Interview by Miriam C.

Photo by Meredith Rice

Strong of their début album “The Serpent’s Root” released via Confluent Records, the Milwaukee metallic hardcore band KNAAVES is ready to blast our ears with their “pissed-off grooves, dark, melodic riffs, and emotionally-driven lyrics”. In the occasion of this release, we asked a few questions to the vocalist/bassist Amanda Daniels. Do you wanna know more? Just simply read this interview!

First of all, Amanda, how are you and how life is treating you nowadays?

I am good! Life has been, for the most part, treating me well! It’s taken a lot of time and work to get here, though. I’m super excited to have a new release after five years (aside from the two-song “January” that dropped early 2018).

So, KNAAVES‘s début will see the light on the 3rd September, however, for this moment, I would shift my focus on the band: how KNAAVES got together?

That is a little bit of a story, and I’m actually the second bass player. Essentially Andy (vocals) and Jamie‘s (guitar) old band Amora Savant from the early 2000’s played a reunion in 2016 that sparked their fire of wanting to play music again. KNAAVES was brought to light, they recruited Antonio for drums which he was a former roommate of theirs from back in the day…we had a couple of second guitar players before settling into being a four-piece and our good friend Brian Radmond was on bass (I was living in another state at the formation of KNAAVES) to start but life had other things in store for him and now I play bass and he helps us with music videos. I’ve just been friends with everyone for a really long time so when I moved back to Milwaukee they recruited me.

As previously said, KNAAVES‘s début “The Serpent’s Root” will be released via Confluent Records. What you can share about its general production?

It took about half a year and was a very intensive, highly focused effort. A true labor of love and passion project. We’re all really proud of what we’ve made and especially Jamie who put an unparalleled amount of time and effort into this. We’re also really happy to be working with Confluent Records, a new endeavor by a dear friend to whom we wish the best of luck and most success! The full-length was produced, recorded, edited, and mixed by the band’s guitarist, Jamie Kerwin at Davidian Studios. However, it was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Converge, Integrity, Obituary, Vastum).

How was collaborating with Brad Boatright and which kind of lesson you have learned from this experience?

It was awesome and while it was an impersonal collaboration I have worked with Brad in the past, we knew what to expect and we have always been generally pleased with his results.

Additionally, “The Serpent’s Root” features the artwork by Scott Shellhamer. What you wanted to convey with it and how it does relate to the overall lyrical thematics contained in the album?

We wanted to convey a general message or idea of what our music is about and it has to be reflective of us and the darker aesthetic we like. We sent Scott what the general themes of our lyrical content are along with some thematic instruction. It definitely directly relates, especially to the title track. He did a really great job of reflecting our music.

Photo by Meredith Rice

The single “Weight of the Crown” was previously shared exclusively on Brooklyn Vegan. Would you mind offer us more insights about this song?

This is the last song we finished and the one we worked on most collaboratively. The idea is the martyr vs. the muse and as an artist where does one draw the line with conforming to societal expectation vs. “free and truth-seeking” creative lifestyle. It’s also about losing something you love after putting the utmost time and effort into it and turning that loss into positive growth and transformation.

According to the press release, “KNAAVESThe Serpent’s Root delivers seven unapologetically heavy tracks of pissed-off grooves, dark, melodic riffs, and emotionally-driven lyrics”. I was curious to understand which subjects were specifically treated in this album?

Sure! Subjects are broad and touch upon: sensationalizing tragedy for profit, media corruption, serial killers, cults, mental health, environmental consciousness…

Additionally, I learned about your past experience in the band Enabler. How this professional and artistic background is currently influencing you in KNAAVES?

This question is somewhat difficult to answer because while I want to say Enabler doesn’t really directly influence me currently or in my day to day anymore. Of course, it has generally influenced me and that is the kind of thing that stays with a person. I gained a lot of experience and met a lot of people I’m really happy to be working with or sharing stages with again. KNAAVES isn’t exactly picking up where I left off but it’s a brand new chapter and it is an excellent outlet for the personal evolution that has taken place over the last few years.

Before concluding our interview, which is the next band’s plans in terms of touring the US and Europe?

Unfortunately, at this time we do not have any plans to tour the US or Europe. We have a few weekend outings around the Midwest of the U.S. planned for fall but beyond that, we are completely open and free. Personally, I would love nothing more than to be on the open road again and it is a dream to return to traverse across Europe again through playing music.

So, Amanda, now it’s your space to say hi to our readers and your fans. Thank you again for taking the time to reply to my questions.

Hi!!! It has been my pleasure! It will forever feel unreal and surreal to have “fans” haha but thanks very much for the opportunity, support and warm welcome to KNAAVES. Hopefully, y’all enjoy what we’ve been up to because we sure have enjoyed creating it!

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