“If Muse and Quentin Tarantino had a baby, it would sound like this.” That’s the claim made regarding KNKY ROOT’S debut track ‘Pulp Fiction’ which is up on Soundcloud as we speak. An audacious claim no doubt. And an interesting one. Both band and director can absolutely be accused of being a bit overly theatrical at times. To say the least. Luckily, this track from the multi-culturual duo avoids the bloated tendencies of the aforementioned artists in favour of an odd, fuzzy, concise and melodic track with dashes of electronica. The song swaggers with a confidence that is often missing from bands in 2016.Luckily, this confidence seems natural and as a result of strong material rather than a any kind of misguided hubris.
Tayo Jacob, one half of the duo, took some time recently to talk to us about the duo’s disparate heritages in Nigeria and Israel,
Overblown: The band was named KNKY ROOTS to honour the Nigerian and Israeli heritages of the band members. How would you say that your disparate heritages affect your approaches to music?
Tayo: Growing up in North American culture, while living in Nigerian/Israeli households, gave us an outsider’s perspective. When we were young, we were obsessed with the Hollywood dream and fitting in, but as we grew older our curiosity turned towards our own unique qualities and discovering ways of expressing them. This is what leads us to create such strange music. We’re different and we’re embracing it with everything we do, especially our art.
O: I hear that you guys bonded over a mutual love of 90s era grunge, Radiohead, and Muse. What is it about that era and those bands that you both love?
T: We both love contrast and the 90s grunge movement had some of the most aggressive music, complimented with hooky vocal and instrumental melodies. Radiohead and Muse did the same while catering to our love for classical music. We were really inspired by their epic compositions. All of these bands also didn’t fear sounding ugly. Everything from bent strings, guitar amp feedback and nasty fuzz tones, makes these bands innovators for their genre.
O: You have recorded two songs so far: ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘Bazaar’. What can you tell us about these songs?
T: Pulp Fiction is the more experimental track of the two. Going from a Jefferson Airplane feel to indie pop to edm/chemical inspirations. We really just let it all hang out on that one. We’re about to shoot the music video for it too. The visuals should help highlight the lyrical content, which colorfully describes the world’s addiction to media and the negative effects that comes from too much instant gratification – having everything without doing anything to get it. Should be on the web 2-3 weeks from now. Bazaar has its experimental elements as well but it’s more aggressive, leaning more towards alt-rock. Be prepared for some Incubus influences (Pardon Me – Make Yourself era) and some subtle hip hop vibes.
O: As you live a distance apart, how does the song writing and recording process work?
T: So far, we’ve written and recorded our music in person, at my (Tayo’s) studio. Liraz is in Toronto often enough and basically splits his time between L.A and TO. We’re already in the habit of sending files via Dropbox so writing in two locations isn’t really an issue for us.
O: What are your plans for writing and releasing new music?
T: We’re currently multitasking and writing new material while finishing up Bazaar and the music videos for both tracks. We’ll most likely continue to release singles until we feel like we have a good set.
O: Do you have any plans to bring this project to a live setting?
T: Definitely. We’re at the music store a little too often building our rigs. It won’t be longer than 3-4 months before a live show.
O: What is your favourite song right at this moment?
T: Literally any song by Son Lux. He’s a genius and he’s the #1 producer/writer on our wish list.
KNKY ROOTS are part of the artist collective nu. Follow the collective on Facebook.