Garage a trois
The I Knows
If TV on the Radio—prior to their 2008 album, that is—and The Black Lips were ever to meet in a dimly lit bar and things got a little carried away in the evening to follow, their illegitimate love child would undoubtedly sound like The I Knows.
These guys reign supreme among local indie-ish garage bands.
“We’re a lazy band,” says drummer Derek Burke.
The word “lazy” could be taken the wrong way here, but a little indolence is what allows this band to jam so well together. They don’t plan their gigs months in advance, they don’t have a regular practice schedule, and the majority of their songs don’t even have names. Their laidback, rough-around-the-edges style is what makes The I Knows so fun to groove along with. Their long, funky riffs combined with guitarist Steven Corder’s angsty vocals make The I Knows a band worth making an effort to go see.
The members of The I Knows go way back. Bassist Matthew Hatjakes, Burke and Corder all attended Jesse Beck Elementary school together in the beginning.
“We used to jam in like 8th grade,” says Burke.
“Yeah, we used to play some Blink 182,” adds Corder.
While they’ve been making noise for years, The I Knows informally came to be in January 2007. Since then, they’ve played a variety of local venues and show houses and have been slowly building a name for themselves.
“We all love to play music. It just kind of works and we go with that,” says Burke. These three friends have created a sound that is uniquely their own and seem to have a great time doing it. Hatjakes explains that the conception of their sound starts out by working on one riff for more than a half-hour and then condensing it into a 3- or 4-minute song.
“Usually me and Matt will write a guitar riff or bass riff and bring it to practice, and we’ll all throw our own little something on there,” says Corder.
“Anything we play, we all put our own styles into it and make it our own,” explains Burke.
The I Knows name was derived largely as a result of a long, seemingly not-that-funny inside joke. “It started out as a joke. We really hated it for a while and wanted to change it, but it just stuck.”
The name certainly has stuck, and The I Knows are becoming more well-known as part of the local “experimental indie” niche. They are regulars at proceedings put on by the Madorians and continue to play with other bands like the Have Mercys and The Humans.
They have a number of shows coming up in the next month. You can catch them on April 4 at Rainshadow Charter School, April 10 at the Zephyr Lounge, and again on April 27 at the Hideout.
“I want an audience to just think that they saw something different that you can’t get anywhere else in Reno,” says Corder.