The Knife notoriously shy away from attention. The Swedish brother-sister duo wear masks in their press pictures and have only performed live 13 times since forming in 1999.
If we could choose not to do any photos at all, we would. But it’s quite impossible. Because I don’t think it has anything to do with the music. So we use the photos now to show what our music looks like.
The same could be applied to their outlook on live shows. They prefer the studio, and on stage they play dress up to maintain the mood of their bizarre electro-pop. Their upcoming performances are largely the vision of artist and director Andreas Nilsson, who also shot the band's "Silent Shout" and "Heartbeats" videos. The elaborate set will feature projection screens, costumes and live puppetry. The perfect complement to their chilling and critically acclaimed third album (and first released in the U.S.).
We managed to set up a phone interview with Olof Dreijer last week to talk about live shows and inspiration. We'll also be giving away a copy of Silent Shout, their latest full-length album. Transcript, contest details and tour dates after the jump.
What can people expect at your upcoming shows?
The reason we're doing this show is this artist Andreas Nilsson who we have been working with since our first video. He has put together a great stage show, and he's really the reason why we're doing this. His images really moved me the first time I saw them. The show is two projection screens, one in the back and one in front of us. The front screen is transparent so you have a hologram/3D effect. And we also have some singing dolls with faces projected on them. The songs are mixed in surround sound, so it's like a whole new theatrical show.
Why have your performances been so rare in the past?
We just like being a studio band. I've never seen any good reason to perform the songs on stage because they are already done. It wouldn't be better if we were to perform them live. The reason we do it now is Andreas' work. It's really his show with our music.
Do you have any plans to do more extensive touring in the future?
We're going to do the shows we have lined up, but that's about it right now. It's not our main thing to do shows. We like to be in the studio making new music. The show is also quite expensive to put on, so we just do a few.
What do you hope to accomplish with your music?
I don't have a good answer to that. I think it's fun to do music, and I do music for myself. I try to make music that I get moved by. That's about it.
What moves or inspires you?
Melodies and exciting sounds.
Do you have any favorite shows that you've been to?
Not so many, but I've seen a video from a Laurie Anderson performance called Home of the Brave. That was a really inspirational show. She was a real pioneer in technique and performances. I seldom go to concerts. I often end up just going to DJ gigs.
What do you think makes a good show?
That you get taken away and that you get moved by it. You feel there's a reason why it's on stage rather than just listening to the music at home.
At the end, I asked Olof to pick a number between 1 and 50. He chose 1. So the first person to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a free copy of Silent Shout, provided by Special Ops Media. Be sure to include your name and the address where you'd like the CD shipped.
- Oct 10: Milan, Italy @ Magazzini Generali
- Oct 12: Paris, France @ La Cigale
- Oct 13: Cologne, Germany @ E-Werk
- Oct 14: London, UK @ The Forum
- Oct 15: Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
- Oct 16: Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega (sold out)
- Oct 17: Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega (sold out)
- Nov 1: New York City, NY @ Webster Hall (two shows)
- Nov 3: San Francisco, CA @ Mezzanine (sold out)
- Nov 4: Los Angeles, CA @ El Ray Theatre