to our music. We try to make music that more people want to enjoy. And you might not want to take a risk with it, but it creates a good result.”
“We’re a band that’s influenced by not only new music but a lot of great older bands and classic recordings,” Cook says. “And there’s a certain vibe and feeling that wells up when you listen to those records. We talked about making our first record years ago – and I think Michael’s been thinking about his first record since he was an embryo.”
But first they had their own story on the road to write, as they built a reputation for energetic and resonating live performances that showcased their self-belief and talent. Relentless touring at home and abroad set them in good steed for their debut album and, in hindsight, also went a long way to inspiring it.
So with eight months of preparation under their belts, Yves Klein Blue ventured into the industrial wasteland of North Hollywood, piled into in a two-room flat and spent three months at Fairfax Studios pulling to pieces what they’d spent so long assembling. This unexpected and uncertain turn would prove to be masterful – even if it meant sleepless nights for Tomlinson, desperately scribbling new words in the bathroom at 4am, the only space in the flat that could be lit without disturbing the others.
“When we got to the studio we were confident,” Tomlinson says. “Then we tore apart every song we had and started again. That was a month ranging from total elation to total self-loathing.”
Recording with Kevin Augunas (Cold War Kids), Yves Klein Blue learnt fast to objectively view their work. With a less-is-more approach to varied arrangements and an energised live-sounding set-up ensured Tomlinson’s impassioned and witty lyricism came to the fore.
“We went over there wanting to do a live album, but Kevin made us realise the potential of what we could do with the songs,” Banham says. “We had a massive room where there was no reverb and the walls were padded, so you could put an amp in the middle of the space, mic it up, and it’d just capture a natural sound, a live vibe.”
“Kevin was the man that said: ‘Is this good enough?’ That was his challenge,” Tomlinson says. “And the challenge issued was the extra five per cent, which was the difference between what we thought was great and something beyond what we thought we could ever do. The five per cent between good and excellent is so important. So the challenge he issued was a big factor on the record.”
Great is a word that understates “Ragged & Ecstatic”, an album that subtly and cleverly captures the exuberance and experience of life, but in a way that’s as universal as it is personal. The end of the long journey was at Brisbane’s Airlock Studios and then Sydney’s Big Jesus Burger Studios with Scott Horscroft (The Presets, The Panics, Sleepy Jackson), where final touches to the mix were made.
This passion and uncompromising vision also makes “Ragged & Ecstatic” a lot of fun. With an off-the-cuff, energetic and live feel to the set, it veers from the buoyant, bright and swaggering single ‘Getting Wise’ and irresistible ‘M

Lyrics

Getting Wise

Written By: Michael Tomlinson

Oh, you’re steeped in the winters chase
Even before the Tenenbaum has all dried up,
But I’m going to teach to you different this time
I’m awful clever as you almost certainly know.
‘Cos if you want to walk that way,
know that I will meet you there half way or none.
Yes I’m going to teach you different in this life,
There’s more than one way to go through it, don’t go it alone!

There are few who will know where their heart truly lie,
For the rest there’s no hope: they can barely decide!
So a few um and ah so they never ever start!
So if you want my advice you don’t have to ask me twice I’ll tell you darling:

(And then we all say)
We’re getting wise and finding our feet.

Steeped in the winters law, do you realize you ride with dreamers on your high horse?
Well I’m gonna teach you different, of course;
You wouldn’t act so clever if it weren’t for tomorrow.
And you want to walk that way, with all that virtue there’s no hours left in the day!
Oh when all the sweat you break is just paying someone else’s way,
It’s fine to fall in line, if its for your own sake!

Or else run, you could hide, you could see what it’s like,
You’ll soon find it’s no fun to have fun all the time!
Go find God in some form, let his love keep you warm,
It’s entirely your call if he calls you.
But if you would desire in all things to be wise you’ll be none the wiser if you ever get there,
The truth of your idols is most of them died before anybody saw.

Yes there are few who will know where their hearts truly lie,
much less I, I’m not nearly as clever as I’d like.
So what I mean to say is I don’t know what to say!
But listen –

We’re getting wise and finding our feet,
(and then we all say)
If you want to walk that way,
We’re getting wise and finding our feet.
We’re getting wiser we’ll find out one of these days.
So walk.

If you want to walk that way,
We’re getting wise and finding our feet.

Make Up Your Mind

Written By: Michael Tomlinson

A choice is yours, you make it all on your own.
Now you run and hide from those doubts in your mind,
and choose to say only words that aren’t your own:
Yeah you can pass the blame,
But there’s still something wanting…

I don’t know why I try when you never make up your mind!
I don’t know why I try! Will you ever be satisfied?

How selfish to wait! If there was a divine,
why would it waste it’s time and guide our every trial?
Far braver to say “the fault lies not in our stars”,
all that’s good in life,
And there’s still something wanting?!

