Child Bite: Ready to Take A Chunk Out of Australia

"Of all the native wildlife we are bound to encounter, I’m mostly excited to see Squizzy’s balls...again"

With the band's first Australian tour, teaming up with label mates AND one of Australia's favourite groups, King Parrot - Metal As Fuck set out to dig a little deeper on the beginnings, comings and going's of Child Bite with frontman Shawn Knight...

Who are Child Bite and what is the foundation of the band? "Ahh! Hmmm... at the moment the band is 3 fellas from Detroit strummin’ & singin’ with a revolving drummer position. We’ve fluctuated in size & instrumentation in the past but nowadays it’s strictly one guitar, one bass, one drum set, and two mics. How did the band begin? "I had a general idea for the band’s initial direction back in 2005. I asked a couple dudes from another local band to come jam & I assembled some “songs” out of those rough recordings. Sean Clancy joined in 2007, turning our trio into a quartet. 

Described as ‘enormous and predatory’ - what does the band offer for Noise Rock/Hardcore punk in 2018? "As far as I know, not a lot of bands really blend the two. We like to keep our Dead Kennedys portions equal to our Jesus Lizard quantities, ya know? That’s the best part of being a band now, whenever “now” is; you have the entire history of music to pull from. So we’ll keep on adding strange new flavors this year, and next year... So, how would you describe the band? "The aural equivalent of a 4-headed CHUD guzzling Mountain Dew and cheap beer as it runs full force into a brick wall over and over". 

What are some of the essentials for the band when writing the music? "A relatively even mix of aggressive gnarliness and catchy/memorable hooks. Whether it’s a guitar melody or an interesting mantra, we definitely want to write tunes that stand out from the endless onslaught of music folks are bombarded with. Also, if it’s ever sounding boring or “stock,” we find a way to make it interesting, or confusing..." Where do you like to experiment and where do you like to keep to traditions? "Again I think we strive to strike that balance. Sometimes we’ve made certain tunes objectively too weird, and though that’s interesting to some degree, it’s also alienating. Our music isn’t for everybody, but we definitely want it to be for somebody, ha! I think a lot of our arrangements are relatively traditional, but the transitions definitely push limits and help keep the listeners ears peeking up.

I understand you (Shawn) are also the graphic artist for the music/albums - both mediums often speaking for one another - where do you draw your influences for your artwork? "I grew up on art & music being connected, like Pushead’s illustrations for Metallica, and Raymond Pettibone’s work with Black Flag. My general direction is what I think a younger version of myself would’ve dug. Kind of a more psychedelic version of those two guys smashed together". How have the influences of past great punk bands helped you steer your own sound? "When all is said and done, I think of us as a punk band. It’s probably the oldest genre that is a major influence on us. When you go back and listen to a lot of those older bands, some are kinda generic by today’s standards but a lot of them were a lot more eccentric than people remember. Those late Black Flag records are crazy. Sheer nihilistic expression. And for every “Holiday in Cambodia” that Dead Kennedy’s wrote, there’s a “Saturday Night Holocaust” or “WORKING MY JOB SONG”. Punk was initially pretty diverse, and we are always way more interested in the weird stuff". 

What direction is the band likely to head in from 2016’s ‘Negative Noise’? "Well, 1/2 of the band are new to the band, so I imagine a whole new slew of influences are gonna find their way into the mix! That said, we are happy with the general path that our instincts have lead us down thus far, so I don’t think we will change too drastically. We’ve been busy touring, but plan to jump into writing again after we get home from Australia.

It was 2015 where the band upped a gear and started touring relentlessly - how has the last 3 years been for the band? What are some of the highlights? "It has been intense! It’s the situation where you’ve been working your whole life toward something, and then it starts to happen, but it snowballs and you’ve just gotta hold on tight and remind yourself that you asked for it! We’ve been extremely lucky to tour with some of our heroes, bands like Superjoint, Voivod, Unsane, Poison Idea, Negative Approach. Spending time on the road getting to know all of those guys are each major highlights as a band and on a personal level". 

What boxes (or personal and group goals) have you been able to tick since starting Child Bite? "I’m currently sitting in an airplane heading toward Australia, so that’s a big one! Recording an album with Phil Anselmo at the helm was a wild experience. Having Snake from Voivod help us change a flat tire was cool. Oh, and one time Sleazy P Martini came on stage & introduced us, that was one for the books for sure". 

Yes - Child Bite are about to begin their first Australian tour - not just the common east coast stops, the band are seeing quite a bit - what are your anticipations for the tour with King Parrot? "Yeah we are excited! Definitely gonna see a lot of stuff that folks don’t generally get to see. We’ve toured a lot with King Parrot since 2014, we get along really well. We’ll hit the 100 shows together mark on this trip. Of all the native wildlife we are bound to encounter, I’m mostly excited to see Squizzy’s balls (again).

And what’s next for the band? "Gonna write some tunes with the new dudes and then do some more touring in the U.S. this summer and fall! We’ve been on such a roll, it’ll be good to take a quick breath after we get back from Australia, reassess our situation, and then attack with wreckless abandon". 

KING PARROT w/ CHILD BITE

REGIONAL RAMPAGE, 2018 TOUR

Wednesday, 28th March

Albion Hotel, Albury

Thursday, 29th March

Transit Bar, Canberra

Saturday, 31st March

Long Jetty Hotel, Central Coast

Sunday, 1st April

Small Ballroom, Newcastle

Thursday, 5th April

Miami Tavern, Gold Coast

Friday, 6th April

Sol Bar, Maroochydore

Saturday, 7th April

The Back Room, Brisbane

Sunday, 8th April

The Northern, Byron Bay

Wednesday, 11th April

Tattersalls Hotel, Maryborough

Thursday, 12th April

Railway Hotel, Bundaberg

Saturday, 14th April

Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville

Sunday, 15th April

Edge Hill Tavern, Cairns

Thursday, 19th April

Spotted Cow, Toowoomba

Saturday, 21st Apri

UTSC Fest, Bald Faced Stag, Sydney