Tuesday, April 07, 2009

An Interview with Kevin of Knight School!


Knight School

I haven't done an interview for Skatterbrain in quite some time and so who better than to do a new with than my good pal Kevin Alvir of fuzzy Brooklyn pop band Knight School! Their debut LP The Poor And Needy Need To Party is an absolutely great record through and through and Kevin's unmistakable wit and natural ability of making catchy happen are widely evident. If you haven't picked up a copy yet, you must! You really must! Here's the interview!

How did it feel to get a fresh start, musically?
Good, I guess. It felt Refreshing. It felt like New doors opening. It felt like playing around in this unventured part of a construction site. I don't know. But it has that sort of feeling.

Did you feel like it was something you needed to do?
I felt that I had outgrown my old musical project and wanted to do something that I felt reflected.....uhhh.....myself.

Why name it Knight School?
It was just a funny name I thought of while driving around. Maybe there are some deep meanings in it. But I thought it resulted from a lack of a thinking and a disregard for anything hip.

How is living and playing music in ny different from back in philly or dc?
Well, it can be expensive in NY. But I have made a lot of friends in New York. There is so much to do, see, and experience. So it's pretty worth it for me. As for music, it can be a little overwhelming. I mean there is that "Brooklyn pop scene" that bloggers and kids in the UK talk about, but there are also bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, M.I.A, and the National amongst many others that come from Brooklyn/New York. So it's easy to feel VERY VERY small and insignificant. So I really embrace that. Philadelphia and DC had like one or two bands that I felt like I had some commonality with. I compare the transition to New York with my transition to art school. I was the prized "artist" in high school, then I went to "college (art school)" and realized that I wasn't very good and had a lot to learn. Am I divulging too much?

How did 'the poor and needy" go from something you were putting together in your bedroom, to be released overseas on Lost Music?
Well, I was planning on putting together "the poor and needy" album together on my own, which I was going to release. I thought I'd only have to make 5 copies of the cd. Then Lost Music was really interested and asked me if I wanted them to release it. So...

I've tried playing the cd on big speakers, it becomes white noise. was the extreme fuzzy lo-fi - ness an aesthetic choice or was it just out of recording necessity?
Oh really? It sounds pretty good to me.

What albums and/or bands would you say ended up most influencing the songwriting on the record?
Uhhh....hmm...that takes some thought. The songwriting is kind of unconscious. When I started recording the songs for "Poor & Needy" - I just remember being real inspired by the Cannanes and their attitude. I have this really lo-fi Cannanes tape, "Happy Swing" that seemed pretty reckless and I was like, "Why should I make this hard?" But there are lots of other bands that I found inspiring like Tall Dawrfs, TVPs, Pavement, GbV, the Clean, and a bunch others that have a similar spirit.

Your song titles are hilarious and brilliant, how do you come up with them?
Thanks. There is no formula. It comes from being bored. I dream of being a comedian but all of it just works itself into music that isn't necessarily Tencaious D. But seriously, they just come out that way and I guess my personality just comes out with it.

If you could only play one song on the guitar for the rest of your life what would it be? Why?
"Dream On" by Aerosmith because it has so many parts in it and it's kind of baroque sounding. Therefore, I think it would take my whole lifetime to learn it and play it. Also, it's a really good song in my opinion. Real dramatic.

What are some of your favorite new bands at the moment and why?
Favorite new bands??? I love Let's Wrestle from the UK. I've been listening to their album for the past year. They're really funny and touching at once. And recently, we played a show with them. I was kinda starstruck. But they're crazy young and already hitting all the right chords (lyrically and musically). I like some of the new wave of Lo-Fi bands....Times New Viking, Psychedelic Horseshit, Dum Dum Girls, Nodzzz, Brilliant Colors. Also, I really like this band called Pains of Being Pure At Heart, they're pretty new to the world. But to me, I remember when their drummer was just an ipod operated by Peggy 2 years ago. But they have a good balance with their music and lyrics - I feel like I'm taking in a really sweet, subversive yet touching indie film when I listen to them. But to sound like a lot of other jaded jerks out there, I find it hard to latch onto newer music. Just because it seems like a lot of bands come out as 2nd generation xeroxes of bands that were once fresh and new to me. So if new bands really need to get me, I need to latch onto their bottom line.

What do the coming years have in store for K. Knight?
I am not really sure. I am not even sure what the coming months have in store for me. I guess for the moment, we have a 2nd Knight School album half-done. More shows, more records. Hopefully a tour in the summer. I just want to have a good life.

And will you be taking over the world?
I don't think either party is prepared. But....we can make due.

Thanks to Kevin for the interview!
You can find Knight School on MySpace HERE
Buy The Poor And Needy Need To Party from LostMusic Records

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8 Comments:

Blogger Dennis said...

Nice interview, Matt. I love that album.

3:35 AM  
Blogger Frances J Gibson said...

Dream On is a really good song

6:12 AM  
Blogger Darragh said...

Excellent interview. I love how Kevin loves Guided by Voices!

8:08 PM  
Blogger Kristina Marie said...

aw yay Kevin!

5:59 PM  
Blogger Trev Lostmusic said...

:-) Happy Times. Easily one of the favourite things I've had the pleasure of being involved with.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Divisible said...

Good interview, thanks!

Shola from Divisible
************************************
Divisible: For fans of PJ Harvey, TV on the Radio, and Peter Gabriel

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