I don’t know why I try when you never make up your mind!
I don’t know why I try! Will you ever be satisfied?

On your own:
Where you’re home is you build it with all the ones you love -
with all the people you need.
And if you just don’t know where your home is.
Are you sure it’s not here with me?
You say there’s still something wanting!?

I don’t know why I try when you never make up your mind!
I don’t know why I try! will you ever be satisfied?

Polka

Written By: Michael Tomlinson

Brother hold your head this way,
and bustle to the front of the line;
‘cos if they catch your eyes before you get inside
Well, you’ll never be allowed.”
People got a name for us
‘cos we escape the strain of the days
Oh we stretch at the sides and bend in the middle
But we never ever break.

But if you’re feeling that way now,
Or if you ever feel so inclined -
Skip past the doors of boring forty somethings and rise.
Oh, and if you want to lose your frown,
Or your name or even your face -
Lick up a dream that seemingly sings with whistling neon breath.

“Come and have a drink with us,
A little wine or a nice champagne?”
“Oh thanks that’s nice,” and I would decline,
But at night things seem to change.
People got a name for us,
‘cos we escape the strain of the days -
Oh we stretch at the sides and bend in our minds
But we’ll never ever change.

And if you’re feeling that way now,
Or if you ever feel so inclined,
Well, kick in the shins of all those fucking whingers and rise.
Oh and if you want to lose your frown,
Or your name or even your face,
Lick up a dream that seemingly sings with whistling neon breath.

Sid was at the gates of dawn,
And Jimmy said ride the snake:
So we bent our spoons and howled at the moon
To find what science replaced.
And it turns out it aint that much…
Though I may have missed it in the haze -
Oh drips in the mind and fills up your eyes
But we’ll never be the same.
(Shhh…)
But if you’re ever coming down,
Or if you ever take too much -
Remember that’s much better than never ever getting enough.
So if your want to lose your frown,
Or your name or even your face,
Lick up a dream that seemingly screams with rushing neon death.

All your spirits gone, and you are barley alive.
You hand me a smoke, though it’s like you hardly notice.
And it’s sad I suppose - When I look into your eyes you say:
“It seems to go this way, no matter what’s at stake,
Oh it seems to go this way with everything I start!”

So if you’re feeling that way now,
Or if you ever feel so inclined -
Skip past the doors of boring forty somethings and rise.
Oh but if you want to loose your frown,
Or your name or even your face -
Lick up a dream that seemingly sings with rushing neon death

Celebrity Death

Written By: Michael Tomlinson

Your baby and wife took a walk on the beach on a Saturday,
by Monday pictures dressed in bold font.
The only thing that inspired you was the everyday,
and that’s the only thing that they didn’t want.
The green light’s your way who does it illuminate?
How many men reside in your face?
And which one got everything you wanted? When all the worlds a stage,
does everything seem worthless and fake?

I’ve seen you live so many lives.

Adopted a guise that put you under these lights, what a cruel design -
that I saw you more than most of my friends.
Now tears roll down cheeks from eyes of suspended disbelief
to watch the special news bulletins.

Saying “I’ve seen you live so many lives,
Oh what’s one more? Why won’t you rise from the grave like you done before?”

‘Cos they only wanted to see if your eyes shine like in the films of you
‘Cos they only want to believe that they knew you well themselves.
Oh but of course they don’t look like that!
That took seven hours of makeup and a special lens cap!

Confidants’ confidence dies. Tongues cluck and tears dry, How are you surprised!?
That nameless sadness lives for all time,
‘cos drinks don’t stay cold and smoke leaves ash like a soul and clouds all the voices of safety.
I thought for a moment maybe I was alone,
just to feel an ounce of regret -
But that didn’t occur once to the lunch ladies, they had a cup of tea and a cigarette.

And they didn’t waste any precious time saying kind things,
The whole appeal is to rely on the face of things.

‘Cos they only wanted to see if your eyes shine like in the films of you
‘cos they only want to believe that they knew you well themselves.
Oh but of course they don’t look like that!
It took seven hours of makeup and a special lens cap!
On some days it hard to remember that,
even for you.
I hope you rest well.

Dinosaur

Written By: Michael Tomlinson

Ejected from the venue at a ¼ to 4,
Oh I swear this time next year it’ll be 1984!
I’d been very busy getting drunk with my friends,
Strung up by my purse strings hung my head in the sand –
You can imagine my surprise to find -

Everybody’s very concerned about the weather,
The front page is on the back of the paper -
And though it seems ridiculous I just don’t think risking it would be very clever!

God only knows if that’s all true,
But you better choose the right thing to do.
Just being young don’t make it cool,
Just playing dumb won’t get us through.

