INTERVIEW: “YEAR OF THE KNIFE” SIGN TO PURE NOISE RECORDS AND RELEASE “ULTIMATE AGGRESSION” RECORD.
SICK AND SOUND has the pleasure to present to its readers an interview our editor-in-chief Alex had with Brandon Watkins of YEAR OF THE KNIFE Delaware based hardcore act. After announcing their new label Pure Noise Records and releasing their new album ULTIMATE AGGRESSION on February 8th, 2019 the band is ready to move to a new chapter of merciless hardcore.
Consisting of Tyler Mullen at vocals, Brandon Watkins and Aaron Kisielewski at guitar, Madi Watkins at bass, Andrew Kisielewski at drums, the straight edge five-piece is brutal, unfiltered and face melting. They have been touring with their label mates Knocked Loose, Terror and many more and are ready to embark a new EU tour in May 2019 to promote their new record.
We are now catching up with the band to discuss their new signing to Pure Noise Records, their straight edge philosophy, their upcoming EU tour and explore in depth their new album ULTIMATE AGGRESSION.
- Hello YEAR OF THE KNIFE and welcome at SICK AND SOUND. Let’s start by discussing your background and how the band was put together.
Yo!This is Brandon…
We got started in 2015, had some lineup changes and then in 2017 we put out a demo called Ultimate Disease. 2018 we put out an EP called First State Aggression, another small lineup change and now in 2019 we have Ultimate Aggression. Ultimate Aggression is the Ultimate Disease demos rerecorded, a new song titled Fatal and First State Aggression remixed and remastered with new bass trax.
Since First State Aggression was released our lineup is me on guitar, Tyler on vocals, Madi on bass, Aaron on guitar and Andrew on drums.
Madi, Tyler and I have been friends since 2007 and have been playing in bands together since then. Aaron and Andy also play in an incredible Delaware hardcore band called Vicious Embrace. We met them around the time that band started playing shows and as YOTK began taking its final form we asked them to join.
That’s a long ass intro but this band has been a long time coming.
- In February you have announced your signing to Pasadena based label Pure Noise Records and entered its roster next to Counterparts, Stick To Your Guns, Terror and many more. So how does it feel to join the family and what expectations come along this new chapter for you?
Joining Pure Noise was honestly one of the coolest feelings ever. Terror is a band that helped shape the taste in hardcore most of us have. Especially for me. It’s awesome to be part of such a large and diverse label with so many incredible bands.
We couldn’t be happier.
- I would love to discuss your choice to embrace straight edge philosophy, the mindset and personal experiences behind such an important shift.
Straight edge has always been a huge part of our lives. Tyler has been straight edge as long as I’ve known him, same with Aaron and Andy. Madi and I claimed in our teens as well. For us it makes sense, it’s who we always were and who we always will be. Growing up is hard, seeing people hurt themselves by abusing substances is harder and the hardest thing to see is people you love doing it. We’ve all dealt with these kinds of things and decided to take another path. Almost all our tracks have a very straight edge message, if you’re looking for more insight you should be listening and reading the lyrics to our songs.
- In conjunction with your signing announcement you have released your new ULTIMATE AGGRESSION album combining previous materials along with new single FATAL. How has the songwriting process changed since your early materials and what features have been introduced?
For the most part, we write songs the same way we’ve done since our 2015 demo. Tyler plays drums and I play guitar and we set the groundwork for the song, then the rest of the band comes together and adds their touch.
- Let’s talk about the message that YEAR OF KNIFE wish to spread with their hardcore fury, if any, and the lyrical themes discussed in ULTIMATE AGGRESSION?
We get that straight edge isn’t for everybody, and the message in our songs isn’t that everyone should be straight edge. It’s that you should be able to make your own choices in life, don’t let other people push their bullshit on you. Heroin is an evil thing and prescription drugs can be just as harmful. That being said, I don’t write the lyrics, that’s just how they make me feel.
- You are embarking a EU/UK tour kicking off in May to promote your new album. What gets you amped up for your upcoming tour and how ready you are to rip the pit?
Returning to EU/UK. I’m most excited to hang/play with our friends in xServitudex. Being in a place that’s a lot different from what we’re accustomed to, meeting new people, playing new places, all these new and exciting experiences are definitely things that fuel us for our tour in May. It’s going to rule.
- Let’s share a couple of songs on the setlist that fans can expect for this tour.
Your Lucky Day
and I’m sure many other songs…
- You also have an extensive live experience sharing the stage with your label mates. Tell us about a few of your coolest and favorite ever on-stage moments.
Nothing like seeing Tyler sing on a Terror song, he usually sings the end of One With The Underdogs and it RIPS. Every set I’ve seen Terror and Knocked Loose play have been fucking insanity. I love it.
- Where do YEAR OF THE KNIFE fit into this year’s schedule? Let’s give our readers a touch on your upcoming tour/projects or any revelation you wish to share.
We’re playing United Blood Fest in Richmond Virginia early April.
A record release show in Philly 4/21.
Then a few shows out and back to the Rumble in Chicago at the end of April.
May we will be back in Europe and the UK and then hopefully we get some time to write and record a new record.
Thank you for your time and we wish all the best luck with the promotion of your fantastic record. We are thrilled for more music to be dropped by YEAR OF THE KNIFE and keep on supporting you into Europe!
Much love, make sure to check out xServitudex, Vicious Embrace, Simulakra, Rain of Salvation, Foreign Hands, No Option and Dolphin Hotel.
Year Of The Knife – Ultimate Aggression tracklisting:
2. Ultimate Disease
3. Your Lucky Day
5. Blue Lies
6. First State Aggression
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