The Knocks look back on their crazy time overseas with Justin Bieber, reveal whether Taylor Swift ever approved of their song ‘I Wish,’ and tease another collaboration with Carly Rae Jepsen in this exclusive interview!
Electronic music duo The Knocks (Ben “B-Roc” Ruttner and James “JPatt” Patterson) are back with a new banger! We caught up with them about “House Party,” how Taylor Swift, 27, felt when she heard their song about her, if they’ll ever team up with Carly Rae Jepsen again, and more.
Let’s talk about “House Party!” Is this the beginning of a new era for you guys?
B-Roc: It’s been a while since we put out a new original song, so we’re excited. It’s not the start of the album campaign or anything, we just wanted to get it out. It’s going back to our roots, keeping it dance-y. JPatt is doing all of the vocals, which is going to be the theme for the new record.
So a followup to your debut album 55 is on the way?
B-Roc: We don’t have a timeline yet, but we’ve been working on it. We’ve been making it a point to stay off the road to do writing sessions and get in the studio. It feels like this album will be more of an expression of us. We’re writing, and he’s singing on, most of it. It feels honest and like more true stories. An EP will come eventually.
Can you tease any collaborations on it?
B-Roc: There will be some features. We have a few we’re working on, and we’re doing a lot with artists that we feel like will be a nod back to the golden era of electronic music, which is 2005-2011…when it was a little more punk-y and DIY. We were in the studio with Yelle the other day, and MNDR.
What do you look for in a collaborator?
B-Roc: The best music comes when we make it with our friends. The way “Classic” happened was so natural, because we knew POWERS for years, even before they were named that. We had a day off and it happened in one day. That’s how “Best Friend” happened, too [with Sofi Tukker.]
Would you work with Carly Rae Jepsen again?
B-Roc: Everyone loves that song! I don’t know. I worked on something at a writing camp that [was going to be] used for her album — a really rad song that I love. Hopefully it’ll be on her record. Other than that, she’s doing her own thing, working on her new album. She has so many songs! She’s sitting on hundreds of songs.
Did Taylor Swift ever give you a pat on the back for “I Wish?”
JPatt: No. [Laughs]
B-Roc: I don’t think she liked it! Someone told me she saw the video and it turned her off a little bit because it’s a bunch of clones of her. I think it did get to her, but it was like, “meh.”
How was it touring with Justin Bieber in Europe last year?
B-Roc: It was a crazy experience.
JPatt: Huge shows.
B-Roc: Fans would chase us around even though they didn’t know who we were, just because we were associated with him! The first night, we were in Paris, and there were all these tweets and kids outside our hotel room and at the restaurants we were at. They thought we were best friends so they chased us around. They were about it.
Sounds about right. Did you get any bonding time with him?
JPatt: We played soccer.
B-Roc: We hung out with him a little bit.
Fair enough. Finally, who have you met that made you starstruck?
JPatt: LeBron [James].
B-Roc: I met Calvin Harris and I was a dork. He’s 8 feet tall. He’s the tallest. He’s a big influence of ours and we love him.