Interview with Dead Master's Beat, January 2009
:dmb: Right now I’m sitting here inspired by your CD and I’ve decided on doing the interview as a dialogue rather than the dusty old-school way. Let me come straight to the point: Who or what is (a) knød?
knœd: knød is the project this interview is supposed to be about. The name is a nonce word and contentless hence absolutely noncommittal. One can do everything using this label.
:dmb: With the ‘ø’ at least hinting at a connection to the north [of Europe], people are likely to search that pigeonhole. But listening to the album should finally make clear that one would need a lot of holes to classify knød. Where does this variety come from?
knœd: As to ‘ø’: Correct, therefore the whole thing from now on shall be called ‘knœd’. That is also according to the IPA transcription. Fortunately, the booklet’s not been finished yet. ‘Variety’: What I’ve done over the years was to play about. Then the things that suited me were brought into an order. Does that suffice for an answer? I could talk about that much more...
:dmb: Right on! Go ahead! In case of need your comments will be cut arbitrarily. [untranslatable pun].
knœd: No, I can’t accept the cutting of my comments. So I’ll stop here.
:dmb: [untranslatable puns and nonsense in abundance]. Well, back to the point. Similar to the acoustic performance, the song titles display a colourful mixture of French and (Ancient) Greek words. With the album having no (further) lyrics, it’s still harder to discern a conceptual thread. It rather seems to me that people should be kept from finding such a thread or it doesn’t even exist at all. That’s at least what I think whenever I look at the first three pieces that appear in third, second and first part order. To come straight to the point: Why?
knœd: All I did was to simply put the things that sounded well from my point of view into an interesting (again from my point of view) set of connections. Therefore the cryptical – de facto nonsensical – titles, therefore (faulty) Greek. The reason for the single movements of mère ravine to appear in “inverted” order is their titles were given to them according to the sequence of their creation whereas the order on the album is the result of ‘what sounds well?’. It’s not as bad as it might seem...
:dmb: When it comes to being noncommittal, wouldn’t it just be consequent to make the vowel (ø, ö etc.) optional, down to your every whim, or would that mean to overshoot the mark?
knœd: Actually, all this wanting to be noncommittal rather is about not to assign to the sounds anything explicit. For that purpose it is completely sufficient to choose nonsensical words and phrases.
:dmb: Is this approach of being noncommittal a counterposition to all of these fraught-with-meaning phrases that exist in all kinds of scenes? Just think of Black Metal, Neofolk etc. Symbols are dug out, overloaded and everybody insists on finally thoroughly having taken them in. But only the smallest part of those who throw these symbols and phrases about have also understood them. I like refreshing approaches such like yours. So, again: Is this being noncommittal a ‘fuck off’ to the things and people mentioned above or just self-related saturation?
knœd: a) I simply started recording and then I developed the results further until I had the impression that they suited me – if that’s what you mean by ‘saturation’. To fraught something with meaning is the exact opposite of such an approach. The geeks you mention anyway wear their symbols (the – true or assumed – content of which they have to appreciate, b.t.w.) as signboards of their own personal excellence. And for that purpose runes, pentagrams and crosses are just as appropriate as car accessories or pants that are too tight. What effect could a ‘fuck off’ have at all in this regard?
b) “[…] only the smallest part of those who throw these symbols and phrases about have also understood them.” There even may be people who understand the respective symbols and phrases. But whether they do something reasonable or not depends on the content of the messages. To give an example: I think that nationalists (at least in this respect) understand each other very well; What they say and do is nevertheless complete bullshit.
:dmb: The album also features other musicians: M Silverburst (guitar), Stefan Schlieker (tenor sax, bass clarinet) and Wulle (Fender Rhodes piano) and, last but not least, Christos Kelchakis also contributed to it. How did these collaborations come about? And, was it rather spontaneous, i.e., did you just integrate sporadically recorded fragments into the songs or was it supposed to spark long-term collaborations. As far as I know knœd is a solo project.
knœd: Christos Kelchakis is not audible on the album. Maybe I’ll use the stuff next time. I simply invited and recorded the guest musicians and adapted the results – where necessary. I’m sure I’m going to invite somebody once more in the future.
:dmb: In brief: Will there be concert performances or where there any already? If yes, what are they like? If not, why?
knœd: I’ve had performance fancies since some well-known misters kicked my ass to push me to at last finish the album. But a knœd performance would sound quite different from the album simply because it’s awfully boring to watch somebody moving knobs and faders.
:dmb: The earliest recordings are from 2003. Will it take as long as this until the next album will be released or was this a unique affair after all?
knœd: I’ve got some new ideas and some sound material (cf. Christos). I don’t know yet whether I’ll publish anything in the future. After all, I don’t have to. I can’t make a living out of it anyway.
:dmb: As soon as you want to make a living out of your music you have to compromise. After all, in order to meet the economical necessities you have to attract a wide audience. That seems to me a very hard business given the style of your music/art. As to your new material, I suggest that you develop a good performance concept in connection with the pieces from the CD and to maybe record that concert. Well, we’ll see. Is there anything else of importance that you would like to say?