PHOTOS / ANGELO KRITIKOS
STORY / EMILY HELWIG
The Knocks have come a long way since turning their NYC apartment into a bootleg recording studio. After remixing Jay-Z’s entire American Gangster album – appropriately renamed American G-Funk – the duo Ben “B-Roc” Ruttner and James “JPatt” Patterson quickly developed their sound and online music presence. The rest was history. The Knocks now have a full-length album, 55, under their belt, and just finished their international Feel Good Feel Great tour (with support from such artists as Bipolar Sunshine and Skylar Spence). Their TESTIFY EP came out this year, showcasing the knack The Knocks have for pairing strong vocalists and quick-lyriced rappers with their energetic electric tracks. Now, the duo dishes on their spring break playlist picks, their craziest nights out, the inspiration for their latest video “Trouble.” See their summer festival tour dates and more below.
Spring Break is around the corner for college kids around the country. What’s your go-to vacation party spot?
B-Roc: Nicaragua! A place called Maderas Village
JPatt: A fire rooftop function in New York City
What song (besides “HEAT,” obviously) is a must for a Spring Break playlist?
B-Roc: That new Calvin Harris song “Slide” with Migos and Frank Ocean
JPatt: Earth Wind & Fire – Can’t Hide Love (Masters At Work Edit)
We love your new music video ‘Trouble’ – How did the concept come about?
B-Roc: I actually always had an image of an alien singing that song in my head, and brought it to a director I really liked. We worked on a bunch of concepts using that idea and this one stuck.
JPatt: We went back and forth with the director until we found a concept that we were all happy with.
Speaking of the video, what are your go-to dance moves?
B-Roc: 2 step for sure
JPatt: I have many depending on the situation…usually the techno 2 step with alternating hand motions
There are a lot of great vocalists featured on TESTIFY. How do you decide which artists to collaborate with?
B-Roc: We really like to work with people that have strong voices as well as writing abilities. All the singers on this EP can really wail and it sets them apart from a lot of other singers these days that are more studio-artists.
JPatt: It’s all dependent on the situation. Sometimes it’s a friend, sometimes it’s through the label, sometimes we just keep the initial writer from the session on because it’s so good.
You guys met at 19, so I’m sure you’ve had some crazy nights together. Tell us about one! (Don’t be shy.)
B-Roc: One time I was so drunk after DJing an afterparty in Seattle that I tried to go back to the hotel alone, went up to the room and noticed my key wasn’t working. After trying 100 times, I realized not only was it not my room but I was at a completely different hotel.
JPatt: If I remembered it wouldn’t be that crazy lol….seriously I don’t remember. I think one time we got lost in different parts of a foreign country with no phones and our tour manager had to figure out how to find us to get to the next show. (Sorry Cooper)
Whiskey or Tequila?
JPatt: Tequila… moving on to Gin soon.
Bar or club?
Beach or City?
JPatt: City with beach amenity
Sun or shade?