Huddersfield trio Knuckle – Ben Wallbanks, Rob Crisp and Jonny Firth – are gearing up to release their debut album ‘Life Is Hard When You’re Soft Inside’, out this Friday (17th May).
Arriving via Wakefield’s Philophobia music, it offers up a wave of intense garage rock inspired by everyday experiences from Brexit and Home Alone, to people who think they are highly intelligent and very good looking (us?!) but aren’t (oh).
The band talk us through the release, track by track – and offer up a sneaky early stream.
This is pretty much a Brexit song. I don’t really get politics, but I feel with this government, they have taken our say away. I remember the adverts saying your vote counts, but I don’t think that is the case nowadays, we are run by idiots who have turned this country to shit and now trying to fool the rest of the world by ‘sprinkling it in glitter’. We are fucked now so what’s the point being upset about something we have no control over.
When Knuckle first started out, it was just Ben and me, and everybody used to comment on how we reminded them of Harry and Marv from Home Alone. When Rob joined later, we thought it only fair that he was Kevin Mcalister. After drinking a large amount of our favourite Magic Rock beer, we wrote a song about it, and that was that. I imagined our band being the actors playing the parts in the film. One of my favourite scenes is where Kevin has a cardboard cut out of Michael Jordan and making the room he’s in to look full to scare off the wet bandits, hence the name of the song.
A song about the random objects you would find in a cash and carry. Most cash and carry shops have some really weird stuff in… The chorus is an idea I’ve using a mobile phone that I purchased from a cash and carry that doesn’t work. The rest of the song came as a stream of consciousness when we were jamming.
This is a song about multiple people I’ve met along my way. It’s about people who really think they are highly intelligent and very good looking but aren’t.
Basically, someone who thinks they are the next big thing. I once had a job for a year or two as an extra on TV programmes and films; there were always people who thought they would be the next Brad Pitt or Steve Mc
Queen, who had no acting skills whatsoever, but they would always try and get screen time. A very odd set of people.
Everything is digital now, and people don’t have rewind tapes anymore, I kind miss that. In a way, I miss the analogue way of life. This song is about a friend of mine who is gay, and he has told me upsetting stories of the prejudice he was put through in the 80s for being camp and how he was very scared to open up about his sexuality. His story really upset me and I that wished I could go back in time and educate ignorant people. Rewinding time and ejecting all those bad things that happen to him. Also, in the 90s, I had a family member who was a drug addict; he got a lot of stick for his addiction, which also upset me. Sometimes I wish we could go back and get rid of that stupid stigma that society put on people just for being them self or for needing support.
A song about suffering from mental health issues. Where I grew up in Wakefield was an old mining village full of hard men; in that setting, you had to grow up hard. You weren’t taught to be open about how you felt if you were a man, and again, there was a stigma against men in particular if you suffered mental health issues.
A song about seeing people congregating in a city centre, fighting and buying drugs, and me thinking, bloody hell, if only your mother knew what you were doing. The reality is that we have all done it, we have all been there, I suppose.
This song is from a memory of pulling a well off lass, wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt. We were drinking in a bar, and an AC/DC song came on, she said ‘oh my god, this is my favourite Led Zeppelin song!!!’ I didn’t have the heart to tell her it was AC/DC, especially because I thought I was on a promise.
A song about being down and out and trying to remain positive. Finding beauty in dark places.
Again, a song about mental health. I have a lot of friends who suffer from mental health issues and sometimes it’s about recognising when people need support, myself included.
Knuckle’s debut album ‘Life Is Hard When You’re Soft Inside’ is out Friday, 17th May.