Follow TV Tropes


Music / Knife Party

Go To
McGrillen on the left, Swire on the right

"You blocked me on Facebook, and now you're going to die!"
— The defining line of the song "Internet Friends"

Knife Party is an Australian Electro House duo founded in 2011 by Pendulum members Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen. After making their debut in Space, Ibiza in August 2011, they became a very popular name in the dubstep scene. After Pendulum was announced to be on hiatus in July 2012, Swire and McGrillen focused all of their energy into this project.

Their first EP, 100% No Modern Talking, was released digitally through Pendulum's record label EarStorm, and all subsequent releases have been issued both through EarStorm and the American electronic label Big Beat Records. The duo reportedly produce their music in the program Nuendo due to its linking system and workflow environment, with Swire at one point stating that he switched to Nuendo from Logic Pro.

Their music has varied in sound over the years, first specializing in oddly-titled tracks with frantic energy and high, squealing synths (100% No Modern Talking, Rage Valley) and then leaning into darker and more complex styles (Haunted House), before finally encompassing everything from trap to electro house to disco (Abandon Ship).


  • 100% No Modern Talking - EP, 2011
  • Rage Valley - EP, 2012
  • Haunted House - EP, 2013
  • Abandon Ship - album, 2014
  • Trigger Warning - EP, 2015
  • Battle Sirens - single, 2016
  • Harpoon - single, 2018
  • Lost Souls - EP, 2019

Tropes pertaining to Knife Party:

