Heavy music of any sort generally isn’t meant to be accessible. At least not on a mainstream, popular level of consumption. Whether it’s really supposed to be is a topic for another day, but that’s not the point. What is impressive, though, is just how big some of these heavy bands in the scene are getting. Whether it’s the cult that surrounds the genre-bending Sleep Token, Turnstile’s Grammy nominations, Bring Me The Horizon collaborating with some of the biggest artists in music, and bands like Loathe getting shouted out by fucking Chino Moreno, there’s no doubt that there is still a place for music like this to gain a wide audience.
You can also throw Knocked Loose in that category. The band, who just celebrated their tenth anniversary, aren’t slowing down anytime soon. And the thing that’s really interesting about them is that, despite their success, they haven’t forgotten where they came from. It’s not a stretch to say they’ll tour with just about anyone, whether it’s directly supporting Bring Me The Horizon and Motionless In White, or bringing bands like Gatecreeper and Magnitude with them on headlining tours.
Their growth has been steady, buoyed by bands like Every Time I Die (RIP) tapping them as support only back in 2017. Initially, the burst out of their home base of Oldham County, Kentucky, was done by mostly word of mouth. Mainly because of their live shows, which have only improved over the years, as well as the evolution in their overall sound. The latter is particularly notable, as they’ve started to really diversify their sound – black metal, post-metal, sludge metal, and even borderline death metal elements have entered their music over the years. Yet the spirit of hardcore also remains.
Of course, with a band like this, you can throw what we said about heavy music not being accessible enough, out the window. Coachella 2023 saw Billie Eilish (!!!!) appearing during one of their sets, and in 2020, Knocked Loose started a virtual Wall Of Death in Minecraft. No, you can’t make this stuff up. The band’s set at Coachella also vaulted them past the one million monthly Spotify listener mark, where they’re at over 1,200,000 right now. Again, this is not an easy listening band, and it’s a staggering number for Knocked Loose’s decidedly inaccessible sound (at least to the average music consumer). And they’re certainly going in some eerie + ambitious directions with their 2021 EP, A Tear In The Fabric Of Life, also paired with a short film. Talk about a level UP.
What’s more is that they’ve done it with no pop choruses for accessibility (not that there’s anything wrong with that), no scene drama, and a community where fans of almost any kind of hardcore and/or metal can find something to enjoy. That really says a lot. When Knocked Loose dropped their Pop Culture EP back in 2014, did they expect the EP’s buzz to turn out like it did years down the line? You’d have to ask them. After all, how else can you explain stage diving at Coachella and even some of the biggest artists in music recognizing them? Hell yeah, tbh. One wonders just how big they might get in the next few years. Perhaps a Grammy nomination or two? It’s a very real possibility.