Action Action cuts ‘Fabric’ to Cleveland’s ‘Fashion’

Seth Roy

Action Action: The coolest shoeless band in indie rock. Catch their show at Cleveland’s Grog Shop.

Credit: Beth Rankin

“I have ADD,” said Mark Thomas Kluepfel, the lead singer and mastermind behind synth-pop rock group Action Action. He was in a southern California fast food restaurant.

He ordered grilled cheese and fries and then came back to the phone.

Kluepfel’s ADD could possibly explain why he left his former gig as the frontman for indie rock band The Reunion Show.

“The Reunion Show was a bit fabricated,” he said. They “didn’t allow me to grow.”

His old band limited his creativity. They didn’t like the darker sound that Kluepfel was getting into.

“I was devoting so much time to them,” he said. “And I wasn’t getting anything out of it.”

Kluepfel had Action Action’s first album written while he was still in The Reunion Show. He recorded the album with Adam Manning and Clarke Foley, both formerly of the pop-punk band Count the Stars, and former The Reunion Show band mate Skully.

Since recording, Manning and Foley are still with the band, while Skully has been replaced by Dan Leo. Skully is working behind the scenes now, opting to spend more time with his friends and family.

He “saw an opportunity and took it,” Kluepfel said. “I was a little heartbroken.”

Kluepfel named his new project Action Action for a number of reasons.

“‘Action is the enemy of thought,’” he said, quoting a friend. “Actions speak louder than words.”

He described his band and record as being “bipolar.”

The album title, Don’t Cut Your Fabric to This Year’s Fashion, is a quote from a Gene Hackman interview in the bonus features of The Royal Tenenbaums DVD.

“Actually, I misquoted,” Kluepfel said. But “it was close.”

The album uses a lot of synthesizers and other instruments to achieve its dark sound.

“It’s a hard album to recreate,” he said. “We’re doing our best. We’re a little bit more rock-oriented live.”

Don’t Cut Your Fabric delves into many different topics, from taking drugs to having various relationships with different people.

“It’s not necessarily a themed album,” Kluepfel said.

He is influenced by a number of things, from other music to movies. However, he is cynical of the music put out today.

“I’m a little burnt out on music these days,” Kluepfel said. “People aren’t writing albums anymore, just singles.”

With Action Action, Kluepfel finally gets to write the music that he wants to, and he likes doing it.

“If someone loves what they’re doing,” he said, “can it be crap?”

In Action Action’s case, the answer is “no.”

Contact pop arts reporter Seth Roy at [email protected].