We’ve all had those particular artists in our lives who have meant enough to us; to inspire us to be artists or just better people or even just simply through the hard times. But behind those songs are humans too. Two gentlemen who have meant a lot to a very large number of people (myself included) now need our help. Of course I am speaking of Claus Larsen (aka Leaether Strip/Klutae) and his husband Kurt. If it weren’t for Kurt, Claus likely wouldn’t have come as far as he has or be as influential as he has.
Many years ago when I was a new fan of Leaether Strip, Solitary Confinement (and later, Serenade for the Dead) changed my musical history forever. The first time I called Claus out of the blue, not having asked beforehand, I was a ball of nerves thinking, “He’s either going to be really pissed or he’ll be ok.” As it turns out, I still recall the words, “This is how we make friends.”
Chances are that if you have listened to anything from Claus in the last 25 years, Kurt was partially responsible for the motivation or inspiration for that creative output. Sadly, Kurt and Claus have had to deal with a number of medical expenses and could very much benefit from our help. So let us lend a helping hand – no matter how small or large to someone who has meant so much to the gothic/industrial/ebm scene on a whole and to so many of us as individuals.
Tom Shear of Assemblage 23 has set up a Gofundme page for Claus and Kurt. I encourage you to go there or to Claus’s bandcamp page. Any bit of support helps. Also keep an eye out on social media for live club events around the world.
Below is one of my favorite videos. It was shot in Philadelphia in 2009. At around 630, Claus points me out in the front row (where else would I be, right?) Best pair of shows I’ve ever been to that weekend.