The Knockouts
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The Knockouts

Band Rock Alternative


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"Pop-Punks becoming Emerging artists"

The Knockouts prepare to take their music to the next step.
By Sean Fitzgerlad

Melodic ska punks The Knockouts are ready to kick it up a notch. With a new album in the works, an award-ceremony in the coming month, and dozens of shows under their studded belts, the Mississauga band plans to expand their fan base and gain recognition.
"People don't take our band very seriously right now," says Anthony Carone, the band's vocalist, keyboardist and rhythm guitarist.
"But we're serious about what we're doing here," adds Justin Zoltek. Zoltek shares vocal and guitar duties with Carone. "we're not a high school band."
The Knockouts play better-than-average pop-punk. Their catchy vocal harmonies bounce over distorted guitars, offbeat drum hits, and playful horns. The singers' dueling melodies channel the best of Less Than Jake and Blink 182. I recently chatted with Carone, Zoltek and trombone player Emily Ferrell.
The band formed in January 2005. After years of experience playing in other punk bands, the members of the Knockouts crave mainstreem success. They want to make a living as musicians.
"Other bands learn how to play their instruments together," says Zoltek. "With our band , everyone came in and knew what they were doing." Before forming the Knockouts, Carone played in No Sense, while Zoltek played in Final Notice. Carone and Zoltek knew each other from Loyola Secondary School. They would meet up and write songs together, even thought they played in different bands. Eventually, Zoltek joined No Sense, but the group disbanded soon after.
"We annihilated members, one by one," Zoltek jokes.
"Since I was the remaining original member, we had to change the name," Carone says. "We came up with Ruby Sneakers, and that seemed to represent kicking out band members. Justin's girlfriend was like, "that idea's so stupid. Why don't you just call yourselves the Knockouts then?" And it fit. it has nothing to do with Boxing.
I tuck away my questions about Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson's Punch-Out
The band is finally content with thier six-person membership. "Things are cool now," says Carone. "With band members, you're looking for compatible personalities. It's harder to make a band work than make a relationship work."
"Except you can break up with them through email." Zoltek quips.
The band added Thomas Dallen on bass, Ferrell on Trombone, Dana Gray on Sax, and Jeremy Kleynhans on drums. "I met Jeremy in the Humber College Jazz program, and that guy's a machine," says Carone, a jazz piano student at Humber College. "I think he programs himself before every show."
Carone's humber training helps him arrange horn parts and allows him to play with a variety of musicians.
"Playing with many different people helps when you come back to your band, your setting. It's like candy, you know? This is your thing, this is play time. As a pianist, Carone won the Oscar Peterson Award in 2003 for Most Promising Jazz Musician.
This year the Knockouts grabbed a nomination from the Mississauga Arts Council for an Emerging Performing Arts Award. the award presentation occurs on October 19th at the Living Arts Centre. Billy Talent won the award last year. The Knockouts play a Mississauga Arts Awards showcase at UTM in mid-October.
The band is also recording a full-length album with Kevin "Woody" Woodburn at Mississauga's Metalworks studio. They plan for a fall release.
"It's gonna sound good," Zoltek says. "We recorded thet last two demos in basements." The album includes a mix of old and new songs. "We're taking a lot of time on it. We've got to be completely happy with everything.
The band emphasizes their versatility. "The album incorporated Pop, Punk, Ska, Metal, and some Latin elements," Zoltek says.
"A lot of the screamo bands in the GTA sound similar, so when we play, it's something different." Carone adds. What else sets them apart from the GTA pop-punk bands?
"The female presence, says Ferrell. She laughs. "The estrogen."
"We're one of the only bands with horns in the area," says Zoltek. "Also, we structure our songs to make them accessible." The band welcomes radio play and casts aside the attitude held by many punk purists.
"We go out of our way to make catchy songs that people want to song along to," says Carone. the band hopes to transcend the local scene before they hit their thirties. Or sooner.
"One of our early names was actally The Sell-Outs," says Zoltek. "We're like, 'if we're gonna sell-out, we might as well get it out of the way."
Zoltek discisses the problems encountered by new bands: "We'd get terrible time slots. We'd start playing fifteen minutes before the show was actually supposed to start. A few times we showed up at the venue with our equipment and were no longer on the bill."
Not everyone enjoys the band's radio-friendly sound. Zoltek leans forward when I ask about audience interaction. "Once we played with a bunch of hardcore punk bands. Everybody there had spikes or leather jackets, and there we were with our poppy songs. A few minutes into our set, two girls at the front screamed 'I'm gonna kill you!' they slid their fingers under thier chins as if they were going to slash my throat. I waved to them and they started spitting at me. They did that the entire set."
The band posts tour dates, mp3s, and news updates on their website, I aske Carone about the lyrics to You're Gone and the importance of sadness in a songwriter's life.
"I was reading this article in Time about unhappiness," Carone begins. "Musicians are very emotional people, and that comes out in the art. the article was saying how it's musicians' jobs to be the unhappy ones in the world. I agree. When you write sad songs, people can relate."
"Some bands pull off the political thing," he continues. "I find, living in Canada, there's little to talk about. Taxes? Gas prices? It's more about writing stuff that people can relate to on a personal level. Even in your happy songs, there's still emotion, and you're still writing about something you care about."
The band spent the summer playing shows -at least two a week -and polishing their songs for recording. they play their next show at the Shadow in Guelph on September 13th. They share the stage with The Flatliners and The Know How.
"Do I see music as work? Of course," says Carone. "If I didn't think of it as work, we'd just be a high school band." The band hopes their newfound maturity and refined songs will find them a record contract. To break up all the mature talk, I ask about the band's Rock Paper Scissors strategy.
Ferrel grins. "You wait a little bit for the other person to start moving. Then you can see their move before you go."
"No, no," Zoltek says. "That's cheating. I say, start with rock. And that's it. That's my strategy. Start with rock, and you'll win." - The Medium (UTM) Monday September 5, 2005

