Knife Party

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Knife Party
Knife Party @ Concord, Chicago.jpg
Knife Party in 2015. L-r; Gareth McGrillen, Rob Swire
Background information
OriginPerth, Western Australia, Australia
Years active2011–present
Associated acts

Knife Party are an Australian electronic music duo comprising Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen, two members of the drum and bass band Pendulum.

Knife Party were placed at 53 on Top 100 DJs poll, 22 on thedjlist and 9 based on 2013–14 data by Topple Track and JustGo Music.[1][2] The duo have also worked with other artists such as Swedish House Mafia, Steve Aoki, MistaJam, Foreign Beggars, I See MONSTAS, Tom Staar, Pegboard Nerds and Tom Morello.


2002–10: Origin[edit]

The duo met and performed music since 2002 in various different bands and music projects, eventually forming drum and bass band Pendulum.[3][4] Two of the three original members created Knife Party as a side project, although it evolved into their primary project. The name is derived from "Knife Prty", a Deftones song from their 2000 album White Pony, which caused consternation at first, as it implied that they supported knife crime—although Swire stated that "...we’re not advocating any type of knife-related crime any more than Swedish House Mafia were advocating organised crime."[5]

2011–12: 100% No Modern Talking and Rage Valley[edit]

Knife Party performing Rage Valley tracks at Hove Festival, 2012

On 25 May 2011, Swire released a short preview on SoundCloud entitled "Not Pendulum".[6]

Knife Party's first EP, 100% No Modern Talking, was released digitally through Warner Bros. Records on 12 December 2011.[7] The EP originally was to feature "Back to the Z-List" but was replaced with "Destroy Them with Lazers" as the duo had decided to abandon the track.[8] The EP title refers to the lack of "Modern Talking", a wavetable in the software synthesiser NI Massive commonly used to create "talking" basslines.[8]

Their second EP, Rage Valley, was released digitally through EarStorm and Big Beat. Rob tweeted a screenshot taken on his PC showing three of the four final Rage Valley tracks, captioning the photo "3 down, 1 to go", referring to the mastering of the final track "Sleaze".[9] The title track "Rage Valley" was originally named "Fuck Em" but the title was changed "for secret shady reasons you will never know" according to Rob.[10] "Sleaze" was also re-titled, the original being called "Until They Kick Us Out".[11] Originally Rage Valley was set to be released before the end of April 2012, but due to multiple setbacks[12] the release was delayed for four weeks. It was made available for purchase on Beatport and iTunes on 27 May 2012. The song "Bonfire", released on this album, was featured on an episode of AMC's Breaking Bad in the fifth season and in the video game WWE 2K15. The EP was also Knife Party's first ever entry on the Billboard 200, peaking at 75.

2013–14: Haunted House and Abandon Ship[edit]

Their third EP Haunted House, was released on 6 May 2013 digitally through EarStorm and Big Beat. A last minute change was made to the EP and where "Baghdad" was replaced with "Internet Friends" (VIP).[13] Rob also announced the approximate release date for the new EP, the week of 22 April, with iTunes on 29 April.[14] Rob later announced the final release date would be 6 May due to issues beyond his control. The EP was leaked on 29 April and later uploaded in its entirety on Knife Party's YouTube channel on 5 May as well as a trailer video for the EP. The EP entered into the iTunes Top 10 Albums Chart and peaked at 3. It also hit number 1 Electro House Album on Beatport. The EP was also Knife Party's first Top 40 entry on the Billboard 200, peaking at 37.[citation needed]

Rob Swire stated that he will be taking a six-month hiatus in July from live performances in order to record new music.[15] A month later Swire released a statement that along with an announcement of a new Pendulum album, Knife Party will be recording and releasing their debut studio album.[16]

In May 2014 Swire stated that the debut Knife Party album was near completion and that they were in their final stages of finishing it.[17] In June it was announced that the album would be titled Abandon Ship, however it was explained that its release date will be announced once the album itself is finished. On 6 August 2014, Rob Swire released a teaser for the track "Boss Mode", from the forthcoming album.[18] On 15 August 2014, the release of a single titled "Resistance", was announced, to be released for free on 25 August 2014 through SoundCloud, with the album to follow shortly after. On 22 August 2014, the album was announced, scheduled for release on 24 November 2014.[19] On 22 September 2014, "Begin Again" was released as the second promotional single from the album. The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number 183.[20] On 7 November 2014 iTunes leaked the whole album.[21] Knife Party's Rob Swire mentioned in a tweet that he was happy with the album leaking, but that he felt it made "months of arguments about release dates and watermarks pointless."[22]

2015–16: Trigger Warning and Battle Sirens[edit]

Evidence of a possible new EP made itself known during their performance at Ultra Music Festival 2015 where they debuted three new tracks: Parliament Funk, PLUR Police and Kraken ft. Tom Staar.[23] On 3 June Knife Party tweeted they would be officially announcing their new EP within the next few days.[24] On 24 July Knife Party tweeted their new EP "Trigger Warning" would be released within 6 to 8 weeks.[25]