  • Audience Participation Song: "You blocked me on Facebook, and now you're going to die!" from "Internet Friends" is a very popular line.
    • And of course, "Save the World", but it's a crowd song no matter who plays it.
  • Author Appeal: "Resistance" does indeed have a line from the famous Mugging the Monster scene in "Crocodile" Dundee, but they went with a recreation closer to The Simpsons version because they felt the line delivery in the movie "wasn't aggressive enough".
  • Awesome Aussie: As with Pendulum, they're a couple of awesome Australians who happen to be based in London, England.
  • Bad Future: The picture painted by EDM Death Machine off the Haunted House EP.
  • Berserk Button: Gareth hates tumblr. Rob also hates tumblr, but not to the vitriolic extent Gareth does.
    • Rob hates it when people repeatedly ask him when something is coming out. Especially if it's related to a new Pendulum album.
    • Rob also hates the current EDM scene in general with a passion, especially since Knife Party helped build it. Beatport charts and sellouts are particular topics he tends to go off on.
  • Brown Note: The bass drops combined with very high synths, making this edge into Sensory Abuse. This is pretty much their Signature Style.
  • The Cameo: There are only two songs that have Rob's vocals in any way, shape or form: Begin Again, and four very-heavily edited seconds in Rage Valley.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Gareth drops them between songs at live shows, Rob drops them on Twitter, and "Internet Friends" starts out with one.
  • Darker and Edgier: Knife Party tends to be very much this trope when compared to either Rob and Gareth's former band, or other EDM artists. Even "Begin Again" sounds much gloomier than your average prog-house song.
  • Digital Piracy Is Okay: Rob Swire actually encourages people to "steal" any of his music that they can't legitimately buy, because most of the money they make is off of live shows anyway and he just wants people to be able to listen to his stuff. And judging by the tweet that started that conversation, he himself has no problems pirating any music he can't legitimately buy due to territory restrictions, either.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In "Internet Friends."
    You blocked me on Facebook, and now you're going to die!
  • Downer Ending: "Antidote"'s music video ends with the heist crew all dead.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: For their first set, they wore a faceless silver masked getup. They only wore them once because you can't see anything through them, if Rob's advice is anything to go by.
    Twitter user: First DJ gig tonight, nerves creeping up on me hard! @rob_swire when was your first gig? any advice?
    Rob Swire: my "back in the day" was a year ago! advice: don't wear a mask
  • Energy Weapon: "Destroy Them With Lazers".
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Outright invoked by Rob in a series of tweets about a couple bringing a baby on a plane from London to Vegas.
    "Don't get me wrong, I'm a selfish asshole, but I can't even imagine being so selfish as to ever take a baby on a plane."
  • Genre Roulette: Abandon Ship. Let us count the genres: minute-long intro with a dramatic sample a la all Rob Swire albums ("Reconnect"); straight electro house ("Resistance"); bassy drumstep occasionally crossing over into Hardcore Techno ("Give It Up"); minimal electro house with a chiptune dubstep interlude ("Micropenis"); deep house occasionally crossing over into big room house ("EDM Trend Machine"); traditional house ("D.I.M.H."); vocal progressive house ("Begin Again"); trap ("Boss Mode"); disco ("Superstar"); and electro house inspired by Middle Eastern music ("Red Dawn").
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Rob is fluent in Spanish, and occasionally speaks it on Twitter.
    • One fun instance was when Delta Heavy was being bothered by a Spanish guy who somehow got his number and Rob told him to respond with "calla te puta", which translates to "shut up you whore".
  • Hates Being Touched: Rob apparently really hates physical contact. Except from Gareth.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Gareth is so insecure it hurts.
  • He's Back!: Invoked by nearly everyone after a new song was debuted at EDC 2014 with Rob singing on it, his first vocal recording in three years.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Pretty much sums up their music given the intensity and Sensory Abuse they’re known for.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Gareth and Rob practically are the Kirk and Spock of electronic music at this point. They even described their relationship as "Loving and asexual" in an interview.
  • Hidden Depths: Gareth likes to read about military history; Rob enjoys studying quantum mechanics. Both are very loving cat owners.
    • Abandon Ship itself is this to Knife Party: who knew that "Knife Party disco" would be a good thing?
  • If I Can't Have You…: In "Internet Friends", the protagonist threatens to kill you, who she's been trying to win over, because you rejected her advances and blocked her on Facebook.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: The song "Micropenis".
  • Large Ham: Gareth as an MC is ridiculously hammy.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: While the song "Begin Again" may appear to be upbeat and positive because of its chord progression, Rob himself has explicitly stated that no, it's not a happy song.
  • Mood Whiplash: Their remixes tend to start out with bringing in vocal and melodic elements from the original track before whipping back into outright chaos. Examples include the remixes of Porter Robinson's "Unison", Nero's "Crush on You", and Labrinth's "Last Time".
  • Never Bareheaded: Gareth is almost never seen without his hat on.
  • Overly Long Gag: This remix of "Internet Friends" turns the "You blocked me on Facebook..." part into one by naming off practically every single social network.
    • While flying to Australia for a festival, Qantas Airlines lost Rob's suitcase. Rob proceeded to use a script to spam his (and the airline's) twitter feed hourly about how he still doesn't have his suitcase back yet. This went on for over an entire day.
