INTERVIEW: Knife Club

Knife Club spawned from the ashes of various other bands. With all the members finding themselves between bands at the start of this year, and “things [feeling] quite different in the world than a few years ago,” they were inspired to do something different. Linked by another Brighton musician, who knew the band were all looking for other musicians, Knife Club – Chris Hollands, Louis May, and David Bishop – came into existence.

For Chris, it was “a project with less musical agenda” than previous bands; for Louis to “do things we’d not done before” – push their boundaries as individuals and a collective; for David, “a love for playing drums, wanting to push myself musically, and being available at the time.”

All valid reasons for taking on a new project, and all sitting perfectly with each other. So, what sparked the need to try something different? Did they feel things weren’t being done right?

Not so much, it seems – as David says “every project I’ve worked with has been to make great and interesting music that people want to listen to. In that respect Knife Club is no different” – but rather out of a wish to explore a bit more.

As Chris says: “At the moment, we’re trying hard to not fit ourselves into any square slots, we don’t know what shape we are quite yet. So, that’s fun for us and allowing different inspirations to be played with. Also, we’re working with a video artist for our live shows, which is really exciting for us, and not something which has been much of a feature in the past.”

Things are also different in terms of sound, and it’d be fair to think that this is where Knife Club would hit hurdles– bringing together sounds and influences off the back of being in other bands can’t be easy, but it seems they’ve only used it to their advantage, bringing a host of influences together to make something hugely exciting.  

“Things are still fairly new in the Knife Club writing camp, so naturally each of us will dig into our own bank of sounds and influences,” David explains. “But we’re starting to try new things in an organic way which means that each song can end up with a different heartbeat… but they all definitely have a KnifeClub vein running through them.”

And what about playing live? Knife Club are Brighton-based, but made their live debut (which, by the way, when down an absolute storm) – do they find a difference between the two?

“It depends so much on the venue and promoter really, I’ve played to great crowds in both and sad, pretty empty, sticky floors in both. You can’t beat The Great Escape however,” says Chris.

Wherever they are, however, David points out they’re always grateful to those who turn up to see them. Yet while the live scene is undoubtedly important, it’s also worth looking at the attention Knife Club have been receiving elsewhere, finding themselves on countless playlists, blogs etc. It’s another way of getting their name out, but where does it sit against live music in terms of getting attention?

“People listen to so much these days…It’s both great and terrible at the same time,” Chris explains. While they’re constantly being listened to, it’s so saturated – as he puts it: “you’re also within a sea of a thousand other bands.” And this is precisely where the live shows can do something that streaming just can’t.

“We’re loving people hearing our stuff, but we hope to create a great show, both with the new music we’re working on and the idea of bringing live visuals to smaller venues. This is what excites us. But, knowing people are hearing us on playlists is awesome.”

They’re also changing their approach to PR and promotion, as Louis explains, “making an effort to work with bloggers and fanzines, and get our music to people who are interested.” They’re making sure they return the favour by spreading the word about bloggers/promoters, too. It’s these little bits of effort and dedication that get bands like KnifeClub noticed.

So, it’s clear things are moving quickly, and in an incredibly positive direction for Knife Club. They’ve got their debut EP Black Bunnies on the way at the end of January, and “writing, rehearsing, recording, and hopefully more gigging” in the pipeline.

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