I Knew Them

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I Knew Them
Origin Thessaloniki, Greece
Genres Post-grunge, no wave
Labels Hairway Records, iTunes

I Knew Them is a band that originates from Thessaloniki, Greece. However, it is a band that differentiates itself from the Greek rock movement, introducing elements from foreign rock styles such as the Grunge movement from Seattle, USA during the late 1980s and New York City's No-Wave from the early 1980s. They are one of the few Greek rock bands that took their music way beyond the limits of Greece, more evidently by moving to the United Kingdom in 2006. It is also notable that they still retain all creative control of their creations, having non-exclusive cooperation with many indie labels from around the world.

History[edit]

I Knew Them formed in early 2003 in Greece, by two former classmates, Jesus H. and Larry E. Their first big show was on December 2004, at Ydrogeios Club in Thessaloniki, Greece, supporting Lydia Lunch. Soon after that they recruited Wolf P. to take on Farfisa organ and bass guitar duties. More shows were being booked everywhere, often by the side of many well known artists such as The Big Sleep, Nikki Sudden (Swell Maps, The Jacobites), Raining Pleasure, Dave Kusworth (The Jacobites, Dogs D'Amour, Bounty Hunters) and many more local and international bands.

They released their first album called "Lying dead on the pavement" in November 2005 on their own label, Hairway Records. The album was distributed worldwide, under non-exclusive agreements with various labels including Abnormal Tapes & Distro (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Hairway Industries (UK) and Alternative Records (Greece). Soon after the physical release of this album, the band signed a contract with a digital distribution label, enabling iTunes and Napster users to download their album from the internet, being one of the first Greek rock bands to ever do that.

By that time, Larry decided to drop out of the band to follow the safer path of proper university studies, in the field of computer science. I Knew Them soon recruited S. Joker who also dropped out to pursue a trading career so Spiraflas Skisoglou started performing on most appearances after that. Spiraflas posed as an ever-present spiritual contribution to the band since they started in the first place, but was either attempting other projects, or hanging out with different people from the main i knew them members, who used to find kinda boring, egocentric nerds .

I Knew Them had caught serious media attention at times but things got a bit out of hand when they played a 2006 New Year's Day show with guest star Naked Caveman Joe, formerly of the likes of Personality Crisis, TSOF and Five Star Hotel, who as the name implies, appeared on stage totally naked. This event was followed by phone calls by many large national TV channels, asking if the band would appear on midday trash-TV-gossip-shows for interviews. Of course, the band politely declined keeping their underground status.

Since early 2006, the band has also been busy with an experimental side-project they called I Forgot Them creating music and video from a different point of view. Their live appearances include a show with National Theatre of Greece actors, recorded and used in an experimental theatre video for the National Theatre of Greece called The Dead Boy and a show at a building construction site as part of a visual art construction project by Spiraflas, placed in a collective exhibition of students of the Fine Arts division of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

In the summer of 2006, after being totally sick and tired of playing the same old venues all around Greece for the 100th time, they decided to go on their first European tour. So a few months later, after completing an 8000 km road tour of Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom, and trying to settle in London, they decided they were not impressed by the London Underground there and moved to Sheffield instead. During that tour they headlined a gig in the infamous Metelkova in Ljubljana, performing a song by GG Allin which they dedicated to the Inspectorate for the Environment and Spatial Planning, just a month before the demolition of the Small School took place.

During 2006, I Knew Them also finished recording their new album, called "The truth is in here", which was released in February 2007 by Hairway Records and distributed worldwide. Like their first album, this one is also featured in digital music stores like iTunes and Napster.

During January 2007, I Knew Them started their second European tour in their usual manner, driving themselves all around Europe in a small car packed with sound-gear. They started off with some UK dates, followed by some performances in the Balkans, later continuing for western Europe and finishing off back in the UK in April. They headlined gigs in different kinds of spaces ranging from pubs to squats to large clubs, while doing some absurd interviews for TV and Radio stations and magazines. All of this, DIY, as usual.

Unfortunately, after their 2007 tour, Spiraflas Skisoglou decided to stop being an active member and return to his spiritual post. For the task, he initially moved permanently in a forest in Brighton, where he could feel free to pursue his spiritual interests. A few months later, he returned to Greece to continue his Fine Arts studies while taking on a responsible dayjob. Around that same time and based on Spiraflas' decisions, Wolf announced that he will also need some time-off to finish highschool, as he had dropped out in 2005 to make time for the band's busy schedule. Jesus remained in their secret laboratory in Sheffield, UK, taking up academic research in the field of Sonic Arts, while performing with the I Forgot Them side-project and his "Jesus is Angry" project.

In 2008, Jesus and Spiraflas formed the side-project "Jesus is Angry and your local god (who is hungry) proudly present: Choking Bishops", for a performance at the Noisefest, organized annually by the DRMK collective in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The performance featured the "Bob System", a home-made analogue modular synthesizer built by Jesus, and various industrial percussion objects with piezoelectric elements. Although they do not perform as often as they used to, all three of the present I Knew Them members are constantly working individually on their own artistic projects.

Band members[edit]

  • Jesus H. (2003 until today)
  • Wolf P. (early 2004 until today)
  • Spiraflas S. (never and always)
  • Larry E. (2003 to early-2006)
  • Joker S. (early to mid-2006)

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • "Lying dead on the pavement" (Hairway Records, 2005)
  • "The truth is in here" (Hairway Records, 2007)

Singles/EP's/Soundtracks[edit]

  • "Robotnik" (Jesus is Angry solo album, Hairway Records, 2003)
  • "Radio Hostile Session" (EP, DIY, 2004)
  • "The Metal Machinery" (IFT Video, Hairway Records, 2006)
  • "Abandoned Radio Stations" (Jesus is Angry solo album, Hairway Records, 2006)

I Forgot Them[edit]

A side-project that started originally by Jesus and Wolf, who would perform experimental improvisational material, ranging from Electro-acoustic music to Industrial music, often including light shows, dramatic performance or live video synthesizer projections. Their instruments and line-up vary from the usual I Knew Them gear. For this task, they use home-made or heavily modified analog synthesizers, circuit-bending, tape loops, drum machines and treated guitars. The line-up always includes at least one I Knew Them member, but has the form of a loose collective, often joined by different performers on each occasion. They are notorious for performing in weird places such as construction sites and moving vehicles.

References[edit]

External links[edit]