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What I Learned at Bandcamp: KNESSET

Knesset, interview, BandcampLocals Evan Fox, Eric Graf and Michael Bell comprise the band Knesset and have toured in support of acts such as White Denim, The Album Leaf, The Appleseed Cast, Cold Cave, Asobi Seksu and Her Space Holiday. Recently, they returned from a sold-out tour across Japan.

The band’s debut album Coming of Age will be released May 8 through iTunes and is currently available to stream on Bandcamp.

Lucky for you, Knesset is playing a free, all-ages show on First FridayMay 4, at the Phoenix Art Museum.

The band will play two 45-minute sets between 6:30 P.M. and 9 P.M.

We caught up with Eric Graf to find out about the band’s plan for the future and what influences their music, read what he had to say below…

Can you give us a little background on who you are?
Knesset is a three-piece band, right now, based out Phoenix, but we’ve started adding new members for the live show. The nucleus is Evan Fox, Eric Graf and Michael Bell, who is also the drummer for Lymbyc Systym. We’re in our 20s, I think. I forget how old everyone is.

How did you guys meet/form the band?
Evan, met Mike through other bands he was in in Phoenix and I met Evan through our rhodes/mallet percussionist Mitch Manger.

How long have you been making music?
We’ve all been playing since middle school, or even grade school probably. Something about it just seemed right and we kept going with it.

Who/what are your influences?
90s and early 2000s alternative, college and underground music is definitely what influenced us growing up and what ties us together now in terms of musical taste. Shoegaze, post-rock, indie rock, post-punk, all that stuff. I think we’re really influenced by intricate and layered records that mix unique sounds, too, which comes through in our recordings.

How did you come up with your name?
We stole it from the parliament in Israel. It wasn’t a political choice or any sort of statement, we just like the way it looks and sounds. The hard “K” sound confuses people so maybe we out-smarted ourselves on that one…

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
We’re working on getting some new songs out pretty soon. We’ve been working on some stuff for last year and it’s starting to come together now. So you can expect to see a single here, a EP there, maybe a limited run 7”. All of that is with a new full length in mind down the road. We also are working on some more international shows, probably Mexico and Asia first, and who knows from there.

What inspires your music?
All kinds of things, really. Personal experiences obviously make up a lot of what our songs are about lyrically, but I think musically we’re inspired by the art, music and people that we love.

Why do you make music?
I don’t think we’d know what to do with ourselves if we weren’t making music! I think we’ve gone too far down the rabbit hole to really do anything else at this point in our lives.

Anything you’d like readers to know that we haven’t asked you about?
We’re much more handsome in person.

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