The Knife Carve Their Own Niche
"We always hear that we are so negative and don’t want to do interviews, but that should be compared to the crazy, exploitive industry where people do whatever they can to appear in the media,” Olof says. "We’d rather focus on the music instead of talking about us, which I think is quite uninteresting.”
Their respectable following came thanks to homeland chart success and a bewildering anti-image, which includes disguising their identities with unsettling masks and sending people in gorilla suits to collect their Swedish Grammy.
When their 2003 album Deep Cuts produced a modest pop hit with "Heartbeats” (a recent smash hit for fellow Swede and acoustic troubadour José González), Olof and Karin decided to modify the music and move forward at their own discretion — even if success demanded otherwise.
Silent Shout, their latest album, takes the avant-synth pop they crafted on their first two releases and douses it with eerie gothic vocal registers and haunting electro pulsations. "We always try and get away as far as possible from our previous work. I have never been into pop music and we were much more into instrumental and free music — the Knife was really a reaction to that,” says Olof. "Lately we are getting farther away from pop structures and more into ambient. It’s very exciting.”
As dour as the music may sound, Olof feels a lot of the Knife’s personality is lost in people’s first impressions. "I think it’s more psychological. There is a lot of contrast and humour in our music. Even though there is a dark mood, there is always a humorous element for us.”
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