AN INTERVIEW WITH THE KNEES
The Knees are an up-and-coming art rock band from Chicago. The four-piece, formed in the latter half of 2017, showcases intricate guitar interplay and dynamic rhythmic propulsion. After a year of constant local shows, a summer tour to the east coast, and three singles released to date, the band is gearing up to record their first release in the coming months.
HOW WAS YOUR RECENT EAST COAST TOUR?
Wilson: A couple of shows in New York were pretty wild, one at Alphaville Brooklyn, one at Bowery Electric at Manhattan. Very well attended, crowds were so engaged we had fun! also, all friends from college came by! :)
TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW RELEASE!
Wilson: We are in the middle of recording four songs for our new EP, one more session left! We are thinking about releasing them maybe August. I guess this one will be more professional, Davis took care of most the mixes.
THE MEANING BEHIND “COMPOSITION 1960 #7?”
David: It's a cover song! A piece by La Monte Young, basically in 1960, he just wrote that down on a napkin at a coffee shop. It's two notes, and it has to be held for a long time. So it's like many different variations on it.
Wilson: It's not that obvious that it's a cover, some people think it's an intro.
FAVORITE MOVIE CHARACTER THAT HAS INSPIRED YOU LATELY?
David: The Master of Disguise!
Wilson: It's a really bad movie, you might not wanna see it. It's very outdated, early 2000s, the main guy Pistachio Disguisey is the master of disguise, so basically, the whole movie is just like an excuse for Dana Carvey the main guy to do imitations and stuff. um, I guess that inspired David somehow. For me, I was gonna say there's this movie called Creep. I resemble a lot with the main character who doesn't wanna be rude to the guy so he keeps on letting him do the stuff and keeps on trusting him, and then, he gets killed at the end. Spoiler alert! But at the end he is sitting on the park bench waiting for the guy to meet up and end the feud or whatever and he doesn't turn around the whole time, the guy just walks because he's so trusting.
David: Yeah, Wilson is basically really kind, always given circumstances
Wilson: I gotta stop... otherwise I'm gonna get killed... on a park bench. I'd definitely stay there like that guy.
Davis: I'm any extras in a movie...
MOST MEMORABLE GIG SO FAR?
Wilson: I think when we played at the Empty bottle with Palm was the most memorable one, the biggest one for us.
David: I asked Wilson to be in my band at a Palm show when we knew each other before.
Wilson: Then like a year later we got to play with them which is really cool. But my favorite show is probably the Pittsburgh one when we were on tour. We played with this really cool band silver car crash.
ANY BIG CHANGES OR DIFFERENCES COMPARED TO A YEAR AGO?
Wilson: When we first started most of the songs were already written by David and he had personal parts. So first shows we played all the parts were already predefined and then recently we all write our own parts.
David: All became more collaborative.
Wilson: David still comes in with something but then we just play what we want over it, so we get to do our own thing too.
David: Different tunings now.
Wilson: Most of our songs are very simple, it's one chord to next back and forth but when you change the guitar tuning it disguises it, it makes you think you are playing something more interesting than it really is. So I guess we are tricking people.
CHICAGO MUSIC SCENE?
Wilson: I think it’s better now than it has been recently. I like the knees, they are the most trendy one here. Chicago is very different. When we were on tour we realized how different the Chicago music scene is. There are lot more hardcore, post-hardcore and punk stuff in other cities, and then Chicago is kinda isolated clustered things. I feel like the Chicago music scene is very isolated, all the bands have their own scene kind of.
Wilson: Yeah that can be really cliquey.
David: So lot of small scenes.
Wilson: It's not one big move, which might be geographically motivated, there's a lot of punk on the south side like depends on the neighborhood, all different kinds of DIYs.
Davis: I mean within those community it's pretty communal I'd say.
FAVORITE CHICAGO BAND?
Davis: Jungle Green!
Wilson: Jungle Green is one of our favorites for sure and they put on some of the best live performances, Girl K is also really good.
Ben: The Hecks, Deeper.
David: I'll go with The Hecks or Pool Holograph.
Davis: Not For You.
Wilson: Yes! Not For You, ah it's so hard like choosing your favorite children.