Tommy Knos

9000 John Doe

Hailing from Aalborg, Denmark, 9000 JOHN DOE are ready to spread their brand of redneck metal on the world. With the release of their new record, "Redneck is the New Black", fans of Heavy Metal should gain some relief from the trends that have blanketed the music industry in the past several years. Sounding like PANTERA meets THE BEASTIE BOYS, this band brought their swagger and energy from their live show into the studio to record what has to be, one of the best releases I've heard this year. Metal Temple's own, Jeff Legg, recently had the opportunity to ask Tommy Knøs a few questions about the band and the new record. Enjoy.
By Jeff Legg
December 9, 2014
Interview - Tommy Knos (9000 John Doe) interview
Hey Tommy, let me start by saying that I really appreciate you taking the time to sit down and answer a few questions. I think your new album is one of my favorite releases I've had the opportunity to review this year.

Thanks Man, it's my pleasure. I like the PANTERA meets THE BEASTIE BOYS reference, I am a fan of both.

For anyone who might be reading this interview, that isn't familiar with 9000 JOHN DOE, how would you describe your sound?

Mmm…, tough one Jeff. The sound is old school Rock "N" Roll with a twist of insane Metal as heavy/Melodic/grind/thrash/death/hardcore/groove/southern and some good old blues. Mixed up with alcohol and a lot off hillbilly attitude.

Will you give the readers a little history lesson regarding the band? How and when did you guys come together as a band?

Me and the old guitarist, Højer, had a melodic metal band called SPLEEN, and we were making new songs for it one day. But the riffs weren't what we were looking for in that band. They were too Country/Rock 'n Roll sounding. After 8 years the band was done. So we picked up the kick ass riffs and made a song called "Designated Driver" and "Out of Control" and 9000 JOHN DOE was born, back in 2008.

I assume that the name, 9000 JOHN DOE, isn't a name that just came out of thin air. What is the meaning or the origin of the name?

We were drinking one night in Aalborg City and talking about it, and it shouldn't be one word, like all the other Danish metal bands at the time (MNEMIC, ILLDISPOSED, HATESPHERE, MERCENARY, RAUNCHY, VOLBEAT) and someone said John Doe, YEAH!! So we Googled it and some other band was called John Doe. So someone said it had to be the zip code for Aalborg (9000) so they know where the fuck you are from; that's it. At first it was in letters " Nine Thousand John Doe" but all the local rednecks called us 9000 JOHN DOE, so that's what it became. And later we found out what John Doe means from Wikipedia: The names "John Doe" for males, "Jane Doe" or "Jane Roe" for females, or "Jonnie Doe" and "Janie Doe" for children, or just "Doe" non-gender-specifically are used as placeholder names for a party whose true identity is unknown or must be withheld in a legal action, case, or discussion. The names are also used to refer to a corpse or hospital patient whose identity is unknown. So it is like 9000 unknown corpses. That is fucking awesome!

That's a great story and a nice lesson to go along with it. Thank you for that. You guys have self-proclaimed your music as "Hillbilly Hardcore". With all this talk about "Hillbillies" and "Rednecks", some might assume that you are from the South, in the United States. How did these terms come to be associated with your music?

The term Hillbilly Hardcore comes from the lyrics to "Designated Driver". And some guy was reviewing the EP "Dirty Devil Rebel Country Metal" and he didn't know what to call the music, so he called it "Hillbilly Hardcore". So it just stuck. There are not only Hillbillies/Rednecks in the U.S.A, but also in Aalborg and all over the world, and that is what we are.

What would you say is the biggest difference, musically, on "Redneck is the New Black", from "Dirty Devil Rebel Country Metal" and "Roll With It or Get Rolled Over"?

Well, "The Dirty Devil Rebel Country Metal" EP sounds like horse piss. We had no money and recorded it ourselves, but it catches the attitude of the band, and got us some gigs and some money to make the album "Roll With It or Get Rolled Over". Basically the title means: "Fuck you if you don't like us, we will roll you over anyway". Because we got a lot of shit for the sound of the EP, we called up an old friend Rasmus Jakobsen (ex-MERCENARY drummer). He owns Unit1 Studios and we made a deal. And it came out great with a Rock N Roll sound.  And on "Redneck is the New Black", we returned to Rasmus and Unit 1 Studios. But this time we wanted a more old school Metal sound. And catch the energy we have live. And we did that 90%. And the album KICKS SO MUCH ASS!

