Knifedoutofexistence: Band Of The Day

By on 18 November 2014


Noise and hardcore have made for strange bedfellows ever since Man Is The Bastard fired up Henry Barnes’ bizarre, home-made noise boxes to kick out some filthy, harsh sounds of a distinctly more abstract nature back in the early ’90s, and the intervening years have seen no shortage of punk, grind and powerviolence bands venturing into the murky world of noise and power electronics (with varying degrees of success, naturally), which is hardly surprising. The aesthetic leap between, say, Napalm Death’s early blasts of manic, blurred shards of audio violence and Whitehouse’s nihilistic, rant strewn soundscapes isn’t as vast as you might think, so it makes sense that people who are drawn to abrasive sounds of one description will inevitably find something that resonates with them in the other.

One-man audio terrorist Knifedoutofexistence will probably be a familiar face to anyone with an interest in the UK’s current grind scene. You might have seen him at this year’s Chimpyfest, for instance, or plying his noisy wares with Water Torture on their recent UK tour. Despite only being active for around two years, Knifedoutofexistence has already built up an impressive discography, including a number of splits with both noise and hardcore bands alike. His latest album, ‘Immaturity Of Movement’, is undoubtedly his most cohesive work yet, weaving together lengthy, hypnotic feedback loops, punishing swathes of distortion and tortured vocals to create a bleak atmosphere that manages to somehow sound simultaneously introspective and aggressive.

We got in touch with the man behind the noise to find out more about his prolific work ethic, the ties between noise and punk and the inspirations behind the project…

WHO ARE THEY: Kinfedoutofexistence
FOR FANS OF: Bastard Noise, Merzbow, Whitehouse
LATEST RELEASE: ‘Immaturity Of Movement’ (Outsider Art, Amps Against Trend and Male Activity, 2014)
WEBSITE: Facebook & Bandcamp

How did Knifedoutofexistence come into being?
“I had been planning a noise project for a very long time before Knifedoutofexistence actually started. It was just out of desire to be able to make sounds I found personally pleasing, and to do it by myself and on my own terms, without being restricted by the limitations of traditional musical structures. It was something to keep me creatively active and to have as an emotional outlet.”

Did you have a specific sound in mind when you started the project?
“Initially I wanted to just be all out unstructured harsh noise. Just scrap metal abuse feedback and yelling. That changed relatively quickly though as I wanted to make tracks that I would personally find more interesting to listen to, though those elements definitely are very much still present. ”

What kind of music are you into? Who would you cite as influences?
“Like anyone, I’m into a variety of music. I listen to a lot of punk, hardcore, powerviolence, sludge, Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, Tears For Fears, Sisters Of Mercy, and obviously listen to a lot of noise/power electronics/industrial too. Influence wise, initially friends and local acts that I would go to see (Content Nullity, Cliff Bastard, Dead Wood) were what helped me to understand and develop an appreciation for noise, and the people that encouraged me most to do this. I tend to draw influence from elements of whatever I’m appreciating at the moment. On the 12″ the layers of feedback over the top of tracks are directly informed by The Jesus And Mary Chain, and the third bridge guitar by Sonic Youth. I find Prurient very inspiring. Constrictions, the noise project Robby and Aaron from Sea Of Shit used to do, put out of one of my favourite, and hardest, noise releases so that’s definitely key to me. The biggest single influence though is Column Of Heaven, and the various associated projects. That band made me think a lot more about content, presentation, themes and the thought that went into projects. Hearing the first release, ‘Ecstatically Embracing All That We Habitually Suppress’ was definitely a turning point in my musical development.”

What can you tell us about your latest album, ’Immaturity Of Movement’?
“‘Immaturity Of Movement’ is to me the most complete and accurate representation of what Knifedoutofexistence is so far. It’s a very inward looking affair, dealing with personal matters and how that effects my interaction with the rest of the elements of my life. Each of the three tracks is recorded in a different way, showing the different ways I usually work. It’s the first vinyl release I have done for this project and it was out through my own label (Outsider Art), Amps Against Trend and Male Activities.”

You’ve played alongside numerous grind, hardcore and powerviolence bands in addition to more noise based artists – obviously the links between hardcore and noise go way back, but in your own opinion, what do you think connects the two styles, and why are so many grind fans into noise and vice versa?
“I think essentially most extreme music, or at least most decent and honest extreme music, is made by people who are somehow unhappy or uncomfortable. So what drives people to make these forms of music, at the root, is very similar. So usually, people can appreciate where things are coming from even if they don’t necessarily like the end sonic result. Also, people who enjoy music that’s played extremely fast are likely to enjoy music that’s extreme in other ways, like the frequencies and harsh sounds to be found in noise. The fact that bands like Man Is The Bastard are so firmly embedded in the history of both styles definitely helps keep the connections there.”

Do you find there’s any noticeable difference in crowd reaction between hardcore shows and noise gigs?
“Absolutely. Despite being far from a new development, I think a lot of people still don’t know how to react to noise, and the reaction very much depends on who is putting on the show and where. I’ve played shows where it’s been people sitting cross legged in art galleries. I think noise is open to being given context by the location and people viewing it, so the shows vary more. Whereas the routines and rituals of hardcore and punk shows is very much ingrained into our culture now, so while they can vary hugely, on the whole, people know what to expect, what’s going to happen and how to act.”

Most of the splits you’ve put out so far have been with other harsh noise artists, have you ever been tempted to release a split with any of the hardcore bands you’ve played with?
“I have released a split with Nancy Smith, which is a one man queer core/powerviolence project, so there’s already been one split which definitely has a side in a hardcore vein. Recently, my friends in Teef, fast hardcore from Brighton, asked me to be on a 4 way split with them, so that should be happening in the not too distant future. I’ve done a collab track with Monolithian, who though sonically more metal, definitely have hardcore/punk roots and ethics. There’s also plans to work with Plymouth grindcore band Godsick too. So these things have already happened to a certain extent and are happening. As this project is intensely personal, I work with people who’s music I like and or feel drawn to personally so I don’t doubt that there’ll be more releases involving punk and hardcore bands in the future.”

If you could release a split with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
“If I formed a connection with someone who’s work I admired I’d go for it, but on the whole I prefer to work with people I know on some level.”

What’s been Kinfedoutofexistence’s best moment so far? And on the flipside, what’s been the worst thing to happen to you in music?
“I have had some great opportunities with this project. Playing with long time favourites like Iron Lung has been incredible, but the best experiences have definitely been touring with my close friends (Carrion Sunflower, Dead Wood, Svartvit etc). On the whole, I have been very lucky with this project and not had many notable setbacks. I can’t think of any negative events worth dwelling on.”

What does the future have in store for Knifedoutofexistence?
“Continuing down the path I’m currently taking and trying to keep pushing the project so it remains vital to me. In November I’m playing the closing date of the Reading Festival of Noise, along with my good friend VIIOFIX, and my first show outside of Europe in Calgary thanks to the great people at Aught Void. Release wise, I have splits with Wet Nurse (death industrial/power electronics from Winninpeg) and Ruined (Gloomy shoegaze) planned along with the previously mentioned Teef split. There’s been talk of another floppy disk release on Amps Against Trend.”


About Kez Whelan

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