B.Knox Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

B.Knox Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

Answer: My name is B.Knox. I’m a singer-songwriter from Canada. Generally speaking, I fall into a genre known as Americana or Alt. Country.

Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?

Answer: The last year of my life has been pretty incredible, actually. I started releasing music in May of 2019, and it has been a steep learning curve for someone who is a little older getting into the music scene, but overall it has been an amazing experience.

Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and how's it doing?

Answer: My debut album, Heartbreak & Landscape, will be released on April 24th, 2020. The first full review it received gave it four stars, which is incredibly flattering. The singles I’ve released so far have gained radio play on Sirius XM and on national and local radio in North America. I’ve even had songs licensed by Starbucks world wide. I’m a little terrified, but excited for the full release in a few weeks.

Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the CD?  Is there a story behind the name?

Answer: The album title comes from a social media tag line in my bio. One of my close friends said “that would make a great album title”, and it stuck. It’s the two wells of inspiration I often draw from when writing: heartbreak and landscape. 

Lamitschka:  Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?

Answer: All of the songs on the album were written by me. In fact, I’d call myself a writer, first and foremost. The music and melodies are secondary. 

Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).

Answer: This collection of songs is centred around themes of loss and regret, moments of hope, and the desire we all have to be the architects of fate - choices we make, and how they impact us. I’ve tried to make it universal. Centred in human struggle and perseverance.

Lamitschka:  Your current single is being played by radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to hear it?

Answer: The current single “Best Laid Plans” is very much about those themes i mentioned earlier. It is a faster tempo than most of the other songs on the album, so it gives it an optimistic sound in opposition to lyrics that are heavy with themes of choice and acceptance and regret.

Lamitschka:  What will your next single be?

Answer: The next single will be “Second Spark”, and it is the romantic version of never getting a second chance to make a first impression. The idea that once love has been extinguished, there isn’t a pilot light to ignite another flame. 

Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you like to record the most?

Answer: Most of my songs are written acoustically at first, but in the studio I really like to experiment with textures and atmosphere. Making vocals or guitars sound immediate and breathy, but set against an atmospheric backdrop, or vice versa. 

Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song among all the songs you have recorded and what's the story behind it?

Answer: A personal favourite of mine is “Hurricane Breeze”. Both the story and the creation of it in the studio are very personal to me. I don’t want to go into details about the lyrical storyline, but I had an idea and image in my mind that I wanted to paint in sound and texture (like a tumultuous oil painting of a raging storm), and I think we achieved a very vast and crashing sound that perfectly suits the story being told. It was very satisfying to fall into the textures and tones of the finished product. 

Lamitschka:  How much creative control do you have over your music?

Answer: One hundred percent. My producer and I will often work together to achieve a certain sound or result, but the choices are always mine in the end.

Lamitschka:  There's a lot of work that goes into a number one hit. What did it take to make it in your case?

Answer: I imagine there is a lot of work that goes into it, as with any creative endeavour or pursuit. I’ll let you know when I have my first number one hit!

Lamitschka:  Do you have any interesting stories about how fans have been affected by your music?

Answer: A lot of my music is so emotionally focused that the majority of stories or responses I get are about how a line (or song) made them feel. Perhaps one of the best responses was that I was able to pinpoint someone’s exact feeling even when they didn’t have the words to express it themselves. As a songwriter, that is always a beautiful compliment: giving a voice to the voiceless. 

Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

Answer: I have so many inspirations and influences: Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Gord Downie, Kathleen Edwards, to name a few. I’m inspired by the wind and the weather. I find words jumping out from books and poems and from conversations. Inspiration is everywhere, even when it is elusive at times. Even though I started releasing my own music later in life than most others, I have been singing and playing music almost my entire life. It just took me a while to decide I was ready to look music in the eye, so to speak. 

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today's music scene versus its post and where do you see it going in the future?

Answer: I don’t think I’ve been in the music scene long enough to comment on the past. I’m certainly encouraged by the volume of music and artists putting out music these days. You can find a song for every mood and every moment, if you’re willing to look for it. 

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today's music industry?

Answer: I think the music scene is rebounding from where it was ten or fifteen years ago, certainly. The streaming world has made it possible to not only release music globally, but also track performance around the world, and interact with a global fan base in real time. That being said, there are certainly downsides to it for creators and songwriters and performers as well. 
There is also more of a meritocracy in the record industry. Talented people can make interesting music, and that music can be made available and be found by anyone around the world. There are ever-expanding avenues to reach an audience. 

Lamitschka:  If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?

Answer: As with any walk of life, I think it would be nice to see people be able to make a decent living off their work, and and the vast percentage of earnings not be relegated to only the one or two percent at the top. It’s even harder in art and music, as they are so subjective. 

