On the Record with Landon Knoblock of CACAW | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

On the Record with Landon Knoblock of CACAW

"I read a lot of science fiction."

Landon Knoblock
Landon Knoblock

CACAW's music unites distorted rock synthesizers with free-jazz saxophone and drums in a series of compositions inspired by science fiction. Keyboardist Landon Knoblock, who started out in a piano trio, spoke to CP in anticipation of band's Nov. 17 show at Thunderbird Café.

It sounds like you're trying to change the identity of your instrument.

There are things I've always loved about synthesizers. But I always felt like there was this bad connotation that synthesizers had because of fusion. So there was that fear. But I thought, "You love that sound; why are you denying it?" I love the sound of synth bass, it's a beautiful sound.

The Stellar Power album includes a synopsis along with track titles like "Space Robot Falls in Love." Do the plot lines inspire your writing?

They're totally after the fact. With songs, I write them, record them, sit and listen to them and let my imagination go as if I were the listener without having any attachment to it. I read a lot of science fiction.

Are you imitating satellite transmissions in some of the songs?

That wasn't an intention but, man, those are my sounds. I run the keyboards through eight guitar stomp-boxes. [I've thought,] "That sounds like Blade Runner. I'm totally seeing the Ridley Scott thing." You also try to think, "What does it feel like?" The answer will probably be: "How a robot might feel in this situation." We can imagine that.

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