The First Cut Is The Deepest
....An audience with Knife In The Water;
trakMARX - Is alt.co the sound of ageing punx swapping melancholy for angst?
No, it's even worse than that. It's old Rod Stewart fans, rediscovering the moody side of the Replacements, and adding (gag) 'twang'. We escape by being too young, not being punx, and by being hated by alt.co enthusiasts.
trakMARX - Is the independent stance of many artists working in the alt.co arena an application of the lessons learnt from the DIY ethik & the punk movement in general?
For us, it comes from knowing bands like Minutemen, Fugazi, Rain Parade, made killer music without embarassing videos/pitch correction/protools/big money backing. Hopefully the desperation to be liked is not the most apparent aspect of our music. I think we learned some defiance from smart bands that have gone before, and some is just inborn stubborness.
trakMARX - Texas - seemingly an inexaustable supply of excellent bands right now - any particular reason? Who do you admire?
There's tons of creative people here, the outlets just have not been there historically. The exceptions are honery (and mentally ill) stalwarts like Roky Erickson, Danny Johnston, and Butthole Surfers. I like ...Trail Of Dead, American Analog Set, and Crackpipes.
trakMARX - Glitterhouse is a remarkable label - how did a band from the heart of the USA end up on a small indie in Germany?
When they (Glitterhouse posse) - all 12 of them - come to Texas for this big music festival every year, they buy a bunch of local CD's with thoughts of licensing good ones to Europe. They love American music more than Americans.
trakMARX - There is a new lp on the way, pencilled in for early next year - will this be on Glitterhouse?
Most likely, yes.
trakMARX - The development between "Plays One Sound..." & "Red River" was subtle but marked. Any new tricks up yr. sleeves for LP # 3?
Yes, but we are not doing any Ska numbers.
trakMARX - You are planning some singles in support of the lp, including an intended collaboration with .....Trail Of Dead. That sounds interesting - tell us more.
I have to tell the Trailies themselves about it! It's a surprise, though- and they might not know of their involvement until it comes out...
trakMARX - Why do you think so many of the expected success stories from the "No Depression" stable have failed to turn the hype into rekkid sales (Wilco, Whiskeytown, Son Volt......)?
Honestly, I have not followed those bands, but I will attempt to answer with another question: Do we need anymore 'classic rock' aspirants? Peel back the hype, and it might be tripe.
trakMARX - Do Knife In The Water crave a place in the mainstream or are you happy to trikkle any which way you can?
We found that when we do what we want to do , without dressing or singing like idiots, we're usually happiest. Mainstream to me sounds like a river where the peasants are drinking from about a mile down from the part where the rich guys are pissing in it. Two groups of numbskulls making each other blissfully happy. I'm usually OK with them ignoring us.
trakMARX - There is a certain gothic feel to your music - "country noire" would be a good handle - how would you describe what you do to someone who's never heard you before?
It's sometimes slow, gospel-ish, misanthropic, sad and uplifting. Pretty when ugly, and ugly when pretty.
trakMARX - We detect elements of Joy Division in yr. work - are we correct, & if so what drew you to Curtis & the rainswept soundscapes of Joy Division's music?
Yes. My first exposure was at a friends house in Buda, Texas, and his brother had just died from Leukemia. He played 'Unknown Pleasures' at 2am or so, and he was telling me all about this band, it was apparent how different they were- references to Ballard & Burroughs, he was just trying to keep his mind off his brothers suffering. I guess that I was about 15 yrs old.
trakMARX - "I learnt more from a 3 minute rekkid than I ever learnt at skool", goes the lyric - most Knife In The Water tunes clock in @ 5 minutes plus - is there more to learn from yr. music?
It's good to get lost in a song. We do all sortsa times 3 and up, no restrictions. People could learn to be patient with their attention spans, and time will stop. 3 minutes or 3 hours.
trakMARX - There is a certain litterary quality to Knife In The Water's music - is literature important to you as a band & who do you enjoy reading?
Hubert Selby Jr., Philip K. Dick, Faulkner, I could go on... Reading sets synapses firing that aren't stimulated by any other art. It can engage the imagination in a way that music cannot, because music is sound dying interestingly.
trakMARX - Does the band share a musical vision or are yr. influences varied?
Multi varied, although Laura takes the cake, being an ethnomusicologist.
trakMARX - Any plans for live shows in the UK next year to support the lp?
If the moneymen come through, we'll be there in a heartbeat. Even if we have to pay half.
trakMARX - What does the rest of 2001 hold in store for Knife In The Water?
Bill (steel) is getting married, Mark (bass) started a real studio, Cisco (drums) is making a documentary, and Laura and Myself will see that this new album comes out, and the show gets on the road.
Nick Kuntz 2001