Lamitschka:  As an artist, you so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what's your favorite activity?

Answer: Recording: hands-down. It’s an incredible rush to create something out of nothing. To watch a room full of people (even just one person) make something come to life. It is magic, pure and simple. 

Lamitschka:  Are you doing anything to take music beyond its current borders or are you happy where it is?

Answer: I’ve been lucky to have my music break into so many markets, but I’m always eager and excited to see a new place pop up. I don’t have anywhere specific in mind, but I’m looking forward to getting out and touring the record once we are past quarantine measures. 

Lamitschka:  What was your big break that got you into the music business?

Answer: Getting my music on Sirius XM satellite radio. I came along at a time when there was a very supportive station that got behind my music and has been playing it ever since I released my first single.

Lamitschka:  Before you became a star, were your friends and family supportive or was it a struggle?

Answer: My friends and family have always been supportive of my talent. In fact, they are the reason I ever had the courage to pursue it and release my own music in the first place. I’m very lucky and grateful to have them.

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become an artist?

Answer: I’ve always enjoyed performing. It never seemed like a place I would ever end up, but it feels natural, even at this stage of my life

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become a songwriter?

Answer: Mainly the other artists I listened to, authors and poets I’ve read. There came a point when I started going beyond admiring the songs and stories I was hearing and reading, and I began to start breaking them down and rearranging them. I’d hear a word or a line and think “oh, that’s interesting...I would have done it THIS way” and that propelled me start writing my own songs. 

Lamitschka:  What drives you?

Answer: Writing. More than anything else, what I have to say and the way I want to say it is what motivates me. I love words so much, and there are endless ways to put them together and express something. It makes you feel like your work is never finished, but in a great way. 

Lamitschka:  What's unique about you that will differentiate you from other artists?

Answer: I think my most unique feature is my songwriting. It doesn’t happen often enough in my own writing, but I know a good line when I hear it. I know how words should be put together, and how to give them the vehicle of a melody that will deliver those words with some impact. I’ve been told my voice is also a strength, but I don’t hear it the way others do. I doubt many singers do. 

Lamitschka:  What has been your greatest challenge in music business?

Answer: I think one of the hardest things is getting heard, and getting heard by the right people. You just have to trust that you are making the art that is truest to who you are, something that speaks to others, and hope that it falls in the right lap or is played for the right ears. 

Lamitschka:  What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights and achievements which you are proud of?

Answer: Getting to play in a festival in my hometown was pretty special. I was nervous for the first time in a long time to play that show, but I loved every second of it. The first time I held a copy of my single on vinyl was also a stand out moment for me. Things began to feel real and very surreal at the same time. 

Lamitschka:  Who is your biggest critic, yourself or others?

Answer: Definitely myself. I’m a fierce editor of my own words. I’m also my own worst critic when it comes to what I have to offer.

Lamitschka:  When you get time off, how do you like to relax?

Answer: I spend a lot of time close to the water on my boat or at the cottage. 

Lamitschka:  What hopes and desires do you have?

Answer: My ambitions are pretty simple: I want to create my art and earn a decent living by it. The freedom to not have to worry or struggle, and to be able to enjoy the friends and family around me. 

Lamitschka:  What has been the biggest disappointment in your life?

Answer: That I didn’t start this journey in music sooner. Then again, perhaps I wouldn’t have been ready. 

Lamitschka:  Many European fans travel to the United States to attend the several of the music festivals for the opportunity to see so many of their favorite artists, bands and celebrities. Will you be participating and how will the fans be able to find you?

Answer: It doesn’t look like there will be many festivals this summer season, but you can always find me online @bknoxmusic or Facebook.com/bknoxmusic 
As soon as live shows are allowed again, I will be working hard to organize a tour and get out on the road to play these songs live for people. 

Lamitschka:  What can your fans expect to see when they see you in concert?

Answer: I’m usually a solo acoustic act, but I will occasionally bring my pedal steel player along with me. I strive for a very emotional and connective experience at my live shows. I want to be vulnerable, and I want the listeners to feel comfortable enough to do the same.

Lamitschka:  What's the best compliment a fan has ever given you?

Answer: That I write like a poet, and I sing with soul. That’s always nice to hear.

Lamitschka:  What's your favorite song that you wish you could have recorded?

Answer: That’s tough. Nearly impossible, and this may not be THE song, but A song I wish I had written would be “Fool For Waiting” by the Canadian artist Dan Mangan. It’s an incredible piece of songwriting. If you haven’t heard it, go and listen.

Lamitschka:  What message would you like to send your European fans?

Answer: In this time of uncertainty, I want to tell them to be safe, and I hope to see them out on the road when the world has healed. 

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