There are a lot of bands to be excited about in metal right now, but few have the kinetic electricity and obvious spark that Milwaukee’s metallic hardcore act KNAAVES are bringing to the scene. The group have a concise and fiery approach and a clear drive, the kind of intensity that will likely appeal to fans of Converge, Baptists, Immortal Bird or even Disfear. Their new 2 song release January is a must hear that is poised to make a lot of people take notice.
Amanda Daniels (bass) is one of my most valued friends in the metal scene. I was a big fan of her old band Enabler and believed her and got to know her better around the time that the abuse she suffered in that group became known. She is awesome and it is so great to have her presence and energy back in a group who have a ton of potential and positive energy/momentum. She is really deserving of your support and I am assuming so are the rest of the band – which features Andy Parmann (Vox), Jamie Kerwin (Guitar) and Antonio Ninham (drums). Their music is a powerful release and we can’t wait to hear more stuff from them.
It was great to get a chance to catch up with Amanda and hear about the new project. She spoke about the recent 2 song, show and video plans, #metoo and more with myself and singer Elizabeth Le Fey (Globelamp).
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Hi Amanda. How is Milwaukee treating you these days? How did everyone in this new band meet? The 2 song is exciting, fierce and alive. So awesome to hear your new project. How does it feel to be taking this step for you?
Amanda Daniels – Hey guys! Milwaukee is treating me very well, it’s good to be home. Everyone in Knaaves has known each other for a very long time. I met them all in the early 2000s when I started going to shows down in Milwaukee and met them all when they played shows with their old bands Amora Savant and Die Alone. Andy and Jamie went to high school together as did Mike and Antonio. They were all part of a local mke collective called “didn’t that hurt” and lived at a house (except Mike, he moved out to L.A. for a while). Mike joined a dear project of mine, Nadoula, in 2015 so that is how I met him.
I’m super stoked you guys are digging the new tunes, it feels really good to be playing again!
That bass tone on this 2 song EP is really growly and full bodied. It supports everything well but is audible and big at the same time, cuts through. Everyone got killer tones on here. How was the recording process? I like that this band has the aggression of metallic hardcore but also has some rolling groove that, for me, makes it more interesting and powerful. Don’t get me wrong, I love the speed as well and the intricate dissonant guitar melodies.
Our recording process was pretty simple and straightforward. We recorded the tracks over two seperate days in January at Howl Street recordings with Shane Hochstetler. He’s really laid back and great to work with and pretty much lets the band take their own creative process, he’s just there to help you capture it.
We tracked everything separately. drums & guitars first day, bass & vocals a few weeks later. We added in some fun stuff (see if you can hear where we got Shane to play a d-beat on the tambourine!) and went back in a day in early February, sent it off to be mastered and there you have it.
You recently did a video for a song for the first time with Knaaves. Any scoop on when we get to see it or what song? Is it a song we have not heard yet?
We are currently still in the process of shooting, and there is not a definitive release date. It is for ‘January’. I believe Andy is also working on a lyric video.
Do you feel like #metoo will hopefully continue to have a good effect on accountability in entertainment or are you skeptical? I know Jack Antonoff asked RCA to drop R.Kelly numerous times. I don’t know why they already wouldn’t after some of the victims came forward and need Jack to say something, but I am glad he did.
I think #metoo is important but also sadly just a flash in the pan that stands in the face of the opposition this type of movement faces. I see that even as awareness is increasingly raised and men step forward they are applauded for their shame and then left alone in their guilt. Victims feel rectified, if not justified, and I see a reeling back in many of my male friends struggling to deal with the implications of their newfound awareness and a growing distaste for “cis white males” specifically.
It seems that while all this is being brought into the lime light and those that feel guilt contemplate their past actions there isn’t any sort of direction for the future or hope for change. There is no rehabilitation and no example for a better standard. These same scenarios seem to be happening repeatedly and while more and more of the abused find their strength and their voices the perpetual newsfeed of disgusting human behaviors continues.
Every once in a while a big news story comes up, a person is vilified and called out, they are then disgraced and hopefully in some semblance disappear. Recently this happened with two bands in my community, Stone and Young and in the Way. These bands were dropped and disbanded. This is to be applauded, but sadly is not always the case.
What about all of the others that continue on, what about the members of these bands who were not apart of these individuals abhorrent behavior? What of these men who are shamed but do not change? What if they do not know how? Who’s job is it to educate them in today’s society when we are raised by cable television, netflix and social media? Clearly this question raises a lot of other questions . . .
Is there a person in metal or hardcore, a musician or otherwise, who you looked up to when getting into the genre and still appreciate? Why do they mean what they do to you?
There is not one person in general I look up to but a plethora, and I could write a book of appreciation. I most notably looked to my friends when I was young who took me to these places forbidden by my extremely religious family, I look to those who achieved greatness that came before me (Cliff Burton, Joe Bench), and I look to the many beautiful souls I have been lucky enough to encounter along the way.
I appreciate them all and they mean everything.
Globelamp – I know what it is like to deal with negative people online and people expect you to just saunter on. The power of the internet is real. You wrote about your initial negative stuff that happened in Enabler (read more about it HERE) on tumblr, like I did about my abuse. Nowadays people can try to use anonymous accounts to cyber harass you even more. When I read your story it said you had some negative responses. What advice would you give to other people who want to talk about traumatic experiences when it might lead to them being yelled at or discouraged for their story?
My advice is simple but difficult. Ignore it.
My Fathers advice “Brush away the flies.”
If you want to talk, talk.
Globelamp – Why do you think it is easier for men to put down a woman’s musical skills than to acknowledge when they have been shitty?
The ego is fragile. When someones ego is broken and light is shining through all of its cracks it is easier to try and reflect that broken light off of someone else than it is to look in the mirror and be blinded.
Do you have a lot of shows planned or a full length on the horizon? What can you give me the scoop on? Do you think the band will always play this style or do you plan to expand? I love it! That’s not a criticism just wondering if you have a sort of set boundary of styles you want the group to operate within. There’s certainly a lot of good stuff you can do within metallic hardcore all by itself.
We have a handful of shows planned and also future recording endeavors. We’re playing two shows this month on the 15th in chicago with La Armada for their album release show and then we’re bringing the party to Milwaukee on the 16th, and some really exciting stuff coming up for summer. We’re currently writing a lot of new material and have plans for split 7in’s, an ep, perhaps more ?
We will always continue to expand and grow and individuals and also as a collective so of course that will be reflected in the music we create! I wouldn’t say we have any boundaries but I also don’t see the sound varying too much, for example we’re probably not going to write outside of our tuning. We’ve actually never discussed things that far, it has been a pretty organic evolution. We shall see what the future holds.