KEN mode’s new single, “But They Respect My Tactics,” is now streaming on all platforms. The track appears on the band’s upcoming new album, NULL, set for a September 23rd release date on Artoffact Records.
Founded by brothers Jesse and Shane Matthewson, KEN mode has come to define intensity and dedication, via tours with Russian Circles, Torche, and Full of Hell, and releases produced by the likes of Steve Albini, Kurt Ballou, and Matt Bayles. Upcoming new album NULL sees this warhorse of a band emerge from the darkest of times with new energy, evolved and ready to carry on into its next chapter.
KEN mode guitarist/vocalist Jesse Matthewson points to the bleakest days of the COVID-19 pandemic as a well of inspiration for the new album, proclaiming NULL to be “a direct psychological reaction to the collective experience of the last two and a half years.” Having sunk to new lows, Matthewson was instilled with a newfound urgency to make the most authentic and courageous art possible: “We felt like there was really no reason to do anything at all unless we were trying to push this into something new,” he states.
Recorded and mixed by Andrew Schneider (Cave In, Unsane), NULL is KEN mode’s eighth full-length album. NULL is the first KEN mode release to feature collaborator Kathryn Kerr (saxophone, synth, piano, percussion, backing vocals) as a full-fledged member of the band; the album features a new palette of No Wave and industrial-tinged sounds (shades of Swans, John Zorn, Einsturzende Neubauten), infiltrating some of its tracks.
New single “But They Respect My Tactics” is an existential crisis, set to music. In Matthewson’s words, the song illustrates a turning point where one’s disappointment transforms into resignation. Matthewson explains: “Do you ever feel like your heroes have become parodies of a former version of themselves? Does it even matter? As long as there is chatter online, and we keep you online making noise, the narrative itself is meaningless. What matters is that we’re collecting your data and advertising to you and, in the broad scope of the human experience, all of this will only be a footnote as well.”
KEN mode will hit the road in September for a string of Canadian shows, followed by a headlining slot at No Coast Fest in Denton, TX, alongside Metz, Young Widows, and more. Stand by for news of more touring.
Sept 23 – Winnipeg, MB, CA @ The Good Will Social Club – w/ Vile Creature, Mares of Thrace
Sept 24 – Saskatoon, SK, CA @ Amigos Cantina – w/ Vile Creature, Mares of Thrace
Sept 25 – Calgary, AB, CA @ Palomino Smokehouse – w/ Vile Creature, Mares of Thrace
Sept 26 – Edmonton, AB, CA @ Starlite Room Temple – w/ Vile Creature, Mares of Thrace
Oct 30 – Denton, TX @ No Coast Fest – w/ Metz, Young Widows