Isaac Hale of Knocked Loose talks TikTok, arena tours and the trajectory of the band thriving as advocates of hardcore

Isaac Hale of Knocked Loose talks TikTok, arena tours and the trajectory of the band thriving as advocates of hardcore

- By Ramon Gonzales

The guitarist guested on The Downbeat with Craig Reynolds to discuss their arena runs with $uicideboy$ and Bring Me the Horizon, the band's horror-themed EP 'A Tear In the fabric of Life', and how the band is building a community passionate about heavy music.

Following his recent stint as the guest drummer for the 8G Band on NBC's Late Night with Seth Myers, Craig Reynolds has returned with another installment of his Downbeat Podcast. Going remote and setting up shop in a New York hotel room, Reynolds had the chance to catch up with Isaac Hale of Knocked Loose in between the band's arena tours - with Knocked Loose just wrapping their run with $uicideboy$ and already back at it supporting Bring Me the Horizon.

With a bit of discussion regarding band merch, Reynolds' failed attempt to rep Knocked Loose while on-air with Seth Myers, and how colorful shirts never seem to get as much love as the standard black t-shirt the guys got into the band's recent run supporting hip hop juggernaut $uicideboy$.

While most tours come about through management and the players behind the scenes most times, the combination of hip hop and hardcore was actually more organic this time around, explained Hale. He detailed how Ruby da Cherry was a fan of the band and shared that both bands initially connected during their appearances at last year's Knotfest Iowa. From there, the wheels were set in motion.

The guitarist shared the details of the shows and explained that they were among the biggest, apart from festivals, that he has ever seen. Hale said that it wasn't uncommon to hear 18 thousand, 19 thousand through the gate in less than frequented markets like Albuquerque, NM. The tour punctuates with a finale at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado - where Knocked Loose will make their way back for a set of back-to-back nights. It's a gig Hale is especially excited for.

Addressing the unconventional stylistic union, Hale explained how the music translates well given the kind of set $uicideboy$ put on. A healthy contingent of current hip hop have integrated mosh pits and stage diving into their set, with Ruby and Scrim at the head of that. Hale explained that Knocked Loose are calling for the same kind of visceral response, they are just doing it with breakdowns - making for an easy translation.

The guys also got into the prevalence of heavy music and how it seems to have pierced the veil of the mainstream. For Hale, seeing how hip hop has embraced the culture and started to source it, combined with the fact that people are looking for edgy content is part of why the sound is experiencing such a renaissance. Reynolds added how bands like Turnstile and Knocked Loose have really transcended their genre and are among the two artists really leading the new era of cultural flourish.

Unknowingly referencing the reach of Knocked Loose, the guys discussed the band's touring slate and among the band's most recent runs, Knocked Loose has toured with the previously mentioned $uicideboy$, Bring Me the Horizon and completed a brief run with death metal stalwarts Dying Fetus - all of which have proven fruitful for the band. Heaving praise on all of their tourmates, Hale spoke very highly of Bring Me the Horizon and shared that he thinks they are the standard for how to do everything right in heavy music.

Given the band's massive leaps and transition into an arena supporting slot, Hale still holds a very deep appreciation for the more intimate, no barricade show. Reynolds asked how Hale felt about being a band that thrived in that no barricade environment and how he felt about leveling up from that. For Hale, the no barricade show still remains the pinnacle. He shared that regardless of the capacity if the no barricade show is good, it beats anything else - a big statement given the profile of shows Knocked Loose now plays. Hale emphasized that the goal always is to make the big show feel like the small show.

There was some discussion about the band's acclaimed EP, A Tear In the Fabric of Life. Hale explained that while every band under the sun used the pandemic to justify working on a passion project, the impetus for the concept EP actually started back when the band wrote the track, "In the Walls" from their lauded 2019 LP, A Different Shade of Blue. Hale shared that the "ghost" song (vocalist Bryan Garris told the story on a previous episode of the Downbeat - HERE) compelled the band to explore the idea of a horror-themed EP. As circumstance would have it, shortly thereafter the band would have plenty of time off from touring to see that idea come to fruition.

Showing an ability to be very self-aware, Hale confided that its tough to gauge the band's success in terms of releases. He added that his assumption is that most people's curiosity is piqued either from hearing "Counting Worms" on TikTok or from the "Mistakes Like Fractures" Spongebob meme that has become the stuff of viral legend. For Hale, how people discover Knocked Loose isn't important. The aim is to make converts and in the process cultivate a community. Hale added how that ideology permeates in everything the band does - play all the shows, introduce everyone to the band, bring them back to smaller shows to discover more hardcore bands and nurture the culture.

That think and grow mentality is no doubt part of Knocked Loose's broad appeal and a contributing factor in their campaign as champions of hardcore.

Stream the complete episode of The Downbeat Podcast with special guest Isaac Hale of Knocked Loose below. Catch up on the archive of episodes and score Downbeat merch - HERE

See Knocked Loose live on tour. The band's dates with Bring Me the Horizon can be found below. A complete list of dates, cities, and tickets can be found - HERE



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