“Julia” by Green Knuckle Material is the kind of rock song that employs so many exciting elements that you just don’t anticipate. A clever lyric change from chorus to chorus? Check. A sudden acoustic feel change? Check. A devilishly acrobatic run to cap it off? Check. Not to mention, it also hits all of the marks you expect it to. The guitars are distorted and full. The singer is a powerhouse. The melodies are memorable. You know a band is talented when they not only meet your expectations but exceed them. Green Knuckle Material gives you indulgence, drama, and a little something to think about.
Let’s start with the chorus: “I’ll stay away from Julia / That’s all I’ve got to do.” The singer has a really light tone but pushes out these impressive belts. Melodically, we find ourselves immersed in a delightfully emo arc, reminiscent of those nostalgic early 2000s acts we all know and love. The instruments hold out long, full chords without much space. That said, it’s pretty climactic. The verses, on the other hand, use space quite liberally. The guitar accompaniment is staccato, topped with a fast, crisp melody. It’s quite the decadent juxtaposition, providing the song with its satisfying dynamic range.
Listen all the way through this one if you’re intrigued. There’s just so much to love about it. Green Knuckle Material very clearly knows what they’re doing. Effective songs don’t just appear out of thin air, nor do effective performances. Both take some ethereal combination of work and natural talent.
Q&A with Green Knuckle Material
Q: “Julia” really feels like it pays homage to some iconic pop-punk groups. Who are your biggest influences?
GREEN KNUCKLE MATERIAL: We have a wide variety of musical interests, ranging from pop, to classic rock, to hard rock. However, you hit the nail on the head. “Julia” definitely draws its inspiration from the pop-punk world. We’ve found we really enjoy listening to and playing hits from bands like Panic! At the Disco, Fall-Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, and All Time Low. Pop-punk may actually be the one genre of music that all four of us love equally.
Q: When you start to write a song, what comes first–the lyrics or the music? “Julia” has such a strong theme in both departments.
GREEN KNUCKLE MATERIAL: Thanks! As most artists will say, it usually depends on the song. We’ve written songs using both methods. Sometimes we start with a cool guitar riff, bass-line, or chord progression and write to it, while other times we start with lyrics and melody and try to match the music to fit. In the case of “Julia”, it was the latter. The melody for “Julia” hit me out of nowhere on a long car ride. I simply couldn’t get “Juuuuuuuuliaaaa” out of my head. I had to spend the remainder of the drive working out some lyrics or I was going to drive myself crazy (pun intended). After that, it was just a matter of taking it to the squad and letting everyone work their magic.
Q: How would you compare “Julia” to your other releases? Where does it fall in Green Knuckle Material’s musical journey?
GREEN KNUCKLE MATERIAL: In terms of numbers, general feedback, and quality, “Julia” is the best compared to previous releases. However, it’s hard to compare “Julia” musically to our other releases because they’re all so drastically different from one another. Green Knuckle Material has gone through a metamorphosis in terms of line-up changes, and so the sound has taken all different kinds of forms, almost to the point of chaos.
We have been searching for a sound. “Julia” is a song that represents a sound that Green Knuckle Material can excel with, and many of our unreleased songs are being written utilizing this type of vibe. For now, it marks the spark that we’re hoping will light some fireworks.
Q: What’s your favorite part of performing/creating music as a band? What part in your process does each member play?
GREEN KNUCKLE MATERIAL: My favorite part of performing is the crowd. When your energy merges with their energy, and everyone’s beating to one frequency, that’s a high like no other. Sometimes I close my eyes and I feel completely encapsulated in the moment. Also, the sound of people singing along to original songs that you wrote is really cool.
My favorite part of creating music is that you can say whatever you want to say in whatever way you want to say it. Not only that, but you can say it in a way that sounds awesome. I try to write music that I’d like to listen to with the hopes that others will connect with it and like it as well. When I see a comment that says, “I love this song”, it feels awesome to know that somebody loves something you created. We hope to one-day write music that millions of people will hear and love.
In terms of roles, Dan Ravenda (aka D-string) and I (Dan Kee aka ydk) write most of the lyrics. As lead singer, I usually write the melodies as well since I’m the one that has to sing them. In terms of the instrumentation, everyone fills their respective roles. D-string writes his bass parts, Brandon Alvaro (aka The Cuban Missile) writes his guitar parts, and Anthony Gallardo-Vega (aka Tony Baja) handles the drums. The unsung hero, however, would be D-string’s father, Mike Ravenda (aka Big Mike), who plays a major role in helping us write baselines, beats, and chord progressions, though he is forbidden from offering even a single lyric.
Q: What are your goals for “Julia” and for any future releases?
GREEN KNUCKLE MATERIAL: In terms of numbers, the goal for “Julia” is 1 million streams on Spotify. 1 million streams is a milestone we haven’t been able to achieve on any track thus far, so it would be a great accomplishment for us. The goal for future releases is 10’s of millions of streams. Like I said before, we want to make music that millions of people will hear and love so streams are important. However, what’s more important than streams is that people connect with and love the music. The real goal is to have a fanbase of awesome people who love the music and will come out to shows and experience it with us. We hope that our future releases can be worthy of the love and appreciation of our awesome fans.
Q: What do you want to say to your fans out there?
GREEN KNUCKLE MATERIAL: This is a message to all Green Knuckle Material fans (aka Knuckleheads, aka Green Knuckle Mafia). We love you! If you’re out there, and you haven’t reached out, reach out. We’ll respond. Keep bumpin’ the tunes and we hope to see you soon. ????
Reviewed & Interviewed by Alyce Lindberg
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