Photos By: @phillipharder
Mike Kiddoo of Austin, Texas-based rock band, KNETX, shared the story behind their new single, “SOMETHING/NOTHING,” with PopFad, as well as the band’s influences and what defines their sound.
Q: What’s the story behind KNETX’s new single, “SOMETHING/NOTHING”?
Kiddoo: I wrote “SOMETHING/NOTHING” just before starting KNETX. I was dating my bandmate which is never the wisest thing to do. But when it’s passionate, it’s intensely passionate. And when it’s destructive, it really sucks. We split up a couple of times before the final one. This song was written during one of those breaks, wondering how long before we’d reunite. The song shifts in dynamics – quiet to loud to quiet to loud – just as our dynamic shifted – abruptly. From the ashes of that relationship, however, KNETX was born – my outlet for all those intense feelings. The music was inspired by a variety of sounds, certainly by 90s alternative rock. The title is a nod to the classic Todd Rundgren album.
Producer Justin Mauriello helped shape the arrangement of the song. The two of us have worked together for five years, collaborating on numerous projects. We first met in 2016 at a coffee shop I worked at in East Austin. Drums and bass were recorded at Same Sky Productions in Austin, TX. Guitars and vocals were tracked at home studios. Jason Livermore mixed and mastered.
Q: What bands/artists influence your own band’s music the most?
Kiddoo: Alternative rock and grunge of the 1990s were big influences in writing “SOMETHING/NOTHING.” Weezer is an influence, Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, and certainly anything Chris Cornell ever touched. I also think you can hear some sounds from the garage rock resurgence of the early 2000s – the Vines, Jet, and the Hives. Lastly, I also draw a lot of inspiration from some of the more Beatles-esque singer-songwriters of the 90s – Aimee Mann, Elliott Smith, Fiona Apple, and Damon Albarn.
Q: How would you define KNETX’s sound?
Kiddoo: KNETX evokes the spirit of 90s alternative rock with a modern skew. It bridges the gap between candy-coated pop rock and attitude-driven riffs and drum fills. It’s both light and dark, primal and elevated. KNETX’s sound could fit in a lot of different spaces, but prefers the fringes.
Q: Typically, what other outside influences impact your creative decisions?
Kiddoo: We have a no-bad-idea policy in KNETX. Every suggestion at a KNETX band rehearsal gets tried – no matter how offbeat it sounds. And everyone in KNETX listens to very different music. I think that’s where we get our unique sound from. Right now, Chris (bass) is probably listening to Thee Oh Sees, while Clay (keys) is listening to Mastodon or possibly even SZA. After we try each idea, I’ll yay or nay it and we’ll move on to the next.
Q: If someone was recommending your band, who would you say that your band sounds the most like?
Kiddoo: I’d say – and this is a tough one – for fans of Weezer, Pixies, Jet, and the Vines. But I’ve heard all kinds of comparisons – from R.E.M. to Sammy Hagar.
Q: What can you tell us about any future releases or upcoming shows?
Kiddoo: We have one more single and a couple videos to release before the end of the year. We’re also heading into the Bubble recording studio in Austin, TX to record an EP with Frenchie Smith this winter. We won’t be playing a lot until the spring when we plan to do a series of week-long US tours.
Interviewed by Travis Boyer