top of page

Beginning in the early 90's in Melbourne Australia, James Klaic's love affair with music blossomed at a young age. Starting out with the harmonica, which would be blown as passionately and as loudly as possible along to his fathers strumming on the guitar, an appreciation for the deep joy that expression through music can bring was fostered early in life (and, of course, a healthy appreciation for the hilarious winces produced at the shriek of a shrill harmonica). 

As the years progressed bands were formed and music was made (or at least attempted). Beginning with the 'Flowers of Romance' in 2005 (a name chosen out of reverence for Sid Vicious), what most would call noise echoed into the wee hours of the morning, much to many a neighbours chagrin. This particularly obscene outfit was comprised of Klaic on vocals and guitar, along with Daniel Hook on bass, Luke Hurst on guitar and John Luc on drums. As so often happens in the early teen years, music takes on a far more prominent role in life and holds a greater weight of meaning than it did in early childhood. Falling in love with the rebellion of acts such as 'The Sex Pistols,' safety pins began to adorn school blazers, and marks gradually slipped in favour of time spent ensuring that chords rang out ever more clearly and articulately. A second group, 'The Hard Punchers' was formed (christened after a rather aptly named exceedingly punchy bass). Along with bassist Daniel Hutsby and drummer Emmanuel Cuschieri, the punk rock began to gain some semblance of melody, emerging from the unceremonious clatter of the garage den.

Shenanigans ensued with the debauchery that was 'The Red Eye Fridays'; Klaic now being joined once again by John Luc on guitar, Patrick Kiehne on drums, and Scott Joustra on bass (with drums later being taken on by former bandmate Emmanuel Cuschieri). Copious amounts of caffeine was consumed, energy drink after energy drink, leaving a sticky residue across rehearsal spaces from amp knobs to microphone stands (with some claiming it was in fact this very residue that imparted a 'mojo' of sorts to the almost blinding glamour that was the Red Eye Fridays).

 

As musicianship developed, so did the scope of taste in music. Folk and acoustic singer/songwriter musicians came to capture Klaic's heart and mind. Francis Dunnery, Del Amitri, The Goo Goo Dolls, Bob Dylan, Paul Kelly and others, all enraptured him with their purity of expression and the force of their use of words and melody. Songwriting became a focus, and so the direction of the music also took a turn. This was the era of 'Spiritual Coffee' and 'Made in China.' A trip to India heavily influenced the music at this point, inspiring tunes such as 'Purple Guru' (a song born of a particulary insightful [even eerily so] purple turbaned stranger encountered by chance on the streets of New Delhi) and 'Velvet Buddha'. At this stage Klaic was once again joined by the now serial accomplices (no longer able to plead ignorance, sadly) Daniel Hutsby and Emmanuel Cuschieri. 

In the same period, Klaic played extensively with 'The Nightfillers', a group formed by his father, John Klaic. Klaic was dubbed 'Mr Cool' for his apparent utter lack of enthusiasm on stage; yet despite this embarrassing charade, there was a reliably provided fat drone of bass guitar with which The Nightfillers were able to groove too. As well as playing bass, Klaic performed lead acoustic guitar, his fingers elegantly dancing around the fretboard, bewitching peoples ears with the soft sweet sound of silky steel. The Nightfillers debut album, '53rd and 3rd' was released to much acclaim in 2008, receiving notable airplay with the singles 'It's Over Now' and 'We Don't Know What The World Can Take,' with the band playing shows throughout Melbourne and surrounds. Several videos were made, wherein Klaic's grubby fingernails can be spied gliding over the stark contrast of a maple fretboard (he never did live that down, oh why did he not cut his nails?).

Along with writing, recording, and playing original music, teaching has been an integral part of Klaic's musical career. How he convinces his students to tolerate his manic eccentricity, sadly, is a secret we may never uncover. In any case teaching has provided Klaic a deeply rewarding avenue though which to share the joy of musical expression with others, and, he hopes, has fostered a love of music in those he teaches in equal measure. Klaic continues to teach a large number of Melbourne based students through his music school in Doncaster to this day (www.doncastermusic.com.au). 

In this next stage of his musical journey, Klaic embarks solo. Throughout the last few years a collection of songs has been amassed, 10 of which have been chosen for the debut solo album, 'Sweet Credulity.' This particular collection of songs represents a personal transformation of sorts, dealing with themes of love, grief, the loss of faith, and the discovery of meaning throughout (there is a fear that here we venture into the realm of garishness. It is difficult to talk of the meaning of songs that carry such personal weight without sounding so; therefore we leave the description as such).

'Sweet Credulity' is due for release in November 2023. Klaic hopes you may find some modicum of pleasure, or at least perhaps amusement, in listening to his ramblings and his tinkerings on the mandolin.

Adieu.

bottom of page