Exclusive Interview: Splitknuckle talk “Breathing Through The Wound”!

After more than a decade of aggression Essex Metallic Hardcore crew Splitknuckle entered Fuzzbrain Studios in Walthamstow with Ben Spence to work on their sophomore album “Breathing Through The Wound“ and the results of that partnership speak for themselves. Spence encouraged the band to get creative and indulge themselves in an exploration of the darker side through Hardcore and Melodic Death Meta and with a lyrical narrative about dealing with what’s happened to you for better or worse they didn’t seek to draw the poison out but scream through the pain. Here’s the first of two exclusive interviews with them…

Does it feel like a weight off the shoulders to finally have “Breathing Through The Wound“ out there for the World to hear? How did the switch from The Coming Strife Records to Daze come about for the release?

Liam McCarthy [Guitar]: “It’s a huge relief and we can’t wait for people to hear what we’ve been working on. We had been fans of the bands coming out on Daze for some time and I think Lumpys pride and attitude towards North East American hardcore is something we can felt an affinity for in our own scene. Things started very pretty informally (as they often do in hardcore) and went from strength to strength. The same goes for collaborating with Ben and Sean from Northern Unrest.”

Larry Statts [Bass]: “We have nothing but love for OJ and The Coming Strife, and we are blessed to know someone who put their trust in Splitknuckle to help us release our first vinyl record (Innocence Bleeds).”

What was it like having Leah Massey of Pest Control appear on a track and what made you bring back Andy Baz of Raiden for a prize pair?

Joey Drake [Vocals]: We played a show with pest control, they hadn’t been around for that long and they absolutely killed it. Since the first time I heard them I loved Leah’s vocals, all the members in the band killed it too. The part Leah’s on came up and I thought she’d be ideal for it, partially because of how slow it is compared to a lot of Pest Control songs and also because she has a rawness to her voice that I knew would kill those lyrics.

As for Baz, it made complete sense as he’s close to the band and was present at multiple tracking sessions. He has a range of vocals that I couldn’t possibly tap into and there were too many parts that he was perfect for to just stick to one song. The Sickness alone, he had to be on, as he was on the original track and is an Essex OG so it felt perfect to have both of these incredible vocalists bless us.”

We’ve mentioned Stampin’ Ground in our review but if we’re the product of our genes and our influences, who are your influences and what are in your Jeans?

Larry Statts [bass]: “It’s easy to say we are a mix of all of our influences, which is true, but I believe we take alot of our influence from what came from our local hardcore scenes from back in the day – and that’s something common in every member of the band. Special Move (obviously), Raiden, BDF and Knuckledust etc”

Christy O’Connor [Guitar]: “Contrasting with the raw, uncompromising influences mentioned above, we’re all fans of more progressive metal and influences like Gojira and Mastodon came through when we were writing and sequencing the LP. Bands like that are the masters of taking the listener on a journey when they listen to an album.”

We always say that even in the digital age, the first bite is with the eye, so who was behind the artwork of “Breathing Through The Wound“? How did you go about choosing it and what do you feel it says about the project?

Joey Drake [Vocals]: Liam Gilchrist is the evil genius behind the artwork, Christy and Ben Brodie coloured and arranged the rest of the artwork. The idea was to represent the complicated, varied and of course aggressive nature of how the record sounds sonically. It’s dark but uses warm earthy tones to convey how breathing through the wound (what has/hasn’t happened to you) is never simple and is an ongoing process.”

What would mean more to you as a band in 2024 – the opportunity to play a summer festival like Hellfest (France), Summer Breeze (Germany) or Bloodstock (United Kingdom) – or 20 shows across Europe opening for a band like Lionheart or Kublai Khan?

Larry Statts [Bass]: “Personally, after attending most of the big metal festivals, to be able to play and be part of the reason why I love heavy music in the first place – I’d love to play all the big metal festivals around the world (Wacken hit us up!)”

What’s next for Splitknuckle?

Larry Statts [Bass]: “There’s quite a few things in the pipeline at the moment. We have recently started working with Upsurge Artist to help us organise some shows and tours going forward, that we typically haven’t done before.”

Christy O’Connor [Guitar]: “Naturally, we’re working on music videos and visual concepts to go with Breathing Through The Wound”

Breathing Through The Wound” by Splitknuckle was released on 12th January 2024 via Daze and Northern Unrest as is available over at bandcamp.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *