David Knudson the guitarist and founding member of Minus the Bear has spent most of his adult life composing and playing complicated and heralding sonic explorations reminiscent of Kraut and post rock’s finest moments. With the recent conclusion of Minus the Bear, Knudson will be releasing his debut solo album The Only Thing You Have to Change is Everything is out May 13th via Platoon / Seawall.
The Only Thing You Have to Change is Everything is a title that likely strikes a chord with everyone after the last two tumultuous years, but it rings especially true with Knudson. Grappling not only with his first foray into writing music outside of the band dynamic but with the much larger hurdle of newfound sobriety, Knudson found himself in previously uncharted territories. “This record wouldn’t exist without my sobriety,” Knudson asserts. “It prompted me to learn and embrace new passions like drum programming and engineering. I haven’t felt a burst of inspiration like this in a long time. Removing all the self-inflicted chaos and complications opened my eyes to real life and opened my ears to new possibilities.”
Knudson is quick to assert that The Only Thing You Have to Change is Everything isn’t so much a solo project as much as it’s a series of carefully curated collaborations. Working with producer/engineer Sam Bell, Knudson continues his penchant for dizzying riffage and energized instrumentation while excising the full-band format in favor of intricately layered guitar, bold programmed beats, and Bell’s synesthesia-inducing production and textural flourishes. But Bell’s contributions to The Only Thing You Have to Change is Everything extended beyond the mixing console. “Sam constantly has melody ideas flying around his head,” Knudson says. “Early on, we thought we were making an instrumental record. We figured we’d use some of his melodies for additional guitar or keyboard lines, but at some point it became clear that having a voice sing them would make for a much more personal record—one that has earworms and hooks that keep coming back to you when the record isn’t playing.”
Glide is premiering the vibrant “Spaldo” a post-rock instrumental stunner that unfolds in an explosive array of experimental goodness. Knudson proves limitless potential in the compositional realm for soundtracks, film, and vinyl listening: branching out from the realms of Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Written to celebrate a good friend’s life, “Spaldo” is a kaleidoscopic journey that finds Knudson manipulating vibrant hooks and textures out of his sampled and synthesized guitar lines. First played live as an extended 15-minute solo piece utilizing multiple samplers and drum machines, this version finds the most captivating elements arranged together. The chorus of shouted “OOOOOHHHs” proves to be an uplifting and joyous refrain in celebration of life.