Skies Turn Black - Interview
So, musically, where did it all go wrong? Which bad men/women lead you to forming the band?
DW: It’s all Jack Black’s fault. Saw School of Rock, thought ‘yeah I could get behind that’. Teaching and trying to be rock star. Then recruit a load of students and boss the battle of the bands. Then stage dive showing off my fat belly. Living the dream. Other than the teaching part, the marking is ridiculous. But while fantasising about Jack Black and burning school books we released a banging album called ‘No Place Like Home’ and we are so ready to show it off. Hypothetical question; you’re at a wedding, stuck at a table with people you hate and can see an opening. Do you leave, or just get up and screw with the playlist? If you choose playlist, what do you put on? If you leave, where are you going, and can we come?
DW: We don’t have friends who can actually speak to other girls so the chances of being at a wedding for actual real people is just implausible. However, the ultimate party tune to go on my playlist will be Gay Bar by Electric Six. What a banger. Let’s talk visuals; pick five music videos that inspire you and tell us why? Have to be five different artists. Also, we want links. Pictures, thousand words, etc.
DW: Korn – Freak on a Leash https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRGrNDV2mKc
I absolutely love animated music videos so my first pick would have to be Korn – Freak on a Leash. It’s so dark and creepy, and the old school animation reminds me of watching the original Ninja Turtles and He-Man as a kid (I’m like 23, why was I watching 80’s cartoons?).
Daft Punk – Aerodynamic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L93-7vRfxNs
On a similar note to that, Daft Punk’s video for Aerodynamic is insane. Its not quite in the bracket of rock or metal but the song is totally kick ass and the video content, wow. Alien musicians being chased by masked kidnappers. Getting abducted and taken through space. The visuals had me gripped from the first time I saw it.
Fall Out Boy – Dance Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6MOKXm8x50
Having this little plot line and characters with in the video made Dance Dance just epic for me. It’s something I would really love to do in a music video. And its probably pretty relatable to be honest. Having the nerdy side trying to talk to girls and be cool in high school then at the same time being in a band and killing it on stage. Plus, this video is just hilarious. Windmill pitting, crowd surfing and a weird Thriller-esque dance bit. Love it. Four Year Strong – It Must Really Suck to be Four Year Strong right now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtXa1lCVzUM
This band is pretty pivotal for me growing up and this video I think is genius. It’s one take all the way through. Carefully planned and choreographed and it just works so well. So many different components made it epic and never boring. Skies Turn Black – Let You Down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XfEHABP0cA
I’m dead proud of what we have created so I am obviously going to say our own video. The whole of this video was just brilliant to do. Jay from Cabin Boy Jumped Ship filmed it, and I got my best mate Benson to have a dance around for us. We were trying to make it like that mental dance scene in Footloose where Kevin Bacon needs to get his anger out dancing and banging his car. So its Benson getting his metal fix, wanting to be in a band, taking over our instruments. The best bit for me, other than the guitar solo, is a beautiful leg kick bang on in time with the drum hit. You’ll know it when you see it. Which are the three albums in your collection that would surprise people the most? Also, provide video links. We like links. We even like saying the word Links! It makes us think of Zelda!
DW: I’m very much supporting the image of a metal head but there are some banging albums that I own that are not metal.
1: The Hoosiers – The News From Nowhere. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOkOMyqmyoo
This is the Hoosiers 3rd Album. I saw them 9 times on the album tour. It was amazing. Unforgettable gigs. Can’t even put into words how much I love this album
2: Fatherson – I am an Island. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qH6TSc8J58
Saw these guys years ago opening for Enter Shikari and I have been hooked on them ever since. They are just the sweetest band, beautiful voice that gives you chills. Best thing to come out of Scotland since the Proclaimers and white pudding.
3: MC Lars – This Gigantic Robot Kills. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIoFzCKM2Mo
Nerdcore rapper from the US, tunes about Edgar Allen Poe and ripping the shit out of music cultures. The title track, a Ska-Rap tune with Suburban Legends. It’s so good. Not for everyone but this guy live just warms the heart and makes the brain work. Thinking outside of music; can you pick three films/books/graphic novels that have inspired you as an artist, and can you explain why?
DW: Death Note is totally up there. It was a toss up between this and something like Tokyo Ghoul or Attack on Titan in the anime department but Death Note absolutely rattled me. Its so dark, yet on the surface it can look so innocent. A straight ‘A’ student with an angel of death wanting to rid the world of all the evil before he descends into carnage himself. Love it, had me constantly second guessing. Which is probably why it could influence as an artist. I want there to be surprises in there.
Frozen is probably one of the greatest things to ever be conceived. Its just wonderful. Lyrically, its just fascinating and witty and so light hearted at times. Which is something that I think I have taken away from it. To quote the Joker, ‘Why so serious?’. Which with metal music especially you can be very serious. Have some fun and create something that’s entertaining. We try and do this with our live shows between tracks. We’ve made some little interludes sampling Mortal Kombat games and Lord of the Rings. Its nerdy, its fun and we love it.
Django Unchained is genius. What a cast though. DiCaprio, Jackson, Waltz, Foxx, all absolutely incredible. I think the thing I love about this film is that it’s just so brutal with a funny edge. The KKK scene complaining about the pillow cases is brilliant. The dinner scene when DiCaprio wrecks his hand on a glass and just carries on, improvising rubbing blood everywhere. It’s just quality. Another hypothetical; the Illuminati are real and have asked you to join them. Do you go for it and attempt to use your new power for good, or say no and join the mole people in forming an underground resistance?
DW: With great power, comes great responsibility. I would harness my new found powers by spreading the word of peace and unity through the form of lessons on gig etiquette. Because some mainstream musical genres seem to be clueless and have no concept of how to behave at a gig. Metal fans know. They’re the boss. I used to work at festivals, been to plenty.
Never once seen a scrap or a fight at Download or Sonisphere. But V Fest, T in the Park, it’s like paying £200 to sit in a field drenched with Dark Fruits and urine whilst getting beat up and kicked in the head. And when you fall over in the pit you get picked up by strong bearded men, not trampled on by the Nike Airs of a 16-year-old after his first pint. Illuminati would be metal af. Considering the rate in which we consume media on a daily basis, how do you feel a band can keep up with the constant outpour of information?
DW: We can’t. It’s impossible and it will only get worse before more solutions are made to make our media outlets more manageable.
The issue is, it’s so easy to post things, pay for a quick Facebook ad, it’s that accessible that anyone can do it. Which is good in terms of a person’s potential prospects but also means there’s a load of shit posts to work your way through to get to something brilliant. Such as this interview. The amount of clickbait, fake news, troll posts, it’s just dampened any legitimised efforts to use media outlets in an effective way. Tours; are you doing any, and if so, do you want to play at ours? We live in the middle of nowhere just past the Outer Hebrides (Its near Scotland).
Book us and we will come. We have a few gigs remaining rest of the year. A headline show in Huddersfield (14th December) which is our album release celebration.