Behind the Beat: Pre-Euphoria Interview with The Knocks
The Knocks are one of many exciting acts that are set to get you dancing at Euphoria Festival in April. This duo from New York, comprised of Ben Ruttner and James Patterson, were kind enough to answer a few questions for Mix 247 EDM. Read on to learn more about their love of hip hop, their debut album, “55,” and more!
Who were some of your early musical influences? There’s such a strong disco presence in your music, I’m curious if either of you listened to a lot of disco growing up.
From Ben a lot of classic rock and trip hop and for James a lot of funk, soul, gospel and jazz. We both always loved hip hop though.
It’s the culmination of our entire career up to that point. We created it with our friends and tried to push the boundaries a little as far as genres go.
Being from New York is a big part of your identity as The Knocks, including “55,” which was named after your studio’s street address. How else does the New York City landscape inform the music you create?
We DJ in New York a lot so we get to test our music on the scene which is big. also the open format style of DJing is very NYC centric so we tried to display that with the music. So every song is a little different but works as a whole.
Tell me a little about your songwriting process, and how you work together to bring your ideas to life.
It’s different every time. sometimes one of us will have just an idea, other times it’s a whole song…we also love working with different people to bolster the inspiration. We don’t like the process to be redundant at all.
You’ve collaborated with an incredible and diverse array of artists, from X Ambassadors to Wyclef Jean. Who are some other artists you’d love to work with in the future?
Calvin Harris. Kanye, Stevie Wonder, The Lox…we’re open to working with pretty much anyone as long as they’re dope.
Do either of you have artistic interests outside of music? It seems like you both have a strong fashion sense – would you consider that another outlet for your creative energy?
So far it’s just music, Ben loves photography and JPatt love hoops but we’re always trying to be creative in general.
What projects are you working on now? What can we look forward to from The Knocks in 2017 and beyond?
Definitely another album and basically just lots of more music.
What do you like to do when not working on your music?
JPatt plays basketball and Ben is an amateur photographer
What music are you listening to these days? Any up and coming artists you think we should be aware of?
Just got hip to Japanese disco and its great. Be on the look out for this NYC house duo called “NotNo”
Tell us a fun fact about yourselves!
At the end of the day we are both ride or die hip hop fans.
Follow The Knocks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check out “55” on Spotify or Soundcloud (bonus: Since this interview The Knocks have released a new EP, “Testify,” which is incredible. A must-listen!). If you still haven’t purchased your tickets to see them at Euphoria in Austin, TX, visit www.euphoriafest.com to remedy that ASAP.
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