Pepa Knight is a chiller with a hypnotic record out real soon.
Pepa Knight is a legend. A chiller from the central coast, NSW and co-front man of Jinja Safari. We caught up with him to talk surfing in India, Blink 182 and his latest solo project Hypnotized.
Hey man, how are you?
Yeah good, been well, what are you up to today?
Umm just in the office, just about to finish up work tomorrow for the year so I’m pretty frothing…
Ah sick, last day tomorrow that’s awesome.
Yeah, where are you?
I’m just at home in the studio at the moment, trying to get some of this recording done trying to get as productive as I can before the whole chrissy break
Yeah into the madness, no Christmas jingles planned?
(laughs) Nah not this year, one year I had a few friends over and we just all wrote a song about Christmas at our local shopping centre and it was awesome, it never got released though, maybe it wasn’t that awesome.
(Laughs) Maybe on a B-sides one day.
Yeah, I might sneak it in somewhere.
Hey I’m pretty sure I’ve met you before like waaay back in the day, I dunno, like maybe, what’s your Dad’s name?
Yeah sweet, I’m a friend with Sam Paterson (former staff writer at Waves Magazine); yeah I met you way back in the day when you were in that Christian punk band.
(Laughs) No way, ha-ha yeah I was playing bass in a punk band years and years ago.
(Laughs) yeah, what was it called?!
Um, it was called Stuck On Ellie
Yeah! Fuck yeah! Haha… Yeah so from then, obviously Jinja Safari has blown up around the world, how was life before that growing up on the central coast playing in a punk band…
Before Jinja started about 4 years ago, I was just playing in a band with my brother, which he’s actually now playing in a band called Sea Legs. I guess I just used to surf and play music. But since Jinja Safari started I haven’t really been able to have the time to surf as much…
You must never be home for autumn when it’s pumping.
Yeah well actually my Dad. (Pause) Ahh woah, I gotta spider on me. (laughs).
Yeah my old man is known as the King Of Crackneck, I dunno if you’ve surfed there?
Yeah actually I think I’ve surfed it with him…
Yeah sweet, well he’s got a house, where he can still be in bed and look out his window and check the surf. I grew up surfing with him there and he was always much better then me. He’d be doing airs and 360’s and I’d be trying to get onto the waves. I’d surf there heaps before I got into music…
Was it hard to break away from the rock and punk and start making this sort of ‘tepee-ethereal’ music you’re making?
It was a natural progression. Well at the time, everyone was listening to Blink – 182 and everyone was trying to be them. It was a crazy time on the Central Coast (NSW). You’d pull about 500 or 600 kids to a show at the time because nothing else was happening and because there was probably no Facebook so everyone just went to these gigs. Then we progressed from punk into rock and started to do experimental stuff after that.
I think with Jinja Safari it got that moment where I didn’t really care about making it as a professional musician I just wanted to write some tunes I thought was fun to listen to. Fortunately, other people liked it and so I guess it’s how it all came about. I think that’s whatever musician should be doing, they should be writing what to be hearing. It sounds obvious but you can get in this mind frame where you write these songs other people want to hear, but at the end of the day the most genuine music will be the stuff that you are really passionate about and you want to hear yourself.
Yeah, exactly. So I heard you went to India recently and lost heaps of recordings?
Yeah I did three big trips. I went to heaps of towns and cities and got heaps of samples and recordings. I wrote the lyrics and everything over there. I got to a point about a year ago when I had pretty much finished everything for the album. I deleted by accident. I think I was updating my bloody iPhone or hard drive or something like that and I deleted it all. It ended up being fine because I ended up recording it a lot better and had more time to make it sound right.
India’s a really inspiring place. I got to go surfing too. I brought my Alaia surfboard over there and got some waves in Goa. I ended up snapping it over there. I really wanted to get another board, my mate who actually shaped the Alaia I had, we went to a timber yard and attempted to make the same Alaia surfboards (laughs) but they were really heavy, you could stand up but they didn’t really work.
No one surfs over there. There’s a small surf culture. But yeah surfing in India is surfing.
I’ll have to put it on my bucket list. Have you ever thought about composing music for a surf movie?
Oh man, if the opportunity came up that’d be awesome.
So tell us about this album Hypnotised…
It’s all about my experiences in India and I’m just trying to merge my recordings over there into the recordings and samples into the songs. It’s fun for me to merge all these ideas into the one concept. It’s also on cassette tape and Vinyl. I’m doing this all myself so it’s a challenge and exhausting but it’s rewarding and it’s been real fun.
I better get going but thanks for chatting, so when’s the release?
I don’t have an exact date yet but it will be the first half of next year. I’m working on it in my Tepee studio so hopefully it’ll be done soon?
Did you say Tepee studio?
Yeah I got it set in my backyard. It’s good for getting in the writing soon.
Ahh perfect man, maybe we’ll get working on that surf movie soundtrack.
(laughs) Yeah, let’s lock it in.
Look out for Hypnotized at www.pepaknight.com OR find Hypnotized Vol.1 at soundcloud.com/pepaknight/sets/hypnotized-volume-1