Knocked Loose's Bryan Garris talks band's rise; "You have to outperform the barricade" says HardLore
Louisville hardcore band Knocked Loose vocalist Bryan Garris was recently featured in a special interview on the HardLore: Stories from Tour podcast, hosted by Colin Young (God's Hate) & Bo Lueders (Harms Way), in a conversation over an hour and a half long, titled "Knocked Loose's Louisville: A HardLore Film," directed by Sean Say.
In it, Garris met with the HardLore hosts before the band's 10th-anniversary set at LDB fest back in March. The interview covered topics such as their lockdown live stream, favorite food, touring experiences, and the impact of Louisville's music scene. Speaking on their rise, they talk outside of Keswick Democratic Club—a beloved 200-cap venue that holds a special place in Knocked Loose's history, serving as the stage for the band's first show back in 2013, and share stories from The Chestnut House, another legendary Louisville venue.
The guys continued on the topic of the band's rise, and talked about opening for bands like Code Orange and Harm's Way, as transcribed by Lambgoat:
"That was kind of a turning point for us in Louisville. That show specifically, we played with Code Orange. We opened for them a lot here when they were Code Orange Kids. At that show, we opened for you all, Suburban Scum, Expire, Harm's Way. We always try to jump on shit like that.
Also when we first started playing in Louisville, we would play like, every weekend. We were so worried about people knowing us on a local level that when we started touring we just kept that same energy. We're just like, let's make it to where it's impossible to avoid us. So anytime people would talk shit about us, that would kind of just like stoke the fire."
Garris then moved on to the transitions a hardcore band faces when they get bigger:
"Obviously we're going to keep taking hardcore bands on tour because that's what we like... Not because we feel like we have to, but because we want to. But what do you do when you're a band that just has to accept the barricade?"
HardLore's Colin Young answered, "You have to outperform the barricade."
"Yeah I know that, but say we put Floorpunch on a Knocked Loose show, which will never happen. Not because of me, but you're like 'I can't fuckin' wait to see Floorpunch,' and you show up and there's a barricade...
I try to keep that in mind when because we're still very hands-on with all of our lineups. Especially me and Isaac, we sit down and we always talk about bands. We'll see a band live and we'd be like, 'we would take them on tour,' and we'll put them on the list.
Then when it comes to building a tour or building a show, like we just did a tour last home show in Louisville, it was the first time we ever played in Louisville with a barricade and that was a huge, hard pill to swallow. Because now it's becoming a thing.
When it comes to those shows we just try to keep that in mind and literally design it around bands that can outperform the barrier."
Garris provided an example of how they've adapted to the challenges, choosing different openers for different venues:
"On that Louisville show that I just gave an example of, our local friends that opened it were the band Gates To Hell. It's like super death metal, like Maggot Stomp. You don't need dives for that, you know what I mean? You're gonna have the kids on the barricade that are headbanging the whole time, and you're gonna have people moshing. But then when we do the underplay, and we do a venue with no [barricade], we had Magnitude on it."
Young made comparisons to Turnstile's evolution:
"Turnstile is the perfect example of that because the first 200 shows they played or whatever, the first 10 years of their band, the crowd participation WAS the performance. The fact it was insane the whole time, people are flying off stage. They found a way to evolve past that."
Garris agreed and continued
"It's funny, we did that tour with Gojira, and in my head, I was like, 'this is going to be like shooting fish in a barrel.' Gojira is this crazy band that has these giant parts. We're just a compilation of all the giant parts. We just rip Gojira in 4-4; we just don't make people think about it.
Something I noticed in the tour was there was a lot of people that are there for the technicality behind Gojira's music, the intricate time signatures and stuff, and we would have those nerds in Dream Theater shirts in the front row looking at us like, 'who the fuck is this?' So we had to find through the tour ways to communicate to this crowd.
That's something that we've had to do over the years that I've always been really interested in is like figuring out different ways to communicate. Because your band stays the same no matter what show you're on, but I can't talk to an A Day To Remember crowd the same way that I can talk to an LDB crowd, you know what I mean? So like learning how to navigate those different spaces of music has been super interesting. "