Knifeworld have confirmed the release of second album The Unravelling on July 22 via InsideOut – and Kavus Torabi, leader of the eight-piece outfit, has explained the inspiration behind the record.
The Cardiacs and Gong collaborator was profoundly affected after Cardiacs bandmate Tim Smith collapsed with a suspected stroke and heart attack in 2008.
Torabi says: “Around the time I was mixing what would become Knifeworld’s debut album, Buried Alone: Tales Of Crushing Defeat, Tim collapsed after attending a My Bloody Valentine gig, having phoned to tell me he was coming over to stay.
“Tim had been my best friend for the previous 15 years. Since his collapse Tim has required 24-hour care and is still unable to go home. This event, and those that followed, inspired what would become The Unravelling – the all-too-real epiphany that, at a certain point, life becomes a process of continual loss.”
Smith’s tragedy seemed to trigger a chain of “hopelessly grim” events, he reflects: “Friends were diagnosed with incurable diseases, sectioned and imprisoned – or worse. My once happy, enlightened, beautiful circle of radical, free-thinking freaks seemed to be collapsing and falling apart. I didn’t think the joy or craziness would come to an end. My previous experience of tragedy and bad luck seemed marginal in the light of what seemed to be occurring.
“Yet, somehow, in spite of it all, everyone just gets through it. The alternative is unthinkable.”
Torabi admits The Unravelling is the most difficult record he’s ever been involved with – but says it was essential to ensure it was the best he’d ever done.
Recalling a 1998 interview in which he said: “If you’re not throwing yourself into the hurricane you’re just pissing in the wind,” he says: “I still feel that today, now more than ever.”
He says of the music: “I’ve been trying for years to write pop music. I think I’ve finally got there. It’s psychedelic, dense, confusing pop music. It’s epic, terrifying, exhilarating and all over the place – but its anchors are firmly in pop. Surely?”
Knifeworld will play three shows in September to support the release. They launched a video for one of the album’s tracks, Don’t Land On Me, last year.
Sep 02: Leicester Musician
Sep 04: Leamington Spa Zephyr Lounge
Sep 05: London Lexington