Sunday, September 9, 2012

EXCLUSIVE! Cairo Knife Fight INTV!

Last year at CMJ, a band struck a chord with audiences that attended the massive music marathon in New York City and were deeply in awe of what they saw. That band was New Zealand's Cairo Knife Fight. The two-piece band make a monstrous sound but not in the vein of other two-piece outfits like The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Blood Red Shoes and JEFF The Brotherhood, Cairo Knife Fight's sound is much more than just thunderous rock and roll and blues. This duo incorporate tape loops, synths, and heaven knows what else to achieve a massive stadium size swelling sound. While the band's live shows and sound have gained a buzz around the blogosphere, the band also gained the attention of Foo Fighters as they had the honor of opening for the band in 2011. Now, as Cairo Knife Fight are set to tour Australia and thrill more audiences around the globe, we spoke with guitarist and singer, Aaron Tokona about how they started, being a buzz band and what's next. Take a look at our interview with Tokona below:

The band started out as a solo project for Nick, how did it blossom into the band it is now?

The band started out as a six-piece monstrosity! One day Nick came to me and said "Hey bro, what do you think of making it into a two piece, Ill play drums, bass, and sing at the same time while looping everything!” I thought, “Ok bro you go away and do that, and give me a call!” 2-3 weeks later he calls me we have a practice and he actually pulls it off! Freak!

Where did the interesting band name come from?

We cut a bunch of random words up put them into a hat and pulled out the first 3 which said 'cairo knife fight'

Being a duo, do you feel that since it is just the both of you what you can do is restricted in terms of sound or gives you more freedom?

It's actually quite the opposite. When we first started out as a duo we were trying to fill me every nook and cranny with sound because we were trying to compensate for a lack of members. But it's amazing how little you have to do to sound big. At the end of the day a good song is a good song whether it's done with a couple of matchsticks and a piece of bread or a full orchestra! 

Hailing from New Zealand, has your country played an influence on your sound?

Of course. We have a beautiful and diverse history of music in our little country. Your environment effects your feelings which in turn shapes your sound. 


Who are some of your influences?

To many to name. Obviously all the biggies from The Beatles to Jimi to Radiohead to Captain Beefheart, Miles Davis, Prince and Back! But also in New Zealand I would say The Gordon's, The Skeptic's, Baliter Space, Shihad, Neil Finn, HDU, The Unfaithful Ways, Supergroove. That list can go on and on and on.

The artists that have come from New Zealand have struck big internationally; do Cairo Knife Fight have the chops to be New Zealand’s next big band?

If you think about pie in the sky things like that then I think your pretty much a moron. We don't waste our time thinking about stuff like that. Wherever the journey leads too we want to enjoy the ride wherever that may end up. Our version of big down here is to make enough money to pay our bills, feed our family's and to keep doing what we love doing! Anything beyond that is awesome. (Yes we would like the be the biggest band in all the universe of universe's)

2011 was a big year for you, releasing two EPs, playing festivals and opening for Foo Fighters. What was it like playing for Dave and the boys? How did the opportunity come about?

2011 was great and we've had some great support slots. Supporting the Foo Fighter's was a highlight for sure. They are some of the most unrock starry guys you'll ever meet, which is often the case with artist who are truly at the top of their game. We sent our CD in with a whole other bunch of band's and got the call up because we heard they liked our music. That's pretty cool.


At the last CMJ festival in New York, you guys really started a buzz for yourself. What was that festival like for you and would you ever return and play?

New York is a awesome wonder of a town. Just getting an opportunity to play there in any capacity was a dream for us boy's. It was one of our goals. CMJ is awesome if not intimidating! with so many other bands there you just feel like a little dot on someone's music scale. All you can do is do what you do to the best of your ability and hope that it connects with people on some level. We will always play in New York in a heart beat if given the opportunity, we love that place.

There has been a lot of buzz about you guys in the blogosphere, do you feel that thanks to music blogs small bands can make a name for themselves?

I've only recently come to learn how important music blog's are, and they are. I was quite naive about the power of the 'Blog' before our New York trip. It's the power of free speech at it best. I think it's awesome to think that some 18-year-old kid can share his opinion about something to a keen audience of thousands if not millions! If a blog can open the door to something new and fresh, something that’s not spoon feed to the masses because it's backed by millions of promotional dollars, something real. Then that’s bloody awesome.

You released a few EPs, when can we expect a full length?

We will have a album out this year. Really looking forward to that.

What has been the best thing about being in Cairo Knife Fight?

No limitations. I love how we both try and go for the extreme. One of the goals for the album is to try and get that down to tape.