“Knock on the Sky” is Culprit’s newly released follow up single to 2011’s Analogue. We caught up with basist Zach Blumenfeld and guitarist Brian Fulda to talk about what inspired the new single and what fans can expect from the band later in 2012. You can hear the song streaming exclusively on Alternative Press here.
What do you think makes “Knock on the Sky” different from the tracks on Analogue?
Zach: I think one thing that separates "Knock on the Sky" stylistically from the songs on Analogue, is that we come right out of the gate with the chorus, wasting no time to accentuate the hook... whereas on Analogue, a lot of the focus was on building and setting up the chorus. It was a different approach with the song, but we're all very happy with the way it turned out.
What can people expect from Culprits next release?
Zach: I would say that people can expect us to definitely step outside of our bounds and comfort zone here and there as far as the songwriting goes. We're always trying to cover new creative ground and do things we haven't done before (ie. playing with different time signatures, tunings, etc.)... However, I feel strongly that fans of Analogue will dig the new stuff.
What is the songwriting process like for you guys?
Zach: There's not really a mold necessarily to how a song gets written, and we're always trying to work in different ways collaboratively. Sometimes it starts with a chorus idea that trav has, sometimes just a guitar riff, or possibly a bass and drum groove that inspires building the rest. It all just depends, I guess.
Brian: What's fun is that it varies all of the time. Sometimes a song will spawn from a vocal line Travis (Travis Powell) brings to rehearsal, or a guitar lick I (Brian) put out on the table, or even sometimes we'll just start jamming before running through our set at practice, without really saying a word, and something that we all like will come out of it.
What was it like working with Erik Ron again?
Zach: Well that week definitely went by pretty fast, although it was a shorter session with Erik this time around. We've always been fond of Erik and the work he does, so we feel comfortable and confident with the end result for sure.
What influenced “Knock on the Sky”?
Zach: Well we wrote the song just after finishing our first lengthier tour together in November '11, along with a couple other ones that we were writing around that time. The song is titled based off the phrase "Knock on the sky and listen to the sound", which is an old zen saying and can be interpreted a number of ways. Our meaning for the song is to not let yourself be taken for granted and to always make sure you get what you deserve.
How and when did you guys become a band?
Zach: Culprit became a band back in 2008, with Travis and some other musicians that came together after a defunct tour through AZ. So, the band hasn't always been Travis, Jason (Jason Michalski), Brian, and myself. Well, I came into the project pretty early on (around late 2008) but the band has seen a few lineup changes since then. Over the last 2 years we've found Jason & Brian who are both perfect fits for Culprit, and thus we are now the band we are today.
What has been the craziest moment for you guys as a band this far?
Zach: Craziest? Haha I don't know... too many crazy moments, especially on the road. One would have to be staying at this cabin in Sundance, UT with our tour mates from #MEBTour and like 3 other bands. There had be about 30 of us... just a great tour bonding experience. Another crazy moment was recently (off the road) when we got some good feedback on our songs from Brian Southall (The Receiving End of Sirens, Boys Night Out, Fordirelifesake, etc.) which was super awesome, especially because a few of us were/are huge TREOS and Boys Night Out fans.
What are your favorite summer songs?
Zach: Favorite summer songs... hmm. That's tough. Well, here's a few that I’ve listened to a lot lately:
Thrice - Anthology
Crosses - Telepathy
New Found Glory - Forget My Name
Beastie Boys - Hey Ladies
Saves The Day - Daybreak
Young the Giant - Apartment
Weezer - Island in the Sun (For old times sake)
We've also been jamming a lot on some friends' bands, such as Via Coma, Back Pocket Memory, I The Mighty, My Mouth Is The Speaker, and tons of others.
What do you think of the new single?