Brooklyn-based punk band, Hot Knife recently celebrated the release of their new EP, Dread. A self-proclaimed “pop-punk album for and by adults”, Dread is comprised of five good old fashioned punk rock songs, complete with crunchy riffs and personal lyricism about navigating adulthood in an ever-evolving world. The EP arrived at a strangely perfect time in 2020, offering listeners something that they can easily connect with.
With Dread out now, we caught up with Hot Knife to reflect on the EP. Read the full interview and listen to the EP now below.
Prelude Press: Can you tell us a little bit about Hot Knife for anyone who might be hearing you guys for the first time?
Hot Knife: We’re a 4 piece riffy punk rock band from Brooklyn, NY. Some of us have been in other bands (Static Radio, Candy Hearts, Spanish Gamble). We like to have a good time, all the time.
You’ve recently released your new EP, Dread! What are you most excited for fans to hear on the EP?
Dread is out in the world! You can get the sweet 10″ from Black Numbers in the US and Gunner records in Europe. And you can stream it wherever you stream music. It’s a 12-minute EP, so I’m psyched for people to hear the whole thing! I can’t pick a favorite song, it constantly changes. Right now I like “First Street” the best.
Did you have any major goals in mind when you first started working on Dread?
Our only goals are to improve as a band, improve our songwriting, hopefully reach more people and create things we are proud of. That’s it. We were excited to support the release of this record with shows around the east coast and in Europe. That’s on hold for now, but we’ll be out there before you know it.
Dread follows your 2017 EP, My Fangs. How do you feel you’ve grown as a band since the release of your last EP?
I think that our songwriting has improved. We’ve got a process that is comfortable. In terms of the live show, we have more songs and have improved our setlist with some transitions and stuff. We took our time recording this EP, whereas My Fangs was tracked pretty quickly. That enabled us to leave the studio happy, feeling as though we gave it our all.
Honestly, not really. We were working with pros. We planned for more time in the studio, and we got that right. It went really smoothly.
You guys worked with Jesse Cannon, Brian DiMeglio and Jason Livermore on this EP – what was the most rewarding part about working with these guys? Was there anything you learned during the writing and recording process?
There’s nothing more rewarding than hearing your songs presented in the way that you intended them to be presented. Jesse, Brian, and Jason were all critical in achieving that. Jesse does a good job challenging us a bit on the writing stuff – asking whether it’s the right key, whether there is a way to push it higher, raise the stakes. Brian brought a lot of really great ideas to the table in terms of lead parts and layers. Jason is one of the best in the business and knows how to mix a really full sounding punk record.
Lyrically, Dread is a pretty personal release. Was there anything you really wanted to touch on with the EP?
I’m glad to hear that they come across as personal because I think that’s important for this music to be compelling. I hope that the themes are relatable. Most of it is about grappling with adulthood – responsibilities, anxieties, frustrations, and sometimes not even wanting to show up for it. So yeah, if people are able to relate to it, that is extremely rewarding.
Do you have any other big plans for 2020?
I’m not sure anyone has big plans for 2020 at this point. Whenever we’re out of this pandemic, you’ll find us playing shows to spread the word about Dread. And we’ve been writing and would like to follow it pretty quickly with a new single. More to come.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for having us! Please check out Dread and spread the word if you like it. Follow us on IG (instagram.com/hotknife) for some surprises. And once we can play shows again, come out!