As I am not at all familiar with RADIANT KNIFE I wanted to know more about them. Hence this interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-Well i think we narrowed a list down to about 6 or so possible names but Radiant Knife seemed to roll off the tongue a little easier than the others. I think in kinda has a psychedelic implication, but with a slightly foreboding element which complements the music.
How do you introduce the band to people that are new to your music?
-If people ask what we sound like or what kind of music we play i’m never really sure what to tell them. Avant garde metal is the easiest default explanation of our sound, but seriously we are all over the place.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-I wouldn’t say baggage really affects our sound much. Lyrically, i’d the i’m influenced most by the great existential crisis of why the fuck are we here, and what exactly are we? Also I have a bit of disdain for organized religion and that sometimes worms it’s way into content. Musically, i think just the era we grew up in has a lot of influence. When we were teens nirvana hit pretty hard, but in late 90s amphetamine reptile, skin graft, hydrahead and relapse records had amazing rosters which were also very diverse. I believe we draw influences from all that stuff in one way or another. Also can’t forget our elders King Crimson and Mahavishnu Orchestra.
What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands? >
-Honesty Lafayette La is still a small college town in cajun country. Cajun culture which includes a lot of zydeco music is everywhere, but for every action there is an opposite reaction. That’s where our metal and indy scene comes from. The scene is certainly not that big, but a lot of good bands have come out of Lafayette. It’s definitely incestuous, with a lot of people playing in multiple bands and genres and once. Greg is in about 5 bands right now and all are very different.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-Well although we are accepted (mostly) by the metal scene and could be considered part of it, i wouldn’t say we necessarily fit in. We don’t have the big beards, jean vest with patches, chains, black shirt every day accoutrement/flair that most metal bands bring. If anything we just look like normal slobs. I do feel that together we make a certain sound that channels what every cosmic frequency we are tuned into at the moment. I typically feel we are just creating a sonic picture of some message we received from the cosmos, whether we know it or not, and in some way this is our purpose or duty. In that way i think we are part of something bigger.
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
– Ha, well one of my favorite album covers is birds of fire by Mahavishnu Orchestra which has birds on it. I recently purchased an album by STNNNG called Veterans of Pleasure. The album art is awesome on that one. Also Keelhaul II by Keelhaul has pretty sick cover art. Really i just like experimental art, which is what art should be. I grew up skateboarding and was lucky enough to be exposed to a lot of great art through board graphics. Anything that is experimental is good to me, whether it’s indicative of the music content or not.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-Well i don’t think any artist should make art for the sake of getting paid. Art should be made to release something or get a feeling out, be it pain, vibes of all kinds, revelations, etc. I have to do it to keep sane and be “normal”. So, i think art/music will always be made whether or not someone can make a living off of it so in that sense it wont kill music. Digital is inevitable. It’s too easy and cheap for people not to partake. It is unfortunate for musicians though. I recently listened to a Dean Delray podcast where he interviewed Bill Kelliher from Mastadon (you should all go listen), who basically said they don’t make any money from album sales and have to tour to make a living. They even lost money on a recent Australian tour. Pretty sad a band that big doesn’t recoup much from albums sales. A lot of work goes into making an album.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-The metal/avant garde scene in Lafayette and Nola is pretty strong. Although we don’t always fit in, there are a few like minded bands around the area that we can always have a great show with. We love playing live but our focus is mostly writing and making records.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-We’ve played some shows where there was electricity in the air, we were locked in tight and the vibe was certainly special. You can ride those after show highs for days. Some other shows not so much. It certainly depends on a lot of factors and we try to bring the heavy every time.
What would you like to see the future bring?
-Honestly just to keep making records for ourselves and having fun. Maybe get even weirder? We’ll see.