Mostly Yelling #6: Knoll Elevates Metal’s Technical, Thoughtful Insanity
It'll take you about five seconds at most to become familiar with how Knoll operates. Immediately upon hitting play on their new album Interstice, you'll be bombarded with throat-shredding screams, inhuman drums, blasts of noise, and riffs so grimy it's not actually clear if there's anything living underneath. Vocalist/drummer Jamie Eubanks clarified that while Knoll is certainly influenced by grindcore, they strive to be a little more technical than their peers.
"There’s a lot of technical guitarwork on the record, which I feel isn’t super common with a lot of grind bands but is a highlight of our sound and a result of listening to music outside of our home plate. We owe a lot to Bastard Noise, the Japanese noise scene, the Intensive Care lineage of bands, Brutal Truth, Triumvir Foul, and other bands in that realm for the incorporation of power electronics," said Eubanks.
"We all like hardcore too - we were recording when the new Gulch record came out and we loved it - and I think that not only pushes the DIY spirit of our band but also the energy that we like to put into the songs and performance. Legacy screamo like Orchid and Jeromes Dream, avante garde stuff like Portal or Imperial Triumphant - those are all also some crucial names to us. Gaza. Autolith. Tomb Mold. Convulsing. Too many to name!"
Eubanks said Interstice took about two years to write, though part of that time was the band figuring out exactly who they wanted to be. That of course meant some songs saw upwards of 20 iterations before finally landing on the final product. Topped with lyrics about nihilism, grandiosity, cosmology, and anti-spirituality sentiments, Interstice is a record that demands multiple plays.
"It’s a very contemplative record, both musically and conceptually. Many of the songs on the record have gone through twenty plus iterations before reaching their final point, but finally realizing the conceptuals for the record was the biggest catalyst in the process."
"Everything fell into place naturally after that. We were forced to learn a lot about releasing music as this is a self-release, and that’s been invaluable. Even just a week after the release, it’s done more for us than we could have expected. Creating a debut that we could push as hard as possible and laying something meaningful down is a huge goal, and I hope that’s what Interstice is doing."
So what's Knoll's favorite song off Interstice? Eubanks said it really depends on what you're looking for.
"I think 'Lambent Urn' requires a lot of precision from everyone in the band and is therefore one of the more engaging ones at practice. There’s sweep picking, odd time, and non-stop blasts and vocals. 'Earth's Iron Lung' and 'Inherent of Life' are already held as crowd and mosher favorites as we’ve been playing those for years, but the 'Myr/Fjord Peaks' section of the record is probably what we gravitate towards as a group favorite. The suffocating soundscape of this section came to life upon improvisation in the studio and hence carries a lot of weight for us."
Knoll is currently working on a few additional releases for 2021 and hopes to hit the studio in December or January for a new album out in 2022. You can grab a copy of Interstice via Knoll's Big Cartel, or through their Bandcamp.