Posted On 27 May 2015
Tag: Aerosmith, All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Anna M'Queen, Depeche Mode, Electric Zoo, electronic, electronica, Firefly, Firefly Festival, Five Knives, Hangout Fest, Hangout Festival, Iggy Pop, Imagine Dragons, Mark Needham, Michael Jackson, Nashville, Nicole DeRosa, Pharrell, Pharrell Williams, Red Bull, Red Bull Records, Savages, Steven Tyler, Summerfest, The Bloody Beetroots, The Killers, Thriller, Timbaland, Tove Lo, You Are My Sunshine
Hailing from Nashville, TN, Five Knives are the perfect intersection of where electronica and rock n’ roll meet. Front woman Anna M’Queen, keyboardists/programmers Nathan Barlowe and Zach Hall, and drummer Shane Wise grind heavy synth riffs into an undeniably catchy sound that’s rooted in both old-school punk and new school electronic. Their debut EP The Rising is out now, and the band will be releasing their debut studio album, Savages (June 2nd via Red Bull Records)
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa had a chance to catch up with keyboardists/programmer, Nathan Barlowe between shows. Read more in their interview below.
Hi Nathan! Where does this interview find you today? What’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
We have just returned from HangOut Festival! The rest of today involves laying in bed and trying to recuperate.
For those not as familiar with Five Knives and your music, how did you get your start in music? Who or what was the catalyst for you to want to start this band with one another?
We all grew up listening to different kinds of music so our inspiration involves everything from pop and rap to punk rock. That’s probably why we sound like we do.
“The band started by accident. Zach and I (Nathan) were songwriters in Nashville and no lie, I think our publishers had put us together to write a Brittney Spears song to pitch to her.”
We hit it off and just started making some electronic tracks and rap tracks for fun. I told him I knew this girl Anna that could come sing on them and she came over and laid down vocals. We literally weren’t meaning to start a band and do all of this. We put the songs online and the response was amazing. Within a few weeks we were looking for a drummer and trying to figure out how we were gonna pull this off live.
You guys released your debut studio album, Savages (June 2 via Red Bull Records) and worked with the great Mark Needham (The Killers, Imagine Dragons). What was your experience like working with Mark and what did you learn from one another in the studio?
Mark is a sonic genius and a master at taking what you already thought sounded good, and making it so much better you start to question your ears and judgement. He was great to work with and very open to letting us be who we were.
I think we learned that it’s okay for us to sound a little raw and not perfectly polished like most electronic albums. He would leave things that would make us cringe at first, but by the end we would find that we loved the little mistakes and nuances. You would have to ask him what he learned from us, but I’d have to say we introduced him to the words “drop” and “trap” from a music standpoint. Haha.
Can you share with me what your inspiration was for your current single, “Savages”?
Savages is about loving someone so much, but realizing that your relationship has become a vicious toxic circle.
Who are your musical influences?
Depeche Mode, Iggy Pop and Timbaland
Do you remember the first album you bought for yourself?
“The first album I bought for myself was Michael Jackson’s Thriller because my baby sitter played it all of the time and I knew every word!”
What was the first song you fell in love with and why?
“You Are My Sunshine” because my mother sang it to us as kids.
So many! I really want to work with Pharrell because he is a genius and would probably kill one of our songs! I think having current or Stooges era Iggy Pop guest star on a track would be insane!
Who is in your current playlist? Any artists, musicians or genres we might be surprised to find in there?
It’s literally all over the place. I am a huge fan of The Bloody Beetroots so they are always on rotation. You may be surprised that I think the Tove Lo album is one of the best releases I have heard in years. The songwriting on that record is unreal. Those are well crafted pieces of work and I admire that.
“I have been writing lately with Steven Tyler for his upcoming solo country record so I’ve been listening to that stuff as well, which is surprising even to me. Haha.”
What’s on tap next for you guys? What are you most excited about in 2015?
We are doing the festival circuit this summer: Hangout, Firefly, Summerfest and Electric Zoo are some of them. We are also taking Savages to radio so we will be doing some radio shows and visits as well as a Fall tour of some kind.
I think we are most looking forward to playing these songs for people and having them actually be able to buy them. It’s our first real album so it’s an exciting time for all of us right now!
To learn more about FIVE KNIVES , visit them HERE .