Five Knuckle

By Andy

BEN – Firstly, if you guys could just introduce yourselves…
DAN – I’m Dan, and I do vocals.
SEAN – I’m Sean and I play the drums.

BEN – You’ve played the last few dates with Lightyear and you’re about to start touring with Capdown, how do you find touring with bands who have a higher profile than yourselves?
SEAN – You learn off them, without a doubt.
DAN – I’d say moreso about a year or so ago, touring with bands like them was a big influence on how to put on a show. These days as time goes on we’ve become more confident but it allowed us to play in front of big crowds which is also a good experience.
SEAN – And it’s also a bit of pressure, which is good for us.
DAN – Those two bands [Capdown and Lightyear] in particular are two of the best live bands in the country in my opinion so you can only feed off that.

BEN – Do you think that you guys have developed much as a band?
SEAN – In terms of writing, yeah, I guess…
DAN – I’d say performing we’re a lot more confident.
SEAN – We still seem to be playing to the same amount of people…
DAN – Yeah, but that’s out of our hands, and especially over the last year we’ve been writing a lot of stuff and we’ve matured and got out own sound a bit more.

BEN – Do you find that as you write new material you get a different approach to your older songs?
DAN – Yeah…a lot of times we get asked to play stuff from the first EP which came out like 4 years ago, so they’re old songs and it’s nice to leave them behind and move on.

BEN – When are you planning to record and release the new stuff?
DAN – Er…nothing’s definite, we’ve been talking about it a lot. I’d say early next year and hopefully have it out by mid-next year, maybe a bit earlier. But we still haven’t finished writing it all yet.

BEN – Will it be an album or an EP?
DAN – An album…we’d like to get our second album out. It’s been over a year since we released the last one, by the time we get the next one out it’ll be verging on two years so it’ll be nice to get another one out.

BEN – As a more general question – have you found that reactions to you guys have changed as alternative culture becomes more mainstream?
SEAN – I suppose so…because now being in a band, and being in a punk band…like before when we were at school no one was in a band.
DAN – It’s definitely a younger crowd, especially playing with Lightyear and Capdown who are playing to a couple of hundred a night, with a lot of them being younger kids.
BEN – Do you think that’s a good thing?
DAN – Oh definitely, it can’t be a bad thing.
SEAN – As long as bands have a positive message then it’s fine, they could do a lot worse than go see them. A lot of the time it’s just stuff that doesn’t mean anything.
DAN – When we went to school, and it’s not that long ago, I’m 21 now, when we were in secondary school we were the only ones…no one went to gigs. It’s all positive now.

BEN – Going back to what you said about bands having a message, the last time I saw you was with Anti-Flag in Norwich, what was it like playing with a band who are so forward about their message?
DAN – I thought it was very influential, I thought they put the message across really well and didn’t overdo it. When Justin spoke it was really accessible and everyone could relate to it.
SEAN – It wasn’t patronising at all.
DAN – Yeah, if you’re going to talk about stuff like that you want people to be able to relate to it. They did that very well and it tied in with the time as well.

BEN – Do you think that the current social and political climate will have an effect on your writing?
DAN – Yeah, it does, I’ve already started. We’ve got a load of new songs and it’s a bit more in depth than the last album. It’s a process, and I’ve matured over the years I think.

BEN – Are you feeling more positive about this album?
SEAN – Yeah, definitely. It’s more ease…we’re a bit more confident, the songs we write are a lot tighter. We’re all looking forward to getting your songs recorded because our sound and our style have matured a lot.
DAN – Yeah, it’s still a solid 5 Knuckle sort of thing.

BEN – How do you think Lightyear’s split will impact on the UK scene as a whole?
DAN – It is sad, especially watching them the last couple of nights. They just blow me away, they put on an amazing show every night. For the bands it’s been a bit of a reality check, from our close friends none of their bands have split up and then Lightyear do and it’s like…”shit…”
SEAN – ‘Can’t last forever’ kind of thing.
DAN – Yeah, and that there’s more to life than being in a band and driving around the country.

BEN – What do you reckon you’d be doing if you didn’t have 5 Knuckle?
DAN – I dunno…to be honest, it sounds sad, but a fucking shit 9-5, I didn’t go to uni but even if I did I’d be doing something shit like working in a call centre of a mall but that’s just the harsh realities of it all. We’ve got a lot of friends who ended up doing a job after uni that they could have walked into after school. Maybe that’s a bit negative, who knows what could have opened up?

BEN – Was starting 5 Knuckle an escape from what you didn’t want to end up in?
DAN – In a way…we did it because we enjoyed doing it…me and Sean have been in a band since we were 12…now it’s an escape because we’re so busy. It was never planned that way, it just ended up that way.

BEN – Is there anything about being in 5K that you’d like to change?
SEAN – Unfortunately, the ugly subject of living, and money…you can’t make a living.
DAN – This is just the reality of it. We don’t earn a penny, even on tour it’s about other people putting us up and feeding us. It is hard work, especially financially. We’re in a lot of debt and have earned no money. It would be nice to be self-sufficient.
SEAN – We support ourselves OK on tour, it’s just when we get back…

BEN – Even in the face of all that do you have any regrets at all?
DAN – No.
SEAN – Certainly not.
DAN – I think we’ve been very lucky, we get to see and meet so many people and that’s just amazing.
SEAN – We must have seen about 10 countries by the end of the year, just playing half an hour of sloppy music a night!
DAN – I’ll look back on this time and I’ve spent my youth doing something I love.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]