A Conversation With The Knews

July 30, 2020

A former member of acclaimed New Zealand band nomad, Cullen Kiesanowski is branching out with his new musical project, The Knews.

Ahead of the band’s debut gig, we caught up with Cullen to chat about his journey thus far, musical influences and what we can expect to hear from The Knews.

Check out the conversation below.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do?

My name is Cullen Kiesanowski and I’ve got a project starting up called The Knews. I’m doing a gig August 7th at the Darkroom, which will be our first gig. It’s going to be mostly originals with a couple of covers in there. Pretty much all the demos I’ve been recording over the last year and a half. I’d say it’s mainly indie-rock type stuff. 

You were in the band nomad for quite a long time, which finished up recently. Tell me a little more about that experience?

I was in nomad since I was 15. And that was a sick experience I loved the whole thing. It kind of got to the end of things, we were wrapping down and all getting a bit older. We were all getting into different music and different things. Things got pretty quiet and we left it on the backburner a bit until we were like, let’s go off and do our own thing. So, now we’re here.

Tell me a little bit more about the project as The Knews, what can we expect to hear and what are some of the influences?

It’s an indie-rock type of thing, kind of like Car Seat Headrest, Snail Mail type of vibe. A bit heavier than nomad, more indie-rock influenced for sure. It’s really just a reflection of what I’m into. 

So you’ve been working on the songs for the last couple of years?

Yea. So they’ve been ones I’ve been writing at home that haven’t really been nomad’s thing. Especially since nomad has broken up I’ve been writing heaps since, you know, to have something to write for. 

Tell me a little bit more about the band itself, what’s involved?

We’ve got me on guitar and vocals. Then there’s another guitar, bass and drums. So just a four-piece at the moment. Might have a little bit of synth in there as well, but it’s kind of up in the air at the moment. 

Are all the songs are going to be officially released on digital platforms?

Absolutely. I’ve only recorded demos at the moment but will look at releasing some singles in the future. 

So I guess the show is a bit of an experiment to see what works?

I’m actually super excited to play. I’ve had some songs for a while that no ones heard, so I’m really excited to see what people think of them. Especially just dealing with a lot of shit that I’ve gone through lately so it’s all coming into the music which is cool. I’m hoping there’s going to be lots of people there and everyone’s going to have a fun time. I want it to be like a bit of a party, people have some drinks and just have a good time. 

It’ll be interesting taking these songs that you’ve written yourself and that are quite personal and putting them into a band environment. How do you approach writing a song yourself and then bringing other people into it?

What I usually do is I’ll try to write a song with just guitar and vocals. I’ll start recording in my wee home studio, then I’ll come up with the other parts, I’ll usually programme the drums in. After that, I’ll send them to the band and they’ll learn the parts and we’ll jam it to see if it all sounds good. Sometimes the parts might not be right in a live setting, so we’ll go ‘maybe we can add this’ or ‘maybe we can change this.’ The set is sounding pretty sick at the moment.

When and where is the show?

August 7th at the Darkroom, doors open at 9 pm.

You can purchase tickets below.

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