Fast 5 with Pepa Knight

Fast 5 with Pepa Knight

One of the highlights of new Australian music in 2014 here at Cassette has definitely been the launch of Pepa Knight’s solo venture. The Central Coast musician, and former co-frontman of Jinja Safari has had a busy year making waves around the world with his unique blend of eclectic psychedelic/dream pop via three delightful singles ‘Rahh!’, ‘Clams’ and ‘Coyote Choir’, plus more recently the release of the first volume of recordings from his debut album Hypnotized Vol. 1 – not only via iTunes, and on vinyl, but also on cassette! We were pretty stoked to receive one of these rad tapes in the post, which by the way was probably theactual highlight of Cassette’s music receiving year, as you know, we are pretty fond of the old cassette, as perhaps suggested by the name, but also because it arrived by snail mail. When opening the package it felt like two forces of old school coming together at once, it was reminiscent, and pretty exciting, plus it also made me question, why the heck aren’t I making cassettes?! So I made this.

Anyway, I was lucky to snag a few minutes of Pepa’s time to ask him five quick questions, which unveil a lot about him, his music, and his dream to one day play a full set with just fruit and vegetables. Have a read.

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1. If you could perform anywhere in the world – where would it be?

It would be cool to play a gig in the sky. Just get a stage that is attached to a few hot air balloons with a generator nearby. And everyone can be up in the clouds, watching from their own hot air balloons. Easy.

Second to that would be to head over to India, start up a live band with local musicians and tour the country with this ‘Hypnotized’ release. It would be like a holiday but getting the chance to jam with insane tabla players & sitar gurus at the same time.

2. Favourite instrument? (it can be fruit…I heard you hung bananas in one of your recent sets!? Tell us more about this too!)

Well! I did create a thing for my last tour that I am calling a NANATRON – which is basically a midi controller made out of hanging bananas. The idea is each banana is wired up to a different midi signal and so when I hit one, it completes an electrical circuit from the computer, through my body, through the banana and back to the computer and plays a note, in this case a male choir mellotron sound.

It sucked though because I had to wire it up every time before a gig and buy fresh bananas which I just ended up eating mid-set anyway. So it definitely isn’t my favourite instrument yet but one day I am hoping to play a full set with just fruit and vegetables and it will be rad…and nutritious.

3. I assume music takes up a lot of your time. What do you enjoy when you’re not playing/making music?

Good question. Music has always consumed a lot of my time, especially since I starting my band Jinja Safari, but this year has been even more time consuming with the solo project as I am managing it all myself and it is very DIY. When i’m not writing or touring I just like to take it easy. I love surfing & playing a good game of Smash Bros 64 with mates but don’t do it as much I would like. My wife and I made our first little person this year so these days all I want to do in my spare time is watch him pull funny faces.

4. Dream collaboration?

I never know how to answer this question because I can’t choose someone I really admire like Sufjan Stevens or Peter Gabriel, because I know we would be in the studio and I wouldn’t want to write anything. I’d just want to hang out and be a fan-boy.

5. For those that missed or just want to see more, do you have any more dates lined up for after this tour?

These are the last shows for the year but I will be doing a stripped-back tour supporting Kim Churchill around Australia in January/February and will also playing Mountain Sounds Festival with my band which i’m really looking forward to. 

For anyone who lives too far away to experience the show, I recorded a live video from a secret show I did in my hometown Long Jetty. I invited friends and some fans from facebook and turned my little tipi home into a stage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Az8o2RPeY7k

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Catch Pepa supporting Kim Churchill in January and February.

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