"mEMOries" Part 8 feat. Keith Latinen (Mt. Oriander, Parting)

8 years ago, back on the old site, we did start a series called mEMOries. It was all about asking new Emo-bands or other scene affiliates about their all time favourite (Midwest-)Emo-record. It was about nostalgia. And it was about connecting the new with the old. I had big plans for this series, wanted to collect 20 parts and then release some sort of a sampler with an XL-booklet attached, that features all of the text pieces...

...after 7 parts the series was buried, when the end of borderline fuckup 1.0 was on the horizon. I'm still in love with the idea and tried my best to start a relaunch in 2021, but it mainly was a chore. However, I got back on track somehow, with a lot of support by some lovely people. Now, here's part 8 for your reading pleasure!


// The author // Keith Latinen

Keith Latinen is one of the most important figures of this century's Midwest-Emo. When the heydays of the genre were a long time gone, his band EMPIRE! EMPIRE (I WAS A LONELY STATE) as well as his own label Count your Lucky Stars Records, became main pillars of the revival-sound in the latter half of the 2000s, and heading into the 2010s. After EMPIRE! EMPIRE! disbanded in 2016, he took things a bit slower. By 2020 he eventually started a full force comeback, pointing out how dearly he was missed within the scene. Besides his new Emo-Supergroup PARTING he also started his solo-project MT. ORIANDER and got his and his wife's label back on the track again. 


// The record //
Knapsack - This Conversation is ending starting right now

Release: 1998 // Label: Alias Records


Keith Latinen on "This Conversation is ending starting right now" by Knapsack

The first record that got me into Emo is still one of my favorite records of all time. It's the record that really ended up bringing me into the genre and led me to what my career still is today. The record I'm talking about is "This Conversation is ending starting right now" by Knapsack. Back in the late 90s, when I was maybe 16, I went to a concert where Fuel (the Alt-Rock-band, not the Hardcore one) was headlining. I want to say it was fall of 1998. I went with my brother and his girlfriend (who is now his wife), my best friend Danny (who later played bass in Empire! Empire! and Anna Flyaway), and my girlfriend Cathy (who is now my lovely wife and also played in Empire! Empire! and Anna Flyaway).

One of the openers was a band called Samiam and I had never heard them before and really loved it. The billing was a really odd lineup - Ruth Ruth also played. I bough a CD right after they played and over the next week or so, really studied the liner notes and did some research online. Finding out new bands ways not so easy in those days, so liner notes were like gold. I found out the guitarist also played in a band called Knapsack and they had just released an album. My dad took Cathy and I to Harmony House and I picked it up the same day that Cathy picked up Reel Big Fish's "Why do they rock so hard?".

Knapsack's soft-to-loud dynamic, melodic guitar leads, and chunky palmuting really spoke to me. There is a part in that album where there is a tiny feedback squeal that still gets me every time (see if you can find it!). Blair's vocal delivery kills it and when he doubles himself up, it just ratchets up the intensity. I took so much from this record and incorporated it into my craft. A lot of Empire! songs lean pretty heavily on Knapsack's sensibilities. "This Conversation" led me to Mineral, Jimmy Eat World, The Get Up Kids, Sunny Day - really all the cornerstones of Mid-90s-Emo. I really feel Knapsack is a bit of an unsung hero of the genre and people should regard them as one of the classic bands of Emo yore.


"mEMOries" Part 1 feat. Mosey Jones
"mEMOries" Part 2 feat. Daniel Becker (Time as a Color Records, Amid the Old Wounds)
"mEMOries" Part 3 feat. Former States 
"mEMOries" Part 4 feat. Edie Quinn (Middle-Man Records, Coma Regalia)
"mEMOries" Part 5 feat. Human Hands 
"mEMOries" Part 6 feat. Alex Miles (Is this Thing on?)
"mEMOries" Part 7 feat. Boys' Club


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