A pint with SKIES
By Gina Bascombe
So I was strolling through SoundCloud looking for new bands to add to my playlist when out of nowhere at synth line grabbed my attention and that was it, I was hooked, I have found SKIES and the track was Doors. Since then I have been following their progress as they steadily make their mark as the freshest up and comers.
They are about to release their first EP ‘Feel Like It’
and I thought I’d catch up with them to find out the story behind the music.
So for those who haven’t heard your music, how would you best describe it?
Jez: We’re not sure anymore, we released our recent song and now we have about thirty different genre brackets, so apparently we’re emo, pop-rock, indie, pop
Alie: Somebody actually said we were metalcore! And then they said we were like christian hardcore or something really weird like that
Jez: Theres a lot yeah but we classify ourselves as indie-synth
Alie: Alternative yeah
Who are your musical influences?
Alie: I really like Twenty One Pilots, I really like The 1975, Coldplay - to be fair I’ve been listening to a bit of Adele recently I was like ‘ooo I like a bit of that’
Jez: I’ve been really enjoying Catfish and the Bottlemen
Alie: Yeah I love Catfish and the Bottlemen as well, although we’re nothing like them. I like their lyrics, I’m really influenced by that.
Jez: Bastille sort of started off my entire synth-delving, I listen to them
Alie: People say Paramore as well, I don’t necessarily love them, but I think we’re a bit like them maybe.
So you’re about to film a music video for your upcoming single ‘Feel Like it’ - are you looking forward to that?
Alie: I think we’re going up to Manchester to do it
Jez: The 14th November.
Alie: Yeah - in mid November. So we’ve planned it all out, I think there will be a rectangle heavily featured in this one - because why not shapes are good… so yeah we’re going to be doing that in Manchester really soon! I’m really excited because we’re doing it with LAB our label, and its the first one we’ll be doing with them so I think that should be exciting.
Jez: I concur
Alie: I concur!
Fantastic! Sounds all very exciting. So coming up at the start of November you are supporting Baby in Vain at Club NME at KOKO in Camden. How did the show come about?
Alie: Oh! Is our manager allowed to speak?
Jez: He doesn’t have a voice
Alie: Actually his voice is so low you won’t pick it up! Um, how did it come about? We submitted some stuff -
Jez: It came through Killing Moon
Alie: Killing Moon yeah, well they premiered our first single ‘Feel Like It’
Jez: Well they featured it yeah
Alie: So they featured it, and then I think our management knows them, and they just really liked what we were doing and said ‘do you wanna play KOKO?’ and we were like ‘Yes! We definitely do!’ So we were hoping for that to be the release date for that gig but a few things had to move - but its hopefully gonna be a really good show, proper looking forward to it
I’m sure it will be. Such an iconic venue! Sure you will smash it! So looking back, this has been a massive year for you! You got signed, releasing your first EP plus touring all around the UK. But for you, what has been your highlight of 2015?
Alie: Getting signed to LAB was pretty sweet
Jez: Yeah that was good
Alie: Getting our first tattoo!
Jez: Recording the EP was really good, its nice to have a solid EP with tracks to be able to show people, and having spent a lot of time on them it also sort of adds to a lot of excitement on each release date so thats a pretty good sign
Alie: I think for us as well it was this year that we got some management behind us, so thats been really encouraging for us because for so long we’ve just been doing stuff on our own. So to have some other people behind us as well as the label this year has been great. There’s been a lot that has changed over the last six months/year so it has been a really good year actually.
So lets rewind… What was the first gig that you personally went to yourself as a fan? Do you think your first live gig experience had any influence on who you are today?
Jez: I’m trying to rack my brain as to what my first was - I guess local shows, I went to a lot of local Ashford shows to see loads of bands, and then when I was probably about 12/13 I went to see a band called Reef who were really good, I think they were my first proper big venue band.
Alie: When I was very very young I went and saw 911 because I was in total love with them - hi Lee Brennan if you’re listening - if you’re reading! *laughs* I literally love that guy. I had a horrific escalator experience at that gig as well. But…
What kind of incident? You can’t bring that up and not share
Alie: *laughs* Well I don’t think I’d really ever been on an escalator before, I was really young and I tried to go down it and I freaked out - have you seen Elf? I pretty much did that. I don’t even know what happened I think I ended up clambering back off and then running down the stairs crying, but yeah that was brutal man.
How do you feel the band has evolved since taking those first steps on to a stage?
Alie: Wow, like a lot, I started the band like I say in 2010 and we were acoustic, it was under a different name which I will not divulge, it was really acoustic and kind of quirky, and then I ended up wanting a synth player so I tried to get a synth player, and Jez who had never played synth before was like ‘yeah I’ll do it’ and I was like alright. And then we listened Bastille quite a lot and just really felt like that was something we really liked and took it from there. So it has literally gone from one band to a totally different band as well as members and line up and everything, so yeah its been crazy really.
So your debut EP ‘If You Feel Like It’ is coming out soon, what can we expect from it?
Jez: Music, songs, lots of noise!
Alie: Oh wow - you just said music and songs. I think we’re trying to write epic stuff, stuff that actually makes sense cause a lot of stuff out there at the moment I think doesn't make a lot of sense. So we’re just trying to write stuff that makes sense and hopefully sounds good, and maybe makes you go ‘ooo that was nice’ yeah.
Do you write songs about your own experiences or do you take yourself away and put yourself into another world?
Alie: Well... 'Feels Like It' is about my thoughts on other people's experiences and their life... 'Leave Me' is about my old mate who had a girlfriend who was really annoying and tried to get rid of her... 'Drone' is about working 9 to 5 and about living a boring life and 'Lines' is about my Grandfather. So yeah, bits and pieces. But it is mainly just looking at life... so I'm sure everyone can relate to the lyrics of the songs.
And when is it out?
Alie: November 27th
Looking forward to it. SKIES, pleasure as always!
SKIES are playing KOKO, London on November 6th. Check them out; https://goo.gl/4FbXom