BLACK KNIFE (EN)

– Hello, thanks for taking your time, how are you holding up? Even the end is drawing nearer, these are still uncertain times but it seems like you have kept yourselves busy and creative!

We have been holding up well and trying our best to push on through covid and everything else standing in the way. We have kept busy practicing and getting ready for live shows. We have been prepping for the studio in January with a new drummer as well.

-In fact I read you already began writing for the new album. Is there anything you could already tell about this?

We opted to write material for a couple more splits that we will announce in due time and holding off on the next full length for now. Very excited to announce more about those later as well. So we will be using the new songs for those, then focusing energy on another full length after that with our new Drummer Schmidt that just joined us yesterday! Looking forward to writing the next full length with him!

-Since this is our first interview with you: how and why was BLACK KNIFE born?

Black Knife was born out of love of Blackened Metal Punk as I (Hellwulv) have always been a fan of Black Metal, Thrash, sleazy Rock, and Punk and zine and DIY culture my whole life. I was lucky enough to find like minded people in my area that shared that love and wanted to take it to the masses. We hope to grow and reach as many people as possible.

-And how is that process from getting together to play and experiment until you find your own sound? How do you bring an idea to life?

The songs usually start with me and the riffs. From there I will go to band practice and bounce ideas off the band and get everyone’s opinions on what sounds good, how many times to play what riff etc. After we lock that stuff in I let the lyrics infest my brain as I  play the song over and over. Usually while pacing with a notebook in hand like a madman.

-You are a band that has released several splits. Putting out splits is something very ingrained in the underground. Does it hold any significance for you? Like kind of a gesture of brotherhood?

It is indeed! We have been fortunate enough to do splits with some very cool bands that I hold a great deal of respect for! That being said, I also think it is a great way to expose each band on a split to another audience which is always cool for the bands and also gives the listener a chance to hear something maybe they would not have. Captures a real underground spirit I think.

-Some months ago you released your sophomore album, “Murder Season”. What significance does having this second album out hold to you? Is a second full-length a step further into your own personality and learning from the experience of making a debut album?

It was a very big step in our style and progression I think. I really enjoy letting people a little further into our worlds and let them see where we are mentally. It was an angry F.O.A.D. album for sure as that was very much where I was mentally when I wrote it in the heart of covid and working my day job with the general public every day. We have received a lot of praise for the album being a stepping stone into us writing better as a band as well. Very excited for where we go next.

-I guess it may also be a challenge to write a second album. Were any of the songs a challenge to write too? Which ones?

More excitement and a willingness to pour raw anger and Punk attitude into that album  honestly. It came together quite smooth because we already had a vision of where we wanted to go. The only thing I was slightly worried about is it being too different style wise than the previous debut album, but at the end of the day you have to shrug that off and go with where your evolution is taking you.

-Once more the album came out through your own label Husk Records. What are the pros and cons of releasing your own material? Is the plan to keep releasing your stuff by yourselves or have you considered reaching some other (maybe bigger) label?

There are pros and cons for self releasing for sure. The big pro is total Artistic control and freedom to do whatever we want our way. But of course the con is having to hustle your ass off to do your own distrobution, networking, promoting etc. So far we have done well with releasing our own stuff and just selling it online and at shows. The first round of Murder Season Lps sold out in two days and we were over the moon! We do plan to reach out to other labels in the future though so we can reach as many people as possible and we already have labels in touch about releasing the next round of splits we record.

-So is DIY a choice or the only option?

DIY was a choice for sure. We had interested labels that were great labels that were backed up on their releases for a year at one point. With everything that happened with covid we were tired of waiting and opted to self release.

-Anyway you ooze a DIY kind of vibe I’d dare say. How much do you value a DIY ethos in underground?

I think the DIY spirit is the very heart of everything Metal and Punk! I started playing in bands before the internet was a big thing back in the day, and if you wanted to start a band and play shows you made a flyer by hand, you slapped em up all over town, you made a demo, made the demo art with a copy machine at the library or something, and you hit the streets running. The internet is now a HUGE promotion tool, but I never lost my DIY hustle attitude and I think it is a great asset to this band for sure.

-On “Murder Season” there’s Black Metal, Punk, some D-beat, some Death Metal hints…Your music influences seem to be broad but what are your non-musical influences? What does inspire you?

Non Music influence comes from life in general. Usually the darker side of it. I am a big people watcher and I observe and report. Generally speaking humanity is so fucked and so divided in many ways. We are not overly political, but I pepper in views on the church, cops, and authority here and there. 

– I sense some horror vibe, am I wrong? Any favourite horror movies or books? For instance the intro has a synth that could perfectly belong to some 80’s horror movie, as well as the synth we can hear on the closing track “Unholy Ritual”. Is it a sample? Or who did play synth here?

Oh definitely! We love horror movies and it’s what I watch most for sure. I like it all! From the spooky ghostly stuff to the cheesy/awesome midnight movie stuff with the ketchup blood, haha! I love Texas Chainsaw 2,Hellraiser 2,Phantasm,Tombs of the Blind Dead, and the list goes on. Really liked the new V/H/S/ 94! Fantastic gore and stories! As far as the horror synth stuff on our album we contacted my friend and amazing experimental Artist David Reed to handle the intro and outro to the album just to add that extra element of dread. He absolutely KILLED it!

-What about the dual vocals on “Bloodbath Orgy”?

The duel vocals was an idea I had kicking around for a while and I think it served the tracks well. Just adds another element to songs for sure.

-Lyric-wise there’s blood, death… The good ol’ themes. Do you think sticking to certain stereotypes is almost necessary to build this kind of traditional aesthetic and to provide something entertaining and fun?

I honestly just enjoy living in that realm when I write lyrics. Probably from all the years of Horror movies and just being into that kind of imagery. Plus I feel like it translates pretty well to most Metal fans. Just good ol’ fashioned escapism because day to day life can be boring as Hell sometimes.

-All this about “Murder Season” being said; how would you describe it in just 3 words?

EVIL METAL PUNK

-And finally what’s next for BLACK KNIFE?

Recording for a couple of splits in January, then shows, shows, shows!!! We have been robbed of playing live since 2019 and plan to play mostly out of state a lot in 2022. Can’t wait to get out there and rage with everyone everywhere!

– That’s all from our side, thanks again for your time. If you’d like to add some final words, feel free to do it.

We would like to say thank you and send our appreciation for supporting us in any way! We self release and are a self funded band that depend on people being cool and picking up merch, coming to shows, telling their friends about us etc. So we greatly appreciate all you sick freaks and hope to see you all soon.

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

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