The Knife were a Swedish electronic music duo from Gothenburg formed in 1999. The group consisted of siblings Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer, who together also run their own record company, Rabid Records. The group gained a large international following in response to their 2003 album Deep Cuts.
The duo’s first tour took place in 2006, along with the release of their critically acclaimed album Silent Shout. They have won a number of Swedish Grammis, but refuse to attend awards ceremonies. They have appeared in public wearing Venetian masks. Andersson released a solo album under the name Fever Ray in 2009, while Olof Dreijer released several EPs as Oni Ayhun in late 2009 and early 2010. The Knife disbanded in November 2014 after playing the final dates of their Shaking the Habitual Tour.
Formed in Gothenburg in 1999,amidst the deterioration of Karin’s former group Honey Is Cool, the group perhaps gained stronger international recognition when José González covered their song “Heartbeats” on his 2003 album, Veneer. The cover was used by Sony in a commercial for BRAVIA television sets, and released as a single in 2006. The group commented on this in a Dagens Nyheter article, claiming that Sony paid a large sum of money to use the song. Despite the group’s anti-commercial views, they justified the transaction by citing their need for money to establish a record company.
Having never before performed live, The Knife went on tour in 2006, and after selling out shows worldwide, a DVD of the tour was announced. The DVD was released in Sweden on 8 November 2006, and is titled Silent Shout: An Audio Visual Experience.
On 4 August 2009, the band announced that, in collaboration with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock, they would be writing an opera for the Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma. The opera, titled Tomorrow, In a Year, is based on Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. In January 2010, the band announced that they would release a studio version on 1 March.
In a September 2010 post on the official Fever Ray website, Karin stated that she and Olof “have started playing together again”, hinting that new material may be on the way] On 18 April 2011, as part of a post on their website concerning discrimination against Romani people in Europe, The Knife announced that they were recording a new album to be released in 2012. In December 2012, it was confirmed that their next album would be titled Shaking the Habitual and would be released on 8 April 2013.The duo posted a teaser trailer for the album on their YouTube account with the message: “Music can be so meaningless. We had to find lust. We asked our friends and lovers to help us. The album was supported by tour dates in Europe in 2013 “Full of Fire” was released as the album’s lead single on 28 January 2013, for which a short film was directed by Stockholm and Berlin-based filmmaker and visual artist Marit Östberg.
After announcing their plans to play at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2014, The Knife also announced plans to tour North America during that time period. On 21 August 2014, The Knife announced that the duo would disband following the final six dates of their Shaking the Habitual Show Tour from 31 October to 8 November 2014 In the duo’s final interview, Karin told Dazed, “We don’t have any obligations to continue, it should only and always be for fun.”
The Knife played their final show, entitled “Post-Colonial Gender Politics Come First, Music Comes Second”, on November 8, 2014 at the Iceland Airwaves Festival in Reykjavik, Iceland. The set list included: Wrap Your Arms Around Me, Raging Lung, We Share Our Mothers’ Health, Bird, Without You My Life Would Be Boring, A Tooth for an Eye, One Hit, Full of Fire, Collective Body Possum (poem by Jess Ardnt), Ready to Loset, Pass This On, Stay Out Here, Rhythm of the Night intro, and Silent Shout
Main article: The Knife discography
The Knife (2001)
Deep Cuts (2003)
Hannah med H Soundtrack (2003)
Silent Shout (2006)
Tomorrow, In a Year (with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock) (2010)
Shaking the Habitual (2013)
Shaken-Up Versions (2014)