Q&A: The Knocks

The Knocks, made up of James Patterson (left) and Ben Ruttner, have been churning out fanciful indie dance tunes since 2009 but have really become something of an online sensation as of late, with seemingly every single remix and original of theirs receiving massive blog support (for good reason) and quickly climbing to coveted spots on the top of the Hype Machine charts. The two hail from New York City but have been touring more and more lately; in fact, they have even been asked to perform alongside acts like Major Lazer, Justice, Boys Noize, Diplo and A-Trak on the second Holy Ship cruise, setting sail early next year. We had a chance to connect with James and ask him some questions about The Knocks’ past, present and future. Click through and be sure to grab the free download of their newest remix after the interview.

MMIBTY: How do you feel about the online blog community? Have we helped? How do we hurt?

James: It’s helped us a lot. It’s where we got our start, as far as, on a base marketing level. They’ve been good to us. We’ve been to the top of Hype Machine a couple times thanks to the people that blog our shit and the people that like it. We probably wouldn’t be here without them.

MMIBTY: What’s the best event, show, or festival you’ve played this year so far?

James: Hard to say. I enjoyed playing in the Dominican Republic. The people are nice and the show we did there was really fun.

MMIBTY: Did you have people down there that knew your music?

James: Yeah, totally. They’re super knowledgable down there [with music].

MMIBTY: What was it like producing with a legend like Fred Falke on “Geronimo”? How did that come to be?

James: It was all pretty natural. He did a remix for us [Brightside] last year and we were at a music conference, went to one of his shows, and it just happened he was outside at some little bar. I went up to him, said thank you, and he was really cool. He said he would be in New York in a couple weeks and I told him to come by and he said ‘hell yeah’. It just kind of went down from there. Once he was in the studio, it was really easy. He’s super talented. It’s not always that way, but it was really easy

MMIBTY: How did you and Ben meet? And how did The Knocks come to be?

James: [Ben and I met] through mutual friends back in college. I was going to St. John’s and he was going to New School. We were both making music and listening to the same kind of music. So we met in the studio and kept in touch for a while until I had to move to New York and he was moving out of his New School dorm and we became roommates. From there we just started making music together because we had been making separate music in our rooms. Then we just started making music together, we got to the studio and we started doing this [The Knocks]. It all seems like it happened so quickly.

MMBITY: What is one thing you want your fans to know about you?

James: I don’t know, I don’t want to be pretentious here. We love you. For real. We love our fans. Like, actually.

MMIBTY: What would you say are some of your favorite full length albums of 2012 thus far, dance or otherwise?

James: The Breakbot album just came out, it’s really good. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs album, it’s called Trouble, it’s really good. Nas’ album is really good, like really, really good. Poolside’s album is also really good.

MMIBTY: Do you have an album in the works? Or what’s the next big project you have planned?

James: Probably an album. We’re just… on the road a lot. It’s hard to do stuff now in the studio like we used to. We are working on an album. Pretty much got it outlined as far as what it should sound like and we’ve got a bunch of unfinished ideas that need to be finished. And that’s happening slowly. Hopefully we’ll get it out by springtime. It’s just hard because there’s always so many people that are involved in the preparation.

The Knocks’ newest remix just dropped not too long ago and you can listen and pick it up for free below.