Electro Pop Duo The Knocks Dish on Taylor Swift Fandom, Touring and More
The Knocks are hands down one of, if not the, most underrated electronic music acts in the business.
I've been a diehard fan since hearing their Magic EP in 2011, and they truly deserve to be huge stars. Following their career since the beginning, it's been a joy to watch them grow with each new music release. Their music is super uplifting, making it perfect for a dance party, workout, or simply when you need a good pick-me-up during a strenuous day (as evidenced in some Sweety High playlists I've included them in).
The Brooklyn natives (Ben "DJ B-Roc" Ruttner and James "JPatt" Patterson) released their debut full-length album, New York Narcotic, last year, and throughout their career, they've collaborated with everyone from Carly Rae Jepsen and Sofi Tukker, to Walk the Moon and, most recently, Foster the People. While you may not recognize their faces off the bat, you've definitely heard a bop or two.
As the currently touring twosome prepares to hit The Novo in Downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 2 with Young & Sick and Blu DeTiger, they took time out of their busy schedule to chat with Sweety High. Get to know this awesome pair of pals below, and be sure to snag your tickets to one of their shows (I've been many times before, and they're amazing live)! Need extra convincing? Click HERE to give their album a whirl.
Sweety High: How did you come up with your name?
B-Roc: When JPatt and I lived together in the East Village, we originally worked separately in our own bedrooms. We would play our music too loud and our neighbors would knock on the walls to turn it down. We started calling it "the knocks," and when we decided to become a duo, the name was a no-brainer.
SH: How did you guys first start working together?
JPatt: We had a bunch of mutual friends and would run into each other at studios throughout the city. We first became friends, then one day we were approached by our boy Benzi about remixing the new Jay-Z album, and we decided to do it together—in one day.
SH: Which do you like more, producing other people's music or creating your own?
B-R: In the beginning, we mostly produced for other artists and did remixes that got some love with the blogs. That was cool and fun, but after a while it became a little tedious. We had a creative vision for ourselves and had something to say. We needed to get that out. It was big step for us creatively and we never looked back. We still produce for others and do remixes, but we spend the majority of our time writing, producing, and singing our own stuff now. Our newest album New York Narcotic is a great representation of how far we have come.
View this post on Instagram
Huge congrats to our family @SOFITUKKER for snagging a Grammy nom for their debut album!!!! We are so honored to have been a part of this from watching them record so much of it at our studio to the wild ride that was Best Friend !! Proud proud proud ❤️????????????????????
SH: You've worked with some pretty big-name people. What's been your favorite collab so far, and why? Who are you most looking forward to working with in the future?
JP: We love all of our collaborators equally. We would never choose. But… the song "Ride or Die" with Foster the People that we put out last year was pretty great for us. We got to perform on Colbert and it did pretty well on the charts and on radio. We're looking forward to working with Drake—once he responds to our DMs [laughs].
SH: What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming tour? What do you like most about performing in L.A.?
B-R: This will be the first time we're performing with a full live band, with JPatt singing and rapping on every song. The production will also be entirely new and crazier than ever. This is a big step forward from us deejaying in dark, sweaty Lower East Side basements, which we still love to do. L.A. is great because the crowd is so diverse and travel from all over California to party. It's not just one scene. There are music-lovers of tons of different genres coming together to have fun and forget about their lives. That's what we're all about.
SH: What's your favorite song to perform and why?
JP: "Dancing With the DJ." It was our first real single we ever released and our day-one fans go crazy over it. It becomes a giant sing-along dance party, and you better believe we get down.
SH: Has Taylor Swift or anyone from her team ever reached out about "I Wish (My Taylor Swift)"? Is she still your dream girl? Have you offered to produce any of her music?
B-R: [laughs] We heard she hates it! We still dig her, though. She's an industry legend and has shaped pop culture trends a few times now. We haven't offered, but let's give you an exclusive right now: Taylor, want to work with us?
I've seen The Knocks perform numerous times, but it was especially a treat seeing them at EEEEEATSCON. Read all about the Instagram-friendly food festival HERE!