Aliens invade with bluegrass
Future Folk’s Jay Klaitz and Nils D’aulair (pictured) rock the red carpet to open the Gold Coast Film Festival, writes
BROADWAY veteran Jay Klaitz has packed his shiny red space suit and his banjo to perform his catchy new single Space Worms on the red-carpet at the opening of the Gold Coast Film Festival tonight.
Klaitz is part of a musical group called Acoustic Space Aliens – now Future Folk – that had been entertaining New York audiences for the better part of a decade when filmmakers John Mitchell and Jeremy Kipp Walker made a film that explores the mythology of the alien bluegrass act.
It goes something like this: Nils D’Aulair’s General Trius is sent to Earth to scout the planet before Planet Hondo sends an invading party. Instead, he falls in love with music learns to play the banjo and sets up a one-man bluegrass.
Klaitz’s assassin Kevin who meets a similar fate when he is sent to assassinate the general.
The pair play for laughs singing bluegrass songs with space-themed lyrics at their audiences.
‘‘It’s something we’ve always done on the side for funsies on the side. It’s not our fulltime job,’’ says Klaitz, who travels solo to the Gold Coast because his offsider has just become a dad for the second time.
‘‘I’m an actor. Nils is in advertising, he has a wife and kids. We have our lives and Future Folk is a creative outlet. We’ve never put pressure on ourselves. It’s not like we’re trying to get famous with Future Folk, though if that happened, well wouldn’t that be lovely too?’’
The pair have found new audiences as a result of the film which has been a hit at a string of north American folk festivals, the UK and Europe. It makes its Australian premiere at Gold Coast Film Festival tonight where audiences will learn just why it has drawn so many comparisons to the Kiwi act Flight of the Conchords.
‘‘I certainly don’t mind comparisons being made between us and those guys,’’ says Klaitz.
‘‘I love what they do, though what we do is little different. In terms of each episode of Flight of the Conchords the characters break out of the time line of the story to perform what look like standalone video clips. With us, the music happens live within the time line of the story. So it’s not the same, but the comparisons keep coming. Flight of the Conchords. Tenacious D. I don’t mind.
Klaitz says he will bring a more comfortable version of the shiny red suit he wears in the film, his platform boots and his shiny red helmet.
He looks forward to his appearance at the Supanova pop culture expo.
‘‘I dream of the day people will walking around in my costume as the height of fashion,’’ he says.
‘‘The funny thing is when we were shooting the film around the city, there’s was no one out there saying, look, what’s going on with that guy there. They could film me in a suit being chased down the street by complete strangers . . . this is New York City. Crazy stuff happens there all the time. Not even a couple of crazy space aliens can make people stop. ’’
The Gold Coast Film Festival opens at Birch Carroll & Coyle Pacific Fair, with red-carpet arrivals from 5.40pm. The History of Future Folk screens tonight at 7pm and Sunday at 5.30pm.