Knuckle: ‘Idles’ success has been a big help for guitar music’s resurgence’

Knuckle have embarked on a tour promoting their new album, and are set to play Wakefield’s Warehouse 23 on November 9. TOM NEWTON caught up with drummer Ben Wallbanks to discuss the album and upcoming gig which promises to be a riotous hometown show.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 4th November 2019, 6:09 pm

You released your new album ‘Life Is Hard When You’re Soft Inside’ earlier this year. What has been the reception to it and what are your memories from making it?

The reception has been incredible, it’s been really nice to see how different people react to different songs. Even having people uploading covers to social media! The recording process was so much fun! We had a week in Greenmount Studios in Leeds, which is like our second home. We recorded everything live and there are a few first take songs one there, that we’re really proud of it.

Last time you played Wakefield, was at Long Division Festival. Were you expecting such a turn out? (Most people were stood on the road peering through the window as it was so busy in the venue).

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We were expecting a decent crowd but nothing like that! It was a really humbling experience to have people trying so hard to see us live. We heard the fire doors behind us opening during the second song, quite a surreal experience having people singing our songs from behind and in front!

If you could curate your own festival, what would be the three headliners?

The Black Keys for nostalgia and to thank them for inspiring us to be a band. Rosie Doonan because she’s just crazy good. Lastly Ty Segall because we really bonded over him in our early days, and his live shows are crazy!

Where did the idea come from to being people over to your forthcoming Warehouse 23 gig, on a coach from the Magic Rock Brewery in Huddersfield?

Huddersfield is our second home and we didn’t want our pals to miss out on our biggest ever show and having to pay a fortune for a taxi back home. Magic Rock is our favourite watering hole, our office and the beer is some of the best in the world. We’re lucky that they’re really supportive with us.

Who are your favourite bands in the local area? Is there anyone you want to give a shout out to?

Our favourite bands at the moment are Don Gonzo – incredible psych rock from Huddersfield, £2 – young lads that sound like nothing we’ve heard before and Macroscope who are supporting us at our Warehouse 23 show on November 9!

The Warehouse 23 gig, will be your biggest hometown show, what can people expect from the gig?

We’ve put the gig together with Long Division Festival and we’re really looking forward to playing with some ace bands in Macroscope, Rosie Doonan and Shake Your Halo Down. As from us, we’re going to put everything we have into it. Our ethos is to try and do that at every gig. Also, we’ll probably have a massive party after...

You’ve supported Idles before, it would seem guitar music is in great shape at the moment and there is a resurgence in people attending gigs again. What do you feel has helped turn a corner and do bands like Idles open doors for acts like your own?

Idles’ success has been a big help for guitar music’s resurgence. Especially for working class bands, like ourselves, who talk about every day things. The community that Idles have created feels like it has had a positive effect too. People are looking after each other and being a lot more supportive of each other which might be a reason there are more people at gigs.

Are you currently working on any new material and what are the band’s future plans?

We’ve been writing a lot of tunes recently, one in particular that we’re really proud of. Jonny’s cousin Jordan sadly took his own life around four years ago, the song about him is called Meet me at the Station and hopefully it’ll highlight the importance of looking out for your family and friends, recognizing when they need help and being mindful that people are going through things even if they don’t look like they are. The Warehouse23 gig is on Jordan’s birthday so it will be a special night. Other than that, we’re going to finish off the next album and hopefully record next year.