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The Story of The Knife
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The Story of The Knife as told by Monsieur Moose

I remember them so well. Those two, living isolated in that little cabin deep in the forest. Very few came to them, but those who did were always welcomed, if they had expected you. Frau Rabid was the first, I guess. She told me the way to them. Follow the echoes, she said. “Echoes, of what?”, I asked. “The music”.  That was what they were, music makers. Their tunes seamed to give the trees around them their own lives. They first turned bright and moved as if they were trying to dance. Some years later they had changed. The trees grew tall, dark and haunting. The change came so slow that nobody noticed. Even fewer dared to visit them, it was said to have strange birds and monsters living near them. But I did visit them. I let the music lead me straight to them. They welcomed me and they told me their story from the very beginning. This is what they want you to hear.

The Knife consists of the Swedish siblings Karin Dreijer Andersson (born 1975) and her younger brother Olof Dreijer (born 1981). They come from a family that had very musical talents, their father played accordion, guitar and piano while their mother preferred to sing. They also went to the local music school in their youth. They started working together as The
Knife in the summer of 1999. Karin writes the lyrics and they do the music together. Both of them sing, but Karin does the most of the lead vocals, often using a voice transformer to be able to change the sound/gender of her voice in the songs. The Knife mainly use PC, software synthesizers and some analogue instruments when creating their “electronic emotional pop” music, as they have chosen to call it.

Both of them had worked with music before they formed The Knife. Olof had been involved in a number of different music projects, sometimes under the name Coolof. He played drums and saxophone in some bands. Karin was the singer and guitarist in a Swedish indie rock group from Gothenburg called Honey is Cool. They formed in 1994 and were at that time consisting of Karin, bass player Staffan Larsson, guitarist Anders Göthberg and Johan Hagström on drums. Göthberg soon quit the band and was replaced by John Jern on guitar.
Other members came and went and included for example Håkan Hellström on drums (now a popular singer on his own in Sweden), Fredrik Wennerlund (who replaced Hellström), and
keyboard players Paul Källman, Carl Larsson, Dan Lepp and Christina Weibull. A demo they recorded got them to perform on Swedish music festivals such as Hultsfred and Emmaboda. Honey is Cool released the first EP “Focky Focky No Pay” in 1995 on Sun Spot and their last release was “Baby Jane”, an EP that was released in 2000. During those
five years they released a total of two albums and three EP’s for labels MVG and Rabid. Rabid was started by Honey is Cool in 1999, first as a non-profit association. During the first year Rabid records had five releases; two EP’s, a CD-single and a album from Honey is Cool along with
a CD from Rockmonster. In 2000 Honey is Cool announced that they were taking a break and Karin took over Rabid and
it is now a record label, and no longer an association, run by Karin and Olof.

In August of 2000 saw the first release of The Knife. It was a 7”-single with the tracks “Afraid of You” and “Bird” that was released on the 14th of August 2000 on the Rabid label. Released in only 500 copies, it was fast seen in all the vinyl shops in Gothenburg, where the Dreijer siblings then resided. (Nowadays they make their music in Stockholm.) Karin talked about the positive sides in recording for your own label in a interview with the Swedish Internet magazine Revolver: When you handle it yourself you have the possibility to make a very cheap record. … And then it doesn’t take so much to get a profit from it. When asked if she would like to sell more records she says: I don’t know. Of course, a little bit more. But it depends on what I would have to do to achieve it. If I could keep on living as I do today and not have to do a lot of awkward interview and TV-stuff and such and sell 10 000 copies anyway, that would be really exciting.