Based in the small, dusty junction town of Creedmoor, Texas (population 202) the creative duo Known as Alien Knife Fight craft their sound at all hours in their big, old 1930's era house/home studio, situated on 3.6 acres that they call Big Bottom Farm.
Bassist/vocalist Monique Ortiz has been performing in duos for over 25 years mainly out of necessity. “I just couldn’t find that third instrument that was the right fit, so rather than be hindered by that, I try to fill out the sound in other ways.”
Her first notable duo project, Bourbon Princess (1997), lead to over a decade of collaboration and with members of the band Morphine, which ultimately lead up to the formation of A.K.A.C.O.D., with Morphine saxophonist Dana Colley and Binary system drummer Larry Dersch.
In 2010 Monique moved from Boston to Austin, met multi-instrumentalist Michael Howard and started writing and recording music together. With Mike’s primal beats and Monique’s powerful vocals and growling 2-string slide bass and fretless bass playing, the two gradually shaped their sound into something sinister, sexy, soulful and groovy all at once.
Currently AKF are working on a new record. In March of 2017 they will be touring the west coast in support of Scott H Biram.
Monique Ortiz: vocals, fretless bass, slide bass, organ, loops.
Michael Howard: vocals, drums, percussion.
**Photography by Monique Ortiz.
Whoever came up with the expression, “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight” has clearly never heard of an Alien Knife Fight. Bostonite vocalist and bassist Monique Ortiz had performed with a handful of collaborative projects with members of Morphine before moving to Austin and meeting multi-instrumentalist Michael Howard six years ago. The union of Howard’s driving percussion with Ortiz’s robust vocal and bass abilities eventually became the basis for Alien Knife Fight’s soulful yet sinister sound.
Now based in the lightly-populated Texas town of Creedmoor, AKF spends their days refining their music in their Big Bottom Farm home studio. Their latest effort is the single “Some Girls” – no relation to the Rolling Stones track – which will appear on their upcoming LP. Produced by former Melvins bassist Mark Deutrom, “Some Girls” highlight’s AKF’s low-fidelity garage sound, complete with crunchy, distorted bass riffs, pounding drums and tasteful vocal harmonies.
—Jack Anderson, KUTX 98.9FM