Knaaves – Amanda Daniels Returns to Metal

Saturday, 24th March 2018

Chances are that those entrenched in the metal scene remember Amanda Pearl Daniels’ exit from Enabler a few years ago. If not you can catch up on that information HERE. To sum it up, after she had quit the band, she came forward about physical and sexual abuse done to her during her relationship with ex-boyfriend Jeff Lohrber (also of Enabler). After her courageous step forward, she took a bit of time away from the music scene.

Recently joining the Milwaukee-based metallic hardcore act Knaaves on bass, Daniels has made a powerful return to the fold. If the band’s recently released 2-song January is any indicator of what’s to come, it’s worth reveling in some excitement. Caustic and abrasive riffs, Daniels’ prominent bass, and some pissed-off vocal work come alive with plenty of energy and aggression. Those who seek out the grittier side of hardcore should become well-versed, as there’s much promise as Knaaves moves ahead. We took this opportunity to send Daniels some questions about how she’s come to terms with the past, and what she envisions in her (and Knaaves’) future.

Dead Rhetoric: Following your departure from Enabler, at the time did you feel that you were done with music in general?

Amanda Daniels: I felt like I needed a serious break.

Dead Rhetoric: It takes a lot of courage to come out and be forthright about what happened to you. On the whole, did you feel that the metal community supported you as the information surfaced about your situation?

Daniels: Yes.

Dead Rhetoric: Despite all of the hardships/horrors you’ve endured, what made you decide to come back into the scene with Knaaves?

Daniels: There was a lot that went into making the decision and it took a long time for me to reach it, or reach the point where I could even pick up an instrument. At the core I simply really, truly missed playing music. It felt like a part of me was missing.

Dead Rhetoric: Was it difficult knowing that the past is inevitably going to get dragged up, given the tendency for press/pr to tout things like, “featuring former members of band X?”

Daniels: Yes. I struggled with how much that would be brought back into light. It can be uncomfortable but I’ve reached a point where I can deal with that discomfort in order to learn from it and move on.

Dead Rhetoric: Do you feel that Knaaves is a fresh start for you to dive back into the metal scene? Is there a sense of excitement to be involved again with something new?

Daniels: It’s a fresh start but not a clean slate. I’m very excited!

Dead Rhetoric: What does Knaaves represent for you as a musical collective?

Daniels: Creating music with people I love and having fun in the process.

Dead Rhetoric: Could you discuss the band’s line of ‘being fueled by a vendetta against time?’

Daniels: “The heart is a risky fuel to burn.”

Dead Rhetoric: The two-song January release recently came out. How has the reception been to it thus far?

Daniels: A quiet rumbling of awesomeness.

Dead Rhetoric: In looking at the lyrics for both “January” and “Nine Lives Lost,” there’s some definite social commentary to it. Is this an area where Knaaves will continue to explore?

Daniels: You can count on it!

Dead Rhetoric: With the first batch of music out there now, what do you feel are some goals that you and/or Knaaves are striving for?

Daniels: We have a lot of goals! We want to do as much as we can creatively and accomplish as much as possible while being uncompromising in our standards.

Dead Rhetoric: Where does the draw come from in playing music that is on the more abrasive and heavy end of the spectrum?

Daniels: Catharsis.

Dead Rhetoric: Do you have any advice for other victims of abuse, in terms of moving on with their lives, following your own experience?

Daniels: I guess the biggest lesson I learned is that nothing in life is worth more than your own personal well-being. You have to be able to care for and put yourself first if you ever want to be able to help anyone else or achieve anything.

People love you, people care. There is always a way out. Don’t be scared. Ask for help.

Dead Rhetoric: What else does Knaaves have planned at the moment?

Daniels: We have a few tricks up our sleeves! We’re writing new tunes! We have a second guitar player I’m super stoked to work with. His name is Mike (Malice). We played together in a project called Nadoula a few years back. He has a black metal style I love (he played in Nightworld back in the day). Total shredder.

We’ve started to shoot some scenes for a music video. We’re playing two shows in April with La Armada (Chicago) for their album release in Chicago on the 14th and in Milwaukee on the 15th.

There are more plans in the works, an EP in fall, some really exciting shows… stay tuned! The future is so bright you gotta wear shades!

Photo by Luke Mouradian

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