WORDS: GEORGIA RAWSON | PHOTOS: GABE BECERRA (LIVE)
“I really, really don’t think we’ll ever want to stop doing this.” Isaac Hale excitedly tells us down the phone. Today as we take the call the Knocked Loose guitarist is in Munich, 4569 miles from his home of Oldham County, the final day of an almost four week-long headline run, and the final tour of many for the hardcore outfit this year.
“We all have other commitments for sure, like families, girlfriends, friends, but you have to make those sacrifices. We’ve been really lucky that it’s paid off.” Muses Isaac. These are of course sacrifices that many artists wanting to truly pursue their career have had to make, but for Knocked Loose it seems at times to have been on a grander scale. With members having dropped out of High School earlier on, a less than average decision made in such a conservative state, it’s not new for younger artists to leave the more nuclear family future of their environment to concentrate on their craft, but Knocked Loose aren’t just other ‘high-school drop outs’.
“If any of us ever got an ego that would be it. We’re not those type of people, and we never will be.”
Having first watched the hardcore outfit cut their teeth on European soil as the first opener on the bill to various hardcore heavyweights, to only weeks ago having watched them sell out countless 1000 capacity venues on the other side of the globe, and by the time this magazine prints being announced as a headliner for UK festivals, it seems that the phenomenon that is Knocked Loose is echoing on a global level. It’s something that Isaac thought wasn’t “impossible”, but still continues to “make them humbled.”
“If any of us ever got an ego that would be it. We’re not those type of people, and we never will be.” He firmly states.
As Isaac informs us of the overshadowing of the mundane day to day routine of touring, he reflects on the tour as being one that has been definitive to the band’s career so far. “I don’t know why, and I don’t know how, but even shows in tiny places, and I mean places that never get shows, they’re the ones that seem to really go off. That’s kind of relatable in a way.”
In late 2018 questions began to circulate around whether we’d receive the sophomore record, a follow up to the band’s debut record, the 2016 Laugh Tracks. But with a rather simple answer of “yes” Isaac tells us that the wait for the record, which landed earlier in 2019, was a mixture of both intentional, and that of anxiety. “We wanted to make sure everything was right. Laugh Tracks was, and still is a big record for us, but we also look forward with our music.”
“I don’t think that it’s a matter of we’d be bad people if we didn’t play heavy music…”
The release of, A Different Shade Of Blue, was so much more than another definitive step in their careers. Whilst the timeless influences of “artists no one except those in Louisville would care about”, including the likes of Guilt, and Endpoint can be heard, and even an artistic reference to Mental’s album, Planet Mental, having an alternative colored record sleeve for Europe, the lyrical content was one that took a sharp turn and blunt, yet honest & modern look at life as an adolescent nowadays. “I don’t think that it’s a matter of we’d be bad people if we didn’t play heavy music, but what I can say is that it’s given Bryan, myself, and the rest of the band an outlet.” Explains Isaac. “When people come to our shows that outside world can turn off for a minute, and that’s one reason why I think people connect.”
Any quick online search with the words ‘pit’ and the band’s name can sometimes result in social media postings of a more violent nature. But that is something that can come with the territory of any live show. “People can punch each other in the face, just don’t punch someone in the face who doesn’t want to be punched. If the show is a safe space for everyone, and for some people they find that safety in doing that to each other then, well that’s up to them.” He laughs.
Whilst both releases from Knocked Loose have become critically acclaimed by both the industry, and the music fans alike, it is in the live realm that Knocked Loose are holding the greatest of weights in. Whilst the band have seen “interesting feedback”, from their fanbase for touring with a plethora of bands outside of their related genre, there truly is something significant in their ability to tear away at security barriers and make even the biggest of live shows into club shows.
“Sure, we’ve all made ‘mistakes’, but they led to this.”
“Hardcore can be a genre, but to me it’s also a type of energy when you play live. Sure, we’ve gotten shit for who we want to play with. Sure, we’ve all made ‘mistakes’, but they led to this. For us when we play live, it doesn’t matter where, or to how many people, it is still a hardcore show. It is still a Knocked Loose show.”
“I’m literally getting to see the world because of music.” Concludes Isaac as he heads towards the final sound check of the tour. Come 3 weeks-time the band will leave again, this time for Australia, both to appear on festivals, and now to headline them. Knocked Loose isn’t just another young band that surpassed ‘second album syndrome’, but a phenomenon. Hardcore has become a timeless genre in it’s ability to pass on the baton to a new generation, a generation that each time embraces change, leave’s its own mark, but still pays respects to it’s root, and as we enter another decade both Knocked Loose and their fans are confident in both the band’s prosperity and leadership of the genre. “Like I said, this is literally all I want to do with my life.”
A Different Shade Of Blue is out now via Pure Noise Records. Knocked Loose headline Outbreak Festival in Sheffield later this year. Check out details HERE.