This week, on a cold day in Boston, we went on the road with The Knocks right before their sold out show. Here’s what they had to say about their debut album and how they got their start in music.
Introduce yourselves and tell us what you do for The Knocks.
James: Iâm James Patterson, aka JPatt, and this is Ben B-Rock. We split duties, itâs not like a band where one person is on drums, itâs electronic .
Ben: Weâre kind of one brain, combined.
What brings you to Boston today?
Ben: We have a show in Cambridge and itâs sold out! Itâs the third show in our tour called the Route 55 tour, and itâs our first headline U.S. and Canada tour. Weâre super excited.
Your debut album comes out in March. What can we expect from that?
James: Musically itâs just a fusion of things that weâre inspired by like Rock, Funk, Hip Hop. And a culmination of five years worth of effort of us producing and getting better. This is probably the best work weâve ever put out so weâre pretty pumped.
Ben: Weâve been around a minute putting out EPs and singles, but this is our first real statement as a body of work so weâre excited to get it out there.
Youâve been around a while, when did you become a duo and how did you meet?
Ben: We met when we were both in college in NYC and we had a mutual friend so we met at a studio and ended up becoming homies. We both wanted to get out of our dorms and find a new place so we got an apartment together. From there we slowly started making music and doing a couple of projects. Then it kind of just became a full blown thing.
What inspired the name?
James: At the point when we were living together, we were making music in our room and our neighbors would knock on the walls. We called it âgetting the knocksâ and weâd stop what we were doing. Then when we had our first project out, we said âwe should call ourselves The Knocksâ.
Ben: Perfect fit.
Howâd you get started in music?
Ben: Iâve always had music in my family. At a young age I was playing drums and then played in a couple of bands. That slowly turned into getting into hip hop music and into production and DJing. It took over my life, and all I wanted to be was a producer. I started making beats and producing songs when I was a freshman in high school.
James: Everyone in my family plays instruments so I grew up around that and playing a bunch of different instruments. Like in church bands and I played in my school’s jazz band. Iâve always been in a band or surrounded by music at some point.
What other projects do you have coming up?
Ben: We actually just did a song on our album with Wyclef called âKiss the Skyâ and hit it off. Now weâre executive producing his whole album so thatâs the latest thing. Itâs been very time consuming, but very awesome and it came out of nowhere. We werenât expecting it, we thought since our album was done we werenât going to make music during the tour, and then we went straight into this other project. Heâs a legend and itâs going to be a good album. Itâs fun to get out of that space of just working on Knocks songs and work on another artist’s project.
Whatâs next on the road for you?
James: After this weâre in Ontario and Toronto all the way through to CaliâLA is the last show on the tour. Then we have festivals this summer.
Ben: Just playing shows and our album is coming out March 4th. Itâs called 55 and weâre supporting it and doing everything we can to get it out there!
Stay tuned for the next On The Road!