Interview with The Knux on Moe Train’s Tracks
Krispy Kream, Rah Al Millio, Brian Kracyla, Monty Wiradilaga
Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival 2009
B: Standing back here with Krispy Kream and Rah Al Millio, the Knux, the duo out of New Orleans that is currently in L.A… No strangers to the festival scene…
R: No strangers, love these festivals.
B: But probably new to the Bonnaroonians..
R: Yeah, no doubt.
K: I like that! Bonnaroonians, I like that.
R: That’s dope.B: So what can they expect to see for your show today?
R: The show today, man, all you can expect is some explosive, ego-flying action. Getting crazy.
K: Releasing the eagle, like he says.
R: Releasing the eagle tonight!
B: Now I like that.
K: Getting crazy. We’re flying like an eagle today.
B: It’s cathartic for you guys to get out there and let it out?
R: Yeah, just let it out. It’s a musical orgasm on stage.
K: I explode. So don’t stand directly in front of me.
B: The first album, Remind Me In 3 Days, was super-nova hot.
R: Thanks man.
B: What are you gonna do on this next album, you’ve got one coming out soon, right?
R: We’re in the process of recording the next album. We got crazy songs done and right now we’re just kinda going through what we’re gonna use on the album. We got some features on there this time. I know everybody was like, “Yo, why the Knux don’t feature?!” We had to put ourselves out there first.
K: We wanted everybody to get to know us.
R: So we got some little features, some unexpected features. And, you know, can’t really say the names… Lupe is on the remix of Fire!, so look out for that.
K: In about ten days it’ll be out. See, it had been delayed, man, had to be delayed. You know, some industry blah-blah-blah, but now we’re ready to release it. So the Fire! remix gonna be out this week for ya’ll, a summertime jam, so you got to have that. Lupe, the Knux, Currency, you know what I mean!? Bow!
R: Getting crazy. On this record you can expect a lot more of the same thing; sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll.
K: But way more sex.
R: No, I think it was more drugs on this.
K: Yo, this is about us destroying our lives. People will say, like if you didn’t know me and you looked at those Say No to Drugs commercials and all the safe-sex shit, I mean, honestly, we’re destroying our lives on this album! Destroying it! You guys are witnessing the destruction and reconstruction of The Knux.
B: So, basically, the first album was that you had to dip your toe in the water and the second album is just a straight cannonball!
R: Yeah, it’s just straight cannonball. It’s like if Iggy Pop rapped or something, you know what I mean, it’s just raw.
K: I liken it to ZZ Top in that most sexual, late 70’s, coke rush. I liken it to that.
B: Yeah, you guys need to start spinning the guitars.
R: Yeah! But, it gets a little deeper as far as bending the genres, we didn’t fall off of that. We didn’t go backwards, it’s only forward.
K: The hip-hop’s harder, the rock’s harder, the electronic is harder…
R: It’s all harder.
K: It’s like everything now but boosted up. We had our fans who were really into our rock stuff, and we kinda gave them something. And we had our fans who were really into our hip-hop stuff, we kinda gave them something. And our electronic fans who like up-tempo, they were like, “Yeah, The Knux do all these remixes, yeah…” And we gave them something too on the last album. But this album is like hard-ass rock, hard rock, like Stones in the 70’s. You got straight up just fuckin hard-ass boom-bap, this is like hard spitting. You gonna hear some blistering breaks, some treacherous…
K: Your about to hear some Euro-techno-ridiculousness.
K: And we’re gonna rip your fuckin heads off.
B: So, I’m the oldest of five brothers and I don’t know how you guys can do it on a day-to-day basis. What’s the dynamic? Isn’t your youngest brother your tour manager as well? How do you guys do it without ripping each other’s heads off?
K: I do rip heads off.
R: Yeah, that’s what I was about to say. There’s a lot of fist fights, a lot of brother issues. Eventually, at the end of the day, we’re all trying to make money. So we’re like, “Whatever, I can stick it out with this asshole.” That’s how we see it. We’re kinda like the Bee-Gees, you know.
K: Yo, my girl said the same thing! She just trying to make some money so she’s gonna stick it out with this asshole. Damn, that’s a universal thing with me!
R: He sucks. Just talentless, terrible. But we get through it somehow.
K: I’m just a leech.
B: I read somewhere that Nas’ second album was one of the most influential albums for you guys…
R: Yeah, It Was Written.
B: That was one of my favorite hip-hop albums of all-time. I mean The Message, Affirmative Action, all those tracks…
K: Yes, thank you!
R: Exactly, you know what I mean, Take It In Blood! A lot people skip over Take It In Blood.
K: This is what I tell about people, Illmatic was like for pure New York dudes, but outside of New York, It Was Written was written for everybody else. I mean we liked Illmatic, but It Was Written was for everybody else.
R: And I actually went back to Illmatic as a classic, but It Was Written really did it for me. I think he sort of came into himself as song writer and everything.
B: You guys actually had a chance to tour with Nas, what was that all about?
R: Actually, we only did one show with Nas. I didn’t do a tour with him, we did a show, and it was dope, crazy, fresh.
K: We’re gonna do Rock The Bells with him.
B: What are some of your other top five albums? Well, they don’t have to be top five, but maybe some of your sleepers out there, or…
K: The Fugees’ The Score! It’s one of the best hip-hop albums of all-time. They took the genre to another level.
B: Ready or not…
R: Here I come!
K: It just made our genre more credible, honestly. It took it from these muthafuckas in the closet rapping to, honestly, I grew up in the jazz world and people outside of hip-hop look down on hip-hop. ‘Cleaf, Lauren, and Praz made it credible. And ‘Pac, Fugees and ‘Pac, credible to the genre. And then you have The Roots coming out later.
B: So where do The Knux fit into the equation?
R: I don’t know…
K: Krispy has to take the sunglasses off for this one! Let me tell you something. We’re the greatest fuckin genreless group ever. There has never been anyone that can play guitar and rap like my bro does. We are multi-instrumentalists. You’re gonna see this on stage, it’s crazy. I’m sorry you guys can’t witness this firsthand, but if you want to witness this, check us out on the countless, endless tours that we do year ‘round. Nobody tours like us. Nobody performs like us live. Nobody can rap like us. Nobody can produce like us, nobody can sing like us, nobody can do none of this stuff like us. We are totally the jacks of everything.
R: Exactly, so basically what keeps us there is the four elements…
K: And the DJ-ing!!
R: Timeless, ageless, colorless, and genreless.
K: Everybody, your grandmother, can listen to The Knux. The clean version though, not the dirty version. And take Hush out. Boom.
R: Boom, done.
B: Well, my grandmother could not be here tonight, but we will definitely be in the audience…
R: Yo, come check us out, it’ll be crazy. We’re gonna bring some girls on stage, ya’ll come, we’ll get you on stage, you know, whatever.
B: Thank you so much for taking the time, I know you guys are in a hurry. We appreciate it.
R: Yeah, no doubt! Appreciate you for listening to the album.
K: Yeah, you got great energy, dog.
B: Thank you, thank you.