Over the past few years, Knocked Loose has made quite the name for themselves amongst fans of hardcore, metal, and just heavy music in general. They’ve traveled across the United States and through Europe bringing their groundbreaking sound to kids who love to mosh everywhere. We sat down with lead vocalist Bryan Garris ahead of their show at The Citadel to talk about the band, touring and their latest release.
Morgan Hunt: When did you guys come together as Knocked Loose and what inspired you to choose to play hardcore music rather than any other genre?
Bryan Garris: We played our first show in 2013. We started writing and jamming before that and we tried a bunch of different genres, but we ultimately decided on just being really heavy. That was the only goal. It kind of fit the mold of some hardcore bands and it fit the mold of some death metal bands. We just focused on being heavy.
MH: You guys are from Oldham County, right outside of Louisville. What’s the scene like there and did you face any challenges being from a smaller city?
BG: Our scene is basically just Louisville; there isn’t a scene in Oldham County. There were still some challenges in Louisville just because it’s such a small place that it gets skipped a lot. We just knew early on that we had to do everything we could to branch out of Louisville. In the first year of us being a band we would come to Indianapolis all the time or go to Nashville, Cincinnati, or anywhere in the surrounding areas so that we could get our name out, because we knew if we just stayed in Louisville nobody would know who we were.
MH: As you guys have sort of become a staple in the hardcore and metal scenes, you have have a lot of really cool opportunities. One of these opportunities was getting to play the main stage on the final Warped Tour. What was that experience like?
BG: That was definitely a huge honor for us because we got to play in 2017, but we were on the Full Sail Stage. So when they asked us to come back, be a part of the last one ever, and be on the bigger stage it was very humbling. We unfortunately didn’t get to do the entire tour because we had already confirmed a tour in Europe, but as soon as we got home from the tour we did as much of Warped as we could. Touring on Warped is sick. You end up being with people that you never expected to be hanging out with. It would be the end of the day and you would find yourself playing board games and it’d be you and members of Hawthorne Heights, Hatebreed, Stick to Your Guns… just the craziest range of people. It’s just like a summer camp.
MH: When it comes to shows, fans of heavier music are well known for their mosh pits, stage diving and antics. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at a Knocked Loose show?
BG: A lot has happened. Knockouts happen all the time. A kid broke his leg once, which was gross. The other day a guy got his ear ripped off and it was just hanging there. People will end up with teeth missing. A lot of stuff happens.
MH: Another staple of the scene is strange venues. Have you guys ever played anywhere weird?
BG: Actually, the first time we ever played Indianapolis we played at a pizza place called Adam’s Pizza, which could only hold about 30 people inside of it. We’ve played bowling allies. We’ve played churches. We used to play houses all the time. We played a kid’s backyard in Florida once and it got shut down by the cops. One time we played at a morgue. It became an actual venue when the morgue shut down, but they hadn’t remodeled it or anything so it still looked like a morgue.
MH: You’re in your first few days on tour with The Acacia Strain, Harms Way, Sanction and Higher Power. How is it treating you so far? BG: It’s sick. It’s our second official headliner and it’s the very end of our record cycle from our album Laugh Tracks. It’s a celebration of everything we’ve got to do off of this album. It’s a really great group of bands and every day is just overwhelming. We’re friends with every single member of every band on this package, so it’s great. I’m really happy.
MH: So you guys just released those three new tracks (“Mistakes Like Fractures,” “Slings and Arrows,” and “All My Friends”) that are going to come out later next month. Have you been able to play those yet at any of the shows and how are the fans reacting?
BG: Out of those tracks: one is a new song, one is an old song that we re-recorded, and one is a cover. “All My Friends” is the old song that we re-recorded we’ve played at every show we’ve ever played and we’ll probably play it forever. The new song, “Mistakes Like Fractures,” we have been playing on this tour for the first time ever and it’s been cool. We’ve been lucky enough to become a sing-a-long band where kids go crazy singing the lyrics, and I’m hoping this song catches on that way because that would be really fun. So far, it’s getting there. The cover, “Slings and Arrows,” we haven’t played and we probably never will. We really just recorded it for fun.
MH: I’d like to wrap things up by talking a little bit about your record cycles. Knocked Loose tends to take their time creating and releasing new records. I was wondering if streaming and social media ever make you feel pressured to release music quicker or if you really enjoy taking your time?
BG: We don’t really feel pressured. A lot of bands focus on the social media aspect or internet presence or press coverage, but we have always viewed our band as how people react at shows. We tour constantly and the shows are always sick. We have a very, very strong fanbase and we’re very lucky in that aspect. There was never an urgency to create new music. We always saw it online where kids were saying things like “Man, when is Knocked Loose going to put out a new record” and I always was like “I want to so bad,” but there was always other stuff going on. When it came time and we finally got the opportunity, we just put our foot down and decided we had to put out a new record. We absolutely did not rush it. It took a very long time, because we knew we had to follow up the album that lasted three years. It’s been a long process, but very very worth it personally. At the end of the day that’s all that really matters: if the band and I like it.
Photography by Jamar Mitchell