Flicked the switch to dial in a ¼ to 6,
It didn’t tell me lies, in fact it didn’t tell me shit.
The upwardly mobile in a state of confusion,
It seems the more they provide the more bleak the future…
Oh well.

Oh everybody’s very concerned about the weather,
We all prepare to hibernate down at the burger joint -
And though it seems ridiculous I just don’t think risking it would be very clever!

God only knows if that’s all true,
But you better choose the right thing to do.
Just being young don’t make it cool,
Just playing dumb won’t get us through.
The higher the tide the higher the stakes,
The higher the price the more time we waste!
And remember the smirk on your own face,
Saying none of those dinosaurs remain…

Oh! Nostradamus and the Bureau got together,
But none of their predictions have come true, huh?
They it’s fine but there’s no oil in the well -
And that’s a sign that if they’re lying we’ve only fucked ourselves!

Oh what’s the point of trying to make it better,
When they’re no proof anything will improve?
We can’t afford it your right but what’d you want to go on for?
We can’t afford the gas in our cars!

Well God only knows if that’s all true,
But you better choose the right thing to do!
Just being young don’t make it cool
Just playing dumb won’t get us through
The higher the tide the higher the stakes
The higher the price the more time we wait
Just remember the smirk on your own face
Or we’ll be the dinosaurs someday.

About The Future

Written By: Michael Tomlinson

What this generation needs is a war,
but it’s hard to choose a side when you don’t know which is right.
All my friends are frustrated boring or bored.
Yes, they all derrain their minds without a good excuse as to why -
Lusting after yesterdays golden stars,
ah well, maybe that just never happens anymore.

What this generation needs is a score -
because we realize we can all get along but no one is willing to drop their arms.
For our forefathers have made reforms to civil rights and moral law,
but now that fewer are maligned, there’s less pushing us over the line.
Oh, we really aint that far –
but somehow none of that matters anymore.

And the results of all this is we’re rushing on our own
‘cos we aint with the people we look like but we aint part of the whole
we almost understand our world but we’re resting on our laurels
and now my heart is shattered
we can’t even try even when it matters

Oh so please don’t let me go without you my heart never shows without you but lately things have been so distant and I don’t know what I can do to fix it why don’t you love me like you used to why do I worry about the future is it just that how we manage is not by love but force of habit and if only I could be a man and rip down all your dreams and plans and smash in all of your pretty things so the only thing you could see was me for what we’ve done should be a crime we should be locked up so we never see the light for in the darkness we could see how worthless all our lives must be if two lovers like us can drift apart there must be something wrong with our hearts and be something wrong with all of us to never care ‘till things get lost

Why don’t you love me like you used to? Why do I worry about the future?

Blasphemy

Written By: Michael Tomlinson

Oh, I believe in something else –
There’s no name for it in spite of men more clever than I.
Wistful men of scripture wander the earth
‘Cos of their faith they’re born to die,
Or else are not pious…
Seems a long time just to be waiting to live my life! I say –

It’s so much better each time.
I feel like I could die.
I feel like everything’s fine.
It only happens of course,
When I run onto their swords.
I’m never knowing quite why, but I…
I believe in something else.

Oh, I believe in science being a window
We look out of but never back inside.
And I believe that weeks and streets cheat the feet
of anyone that tries to run beside -
But never you mind!
Falling behind is where I found the best of life! I say,

It’s so much better each time.
I feel like I could die.
Oh, I feel like everything’s fine.
It only happens of course,
When I run onto their swords,
I’m never knowing quite why, but I…
Yes, I believe in something else.

(watch me now…)

Children of a different design all march to different drums
But they’re all marching in time!
That’s a funny coincidence; that’s funny don’t you think that they’d realise?
And masses singing songs for a child,
But the melodies wild and they’re all out of time!
Some who sing, well they hardly start –
They sing with half a heart and in doing so they lie.

But I’m not the one to decide, who’s pulling the wool over your eyes;
‘Cos I’ve only lived behind my own eyes,
And if I told you different it’d just be a lie. I say…

Each man believes it’s his right,
To show the others the light -
But a minds’ limit’s a life.
Each in each others exile,
And guiltier than those they try.
Oh it’s no small wonder that I, yes I …

I believe in something else.

Discography

June 2009 - LP "Ragged & Ecstatic'

April 2008 - EP 'Yves Klein Blue Draw Attention To Themselves'

lots of radio play on triple j, 4 singles added over the past year or so.

Polka added ATB to Nova Brisbane and spot rotation on other Novas across the country.

Other indie stations such as RRR, 4ZZZ, FBi support the band. FBi have the album 'packet' on the week of its release.

Set List

Silence is Distance
Dinosaur
Make up your mind
Soldier
Summer Sheets
Digital love
Celebrity Death
Blasphemy
Queeny
Getting Wise

About The Future
Born to Run (Springsteen cover)
Polka