"Humber Et Cetera October 13, 2005"

The Knockouts

For a band that only surfaced in February, The Knockouts, a pop/ska/punk group that includes five Humber music students, are already being recognized for their talent.

“Big bands in the local scene like Ill Scarlet, Keeping 6, and The Flatliners started to recognize us and they would point us out to other people,” said Justin Zoltek (guitar and vocals), a first-year music student at the Humber Lakeshore Campus.

Zoltek is one of the two talented vocalists in the band. Anthony Carone (vocals, guitar and keyboard) is the winner of the Oscar Peterson Award for aspiring young musicians. He is also a third-year music student at Humber.

The other Humber students in The Knockouts include Jeremy Kleynhaus (drums), a third-year music student, Dana Gray (baritone saxophone), a second-year music student, and Corrie Alexandra (trumpet), a third-year music student.

The band’s third female member, Emily Ferrell (trombone and back-up vocals) is a grade 12 student at Loyola Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga. Thomas Dallan (bass) is a first-year student at Metalworks Studio School in Toronto.

They began with four members and have now grown to seven. But other than Carone and Zoltek, The Knockouts’s roster has changed frequently.

“We replaced the drummer then we replaced the bass player,” Carone said. “We actually replaced the trombone player… we’re kind of cold-hearted when it comes to that.”

He hopes The Knockouts have found their permanent seven members.

“Now that we know where we’re going, we know how to deal with our disagreements,” he said.

The band has reached impressive milestones for having such a short lifespan. The Knockouts have been nominated for a Mississauga Arts Award for Emerging Performing Arts Group, the same category won by Billy Talent last year.

They’ve also recorded an album at Metalworks Studios due in early 2006. - Stuart Service - Entertainment Reporter

"Band Knockoutsout winning sound in battle at Living Arts Centre"

By: Chris Clay (Staff)

Hammerson Hall, which has traditionally had the music of Beethoven and other classical composers reverberating through it, adopted a punk rock snarl on Sunday when 11 bands converged on the Living Arts Centre for the First Annual Mississauga Battle of the Bands.

Eventually, local act The Knockouts took home the $500 cash prize and five hours recording time at Metalworks Studios....Speaking on behalf of the seven-member band The Knockouts, guitarist Anthony Carone said the best thing to come out of the day was all the attention the band received.

"For us, it's the exposure," said Carone. "It was packed, we played in front of a bunch of people who probably hadn't heard our music before and I think we won them over."

Carone said they will most likely use the recording time to lay down a few tracks that didn't make it onto the band's debut album Main Attraction, which was released earlier this year... - The Mississauga News


EP Singles (2008)

1. Point Made
2. Beautiful Mistakes

Main Attraction (2007)

1. Ragtime
2. Never Be Mine
4. Out of Control
5. Confessions
6. You're Gone
7. Last Ride
8. Distractions
9. Peanut Buddha
10. Someone Else
11. Spare Me
12. Don't Forget About Me



Established in the winter of 2005, The Knockouts have already begun to make their mark in and around the Greater Toronto music scene.

Hailing from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, the Knockouts have turned their once ska/pop/punk outfit into a unique style of modern rock with a touch of horns that will hit you like a punch to the face.

With the independent release of their debut album titled “Main Attraction” in 2006, a successful three week self-booked summer tour in the east coast of Canada, and sharing the stage with such bands as; Streetlight Manifesto, iLL Scarlett, Protest the Hero, Gob, The Saint Alvia Cartel, Gym Class Heroes, The Flatliners, Hostage Life and Ten Foot Pole, the Ataris, Faber Drive, the Knockouts are ready to make their impact across the country.

After several member changes and the formation of a completely new sound influenced by bands such as NOFX, the Foo Fighters, Rise Against and Billy Talent, the Knockouts are prepared to use their one-two punch of high energy performance, and catchy hooks and melody’s to continue winning over every single crowd they play in front of.

Fight after fight, the Knockouts will remain victorious in luring you in, and leaving you wanting more.