A few questions with Tydi Knots, a band that will play the “Punk Night” at School Bar for The Beijing Underground Sweet Winter Music Days on the 18 of January.
Hi Tydi Knots, who are you? Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
We are Tydi Knots, we are a Beijing band.
Where do you come from and why are you in Beijing?
We are both from Sunny South Africa, we have been friends for nearly 10 years now. We initially started off as friends and band mates early 2009. We used to play thrash metal. Tyron was the lead man, and I the drummer. After we graduated from university both Tyron and I moved to Korea, where we started Pan Valley (2016). It was mostly an experimental/acoustic duo. We have been in Beijing for 9 months, give or take. In the past 9 months we have evolved and changed rapidly.
I have noticed you playing gigs around Beijing, as you are a new band around here, what is your feeling so far about the scene, what bands have caught your attention?
Tyron: The scene is amazing! I can’t get enough of it and really want to be a part of it as much as we can. I have seen a big rise in Post Rock/ ambient kind of bands lately, I guess its currently a trend but there are really some amazing and exciting acts around. Xiao Wang is really an energetic band which I like a lot. We also enjoy Acid Accident, Struggle Session and Li Er Yang. Artists who are really work hard and have an amazing passion for music. The scene is very diverse which I enjoy.
Rudi: I love Beijing and its music scene. You can literary find absolutely everything here. If not some of the hardest bands or some of the most relaxing solo artists. The range of talented musicians and their music is mind-blowing! It goes for all kinds of music opportunities. I currently joined a community orchestra and a string quartet, so it really feels like Beijing is a never-ending fountain of music.
Are you planning to record an album in 2018? do you have a demo or album already released?
We are planning recording a bunch of acoustic sessions, where it would simply be cello and guitar. We will try to release those as soon as we can. Then we are planning to record a bunch of tracks in studio sometime in February.
What’s your favorite music to listen to? What was your favorite album in 2017?
Tyron: I listen everything from Rap, Electronic and Classical to Rock and Jazz. Anything really, so my list would be endless. I have always been an all rounder. If its music or makes a sound, then i’ll probably listen to it. My favorite albums of 2017 have to be Fokofpolisiekar – Selfmedikasie, Awaken I am – Blind Love and Pvris – All We Know f Heaven, All We Need of Hell, those are the albums that I personally looked forward to before they were released. I have also been listening a lot to one of my all time favorites lately, Bad Debt by Hiss Golden Messenger.
Rudi: Ummmmm, there are so many. To mention just a few;
Gregory Alan Isakov – That Sea, the Gambler, Gregory Alan Isakov – This Empty Northern Hemisphere, Acoustic Recordings 1998–2016
Album by Jack White, Biffy Clyro, Bon Iver For Emma for Ever, Johnny Cash, Sigur Rós, Fokoffpolisiekar, Van Coke Cartel, Van Coke solo project, Alt-J, Delta Blue and later blues, Amy Whinehouse. Any classic music. Haha. I get obsessed with albums and just listen to a few at a time. I like to experience the album as much as possible.
How did you start music and why? Which instrument did you start on?
Tyron: I have always been a big music fan, started listening to Rap and pop in the 90’s. Then in high school I had this friend who would give me new music every Monday, like 15 to 20 albums every week which he would get from his brother at University and then my mind was just blown by everything I was getting, and my passion just grew from there. I tried learning the guitar many times over the years but never took it very seriously. I spent more time writing lyrics from a young age and raps haha. I kind of met Rudi by accident in 2008/2009 sometime and he threatened me into his metal band, I had the worst audition ever and I was accepted and we played a bunch of shows. While at Uni, I experimented a lot with my own music, got into producing electronic music and DJing and still played a little guitar every now and then, I started a business where we would book musicians for events which took off really well and did a good solid 5 years, also worked at 2 radio stations at this time, a studio manager at one and out on the road doing live activations across Central South Africa and then moved life on to Korea. Korea is where I really took the time to work harder at my own music. I released some electronic music at that time and also sat down and learned the guitar solidly everyday. Then Rudi and I started writing music for our Pan Valley project. And now we are in Beijing and loving it.
Rudi: I have always liked listening to music and growing up my brother and I would always go to teen dance parties. In high school a classmate and friend taught me some basics on drums. Hooked immediately I started a band, we started playing heavy metal, basically anything that sounded scary. That was the band where Tyron and I became friends and first played in together. Later on I taught myself to play guitar. Went to university to study music through a music development program that later turned into a degree. Unfortunately, I couldn’t continue my music studies as a classical guitarist and then had to choose between the flute and the cello. At this point I was 21 years old, given up a well paying full time job to put myself through university, depressed and lost, I accidentally started playing cello, not knowing what one looked like before I went to my first lesson. Now I try to sing, write music and simply play any instrument that catches my fancy.
Besides Tydi Knots, do you have any other musical projects? Can you introduce them?
Tyron: I have a solo project which I play acoustic guitar and just play some chill music, I also write electronic dance music and have another band project in the works with one of my other mates and I also play bass in a band called Bang Bang Mary with my mates.
Rudi; I played in Bang Bang Mary as the drummer for 2 years, give or take. I am passing on the torch, so to speak, to the next drummer. As I am going to spend more time on the string quartet and the community orchestra I recently joined. I will also spend more time on practicing solo cello pieces. Luckily it will be of great use for tydi knot`s acoustic set. Other projects will be Jordan Darling`s solo project. I will be assisting her recording and producing her indie folk album.
Anything you want to add?
Tyron: Yeah, thanks so much for the opportunity and interest in our music! we appreciate it a lot.
Rudi:Thank you for this opportunity. We appreciate any exposure.