Local artist profile: Stanley Knife

February 4, 2024 BY

Mesmeric meanderings. Stanley Knife said he draws his influences from all over the shop, taking in TISM to Joy Division and everything else in between. Photo: SUPPLIED

THIS week we chat with bass playing ace and lead singer of the new phenomenal breakout Bendigo Ozpunk outfit Relays, who’ll be gracing the stage at tomorrow’s Gold Rock 2 Festival at Handle Bar from 7pm.


What motivated you to become a musician?

My old man’s a muso and that was always a big part of his life, so I was indoctrinated into the scene from birth.

I originally wanted to be a mechanic because I liked throwing spanners at fences but never had an excuse to do it. That fell through after I learnt you’ll get paid less than a fast food employee for the first four years. So I decided to work dead-end jobs here and there, and during this time my passion for music was growing and growing.

I ended up getting my dad’s hand-me-down bass at about age 15 and getting into actual music and not what the radio played.


How would you describe your style?

I would say the DSM-5 would offer many explanations into my style and the development of it. I would even go as far to say it’s the missing link between Neanderthals banging rocks and sticks off each other’s heads in a rhythmic form, as they were known to do, and Cosmic Psychos. Somewhere in there, is me.


Which other musicians inspire you?

TISM is a band I thoroughly enjoy. The theatrics of their gigs gave me an idea of what to do, when before that I was left cold and in the dark.

Steve Wilson from Dead Kennedys was a bigger one for me in terms of bass guitar. His raw, guttural, flogging but yet clean style of bass playing was what I built my foundation off for my current band.

Same as Peter Hook from Joy Division. His melodic playing of chords, the grace in which he does it, the way he just looks so superbly British – all fantastic and admirable qualities.

In terms of bands by themselves I grew up listening to, anything my old boy played off the stereo.

Currently I’m still being inspired by the likes of Hüsker Dü’s earlier stuff, Cosmic Psychos, The Meanies, Wipers, Hard-Ons, Bladee, Joeyy, Marlon DuBois, Yabujin, Mezzoforte, Casiopea, Angry Samoans, Four Lions, BBY GOYARD, 100 gecs, Kevin MacLeod, Dankmus, John Moore and many more.


What are some highlights you have from your career so far?

The second gig that I ever played, the crowd demanded an entire set encore which we happily did. Afterwards two women bought me a small army’s serving of Bundy and cokes, which was a pretty boss moment.

I also don’t have to wear shoes at the pub if I’m playing, which is another bonus.


Do you have any gigs coming up?

The 3rd of February we are playing the Goldrock Festival at Handle Bar. Be there or be not there, really, it’s of your own free will.


What would you say to young regional aspiring musicians who are thinking of making a go of the creative life?

Don’t care what other people think – why conform to societal standards when you can only do it once? But only if it hurts no one else physically. Mentally is not your problem if it’s indirect because people are soft nowadays.

Play whatever you want to play. If you like it, it’s good. Music is not meant to be made to pander, it’s all about the enjoyment you get out of it. Do not do music for community stature, do it for yourself.