10 Questions with Anna M’Queen of Five Knives

Five Knives @ Barton Hall, 10/18/2014. Photo by Cameron Pollack, Sun Staff Photographer.

by Ryan Meehan

Evictions, hooded masks, secret passwords, basement bootleg tiki bars, fire axes, superstar rappers…These spectacles—some planned, some not—were all part of the live shows that Nashville’s Five Knives played throughout their hometown upon forming in 2012. “Our second show we played a rooftop and set off the smoke alarms. When the fire department turned up with axes during the set everyone thought they were part of the show,” says programmer Nathan Barlowe. “We had our masks on; they had their masks on, they had their axes and people thought they were part of some kind of weird rave. It wasn’t hard for us to book shows after that”. Even though there are two resident programmers and producers in Five Knives, the band sought an outsider’s guidance and opted for producer Mark Needham (The Killers, Imagine Dragons)  for their new album “Savages”. As the songs were nearly complete by the time they got to Needham’s studio, his experienced hand proved the perfect finishing touch. “He let us do our thing, and made it sound bigger and better,” says multi-instrumentalist Nathan Barlowe. “Mark’s a sound sculptor, and we were able to collaborate together to breathe even more life into the music.” The result is 13 tracks of bombastic, heart-skipping density, raw power, and laser-honed electric bursts. We are delighted to have vocalist Anna M’Queen as our guest today in 10 questions.  Continue reading