    • The "Ultra 2015" edit of Internet Friends replaces the infamous "You blocked me on Facebook..." line with a very lengthy self-aware intro.
    "Seriously, it’s kind of tiring having to play this song in 2015. You’d’ve thought we’d written something better by now. Wow. This sure is a long intro. I suppose the only way out is to say the usual cheesy shit. Something like: you’re at Ultra, and now you are going to die."
  • "Psycho" Strings: "Internet Friends" ...good lord. They also do this with synthesizers fairly often as a part of their signature sound.
    • And it turns out that Rob Swire is a fan of horror flicks (especially cheesy 70s ones), which explains it.
  • Perpetual Frowner: As with Pendulum, Rob Swire very rarely smiles, especially while performing.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Invoked in the drop of the titular song off the Rage Valley EP.
    "Now let me tell you something, bitch!"
  • The Quiet One / The Stoic: Rob, who is not only The Voiceless above, but also very rarely changes his menacing facial expression while performing. Rumor has it that he only becomes more chatty in person when he's drunk.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Gareth MCs during performances, is more animated on stage, posts a lot of silly things online, and will generally pose and smile with the fans. Rob is stoic and mute on stage, concentrated on mixing, is a heavy Deadpan Snarker online, and looks like Death whenever he's in a picture with someone.
  • Running Gag: Rob Swire makes some...interesting comparisons on Twitter.
    "Editing audio with Ableton is like trying to build a bridge out of cocks."
    "Everyone in Auckland domestic airport looks like they were raised by autistic wolves."
    "This is like explaining quantum mechanics to a stove. Bye now."
    • Also, Rob seems to get food poisoning a lot.
    • He also really hates babies on planes.
    "My facial expression was probably similar to what happens to people that watch the video in "The Ring".
  • Sampling: The beginning of "Sleaze" is very obviously sampling the Jaws theme.
  • Screaming Plane Baby: Rob hates, hates, hates, hates babies on planes, for this reason.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: "Fucking hell. I'm going to Pendulum, fuck this shit."
    • Their debut studio album is called Abandon Ship. Abandon Ship is literally Rob and Gareth saying "Screw This I'm Outta Here" to the current mainstream EDM scene. Ultimately this is Zigzagged though, as Rob already confirmed that Abandon Ship isn't actually the end of Knife Party.
  • Sensory Abuse: There's a reason why they like to call it "Seizure Music".
  • Shout-Out: The "Centipede" video seems to bear more than a passing resemblance to David Cronenberg 's adaptation of the novel Naked Lunch.
  • Silly Love Songs: "EDM Trend Machine" has the lyrical structure of one.
  • Slasher Smile: Rob can certainly sport one when he's not frowning.
  • Song Style Shift: As with most dubstep artists, KP tends to abruptly change its song style in some of their songs, most notably "Bonfire" and "Give It Up", which both start off as kind of straightforward electro-reggae before transitioning into heavy drumstep; another good example would be "Boss Mode", which starts off as dark, menacing electro house, before shifting into straightforward trap.
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Centipede" begins with a nature documentary narration about, well, centipedes. "Internet Friends" opens with a woman asking an unfortunate man why he won't be with her before she says the quote at the top of the page right before the bass drops.
    In the future, nobody will drop the bass.
    No one will do the Harlem Shake.
    No one will know bitches love cake.
    There will be no internet friends.
    There will be no antidote.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The woman in "Internet Friends."
  • Straw Fan: In "Superstar", partway through there is a voice that is not too far off from most of the "fans" complaints.
    Oh my god, what the fuck is this disco shit? What happened to the dubstep?
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "D.I.M.H." and "EDM Trend Machine" are both songs that greatly shy away from their Sensory Abusive Signature Style, but "Begin Again" is the most prominent example, featuring Rob's vocals and bright chord progressions.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: In a phone interview with Zane Lowe, Gareth was asked if hearing Rob sing again made him emotional. He said he would never admit it in front of Rob, or in front of the "however millions of people listening". So yes.
  • Synthetic Voice Actor: Used for the woman's voice in "Internet Friends", the narrator in "Micropenis", and an aghast "fan" in Superstar.
  • Take That!:
    • "#internet", an eight-second spoof that Rob released on his soundcloud specifically calling out "#selfie" by The Chainsmokers.
    • Their EDC 2014 set has two of them towards "#Selfie", and the Chainsmokers' appearance on American Idol with the song got a thorough ribbing from Knife Party's official Twitter as well as Rob and Gareth's own personal accounts (Gareth even referring to it as "our industry's last breath").
    • Their debut studio album is literally called Abandon Ship, tying in with their previously-expressed sentiments that the current mainstream EDM scene "is irreparably fucked and needs to go away".
  • Titled After the Song: The duo derived their name from the Deftones song "Knife Prty".
  • When He Smiles: Rob's Perpetual Frowner status inevitably leads to this trope, which is in play so hard that DJ photographer Rukes made his 1000th Instagram photo one of Rob smiling. Cue squeeing.
    • And in Ultra Live's 2015 recap video, one of the clips is of him smiling during the performance.
  • The Voiceless: While Gareth MCs at performances, Rob never says a word on stage to the crowd.
  • Yandere: Again, the woman in "Internet Friends."


Video Example(s):



The music video "Centipede" shows the activities of an exterminator facing an apartment full of vicious centipedes.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / CreepyCentipedes

Media sources: