MEB Writer/Photographer M.J. Rawls caught up with guitarist Kevin Maida of Knuckle Puck for a brief interview about life on the road, their debut album Copacetic, and more.
MEB: You guys have been road warriors for most of the year. You played South By So What, Slam Dunk Fest, and Warped Tour just to name a few. The band is getting very popular and it’s immensely well deserved – do you feel that touring is the best route to go to build up a band vs other mediums?
It’s definitely one of the best things you can do for your band. There’s so much a band can offer in a single live show to really showcase to people what you’re all about. It’s very rewarding when people tell us “oh I found out about you guys from this tour or that tour”.
My follow up to this, and I wonder this with a lot of musicians especially with the music climate changing, is how do you balance having day jobs and being in a full time band?
We all actually don’t have day jobs when we’re home from tour. John will occasionally work sometimes when we’re home, but for the most part, the band is our main source of income, which is crazy to think about sometimes.
Growing up in Chicago, what were some of the venues where you guys built your following?
Centennial Lanes, Beat Kitchen, Subterranean, Bottom Lounge, the Metro.
I wouldn’t say there is a pop-punk resurgence, but bands like you guys, Real Friends, As It Is, have been the torch bearers regarding the new generation of good pop-punk music. What initially drew you to the pop-punk genre?
For me, it was Blink-182. I don’t know what it was about that band that attracted me to them in the first place, but I got Take Off Your Pants & Jacket for my 11th birthday and I felt like I discovered this new world. They’re still my all time favorite band.
You can tell that you guys gave every ounce of blood, sweat and tears that you had up into your debut album, Copacetic. Do you guys take pride in fans having that connection with your music and the emotions you convey?
Absolutely. It makes everything we do as a band more than worthwhile. Just the fact alone that anyone likes our band at all is astonishing to us. So hearing people elaborate on how much our music legitimately means to them is the simply the best.
Did you guys make a point to push the boundaries from your previous EPs like The Weight You Buried and While I Stay Secluded? The album is still familiar sound wise, but then there’s the 8 minute finale to Copacetic.
Totally. We’ve always been trying to sonically advance our music, whether it’s subtle or not so subtle, especially with Copacetic. We sincerely made a point to try as many different things as we could.
In one sentence, describe how 2015 has treated Knuckle Puck?
I still can’t believe we’re able to do this for a living.