Swiss thrash/hard-core band Knut (pronounced K-noot) recently broke out of its European cage with a repackaged rerelease of the 1998 album "Bastardiser" on the American label Hydra Head. The band is now touring the United States with sludge rockers Isis. Knut will play Kilby Court on Monday. Gates open at 7 p.m.

Knut — guitarist Philippe, bassist Jeremy, drummer Roderic and vocalist Didier — was in the middle of preparing to head West to the Americas so, an e-mail interview was arranged with Roderic and Didier:

Deseret News: First off, who were your musical influences that got you interested in playing music?

Roderic: As a kid, I was into a lot of prog-rock — Genesis, Yes, Rush, Marillion — because of my elder brother, who was a musician. So I guess that as far as drums go, it could go back to Phil Collins and Neil Peart. Then, in high school, I discovered punk, industrial and metal, with a whole new approach to music.

Deseret News: When Knut started realizing that it was actually becoming a band, did you have any particular goals?

Didier: Well, actually Knut came into existence as a band. All four people that got together at that time, back in 1994, had already some experience into instrument-bashing, knob-twiddling and throat torture. I think we were pretty serious from the beginning about this band. And, also, one of my main goals with Knut was to release a record someday so I could die happy. Take my life now, please.

Deseret News: What were the main challenges that you guys faced when you were trying to get the music out? And were some of those challenges repeated as you were trying to release your 1998 Swiss album "Bastardiser" in the U.S.?

Didier: One of the main challenges we had with our music was to find the people who would be interested in hearing it besides the friends we had in our hometown, Geneva. We, more or less, did our first releases alone and founded our own label, Snuff Records, in order to release our music and some of our friends' productions. So one of the main challenges in that area was to get out of Switzerland and convince foreign distributors that we were serious and dedicated people.

Actually, it was mostly about trying to find a world of people that would see things like us, and learn how this whole hard-core thing worked.

We also had difficulties in finding shows for Knut, as we were unknown weirdos that wouldn't fit properly under one labeled genre — too metal for the hard-core scene and too weird for the metal scene.

At the time of the original Snuff version of "Bastardiser," we tried to distribute it in the States, but it was a somewhat hard reach for us Europeans. Really.

Deseret News: What have been some of the rewards you have reaped in the past 6 months?

Roderic: I'd say that seeing "Bastardiser" given a new life on a label like Hydra Head, which we respect so much, has been a great reward. And another reward is this U.S. Tour with Isis, which is so much more than we could ever expect.

Deseret News: In what ways did you prepare for the tour? Or are you looking at the tour as another round of gigs on the road to becoming bigger and better?

Roderic: No, this is definitely more than just about touring and getting big. Most of all this is a trip we're doing as a bunch of real, longtime friends. Plus touring with Isis was the best way to do it in my opinion. I'm pretty sure that those guys appeal to the same kind of audience as Knut — people who like extreme, experimental heavy music, not just hard core or metal or whatever limited genre.


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