The mysterious Claptone still remains a mythical, little known figure who slips in and out of the shadows, leaving in his wake lasting musical experiences. Since introducing himself to the world in 2012 he has continued to remain the elusive character he was when hatched, all the while pushing forward his musical knowledge to all corners of the globe with appearances far and wide.

On top of playing upward of 260 sets each year, Claptone went on to launch his Masquerade parties to extreme success. The immersive and otherworldly The Masquerade Events have been everywhere, from Amnesia Ibiza to Webster Hall in NYC. The brand touches down in Los Angeles for the first time this upcoming October 28th, hosting an entire stage at Minimal Effort: All Hallow’s Eve.

We caught up with Claptone ahead of the gig to discuss the history behind his quintessential mask.

We’re excited to have you in LA for Minimal Effort during Halloween weekend this year! Is Halloween celebrated much home?

Halloween has become very popular over the last decade. It’s still not near as popular as it is in North America. But you know how it is, people love to dress up and people welcome almost every reason to throw or visit a good party.

Do you remember the first time you dressed up for Halloween? What did you wear?

I think I was wearing black with white gloves and a golden mask …

The Claptone mask is pretty iconic, now both in the music industry and of course outside, due to its rich history. What is the meaning behind it for you?

To me it has no fixed meaning, I love that it’s open for interpretation and i tried to interpret it myself over and over again as it’s part of my personality, one of my many faces. It being Venetian for me hints at the rich history and culture we all share and of course at the masquerade balls we hold since centuries. A social tradition which allows us to explore our identity and to fathom our freedom as individuals in performative play. One aspect of it is being able to question authorities and hierarchies, structures of self-sustaining power, question the ones we kneel down before. The beak with its birdlike shape is giving me access to perform beyond human abilities. At the same time it ridicules ‘pop idols’ who think they are more than just human and love to run around present their tail feathers. The resemblance to a plague doctors mask is not by accident either. You are welcome to perceive me as some kind of sonic plague doctor.

Why did you choose THAT mask and not another?

The mask was given to me so who am I to turn down a present like this?

What is the meaning, if any, behind the golden color of the mask?

Gold for me reflects the treasure that I found in music. It simultaneously ridicules the greed and materialism of your average “rock star” or “hip-hop hero.”

Can you recollect where your love and/or appreciation for masks began?

I learned to love masks over decades if nor centuries, it’s been a slow growing love and I can’t quite say when it started I’m afraid.

Do you have any favorite masked superheroes?

I don’t think or in fact I know Batman is not fond of Superman.

What’s your take on “masked” superheroes where the mask doesn’t really hide who they are yet no one recognizes them? Seems pointless no?

Probably, I don’t even understand the question.

Do you have any pre-set rituals before the mask comes on and can’t be taken off for a few hours?

I never asked myself that question. The question is more if I have rituals before starting to play and the answer might be ‘I take a deep breath’

You’re bringing the Masquerade to LA for the first time. Can you talk us through the concept of this party?

May I quote from the event info that someone I paid for has written after – which is purely my guess – he or she must have had a joint of two: “What if by engaging our imagination and opening our minds we could unlock the door to a world of wonders? Put on your mask and be part of this freak circus. Find your happy place where the craziest ideas and the grandest dreams lie waiting, a place where wonders abound for those who trust their imagination. In order to glimpse the marvels that lie just below the surface, just close our eyes, listen and dance. Lose yourself in a sonic realm conducted by some of the scenes best DJs and of course the masked man himself.” Sometime I wonder if I should… but then… Well people love that concept.

What makes it different than a regular Claptone show?

I curate the whole musical line up, so I have the pleasure to present the music I like to you all night long, lots of times playing an extended set myself. On top of that I bring my stage design, performers and other surprises to make this an immersive experience for my beloved guests. The Masquerades I did this year and the guests I was able to invite were just mindblowing. I expect nothing less for LA.

Should people dress up, wear masks or try to stick to a certain theme for this one?

Of course people should and will dress up, it’s Halloween. I personally am a big fan of old school Venetian style outfits with that certain edge, but everybody should use this occasion to dress up however they want. Apart from the obvious scary Halloween theme, I saw many people just trying things out, choosing outfits which reflect how you want to be seen and perceived. Basically you are welcome to enjoy the freedom of choice.

Looking forward to having you!

So do I!

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