Knightsquatch is a unique band, because they defy any expectation you might have about a band that does anything remotely close to prog and metal. This is a band that relies on a boundaryless approach to music—in fact, they need it to survive and thrive.
Their most recent release, First Contact, is just three songs long but clocks in at 40 minutes. To listen to it, though, you have to come in with the assumption that you’re not just listening to a song. You’re listening to a story, like the score to a silent film.
Up until recently, the band had been playing shows and promoting themselves around Savannah. But when the pandemic hit, they decided to take the opportunity to lock themselves away and keep pushing the creative process to its limit.
“As soon as we saw that the virus was coming, we sequestered ourselves in our super secret underground swamp dungeon compound, and we’ve been just going on a several month-long training montage,” guitarist Jake Plissken tells Connect.
“We’ve just been drilling all of the stuff that we may have found personally deficient in what we were doing, and focusing on that. We’re writing some new stuff as well, and generally enjoying it. It’s one of the few constants that we all have in these uncertain times, and it’s given us something to continue working towards.”
Knightsquatch began with a different iteration, which was primarily a casual thing for fun. There was a long hiatus and new members joined, and soon the band realized that they had something unique that they wanted to pursue further.
“We decided to devote ourselves specifically to that, and through that we were able to focus much more of our energy on this band,” Plissken says. “We’re discovering more and more about it as we go along.”
The band had a loose framework for a few songs when they started, but they quickly realized a chemistry and decided to expand on what was brought in.
Plissken says they’ve always tried to push themselves further, and that they’re “never really satisfied” with where they are.
It’s a drive that is evident on a collection like First Contact, which sounds like a band that wants to push any boundary in their way.
The influences the band has are so vast and different that it may not even be obvious what the lineage is when you listen to Knightsquatch—which makes them even more unique.
“I can’t speak for the other guys, but for me personally I listen to a lot of Mastodon and Baroness. I grew up on Slayer, and thrash metal was the first thing I ever fell in love with,” Plissken says. “But I try to bring influences in from everywhere—even, like, lo-fi hip hop beats.”
Aside from their AURA Fest live stream on Sat., June 20, the band is planning to continue writing for another release and build on the momentum they’ve managed to achieve throughout quarantine.
“We’ve got a lot of opportunities to experiment visually, and really explore what things would look like in terms of a stage production,” Plissken says. “While we’re stuck inside and unable to play larger shows, it’s definitely a time to experiment and figure out new things to do.”