Salzburg, Austria’s emo punk rock act KNIFELONG started as an acoustic gig in 2015. After releasing their first record on Austrian label Stray Records in 2016, and playing some acoustic shows, they recorded their debut full-band demo and played some more shows. Today, we’re unveiling their first proper record, a 2 track Flexi Postcard release with 2 extra tracks as a digital exclusive B-Side via Berlin’s Backpack Records!
We first wanted to do a usual 7, but since we aimed to do something different as our first output and there are some postcard references in our songs (we love sending and getting mail/letters) we gave the flexi postcard a shot.
Similarly to other independent, passionate emo acts, KNIFELONG employs a short and simple song structure, touching on issues like self doubt, rejection or unproductivity, and delivering a straightforward and honest statement.
Life can feel really oppressive sometimes, and the best way to cope with anger or depression is to speak or shout about it and don’t let those feelings drown yourself. Not being well is nothing to be ashamed about and this is something that people need to be aware of.
Along with the release come a little zine filled with pictures, interviews featuring interesting and chummy bands and people, as well as comics, lyrics and so on. This serves as a kind of booklet+, to get more of the feelings across.
Asked about what prompted them to create their own zine, they commented:
The first time we talked about putting out a record, we immediately got sparked by the idea of there also being a small piece of paper with a lot of cool content in it. An unclear and unshaped concept began to dwell and as the release was slowly coming together we began working on the zine. Wanting to get as much feeling and honesty across was certainly the main reason we started work for this project. But also, the sheer fun of finding cool things to cut out and combine them together was motivation worth mentioning. We wanted to paint a collage of friendship and adventures. So, we decided to use an extensive amount of old and newer pictures to cover almost every centimeter of the zine that is not filled with content. Since Knifelong is a real personal and intimate project built on years and years of friendship, yeah even blood relations, the goal was to kind of give more insight into that part of the band and to give the opportunity to get to know that intimate place where the music comes from a little better. If you look close enough you are going to find some real embarrassing and awkward pictures of ourselves and our friends haha.
As a huge fan of the cut and paste style I tried to do as may things as possible for this zine the same way. Although working with so many small pictures made this way of zine creating not that suitable for us. But I appreciated that there are still a lot of these little publications around that embrace traditional methods like “Thanks For Not Giving a Shit” from Austria. In general, I’m glad that the punk scene never stopped making them and hopefully never will. There are so many great ones out there like “Coffee Break” from the UK, “Chiller Than Most” from Hungary or “Closer Zine”, they just give you the opportunity to dive deeper and deeper into the music and the things you love. Zines can give those a voice that are pushed aside or overheard in our scene way too often. For example, the “Riot Tea Club Zine” is trying to give a medium to girls and lgbtq+, and in my opinion they are doing a wonderful job. At the end of the day, it’s about having fun, being creative and sharing what you love in a distinct way.
As I wrote this song I was about to leave for a hitchhiking trip to Berlin and Amsterdam. I was sitting in my bedroom and kind of just jammed the chords, and that was essentially it. I think it took about a few more days to figure out the rest of the lyrics, but the whole structure didn’t take much longer than the song plays now haha. The song is dealing with not being able to bear sitting around in the same environment any longer and just wanting to be up and away. The momentary longing to embark on a journey of some kind and a longing for the ventures that come with it. I think that is to some extend familiar to everyone
Bail on me
Bail on me is a pretty old track to be honest, but it of course still bears relevance today. I was having a lot of fights and arguments with a specific friend at that time. Mostly over who let who down and about the expectations we had for the relationship. The periods where we didn’t see each other were becoming bigger and bigger and we just kind of angrily passed of blame to one another. The song was my approach on manifesting what I thought was wrong at the time and trying to avoid the break of a friendship that is very dear to me. In general it’s just a song about the fear of losing close long term friends and friends bailing on each other which happens more than everyone would like to admit I guess.
This song is a hommage to one of my favorite TV shows „Freeks and Geeks“. On the day where I wrote the lyrics I had a really bad day: I was away from home for the whole week, my lunch was awful, I got an electrical shock and as a highlight I crashed a car at work.
At night I was watching Freaks and Geeks and then I saw the scene where Sam was pelted with eggs by his sisters‘ friends after having a day full of bad luck. I could totally associate with his face expression and afterwards I wrote the text down.
The Irony of Honesty
On this song I tried to bundle all my bad characteristics such as fury, capriciousness or uncertainty. It‘s not that I‘m like that all the time, but there are days where these kind of sides take over myself. Sometimes you say something that is too direct just to make someone feel bad too, these hurtful moves can be emotionally charging for every kind of relationship.It is important to accept the character traits you don’t like about yourself, otherwise you can‘t channel them when they try to take over you.
In addition, KNIFELONG are doing a small weekender across Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic with WALTER ETC., BACKWARDS CHARM, and YOUTH:
06.04 Burghausen Mathilda – Walter etc. (US) – Knifelong “EP Release Show” – Backwards Charm
07.04 Tabor ORION music club – Knifelong, Youth , Totally nothin-phyre-pxtr.dos
08.04 Wien Loop – Walter Etc.(us) / Knifelong “Release” / Youth / Backwards Charm)