Tell me about the songwriting dynamic in the band. Is there one of you guys that writes most of the tracks, or is this pretty much a group effort?

Some times Gajhede comes up with a cool riff or Larsen comes up with a sick drumbeat, or Mikkel with an awesome bass line, or just me with a kick ass idea. And sometimes we just jam and the magic happens.

Where do you guys draw your inspiration for your song lyrics? Come on, let it all out, we're all adults reading this interview.

Life, the streets, and all the dark corners of the world. And I just have a crazy imagination and I like to tell stories.

I would love to hear some of those stories someday. Who would you say has had the biggest influence on the band's sound, and is there a particular vocalist that you have patterned your style after?

The biggest influence of the sound is the fire of playing live shows. It is so powerful. We always wanted to catch that, so you can hear it's people playing music and not a computer. Well the vocal style is my own anger and the high of a party. But I like:
Phil Anselmo - PANTERA / DOWN
James Hetfield - METALLICA
Neil Fallon - CLUTCH
Randy Blythe - LAMB OF GOD
Peter Dolving - I AM FIRE / THE HAUNTED
Cash, Willie, Kris, Waylon - THE HIGHWAYMEN
Frank Sinatra - (Maybe you can hear that in my voice, maybe not.)

That's quite a diverse collection of influences. What is something that you feel differentiates your music from the rest of the metal genre?

We don't sound like anyone else, not that I have had heard. We got that Aalborg-Roots and our own John Doe Style and we keep on growing. Maybe we created our own genre? I don't fucking know.

Can you tell me what bands or artists you are listening to these days, and is there a particular band that just blows you away?

I / we listen to a lot off different music from BLINK182 to CANNIBAL CORPSE. But I can tell you the last 20 CD I just bought:
Darkest Hour - Darkest Hour
DEF LEPPARD - Hysteria
APHYXION - Earth Entangled
OBITUARY - The Best of
UPON A BURNING BODY - Red. White. Green.
ORANGE GOBLIN - A Eulogy For The Damned
MOTORHEAD - Aftershock
BLOOD LABEL - Skeletons
IN FLAMES - Siren Charms
ALL TRAYS FOR VENOM - Burned By Blackened Sun
BLOOD EAGLE - Kill Your Tyrants (EP)
VALLIS MORTEM - Last Sundown Is Forever (EP)
(And that is just what I have bought. )

A lot of artists feel like the transformation from physical formats of music (CD's and Vinyl) to the digital download format, has contributed to the demise of the music industry, and is directly responsible for stagnant album sales. What is your position on this issue?

I Love CD, Vinyl and Movies. I buy a shit load of it. But I understand why people download it, because it is so easy to do, but it doesn't help the artists, except if you are ONE DIRECTION and getting a million download every 2 minutes. As a Metal band you make money off CD/Vinyl and live shows. So it is very important you boys and girls come out to support the metal bands that come to your town. So they can make the money to record a new Kick ass album for all of you to enjoy.

What are some of your long-term goals for 9000 JOHN DOE, and who would be the band that you would most like to tour with?

Oh, Jeff you are making this hard. The goal is to tour the World and have a lot of fun at the same time, and continue making fucking awesome albums for you all. And we would have loved to tour with PANTERA & GUNS N' ROSES, because they know how to PARTY HARD! METALLICA would also be awesome to tour with.

What are your plans for the remainder of 2014 and into 2015? And, are there any plans to come to the U.S.A.?

The rest of 2014 we are going on a little DK (Denmark) tour with PSY:CODE & THE ABSENT. In 2015, we hope to play some big festivals and a lot off gigs in DK and Europe. Also work on new music. No plans to go to the U.S.A but if you are reading this and would love to get 9000 JOHN DOE to U.S? Then send us an email.

I want to thank you again for the interview, and like I said earlier, I love the record; it's one of my favorite releases of the year. I really hope that I can catch you guys on tour sometime in the near future, and KEEP ON DOING WHAT YOU DO.

No problem, And Thank you & Metal Temple for the awesome review and interview Rock on!

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