Sunday, June 7th, 2009
Kavus Torabi is one of the most imaginative musicians that has graced the music scene for a number of years. He has played in great bands such as Guapo, The Monsoon Bassoon and Cardiacs.
Knifeworld is the new radical and evocative illumination by this phenomenal individual. The single ‘Pissed Up On Brake Fluid’ is stratums of ferocious guitars, majestic trumpets, angelic backing vocals and Kavus’ passionate voice secured with volcanic percussion.
Glasgow PodcART caught up with Kavus to talk to him about his new single, the long awaited album and the ideology surrounding this exciting solo project.
Where are you based and where do you originate?
Kavus: Based in London, my dad is Iranian and my mum is from Hull. Apparently, if your dad is Persian though that
makes you fully Persian. That makes me quite happy.
Where does the name Knifeworld come from?
K: Well I knew it was going to be a solo project and I was throwing names around. A friend then suggested it one night about 4am and before the night was out it just stuck and we agreed on it. It kind of reminds me of something like ‘Magazine World’ or ‘World Of Leather’. It’s an ironic name really, a terrible thing happened. A 17-year-old boy got stabbed at the weekend very close by. The name wasn’t based on that but it makes you think about the significance of things.
Knifeworld is named as a ‘solo project of sorts’. Are there any plans to have a more permanent band and go on tour?
K: Yes, of course. I really want to go on tour so I am just making plans to get a band together now. I would love to go on tour including Scotland! It is very difficult to say at the moment but I am definitely going to go out on the road.
The new single ‘Pissed Up On Brake Fluid’ is not like anything out at the moment, what was the idea surrounding it?
K: Firstly, it is the most commercial thing I have ever written. It is more straight forward and developed to anything I have ever done. The B-Side ‘Happy Half-life, Dear Friend’ gives more of a taster of what the album is like. The album is a lot more full on I have to say. I tend to work so that I have no restrictions, if the song needs something then I will do it. On this track, I thought ‘this needs trumpets’ it was as straight forward as that. If I think that a piece of music sounds like something else I have heard then I will change it. I really don’t like replication.
You have been part of bands namely Guapo, The Monsoon Bassoon and the phenomenal Cardiacs. During your musical career so far what has been your fondest musical memory?
K: I think the fact that I have always managed to operate outside labels and I have been lucky enough to have been in bands who are leftfield. The Cardiacs have been doing that right from 1977 and they have been on their own terms. There has been no looking for record deals. I am so happy when I look back, I am glad that I did things on my own terms. It was all 100% and there was no one there to be negative. I always put in for better or for worse and I feel like I have lived my life the best way.
The forthcoming album is called ‘Buried Alone: Tales Of Crushing Defeat’. It is somewhat of a prolific title, what is the story behind it?
It is almost a grand tale; I wanted something that was like a book of heroism but the opposite. Things don’t always go sunny side up and I wanted to illustrate that. The important thing is that I am not doing this in a negative way. It is very much a solo undertaking and that is the important part it is very different from the bands I have worked with. You certainly have people that you work with but if there is any doubt then you can place it on yourself and not others.
I am relieved to get it out and I am very excited about the vinyl. It is going to be a gatefold 180 gram vinyl. I am desperate for people to hear it.
Is Knifeworld something you have always been aiming for?
K: I wanted to dare myself to do something like this for a long time. I have played in groups for most of my life and I got to a point that I wanted to write and play everything so that I could be the Hitler. It was on my own steam, I did realise how hard it was but I ended up proving to myself that I could do it.
I got to a point that I thought ‘I want things my way’. I wanted a way that I was not compromising and I just wanted to prove I can so this and under the banner of Knifeworld. It is my thing and if I want to do crazy Folk or full on crushing Rock I can do it as Knifeworld.
The single ‘Pissed Up On Brake Fluid’ is released July 13th on Believers Roast – distributed by Genepool through Universal.
The forthcoming debut album ‘Buried Alone: Tales Of Crushing Defeat’ is due out August 2009
Special thanks to all at Peculiar Management for making this interview possible.