No Knife


Mitch Wilson - vocals/ guitars

Ryan Ferguson - vocals/ guitars

Brian Desjean - bass

Chris Prescott - drums

A young boy on a family road trip asks his elders if they can stop the car at the next state line. When they oblige, he leaps out of the car and triumphantly straddles what he imagines is the line differentiating the two states, and is exhilarated by this notion. His parents frantically try to find the camera well-hidden in the depths of a vacation-ravaged vehicle, while the son beatifically beams at them. They finally succeed in unearthing the elusive camera to record the memory when the boy mischievously scampers out of his pose and places himself back in the car, as if nothing has transpired. No Knife is that impish little boy, the parents being fans and media, the car symbolizes the music scene today.

No Knife is constantly pushing the envelope of success, determined not by playing sold-out shows or the number of units moved but by creating their own definitive sound and being recognized for playing tight and intensely vigorous live shows. Over their seven-year lifespan, No Knife has released three full albums "Fire in the City of Automatons" being the latest, and a slew of tracks for compilations and seven-inches. Producers Mark Trombino and Greg Wales have been tapped to lend their resources for capturing No Knife's extraordinary sound electronically. They've toured the U.S. and Canada over a dozen times with the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Sunny Day Real Estate and The Get Up Kids, but before you even begin forming your lips to pronounce the vowel "e", note that these tours have also included Rocket From the Crypt and Sweep the Leg Johnny. The band is finding themselves pigeonholed as product in one category or another, when in fact their music is infamous for testing boundaries and the confines of one simplistic state, to transcend limiting genres. In the words of T.S. Eliot, "only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." The blueprint for success as an ever-metamorphosing band can be the volatile combination of Mitch Wilson and Ryan Ferguson on guitar and trading vocal duties, Chris Prescott acting as drummer and Brian Desjean responsible for the bass.

Whether No Knife defines their shifting chemistry as fiddling with knobs in the studio to tweak sounds or as the energy that locks in the members as a whole during writing and performing, it is an enchanting alchemy. Accomplishment for them is being known as a musician's band; like Sonic Youth, both bands' fanbases are made up mostly of people that are players themselves and not merely fans. And while the media, musicians and kids abound love No Knife, finding the way to their own hearts through music is the band's crowning achievement.

On the No Knife horizon are European, Japanese, and Australian tours and numerous contributions for more compilations and singles. The band is keeping busy before they go back into the studio circa Spring 2001 for their highly anticipated fourth release, and somewhere in between an all-instrumental album is in the works. What's your definition of success? Perseverance, prolific production or a dedication to the profound? That, in a nutshell, is No Knife's interpretation. 

--Heather Ann Parker