Louisiana duo Radiant Knife “creates heavy aural trips tangled in a web of off timings, layered psychedelic synth/vocal textures, and drumming reminiscent of Brad Elrod meets Billy Cobham” If that is not enough reason to check the duo, let me give you another. Their brand new album “Science fiction” (read our review here) develops further the musical layers, creating a multidimensional journey, full of riffs, tension, and in the same time cosmic landscapes of calm time warps. Let’s see what the guys from Radiant Knife have to tell us about the science, the fiction and all that is being radiant.
– Welcome to Blessed Altar Zine! How are you? I guess excited a lot around the release of your brand new record?
– Hi thanks for having us. Yes, it’s nice to finally get our new record out there for everyone to hear. We worked hard on it.
– Right! We’ll get to it in a while. Let’s start with a bit of background? And what was your main idea when started Radiant Knife?
– Greg and i have been knowing each other for about 20 years through many different past bands on the progressive fringe. It was only a matter of time before we started playing together. A few years ago the timing was right and here we are. Regarding the main idea of this album, we really just focused on letting everything develop naturally and to just be free. Different people have different chemistry so it’s best to let the music evolve on its own rather than to force it in any one direction. I think too many bands try to fit a predefined mold and the music typically suffers.
– I read some attempts for description of your music, but I’m interested how do you describe Radiant Knife after two albums out now?
– Really we find our sound hard to describe as well. Avant-garde is the easiest default explanation and usually that’s as far as we go. We try to reference bands that are in the same realm but I don’t think we sound like any one band or genre. Typically, we let the listener describe our sound and even they have a hard time describing it. Proggy indy sludge?
– Are you the Stereo Lords?
– No way, but maybe one day we’ll get there.
– Is this your necrodestination?
– Hey we might be dead and this is our afterlife/reincarnation we’ve been dealt but who knows. I think Frank Zappa coined the word Necrodestination when discussin religion. We had to work it into a song title.
– You stress more on the music than to the lyrics. Why is that?
– Personally we’ve always been into the riffs rather than the lyrics. We’ve actually both been in instrument bands in the past so it suits us a bit (Collapsar and Object At The End Of History). Also i feel like lyrics kinda force meaning onto a song and make it less interpretive to the listener. Let the riffs guide you not the words. That being said, i love the lyrics on Pink Floyd’s Animals and think that album is very strong because of the lyrics.
– Why “radiant knife”? What is the radiant in the knife?
– We’re both sharp guys with very shiny, radiant hair. Really just the image of a glowing/radiating knife is pretty powerful and kinda fits the moods in our music.
– Are you getting your inspirations by the science fiction? Or there are other “resources”? What are your favourite artists/bands actually?
– Science Fiction, the cosmos and far out thoughts are all part of our DNA, but mostly I feel our inspiration is from our subconscious, mostly undetectable sources that remain hidden. As far as a favorite artist, i’d have to say King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Zeni Geva, Polvo and Dazzling Killmen are at the top but there are tons more.
– There is a lot of 70 progressive and psychedelia in Radiant Knife, and in the same time you combine in a gorgeous way some calmness, peace and huge tension, moving the heart…How come?
– Mastering dynamics is typically the hardest part of music, but it is definitely the key to adding so much more feel to riffs and passages. We focus on that alot, and i think it helps to catch the listener off guard. I like to be surprised by bands that i listen to and i think most people do as well. Variety/diversity is the spice of life, and music emulates life a bit doesn’t it?
– How much do you dare to experiment in your music?
– Well, we definitely won’t be incorporating and country or rap into our portfolio but other than that nothing is off limits. The second you start putting limits on song writing and song direction the music will suffer for sure.
– Where does end the science and where does start the fiction?
– That’s something we may never know. What is fiction now may be non fiction in the future, and just something science hasn’t figured out yet.
– Tell us more about your new brilliant album “Science Fiction”. Present it to our readers, please.
– This album was a journey for us and hopefully a journey to the listener as well. It’s heavy and psychedelic throughout, but on many different levels. Layers of the album gradually melt away song by song, till your left with the bare heart of “Suffer Under God”. It’s a deep dive for sure.
– What is the current human condition? Are all minds wasted?
– The human condition is that we all are floating on a small rock in space and consumed with ridiculously minute and frivolous details of modern life. But, we must all accept our fate and that fate is inevitably death. It will come for everyone no matter what. 2nd, no not all minds are wasted, but i’ve seen a few great minds become wasted due to drug abuse or untreated mental illness. They all end up fighting dreams alone.
– Why do we suffer under God?
– We don’t know why we exists. We don’t know what happens when we die. We don’t know anything and we try to explain it with the God concept. That is why we suffer.
– What are your plans now, when the album is out?
– The album came out 8.8.18 and can be purchased at https://radiantknife.bandcamp.com in digital and vinyl formats. Our plans now are to play a few shows and begin writing album #3. Also we’ll probably get weirder but that will come naturally.
– Is all we are all we know really or there is more than meets the eye somewhere out there?
– We think that’s it.
– Is there anything else you would like to add or tell us?
– Thanks for the interview it was fun.
– I would like really to thank you for your time for this interview! It’s been a reall pleasure. From the behalf of the whole Blessed Altar Zine I wish you good luck with the new album and all your future endeavours! Looking forward to hearing from you soon again!
Interview by Count Vlad