VIDEO: Cairo Knife Fight - This Is Love
The recent tough economic times have a lot to answer for - some things good, some bad.
For Cairo Knife Fight's Nick Gaffaney and Aaron Tokona, struggling to pay the bills forced them to reinvent the way they made music, downsizing from six members to just the two.
"It got to the point where we were going to release [an] album and we ran out of money - we're like a recession band now," says drummer and singer Gaffaney.
The pair "snuck away into a rehearsal room" to see if they could pull of the duo thing and Gaffaney says it stuck.
"Instantly it was exciting and we had a new set of parameters to muck around with and that was it.
"A few months later we were doing the Them Crooked Vultures gig, which would have been out of the question as a six-piece. Everything changed."
In the couple of years since they cemented the two-man line-up, the pair have not only supported super group Them Crooked Vultures, but have also shared the stage with big names like Foo Fighters, Gomez, Shihad and Queens Of The Stone Age and they are have just released their second EP, aptly titled II.
But neither of them are strangers to performing with big names. Guitarist and loop-pedal master Tokona was formally the frontman for Kiwi rock band Weta, while Gaffaney has drummed for Anika Moa, Fat Freddy's Drop and Dimmer.
And he says it is the music that keeps them together.
"We're pretty different kinds of people and I guess in other walks of life we may never have even met, but in the music business you do met people who are quite different to each other...
"We want the same thing musically - large kind of vibe and the same sense of humour - that's half the battle won right there," says Gaffaney.
The band is renowned for their ability to create an obscenely big sound for just a duo, but Gaffaney says in his books, two is the magic number.
"There's a history of song writing collaborations with two people and there is something about two people working on something; like it's the right number of opinions without being too many chefs.
"And musically, on a technical level, you can make something big and wide and expressive because there is less noise to compete with. There is less background hum, just two people trying to do the same thing."
With the pair about to hit the road with Kiwi legends Head Like A Hole on their national tour, Cairo Knife Fight are getting ready for just that - a musical attack.
"You're trying to get through [a show] like a military exercise, but it's also art and it has to feel like that - it has to rock and it has to have depth to it.
"It is one of those 'open your rib cage and let people in there' things."
Cairo Knife Fight's EP II is out now.
The Head Like A Hole Blood Will Out Tour kicks off Thursday.
- Auckland Now