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You Need to Hear This

Touching Bass: Bloody Knees

Nandos, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3 and talks of a post-apocalyptic Earth plus a genre-traversing mixtape from the Cambridge quartet.

by Errol Anderson
12 July 2013, 10:00am

Once more, I'm taking Touching Bass to some, umm, untouched territories. Right now we're stuck in some desolate postcode they call lo-fi scuzzy rock where everyone is bruising their patellas on failed kickflips and drinking cheap beer. Bloody Knees hail from Cambridge but they're more ollie than they are Oxbridge. While the likes of FIDLAR and Wavves brood over in the States, this quartet has been fronting a UK scuzz ball of slacker rock with their debut, Bloody Knees EP. Before they entertained the top floor of VICE's Old Blue Last in June, we joked about Nandos, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3 and a post-apocalyptic Earth. Oh, then they put together an awesome mixtape that treks from Misfits and The Adolescents through to A Tribe Called Quest and Outkast.

How’s it going boys?
Sam: It’s a bit muggy.
Bradley: The hottest day of the year but it’s not been sunny, it’s just been muggy.

So, straight in at the deep end but why are your lyrics so infused with horror and mortality?
B: That is really just tongue in cheek. I don’t take it too seriously. It’s just from listening to bands like Misfits all the time and I always found it more interesting.
Tom: It’s kind of just your interests as well. You like your morbid stuff.
B: I suppose so. It’s just that I find it really hard to sit down and write a straightforward love song. That’s just not gonna happen. I honestly just think it sounds cooler.
S: We find it hard to be serious around each other so if Brad was to write some lyrics, Brad probably wouldn’t have the balls to sing a serious song to us. It’s just all really plain and simple. It might have a deeper meaning, but it’s there for people to easily recognise and just have to fun to.
T: I think that’s why people have started to like us but it’s not too derivative, so its not really offensively tongue in cheek. Its nicely tied back which gives us space to be morbid and disgusting and then really nice and pretty.
B: It doesn’t go any deeper than that.
S: We don’t want people coming away from the gig feeling inspirational. These lyrics aren’t gonna mean fuck all to anyone.
B: It’s just fun man.

Cool, so what is your favourite horror movie?
S: Ring 2. The American one with the blonde chick. I’d fuck her with knives.
Chris: Saw 3.
B: Evil Dead.
T: The Exorcist.

Just as morbid, but what about being stuck In a post-apocalyptic world, who would survive the longest?
S: That’d be Tommy.
T: I would rationalise everything and put everything down and get it in order. Bradley would go out gun-ho, fuck everything. Sam would die straight away.
B: No, no. Sam would die because Chris would eat him because he’s so hungry. He’d just have a snack on him.
S: I would die just by accidently hurting myself rather than actually getting killed by a cluster fuck of zombies.

Ha. OK, do you guys still get nervous about playing live?
T: If we play gigs for a few days in a row, then it’s fine. If there’s a massive build-up to a gig then I get nervous personally.
S: I still do get a bit nervous because we haven’t actually played that much. The first gig was in September so we haven’t played an awful lot. We’ve only ever played consecutive nights maybe once or twice.
T: At one point, we played more shows than we had practices. But yeah, I get so nervous before every show but just try not to show it.
B: I get more nervous now than I did when we played for other bands when we were younger.
S: I think because the shows have upped themselves. Our first gig here we shit ourselves though.

Lulz. So, in terms of Cambridge, is there much to get up to?
S: It’s nice to look at, but there’s actually fuck all to do in Cambridge. There’s no decent places to go and drink. We’re village boys so we don’t really go out. We don’t go to Cambridge apart from to get a Nandos.
T: The Nandos is sublime actually.
C: The service is really on point.
S: Sometimes it’s faster than fast food. But there’s always someone that’s unfortunate and gets it late.

Oh, that guy. I’ve learned that you guys are skaters. Were you ever Tony Hawk Pro Skater fans? Best soundtrack ever?
B: THPS3 had the best soundtrack. You had AFI, Motorhead and some others that were so good. On the mix that we’ve sent, one of the tracks on there is Adolescents “Amoeba” and that’s from that soundtrack. When I used to play Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 as a kid, the lyrics were like “Amoebaaaa” but I could have sworn it said Tony Hawk. I went onto YouTube to check the video for it and every kid is just like “I thought it said Tony Hawk”.

That leads us onto my next question. What kind of tunes did you go for on the mixtape?
S: Collectively, we do listen to a certain bracket of stuff but outside of that we all listen to totally different stuff. So instead of going for one mixtape which was one vibe we wanted to do something that reflected us as a band collectively.
B: We split it up so we kinda have 15 minutes each and everyone got to pick their own five or six tracks but its not loads of new stuff on there.
T: It starts off us as this heavy shit and then it hits an after party vibe. Then you’re at the after party, having a nice time and then someone puts a deep tune and I think it might be that “I Wanna Be Your Lover” tune and then it goes into Outkast and [Sam] Conway gets his guitar out and does that Sublime cover, “Rivers Of Babylon”.
S: That guy that gets the guitar out at house parties is the biggest cunt in the world. He pulls out “Wonderwall”.
T: Or the guy that brings it to a festival when the fire is burning. The worst thing is that someone will come up to him and go “niceee man”.

Finally, what do people have to look forward to?
T: We might have something coming out in October times but that’s not confirmed just yet. We want to take it quite easy.
S: We've just put out our EP, but not that many people know who we are so we’d rather let people digest what we’ve put out already.

That’s fair enough. Thanks guys!

TRACKLIST
Roomrunner - "Weird"
My Black Ass - "Shellac"
Single Mothers - "Christian Girls"
Title Fight - "Coxton Yard"
Lovvers - "AXTXTXIXTXUXDXE"
Kerouac - "Little Mountains We Move"
Jackals - "Profit"
Misfits - "All Hell Breaks Loose"
The Adolescents - "Amoeba"
Wavves & Best Coast - "Nodding Off"
Weezer - "Surf Wax America"
Saves The Day - "Holly Hox Forget Me Nots"
Forest - "John"
Cap'n Jazz - "AOK"
Rawshank - "Word Of Good Cheer"
Talking Heads - "Sugar On My Tongue"
A Tribe Called Quest - "Scenario"
Pearson Sound - "Crimson" (Beat Ritual Mix)
King Kong - "Ninja Mi Ninja"
La Bionda - "I Wanna Be Your Lover"
Outkast - "Elevators (Me & You)"
Sublime - "Rivers Of Babylon"

Follow Errol on Twitter @errol_and

For more Touching Bass, read:
TOUCHING BASS: MUMDANCE

TOUCHING BASS: WALTON

TOUCHING BASS: EMBASSY RECORDINGS