interview: The Knife
thoughtful electro pop
The Knife are Swedish sister and brother Karin and Olof Dreijer.
'We want to react against the organic, improvised expression. We wanna do a more synthetic, weird and non-organic expression. Within the artificial expression new moods and spheres arise. Electronic music is absolutely the music of the future. Machine music is good.'
They like: Sonic Youth, Kate Bush, Le Tigre and Siouxsie and The Banshees, hard techno, UK grime and Southern US rap.
the next single "we Share Our Mothers Health" is out on 24th July.
I love the back-mixed vocals in Silent Shout (I think it's that track). Was there a message in that or did you just like the sound?
- when u have that kind of ambient track and u kind of get in the mood by the music i think the only way to do it is to have it this way to keep the mood and the feeling. its more exciting i think when u dont know where the vocals come from or if it's male or a female.
The imagery for that shoot is fairly dark, sort of witch-mutant, and you mention on the Silent Shout website that this reflects the music. Actually I find some of the synth sounds kind of cheery. What is your world view?
-i dont think our music so dark, its fairly normal, to me at least. it's moody and melancholic and mental but there is also hope. the same with world view, lots of things are shit and there is some hope.
What sort of live setup do you have?
- 2 projection screens, one transparent in the front and one in the back. 2 dolls with projected faces on so they sing. projections are made by a swedish artist called andreas nilson, we have been working with him since our very first video in 2001. we have done new versions of half of the songs and all music is mixed in surround sound.
How did you two start out?
- we just started to play out on the computer with some ideas that karin had, in -99. we didn't have the intention to start a band. we released our first 7" in 2000 on our own label and then we just kept on..
Is what you're doing an outgrowth of that or did you launch pretty much into what you're doing now?
-no it has really grown a lot. i never thought i could live out of music. just had it as a hobby. i could never expect anything like we are now. but has grown very slowly which i like.
As a brother and sister team you might have some degree of intuition about what's coming up next with each other. Do you think you have that or use it at all?
-dont know really.. havent thought about that.
A while back I was talking to Stonebridge and he was telling how, in Sweden, musical education is widespread rather than being a middle-class luxury or a lower-class pain relief system. Do you think there is any subtle programming that comes with that?
-dont know what u mean with subtle programming but the music education is really good in sweden. i think thats one big reason why we have so many successful musicians and producers, not my cup of tea but anyway.. but sweden has also a very big middleclass compared to other countries. that's also a reason why we have so much musicians.
Do you have any musical heroes? Who are they?
-i dont use to put people on high pedestals but i used to like laurie anderson and richie hawtin very much but now its more underground stuff and it changes so fast.
What's coming up?
-we're doing some shows this summer and some in autumn maybe but then karin and will have a break from the knife and i think we would like to do some solo stuff for a while.
Thanks a lot.
-thank you, best olof
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