KNIGHTS are Chris Perrin (vocals/guitar), Oli Morris (guitar), Tom Evans (bass) and Jesse Bildner (drums). Knights are a rock band that are sure to be around for a very long time, there is an energy about them that can’t be replicated and their hard work and determination is sure to take them far. Soon to be releasing their début self-titled EP and in conjunction to that headlining their biggest gig to date for their EP launch at Camden’s Barfly on 12th November. Their music is packed tight with solid songwriting, explosive riffs, soaring vocal lines and a cinematic soundscape. Perfect, is all I’ll say.
I caught up with the band to talk about everything from why you should go see them live to how they got marooned while filming the music video for their song, Come Back In, and everything else in between.
Hi guys, hope you’re all doing well. Can you introduce yourselves and what roles you play in band?
Chris Perrin – Digs, singer, songwriter, guitarist.
Oli Morris – I’m Oli, guitarist and backing singer waiting for his moment in the limelight.
Tom Evans – I’m Tom, from Broxbourne, Hertfordshire and I rock the bass.
Jesse Bildner – I’m Jesse, from London/NYC and I play drums.
Can you give us a brief history of how you came together as a band?
Chris – Jesse and I had been playing together for a while with various other people. Then Oli got on board, and I think we gelled pretty quickly and started to find our sound.
Tom – I joined two years ago after meeting Oli. I came to see the guys ages ago at the Enterprise in Camden and thought, “yeah, I want to be in that band”. After the previous bassist left, we got talking about music at a party and he invited me down to a session. I became a permanent name on the team sheet about a month later.
Describe your sound in three words or less.
Chris – Energetic, Soulful, Exciting.
Oli – Eclectic oddball rock.
You’ve been tearing up the live scene in London, playing shows everywhere including The Borderline, Underbelly, not to mention you’re just about to complete your 4 month residency at Camden’s Barfly. You’re next big gig is your EP launch night at the Camden Barfly on 12th November. For all those readers that may still be on the fence about going, what would you say to convince them they need to be there?
Chris – We put everything into our live shows, we come off stage like husks.
Tom – There’s a lot at stake for us that night so your know that we’re going to put our all into it. It’s basically the culmination of months of hard work. It’s a milestone on our journey as a band.
Jesse – Well… we will give you our hearts and some friendly banter during and after the show, it’s pretty light hearted, we don’t try and be too cool.
What’s a show for Knights normally like and what’s your favourite aspect of performing live?
Tom – I think we just all really feel it. For half an hour we’re going to put everything into trying to entertain you. We’re going to put ourselves out there and if you like it then you can put yourself out there too. It’s a chance for everyone to let go and do what they feel like for half an hour.
Chris – It’s nice when you can get strangers into it, at the beginning the crowds like ‘who are these idiots’ and by the end they’re like ‘I love these freakin’ idiots!’
Your video for Come Back In is quite the spectacular, especially it being your first music video and all. Where did you film the video and can you tell us a little bit about the shoot?
Tom – The video was shot over two days in this abandoned battery tower that used to be used to defend the channel from invasion during the war. It’s in the middle of the Thames estuary and it’s surrounded by water, so you have to go out there at low tide. We carried amps and guitars and a whole drum kit along this muddy pathway that was about 500m long. It was a real slog!!!
Chris – That was brutal, It was one of longest days ever, but so much fun and the guys helping were really great. It was pretty nuts when the tide came back in, and we were marooned.
Tom – The shoot itself was great fun. It’s probably one of the best things I’ve done. We had a team of about ten people working with us and at one point, one of the camera crew went up in a microlight and filmed us from the air. I was just like, “whoa, is this really happening?” It was our U2 moment.
Oli – It was terrible. I got mosquito bites and had to wee in the river.
Your début EP is available to stream on soundcloud, how would we be able to get a physical copy of the EP?
Tom – We’ll be giving them out at gigs. Just come up to us after the show and ask for one. But you can also send us a message on Facebook and we’ll try our best to send you one.
Could you give us an insight into your songwriting process? Where do you start and how do you put a song together?
Chris – I write the skeleton of the songs, and the choruses and melody. Normally I’ll be listening to something that I love like Beastie Boys, and I’ll get that urge and grab the guitar. Then I’ll record a rough demo, and the boys have a listen, and start having their own ideas.
Tom – Then the song really takes shape. We all put our individual spin on it. Then we have a really intense argument, fall out, make up again and then the songs ready.
Chris – The boys always bring a fresh eye, and parts I would never have considered.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would that be and why?
Tom – Someone like Josh Homme or Dave Grohl are two of the greatest musicians around. I love their approach to music and their ideas about how music should be made. Having said that, it would be fun to work with someone completely different to us and see what we came out with.
Chris – Yeah, Jack White’s always been a hero of mine, and I think our sounds are quite similar. But I’d love to work with Beck, I love his use of weird instruments and the different sounds he brings to each song.
Oli – Britney Spears.
Jesse – Very current! For me, Frank Zappa (The Man From Utopia) if he was still alive, his stuff is mind blowing and I am very jealous of Terry Bozzio. His work is organic and breaks a load of barriers.
We’re big supporters of new music here at Bitter Sweet Symphonies. Having said that, are there any new artists that have caught your attention recently that you’d like to share with us?
Tom – Coasts are a five piece from Bristol, that I really like. My friend Parisa Louvelle is doing some great stuff at the moment too.
Oli – We saw a band hitting up the Camden scene with us at the moment called Mavis. They made a big impression on me.
Jesse – Trampolene (Rock Trio from Wales).
Chris – When we supported AWOLNATION, they really blew me away.
Seen as we’re approaching the end of 2013. What do you hope to achieve by the end of this year and what can we be expecting from Knights in the New Year?
Tom – This year has been important for us in the sense that we’ve been working hard on the inward stuff. As in our recorded material and live shows, but also just growing closer together and developing as musicians.
Chris – I think we’ve been getting more serious, and driven this year.
Jesse – Next year, we are going to work hard to grow our fan base and get a team of people behind us. It’s a bit like we’ve been a caterpillar in a cocoon and next year is all about emerging into the world as a beautiful butterfly!
A special thanks to Knights for the interview and for more info on the band, check out the following links below.