On 13 November Knife Party tweeted on their official Twitter page that they will be releasing the EP along with Plur Police (Jauz Remix) on 20 November 2015.[26]

At Kingsday Festival 2015 they premiered a brand new song featuring Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine fame. They also announced the song would be included on what was then to be the Trigger Warning EP.[27] However, after the announcement that the Jauz Remix of PLUR Police was the final track of the EP, Rob replied to a fan asking that the song would be on Tom Morello's upcoming solo album.[28] On the final day of Ultra Music Festival 2016, Knife Party closed the festival out with Tom Morello with a live performance of the ID, which was finally named "Battle Sirens". They also played a new pair of VIPs: LRAD and Bonfire, the latter of which was accompanied by Tom Morello playing guitar. On 5 September 2016 Knife Party posted a GIF with the words "Coming Soon" on top of a static background.[29] This was followed up on 7 September with another GIF of a cartoonized Tom Morello in shadow with the words "9th September".[30] Their collaboration, Battle Sirens, was released worldwide on 9 September 2016[31] with remixes by Brillz and Ephwurd following shortly after as well as a Live version cut from the Ultra performance. They were collected together in an EP release on 2 December 2016.

2017–present: New music, Pendulum's return[edit]

Since Ultra Music Festival 2016, Knife Party have opened their sets with a brand new track tentatively titled "You're No Saint". The track remained without a drop, instead transitioning into Parliament Funk, until NYE 2017/18 where they debuted it at The Bangkok Countdown.[32] At Ultra Japan 2016 they premiered another new track their fans have titled "Chickenstep" after the lead synth line.[33] At EDC Japan 2017 they played yet another new track, this time featuring Rob on vocals, tentatively titled "Fade Away".[34] This came after a hint that Rob would return to singing after he commented on how he similarly said the words "nothing" and "muffin".[35] Also at the Bangkok Countdown NYE show they debuted a Jungle Terror-style track that included samples from JD's Revenge, something they had sampled previously in the Pendulum track, "Slam".[36]

At Life in Color Festival Manchester on 3 February 2018 they previewed their first remix since 2012's "Last Time" by Labrinth: a remix of Pendulum's "Blood Sugar" that is to be released with the group's Reworks album launching 16 March and releasing in full on 29 June 2018. Rob also confirmed that as well as new Pendulum music there would be a Knife Party EP released in 2018, although he did not state which would come first.[37]

On 10 May Rob revealed the existence of a Pegboard Nerds collaboration on Twitter.[38] This collaboration was eventually titled "Harpoon" and released as part of the Pegboard Nerds' Full Hearts EP in July.

In a Reddit AMA on 13 July, Rob re-confirmed a Knife Party EP for 2018,[39] revealing that "You're No Saint" and "Chickenstep" were "pretty much finished" but would be refreshed slightly before release. He also revealed that "Nothing For Free" (formerly "Fade Away") would probably be reworked into a Pendulum track and the Jungle Terror track from NYE 2017/2018 may be revisited or scrapped entirely.

At midnight on 20 September 2018, Rob and Gareth streamed the first episode of "Knifecast", an online radio show that is "halfway between a podcast and just playing music".[40] They said if it was successful they would include guest DJs that were friends of the duo to come on in future episodes "and rant about how much they hate something." They also premiered a new Dubstep ID, titled Lost Souls, at the conclusion of the first episode; a satirical take on Excision's Dubstep and bass music festival, Lost Lands. It is speculated that this will replace 'Nothing For Free' on their new EP, which Rob mentioned was almost titled "13.5% No VR Tables".

On 16 November during their eighth Knifecast broadcast, Rob and Gareth premiered another new track tentatively named "Ghost Town" which is heavily influenced by the recent Trance resurgence. They had previously premiered it at their Ministry of Sound label show on 11 November. They also showcased several previous versions of the track before playing out the most recent version, which includes Rob's vocals.

In their final Knifecast of 2018 on 18 December they revealed that their fifth EP was close to completion and would be released "within the next 3 months". They also mentioned that Pendulum would become their main focus after its release but that Knife Party would return once they got bored of it again.[41] Another Pegboard Nerds collab also surfaced around this time with the tentative title of "Jack"[42]

On 29 March "You're No Saint" was played in full by Alesso during his Mainstage set at Ultra Music Festival 2019.[43]

On 17 April they previewed yet another new track on the 13th episode of their podcast titled "Ghost Train", a minimal Tech House track drawing heavily from their Haunted House EP theme.[44] They also said that there new EP was "all over the place" in terms of musical content and had an overall "dark feel" to it. Their as-of-yet untitled fifth EP is set to include the tracks: No Saint, ID (Chickenstep), Lost Souls, ID (Ghost Town), and Ghost Train; however speculation that the NYE Jungle Terror ID may also appear on the EP still remains.

