Rock / Rock / Showtunes
United States of America
Formed in 1997 by guitarist and vocalist Joe Haege, bassist Jay Winebrenner, and a drummer who was soon replaced by Joe Kelly, 31Knots moved to Portland where they began playing shows as well as writing and recording their self-released debut Climax/Anticlimax which was released in 2000. A year-and-a-half later, based on a recommendation from Dilute drummer Jay Pellicci, 31Knots saw themselves signing to Michigan-based label 54°40' or Fight! who soon released The Rehearsal Dinner EP In the meantime the band had been turning heads and earning accolades on the West Coast for blustery live performances including shows with Modest Mouse, Califone, and Owls.
But it was not until 31Knots second full-length, A Word Is Also a Picture of a Word, that others began to take notice as well. Critics were amazed by the technical prowess displayed not only by the band’s rhythm section but also by Haege’s frenetic guitar playing. Name dropping and comparisons became the norm for each review of the album, but often these reviews missed the point. Although hailed for its technicality, it was the album’s imperfections that truly reflected the band’s aesthetic for creating music. For each unclean hit of the snare or the occasional flubbed guitar, one could hear the trio’s love for the natural progression of music in their endeavors to emulate the complexity of classical and jazz musicians. This was not a band merely trying to imitate their indie rock contemporaries.
When 31Knots entered the studio to begin tracking their third album in August 2002, Joe Kelly abruptly, yet amicably, left the band after only recording four songs. Jay Pellicci, who was recording the album with his brother Ian, agreed to fill in behind the kit and the band returned to the studio again in March 2003 to complete It Was High Time to Escape. With the addition of Pellicci, the band’s songwriting process shifted to a more song-oriented, less piece-meal approach resulting in songs that were more developed with stronger melody.
In Fall 2004, having parted ways with 54°40' or Fight!, 31Knots released The Curse of the Longest Day EP in Japan and Europe. Filled with atmospheric grooves and various instrumentation, The Curse of the Longest Day separated itself drastically from previous 31Knots' releases as something new and exciting lurked in the outer peripheries of the EP’s songs. 31Knots sent a copy to Polyvinyl and within weeks the two agreed to not only release the EP stateside but also to begin working together on a full-length.
The Curse of the Longest Day was released domestically though Polyvinyl on July 12, 2005 as a precursor to 31Knots’ fourth full-length, Talk Like Blood, which was then released October 11, 2005.
Now, 31Knots released The Days and Nights of Everything Anywhere in 2007. The release was celebrated with a U.S. tour followed by a European tour.