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Knuckle Puck’s Joe Taylor: “Let’s Have A Good Time Together, And Not Be Held Back”

Rock Sound
Rock Sound 5 May 2020 at 16.26

"Open your eyes, take a deep breath, and know that you’re existing right now" - Joe Taylor

Knuckle Puck
are on the cover of Rock Sound this month!

Ahead of the release of their incredible new album '20/20', we spoke to the band about everything and anything, from their beginnings in a Chicago basement all the way up to travelling the world to play music.

In this little snippet from the feature, vocalist Joe Taylor and guitarist Nick Casasanto talk about how they set about making sure that '20/20' was as true to them as possible.

“I’ve tried to live more in the present, and stop romanticising the things that have been. In essence I’m just trying to focus on right now. That’s a big theme of what ‘20/20’ is about. Live life now. Don’t go, ’Oh I’ll deal with this later’ - open your eyes, take a deep breath, and know that you’re existing right now. Look in the eyes of the person next to you and know that they’re also existing right now. A lot of times we get wrapped up in the past or future, and we miss that.”

“It’s like anywhere man: you keep yourself in check, and you reach out to your friends. We have the luxury of being on tour with our best friends, so it’s about opening up to them more, talking about music and relating back to the initial reasons that we’re friends in the first place. There have been tours where you kind of shut down and a week just goes by. But over the last three, four years, it’s been a process of learning how to fully enjoy and be fully present and aware. As much as going on tour is amazing and you have you have these crazy shows happening, there was a point where I was almost numb to the reaction. Between tours, it feels like you’re having these mood swings because of the ups and downs.

You’re on tour and it’s a crazy high, and then you go home and are low, because there’s not all this stimuli coming in. And then it can get confused when you’re on the road, but you’re not feeling as high or hyped as you were before. But for me personally, in the last three years I’ve really learned to enjoy it again and be present. It’s like, ‘Tonight is this one night where people in the crowd just want to have a good time. So let’s have a good time together, and not be held back.’”

“Coming out of any negative experience - whether it’s a record, a relationship or whatever - you generally leave it with a newfound sense of confidence and clarity", Nick adds. "At this point in my life, I was able to realise that I’m lucky to get to do what I do, and we all are as a band. It made me realise that I want to write about what makes me happy and focus on that, because ultimately that’s the most important thing.” “I guess, what I’ve learned is to not take it so seriously. In the past I’ve been prone to beating myself up when things didn’t sound right, or pan out like we expected. But what I’m realising now is that rumination and too high expectations can ruin anything for you.

The most difficult part of that second record was ruminating on that idea of, ‘This really isn’t turning out how I expected it’, and only being able to sit and dwell on that. This time, I was able to roll with the punches. You can always change things, you can always try another day if something doesn’t pan out. The way I approach writing now is much more, ‘I’m doing this for expression and fun, and it’ll come out how it wants to come out’. I’m not going to try and force it into any sort of box, because in my experience that’s where the real turmoil sets in.”

You can read the full incredible feature in the latest issue of Rock Sound!


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