"It feels awesome that we were able to do something way more artistically driven, and in the end, it still feels like Knocked Loose."
Knocked Loose are back with a surprise new EP, and it needs to be heard to be believed.
'A Tear In The Fabric Of Life' is a six-track concept record that delves into feelings of loss, guilt, doubt and desolation to a soundtrack that is heavier, darker and more atmospherically devastating than the band have been previously. Letting there be no limit on how far they can go and diving into creative pools that intensify their sound to monolithic levels, it's an absolute fucking masterstroke from a band in a complete lane of their own. It is a culmination of everything that makes and has made, Knocked Loose who they are whilst also pushing them forwards into places they had only previously dreamt of.
Here it is, in all of its splendour with chilling visuals courtesy of Magnus Jonsson to accompany it:
To find out how this stunning record, and its downtrodden story, came to be, we sat down and had a chat with vocalist Bryan Garris...
So, where did this EP start life? Was it always your intention to make something like this?
"We have joked about doing this for a long time, but then the break from touring this past year allowed us to look at it and try it. Only with that amount of time off would we ever have been able to dive into something a little bit more artistic like this. But I’m thrilled we got had the opportunity to do it. I feel like we learned a lot about ourselves through doing this when it comes to Knocked Loose and how we would like to carry it as we move forwards."
So it was the space this past year gave you that allowed this idea to come to fruition?
"Absolutely. It was always cool to talk about or consider it, but it had to be pushed aside in the regular schedule that Knocked Loose has within a year. We’re either touring or travelling and when we’re home, it’s harder to get us together. It’s an idea that we could have just pushed off until it was time for us to make another album, and then you’re faced with the question of doing a whole album or making a pit stop and working on this passion project."
So what did that process look like? What did it feel like you were creating?
"Originally, the idea was to focus on the concept that sits at the centre of the EP [that I created] and how we bring that to life. But then when it came to the music, we found that we had started to try new things. When you’re implementing those new sounds initially, it feels like the biggest of leaps. But then, when you’re done, and you’re listening to the final product, you start to realise that this isn’t as far off from what Knocked Loose already was as you thought. It’s sprinkling in some new things that challenge us and makes us feel like we are expanding the brand, and they are things that we can take forwards with us. We wanted to exaggerate everything that Knocked Loose was. If it’s heavy, it’s the heaviest. If it’s fast, it’s the fastest. That’s what this EP was supposed to do. Then we did it, and we realised it was just the sickest way to write. If we’re going to do anything, why not go all out?"
Sometimes it takes moments like this to remember that there are no limits on what you can make. You designed the Knocked Loose blueprint, and you can change it as much or as little as you want…
"For us, we have always tried to write in the most organic atmosphere that we can. So we all just jam. We get together in a room, and we play, talk about and write ideas and build up off of them. We’ve never really talked about what comes next. It’s always been a natural progression. From ‘Laugh Tracks’ to ‘A Different Shade Of Blue’, you could say that there was a lot more death metal influence. That wasn’t a conversation that we had. That just naturally happened through those jams. This EP is the first time we have ever sat down and talked about what they wanted."
What would you say the result of those conversations were?
"These are six linear songs that fit together one after the other, but I also feel like they are the first time that we tried to evoke different emotions with our music. I feel like moments on this record are extremely tense, which benefits our music style well, and that feels like something we wouldn't have considered otherwise."
So when it comes to the story that’s being told, was that something built up alongside the music or was it something that you already have the skeleton of?
"We thought of the story beforehand. We have been saying it’s a different branch from ‘A Different Shade Of Blue’, but not removed from that world. When we were writing that album, we would jump around the idea of a concept EP, which all stemmed from the song ‘In The Walls’. So when it came time to do this, for me, it became one of the most challenging writing experiences I have ever had lyrically. I’ve never really decided what I’m writing about beforehand with our music. I’ve always just let it happen, and it has always been very therapeutic in that sense. And also, my lyrics are extremely personal, and it has never been really about telling a story that I couldn’t directly relate to. So that was all extremely challenging, but I also found ways to incorporate real-life emotion and real-life experiences to make the story we are telling feel more relatable. I got to do that a lot more than I initially thought that I would be able to. The whole process felt extremely rewarding, but I was very much outside of my comfort zone."
How did it feel to then look back and see just how much of yourself was in this tragic and dark story?
"I think that I have always wanted my lyrics to remain a release for me. In the past, that’s why I’ve always found writing extremely rewarding, being able to talk about these things that I may not be as comfortable talking about in regular conversation. Then I get to play the songs every night, and every time I play them, it feels like a release to get things off of my chest. I thought that I would be removed from writing this new EP, but then I realised just how much of myself I was able to incorporate into it that I still get to feel that feeling. Like a massive weight has been lifted off of me. Even though this is a fake story, there are parts that listeners will be able to grasp more because of the actual emotions being so real."
How does it make you feel when you consider this next chapter of the band with a set of songs like this now firmly under your belt?
"It feels great. For me, it feels awesome that we were able to do something way more artistically driven, and in the end, it still feels like Knocked Loose. I’m behind all the art and the art direction for the band and have always really enjoyed doing that but never been able to take it this far. I’m happy to have been able to take it this far, and it not changing what we are in any way.
"It feels great in how appropriately it has been timed to drop as well. We’ve had these songs for a very long time, and we talked so many times about just dropping them. But we were always focused on not dropping them until we could play a show again. At the time, nobody knew when that would be, so the weight was killing us. Do we really wait this long? Everybody around us was releasing stuff and were just sat by idly. We just had to keep on telling ourselves to be patient because it would be worth it. With it dropping and lining up with October and Halloween and being a scary record, it really sets the tone for the month. We’re also playing full time again, and being on a support tour right now, we can play these songs to so many new faces. Everything is falling into place."
And one of the most joyous things has been watching those new faces fall in love with Knocked Loose over the last few years…
"It’s gratifying, and it’s been fascinating over the years seeing how things have changed and how we have grown without jeopardising what Knocked Loose is. That’s something that is and will always be extremely important to us. And I will also say that Knocked Loose is heavy. That’s it. There are subtle, unspoken rules that surround that, but at the end of the day, I feel like we are getting into the position where we have established that we can do anything that we want. We’re lucky enough to have a following that trusts us to do that.”