BLACK KNIVES released their debu EP “The Rise” in 2012 and received a great feedback from the media and offered the band the opportunity to play great shows and festivals around Europe. The ban recorded their first full length “The Thirteenth Hour” in late 2013 and collaborated on the mastering with Alan Douches in NYC (he has worked with HATEBREED, CONVERGE, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, MADBALL, and a lot more). Featuring guest appearances of Sam Crocker from ANTAGONIST A.D. (NZ) and Joe Kenney from PAY NO RESPECT (UK), the album was released on Poland’s Spook Records and Useless Distribution (Europe) and Samstrong Records (South East Asia) in June 2014 and now is beign re-released in collaboration with American label Innerstrength Records. Being a smart combination of explosive hardcore, metallic riffs and tights, addictive choruses, this record is definitely something that will rocket you into the powerful thinking, strong attitude and determination this year.
I sat down with the band to introduce them to all you metal/hardcore enthousiasts out there and reveal more about their local scene, their attitude, approach, and beliefs. Read the full interview below.
Hey buddies, what’s up? How are you?
We’re fine thanks And what’s up is that we have our first full lenght album The Thirteenth Hour out! Already out in mainland Europe and coming soon in Indonesia and USA+Canada+UK!
Oh yeah, you released your recent album on Spook Records and Useless Distribution (Europe) and Samstrong Records (South East Asia). What prompt you to collaborate with these particular labels?
First of all, they all are guys we know. Spook Records was about to release our previous band’s effort but as we split up this band to create BLACK KNIVES it never went out… Useless Distribution is from our city, Olivier also plays in ALEA JACTA EST. We share our rehersal room with them and he’s a loooong time friend. And Samstrong released our first EP “The Rise” in Indonesia so we kept working with him. And then we collaborate with them because they were enthusiastic about it, which is for us a really cool way of support! And It’s just the same happening with InnerStrenght Records: he wanted to have the album released in the US so we’re currently working on it!
Was it them who banned the idea of sharing it for free via your bandcamp player? ;)
Actually they didn’t even ask and neither did we. But as there is a physical release with some people supporting us by putting money on the table, this meant we won’t share it for free…
If we almost sell it out or if the guys get back enough money regarding what they spent, of course It can be reconsidered. And we would be so happy to reach this! ;-)
But at this time we don’t think about it…
You haven’t been too busy touring this year, huh? :) How come?
That’s true. Actually we were busy on completing all the details on the album. As our drummer did the recording and the mix, our guitar player did the art cover, almost everything was in our hands. We really worked with care to have everything with the best render we can get. We were focusing on the record itself, and now that It’s done (and we’re pretty proud of it) we can focus on presenting it on stage, which will be our main occupation for 2015!
Awesome! Ok, so can you expound more on how your cooperation with Innerstrength Records was arranged?
Thx! Well, It goes out really simple and pretty fast: Innerstrenght got in touch and wanted to have the album released in the US and after just some little talks it was ok for both sides! Can’t wait to have it done!
Are you already plotting and planning your next record?
Plotting for sure! We tried some new materials as soon as the album was recorded. So we now already have news songs. About the next record nothing sure about it, the lenght, the number of tracks and the release date are still to be decided…
Ok, so let’s go a couple of years back and learn more about you guys. Tell me about your journey with music and hardcore punk. When was your first desire to become involved in all of this?
On this one, I can only speak in my name, ’cause we all have different journeys and also we don’t have the same age ;-)
One of my friend made me listen to punk music when I was a teenager. Another friend already introduced me to heavy metal that I founded cool, but I really loved punk music.
So I wanted to play music on my own and be in a band and we started a punk band with high school friends
Later I discover hardcore music wich was exactly what I was waiting for without knowing it: different music from what you can hear on mainstream radio but harder, faster, rougher than the punk I knew. Well more hardcore! Definitely loved it, and as I was already drummer into this punk band, I wanted it to sound more and more hardcore.
From that, I’ve been into 5/6 bands all about hardcore music ’til BLACK KNIVES in 2012″
Who in the band is the youngest?
The youngest is Bastien our drummer, 21 years old.
Ok, so how did you begin reading and performing your works as BLACK KNIVES? How did the band form?
The band was formed on the ashes of another band we all played in: 8CONTROL. It had many line-up and style changes. In the end, there were no founding member anymore, we wanted to launch our own project, something new. So we split up 8CONTROL and started BLACK KNIVES in 2012.
What was the origin of your name?
As I told you there were no more founding members in 8CONTROL. So this was an important point to us, nobody had chosen the name. So we wanted something the 5 of us will claim. So we all brought different names and in the end this one was cool to everyone and pretty well working. No mystic explanation, just a name that sounded cool to everyone in the band which was and is still the most important to us…
Where do you draw influence from? Is your inspiration guided by the same authors and artists for recording, playing live shows, and other aspects of running a band?
Obviously we have tons of references and influences… Let’s say that Terror is a major one when you talk about live shows and the way the run the band. For recording there are thousands of goods examples and inspiration.
We just wanted to record the album home with our drummer and add a powerful final touch for the mastering. That’s why we talked with the man, Alan Douches, who recorded, mixed and mastered a bunch of legends. So we thought that for the record It would be a wise inspiration to work with him…
Well for the live shows, we all have our influences. I’d say it changes from one instrument to another. Sometimes we can love how a guitar player will perform on stage without even enjoying the whole band. But It will still be a good influence and inspiration to use…
Sometimes you love a band for the raw sound on stage, sometimes for the attitude, sometimes for the energy, sometimes for all of this and some other times you can’t understand why but still love it. We try to pick what feels good every time to improve our own performance…
What did you learn from your local bands? Is there a tight music scene around the area where you live?
We learned a lot from our local bands ’cause there is a really dynamic underground scene here. From punk to extreme metal there are a lot of good bands. We can see it now that many bands from Toulouse go on tour all over Europe and sometimes even further…
So we learned some music stuff, some booking stuff and some stage gimmiks from these bands. And as I told you Useless Pride Records is from our city and having a record company + a merch printer in your own town helps a lot!
Why do you think that the worldwide hardcore punk scene continues to generate such a devoted following? What’s so absorbing about it?
Well I might be wrong but I’d say It’s related to passion. It’s still a passion driven scene and when you share the same passion with someone from the other side of the planet It doesn’t matter where you’re from or whatever…
When I say passion I mean doing something without being paid or most of the time spend money to do it (practice with a band, go on the road, buy show tickets, merch etc.), spend hours and hours doing it years after years and still have the will to do it, have most of your thoughts focused on this passion…
The song “Big part” from our first EP “The Rise” talks exactly about this: It’s more than just a hobby, It’s a big part of our life.
Ok guys, so what’s up next? What are your plans and resolutions for the year 2015?
Plans for 2015 are easy: play a lot live, hit the road, eat some dust and plaaaay a lot!
What were the best experiences for the band this past year?
Without any doubt the Xtreme Fest: Second Edition of a fucking great festival in our area. The line-up was insane! The whole weekend was really cool! As It is in our area, there were tons of friends there… And we played on the mainstage in front of a crowdy audience which went crazy… It couldn’t have been better! Check the video we brought back.
Awesome! Ok, thanks guys! Thanks a lot or your time! Feel free to add anything you like and good luck for the next year!
Thx a lot for your support!
Checkout our Facebook, Youtube, Instagram & stuff: lots of stuff coming up!
See you at a show: that’s where the magic happens, that’s where It all makes sense…