The Book of Knots Talk "Garden of Fainting Stars", Film Composers, and More
Mon, 25 Jul 2011 14:35:14
The Book of Knots aren't really hiding anything inside Garden of Fainting Stars [Ipecac]. Or, are they?
That's the most intriguing aspect of the group's third offering. You never truly know what's going on, but you're not meant to either. Garden of Fainting Stars is open to interpretation, and it's wildly wonderful because of that fact. Few albums make you think these days, but this one will. Cataclysmic melodies rise and fall with a hypnotically heavy crunch, and the sound itself practically shakes stars from the sky. Everything culminates on the elegiac transmission "Obituary for the Future" that you'll have to hear in order to believe. You may never want to leave after you see what's growing in this Garden.
The Book of Knots Matthias Bossi spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview about Garden of Fainting Stars, film composers, and so much more.
Did you always have a vision for Garden of Fainting Stars?
Absolutely, it essentially serves as the wrap-up of our trilogy. It's incredibly cinematic and even celestial as it deals with the great unknown, space, winged migration, and air travel. You can't help but conjure up these vast images of loneliness and maybe a little excitement and danger. A lot of us work in film so it's like we're always thinking cinematically even if the end product, the record, is not delivered with a visual. We've done the leg work out front in terms of our source material to bring a story to life and we want that to be rock solid.
What's the story behind "Obituary for the Future"?
That song was actually recorded separate from any of these releases. When we were sequencing this record, we thought it would be the perfect send-off. If this is in fact the last record we release, what better way to close it out than a failed radio broadcast from this poor guy who's the last man standing? He's desperate for communication. He knows no one is out there and he's hashing out his life and blaming his parents, but seeking a hand to hold in his final moments before everything gives out. It bookends this really crushing rock song. You wonder where the broadcast is coming from. Our friend Allen Wilner improvised it in one take, and it was stunning. We broke up what he said and sandwiched the song in between.
It's almost like the entire album leads up to that moment.
There's a little bit of breathless anticipation at the beginning. All of our records do that to an extent. We aim to give a bipartisan picture of whatever it is we're talking about so in the case of this album the question is, "What's beyond here?" We have that excitement initially, scientific discovery, and then it all goes south. When things go wrong, you realize there's nothing out there. It's just blackness.
Which film composers do you come back to for inspiration?
I don't think you'll necessarily hear it, but I'm a huge Lalo Schifrin fan. I even love Howard Shore, John Williams, and Wendy Carlos. Some of those Alfred Hitchcock scores that Bernard Herrmann did are absolutely incredible. I love his music. In general, film music is amazing. Scoring has always been a dream of mine for sure. My wife, Carla Kihlstedt, and I are just finishing our first feature together. It's called Gravity Pull, and we collaborated on the score for that. It's really amazing to have that supporting role where the dialogue pops, lurking in the background. I love that.
Are you looking to immerse yourself further in the craft?
I always loved film. Only in recent years have I come to consider that it's something we can do. It's a crowded ship, and everyone is out there going for the jugular in them music world. In terms of getting yourself out there, you have to get really creative these days. It's difficult. Labels are falling apart, and it's getting harder to tour with the way gas prices are. Some of us were lucky to be in the previous generation where we could still grab on to that traditional method.
There's something very special about The Book of Knots.
It's truly a labor of love for me. I've been playing in bands for years. However, I typically seem to join bands that are already underway with steam. This is the first band that I ever founded and was there from the ground up. It's my baby and I'm really proud of this strange confluence of elements that have come together to create our sound. I think that can only come from the core members with unique backgrounds. Certainly the records would be nothing without Joel Hamilton at the controls. I think he's the greatest engineer living right now. He has this amazing mix of detail, irreverence, and speed. Everything comes together to create our records. It's really exciting.
Have you heard The Book of Knots?