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M.I. - You have just released your fourth studio album, "Land Animal", your first for InsideOutMusic/Sony. How did that come about?

In Bent Knee we are inspired by the notion that slow growth is real growth.  So we try to learn from each album we release and improve our recording process.  We have the privilege of releasing Land Animal with InsideOut because of this constant interactive process.  Each tour helps us get tighter and solidify our sense of dynamics, and each writing session helps us expand our language as a band.  I think the folks at InsideOutMusic recognized that we are always busting our bums and saw our potential to make some great albums.  

M.I. - You have been putting the new songs out while on tour this year. What has been the crowd’s reaction to the new stuff? Any favorite song you have been noticing?

I’m very excited to see what it’s like to tour now that the album is actually out.  So far, we have been playing to audiences who have only heard two or three singles, but now we will be playing for audiences that have heard the whole album and can appreciate the big picture of this chapter in the bands writing.  But, so far people have been enthusiastic about the singles, particularly Holy Ghost, I just think the songs hit hardest when you think about them in the context of the whole record.  So we’ll see!  

M.I. - Last year was quite huge for Bent Knee, with opening the US leg of the The Dillinger Escape Plan's farewell tour and then signing to InsideOutMusic/Sony. Do you still have to pinch yourselves to realize you are not dreaming?

Last year, a lot of my big dreams came true such as opening for a kick ass band like Dillinger and touring in Europe and I’m extremely proud and inspired.  Everything feels super real actually because although we are doing better than ever, we have been grinding every step of the way and there haven’t been any overnight superstar explosions for us yet.  

M.I. - Bent Knee are unlike any band I have ever heard. You are able to mix such a quantity of genres and influences on your songs that sometimes it is very hard to figure out what you are actually listening to and what bands are your main influences…

Yeah that seems to be the vibe we’re giving off.  Honestly we never explicitly think about mixing genres, but rather just try to make music that we all like.  We are a pretty diverse group of people in terms of personality and musical interests, so we have a unique collage going in our sound.  I am glad we are unlike any band you’ve heard, that’s pretty cool!

M.I. - The video for “Land Animal explores the daily stress we have to endure and how we can sometimes lose track of what is really important in our lives. How do you come about with the themes of your lyrics?

Our lyrics are mostly influenced by our daily lives and observations.  We tend to write about the things that worry us in some way, so that’s why in Land Animal you’ll find songs about climate change, racism, depression, and disconnection. The song Land Animal’s lyrics come from a time when we were pretty worried about the bands’ future and felt like we weren’t getting anywhere even though we had been working as hard as possible.  

M.I. - I have read in an interview you are a democratic collective. How does that come to effect during the writing and recording process?

In Bent Knee we all share equal responsibility for the quality of the music.  We each have a different role for each song, but ultimately everyone’s ideas get mushed together.  For our recording process, our producer Vince Welch gets final say on production and mixing decisions, but he takes everyone’s ideas very seriously while he’s finishing the album.  

M.I. - What can we expect next for Bent Knee?

We will be touring a lot throughout the North America and then heading to Europe next year.  We’re back in the basement writing when we’re not on tour, but the main focus in getting Land Animal out there for anyone who wants it!

Interview by Vasco Rodrigues