Knuckle Puck Interview

KNUCKLE PUCK are main support on the Intercontinental Championships Tour with Seaway and Neck Deep. Our Siôn caught up with them before the Bristol show…

How’s the tour been so far?

“Great man. Yeah the shows have been cool, packed rooms. It’s been awesome.”

How does touring the UK compare with the US?

“Um… more fun. The drives are shorter. People are really nice. Everyone’s really nice, yeah. Like we’ve only met a couple of people that we don’t like, not at the shows, just in general. There aren’t any people at shows that give us weird vibes so It’s been really cool man. I mean, It’s cool in the States too. Shows are neck and neck, man. It really doesn’t feel different. It’s just awesome in both places. There was one night, in Leeds, that felt like a hometown show in Chicago! “

You’ve toured with Seaway before. How has it been to tour with them over here in the UK?

“Great. Incredible… especially over here. We love being with those guys. Over here it’s just amazing. We did our first tour ever with them, which was this summer nearly two years ago, but since then its just been like seeing them if they come through Chicago or we go through Toronto, so to actually be able to spend a good two weeks with them is really cool too, instead of just seeing them for two hours. It’s also great being with Neck Deep. We did a full US tour with Neck Deep, so it’s cool to have friends that you’ve had and toured together with.”

You did four American tours last year, at the end of which you signed to Momentum Records. Will the momentum continue in to the rest of 2015?

“Yeah, I’d say so. That’s the plan at least. As long as people keep coming out to see us, we’ll play.”

Every band wants to sell records. Why should people buy yours?

“Shit, these are hard! There’s a cool final pressing. Haha!. I dunno, we try to be as honest as possible with our music and our sound.”

You’ve previously said that in your specific area of Illinois, there were no bands at all playing the style of music that you wanted to hear, so the band was kind of your response. Has that changed? Have you inspired others to start bands in a similar style, closer to home?

“Ryan started a band called Homesafe, with some of our other friends from home. They’re awesome. Yeah I guess a little. It’s getting there. There definitely are more bands. It’s definitely better than when we started.

I think all music is open to personal interpretation. Every listener takes their own meaning, or associates their own experiences with it. How much of ‘you’ goes into the music? How much of your own personal experiences come across in the songs?

“Pretty much all of it. It’s pretty much all they are. Just exact personal experiences with people or places. Yeah, it’s interesting you say that, because there are people who ask us like, ‘what’s this part of the song’, or ‘what’s this song specifically about?’ Or we’ll hear something where someone is like ‘is this song about this or that’ and its just, yeah if that’s what you got out of it, that’s awesome, that’s really powerful. If you can get a totally different meaning out of a song other than what our intended meaning was, that’s so powerful in music. Yeah, I don’t know. Sorry. Haha.”

Does it piss you off being asked about the Mighty Ducks in almost every interview?

“Yes.

Haha!. It doesn’t piss us off, it’s just like, we get it. Okay, so Stick To Your Guns is a band from Anaheim, California. I was out at a hardcore festival called Sound And Fury in California and we had a show in two weeks, and we didn’t have a name. So we were all brainstorming name ideas and I saw someone at the fest wearing a Stick To Your Guns shirt that said ‘Knuckle Puck Crew’ on the back… like Stick To Your Guns did a Mighty Ducks rip off shirt, and on the back it said ‘Knuckle Puck Crew’, so I texted everyone just ‘Knuckle Puck’, and they just said that’s the best one yet, we’ll roll with that. And we had a show in a week, so we kind of launched. For the longest time I wanted to change it and we were like meh, forget it. It’s too late!”

You’ve gone from 100 capacity venues to 2000+ in a round two years. Does it seem a little surreal? Did you ever consider things would get this big, and so fast?

“We’ve played to 2000 before in the US, and that was like, the absolute biggest and we have some really big shows on the main tour. A couple of 2500+ venues, which will be crazy. But yeah, regardless, the venue jumps have been crazy because like, we’ll go into rooms of shows we’ve played before like venues and be like, ‘we had no idea that it was this small!’ Because, you know, we played them so often. Like, Marquee in Denver. When we went there, that was one of the first venues we played on our tour with Neck Deep in Colorado and when we went there, right when we started playing out we thought ‘Oh, wow! This is a pretty nice venue.’ Then we started playing bigger rooms, and we played there on the last tour and it was like ‘Wow! I don’t remember this room being like this! I thought it was bigger!’ but, every venue is awesome. It’s really cool because we’re not playing huge venues every night in a row. We still go back to playing somewhat small rooms sometimes. Yeah, depending on where it is. It’s still our favourite to play intimate shows. Like, its still cool to play to big rooms, but it’s nice to go back to playing smaller, more intimate, shows.”

When the vinyl release of ‘The weight that you buried’ sold out in a just a few minutes, what was the first reaction?

“It didn’t seem real! It was crazy. Like, I can’t remember how many copies there were, but we thought it’d take like a month or something. The first pressing was 500, and we had a second pressing of 500 on standby, but we weren’t really expecting the first pressing to go in the first week. We thought maybe take a month, or something. It was really unexpected. I’ve been in positions where I’m trying to buy records and they’ve gone like that and you’re like, ‘Fuck!’, or like, sometimes, you get one, you know what I mean, you get a super rare record and you’re like, ‘Fuck, yeah!”

Do you have any final words you would like to send out to fans over here, in the UK and mainland Europe?

“Thanks for coming out and catching us. We have had a great time in the UK. We definitely won’t be neglecting you. We’ll be back for sure, sooner than you expect.”

Knuckle Puck will be back later on this year to play SlamDunk Festival. Be sure to head over to their Facebook page to keep up to date with upcoming shows and tour dates.

Read Siôn’s review of the gig here

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