On 16 May Knife Party announced via Instagram they had parted ways with 360/720 Management and joined Decade Management along with their Pendulum project. New manager Jonathan Oakley confirmed on said photo that their fifth EP would finally be released in June.[45]


Knife Party use the digital audio workstation application Nuendo for production. In an interview with Sound on sound Swire mentions he used to use Logic Pro, but switched to Nuendo, mainly due to the linking system and workflow environment.[46] Most of the sounds emulated are virtual instruments (VST).[47] They also use outboard gear such as Tube-Tech SMC 2B Stereo Multi-Band Compressor.[48]



Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
Abandon Ship
  • Released: 24 November 2014
  • Label: Big Beat, Earstorm
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
20 39 54 2

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions[50]
100% No Modern Talking 31
Rage Valley
  • Released: 27 May 2012
  • Label: Earstorm, Big Beat
  • Formats: Digital download
95 71 75
Haunted House
  • Released: 6 May 2013
  • Label: Earstorm, Big Beat
  • Formats: Digital download
77 17 37 1
Trigger Warning
  • Released: 20 November 2015
  • Label: Earstorm, Big Beat
  • Formats: Digital download
  • Released: June 2019
  • Label: Earstorm, Big Beat
  • Formats: Digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
(with Swedish House Mafia)
2011 100 30 35 13 39 49 17 70 4 Until Now
"Resistance" 2014 Abandon Ship
"Begin Again"
"Boss Mode"
"Battle Sirens"
(with Tom Morello)
2016 Non-album single
(with Pegboard Nerds)
2018 Full Hearts
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Other charted songs[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
"Internet Friends" 2011 31 106 9 83 100% No Modern Talking
"Rage Valley" 2012 95 14 71 Rage Valley
"Bonfire" 80 96 18 7 45
"Centipede" 82 19 86
"Power Glove" 2013 77 13 43 Haunted House
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Title Year Original artist(s) Release
"Save the World" 2011 Swedish House Mafia Save the World (The Remixes)
"Unison" Porter Robinson Spitfire
"Crush on You" Nero "Crush on You"
"Last Time" 2012 Labrinth "Last Time"
"Blood Sugar" 2018 Pendulum The Reworks

Production credits[edit]

Title Year Performing artist(s) Release
"Apex" 2012 Foreign Beggars The Uprising

Awards and nominations[edit]

DJ Magazine top 100 DJs[edit]

Year Position Notes Ref.
2012 33 New Entry [55]
2013 25 Up 8
2014 53 Down 28
2015 100 Down 47


  1. ^ Jackson, Glenn. "Here's the actual top 100 DJs, based solely on data". Archived from the original on 11 January 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Top 100 DJs by Topple Track &". Topple Track. 7 January 2014. Archived from the original on 26 October 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Pendulum Interview - August 2005". BeatCulture. Archived from the original on 9 April 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Pendulum Hold Your Colour [2005]". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  5. ^ Green, Thomas. "Knife Party: Start the Party". MixMag. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
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  8. ^ a b "Knife Party – 100% No Modern Talking". Mark. Details of my Life. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
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  10. ^ "Twitter / knifepartyinc: Oh yeah we renamed "Fuck Em"". Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Twitter / mistajam: Last nite was pretty pretty". 26 November 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Knife Party - Hey peeps We've missed a couple deadlines..." Facebook. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Twitter / knifepartyinc: Last minute EP change: we don't". 16 April 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Twitter / rob_swire: @JBrownElectro eh. it's the". Retrieved 21 May 2014.
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  16. ^ Sachs, Elliot. "Knife Party Confirm New Album". Your EDM. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
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  19. ^ Codd, Nathan. "Knife Party's 'Abandon Ship' Delayed Again, Streaming Premiere Date Announced". Retrieved 3 November 2014.
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  26. ^ Party, Knife (13 November 2015). "20th November.. it's coming!! Trigger Warning with @TomStaar and @Jauzofficial".
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  29. ^ Party, Knife (5 September 2016). "".
  30. ^ Party, Knife (7 September 2016). "".
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  32. ^ "Knife Party - You're No Saint (Live @ The Bangkok Countdown)".
  33. ^ "Knife Party - Mad As Hell ID (Live @ Ultra Japan)".
  34. ^ "Knife Party - Nothing ID (Fade Away)".
  35. ^ "That moment when you realise the word "nothin" sounds like "muffin" in your vocal take".
  36. ^ "Knife Party - ID (Live @ The Bangkok Countdown)".
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  38. ^ "O shit, @knifepartyinc + @PegboardNerds collab".
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  40. ^ Knife Party (20 September 2018), Knifecast: Episode 001, retrieved 26 September 2018
  41. ^ Knifecast. "Knifecast: Episode 010". Mixcloud. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  42. ^ "Knife Party & Pegboard Nerds - Jack".
  43. ^ "Knife Party - No Saint (Played by Alesso @ UMF 2019)".
  44. ^ "Knife Party - Ghost Train".
  45. ^ "Confirmation of EP V's release window".
  46. ^ "Pendulum". Retrieved 10 June 2016.
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  48. ^ "Knife Party Equipboard". Equipboard. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
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  55. ^ "Poll 2015: Knife Party".

External links[edit]