Interview: SKIES @ Folkestone Quarterhouse

On 5th May, SKIES opened their headline tour to a sell out at the Folkestone Quarterhouse. After not playing in Folkestone for two years. SKIES returned and did not disappoint. Their short but sweet setlist (including; Feel Like It, Drone, Afterwards and upcoming single, Green) was performed with passion and energy to an awkward crowd to begin with but the crowd became immersed by SKIES set Alie and Jez perform their synth-rock tunes both old and new and gave it their all. I managed to speak to them before they went on stage. Here’s what they had to say:

So how have things been since we last spoke back in October?

A: In November, we had our Camden Assembly, that went really well. A lot of the crowd were from Kent and London, which is great. So this time we thought why don’t we save them the train fare and do a gig in Folkestone. We’ve been really busy, released our new single Afterwards and recorded the music video for it.

How does it feel to be opening your headline tour in your hometown?

J: Genuinely, its dawning on me more and more. Its pretty crazy, havent played here for about 2 years and that was in the middle of the street round the corner from our house under a gazebo and there was a storm. My Synths blew up. we played to bout 20.

A: We could have been killed there was thunder and lightning. We got soaked.

J: we have gone from playing under a gazebo in front of 20 people to selling out Folkestone Quarterhouse. It feels good, we have been away for so long.

You have also been touring alongside The Slow Readers Club, How’s that been for you?

A: It was our first proper support tour. Its worked out really well, we had already booked this tour and the night we were about to announce the headline tour, we were contacted by SRC saying look u want to support us. So when we released the tour poster it was filled and looked really good. We felt really proud. They are such a good band, their fans are crazy loyal and have taken us under their wings a little bit. Its been a lot of fun.

So it has worked as a little bit of a warm up for your headline?

A: Definitely. I think we needed it as well, I feel way more prepared. Helped us prepare as we had new places, new venues too. We had never really done a tour up north.

How would you go about pleasing a crowd that haven’t heard your music before?

J: We never please a crowd. I mean we don’t tailor our set for them, you hope that what you have done previously as an artist is good enough to please people. We had a really positive reaction from their fans; not sure if it’s because it worked or they just get it. Its been really nice to see people enjoying what we have been doing.

So you just released a new single in March, Afterwards, how did fans receive it?

A: I think everyone loved the video, it was a little bit different. Its been our most successful video. Being dragged along the floor was fun.

J: We went for a little bit of a different approach due to all the tour related stuff. We haven’t had to drill the single as hard to get the traction we would have had to otherwise. Everyone’s said it sounds more mature than the previous stuff, which is always good news. People think we are progressing. People seem to like it and that’s all that matters.

Could you tell me a bit about the recording process, how was it for you?

J: We record up the road. Our producer Oz has his studio in Folkestone. He recently worked with Mallory Knox here. He’s great to work with. We basically bring in the pre-recorded demo, Ali writes the vocals, melody and guitar. I write the synths and drums. Then we go in with oz and he makes it sound really nice. Lines it all up in place and does an awesome job of mixing it. Only 3 heads, keeping it simple.

A: Having only two of us, I’ll want to run stuff and he doesn’t so, It is nice to run stuff by Oz but usually we compromise and its alright.

What’s the message behind the track ?

A: The whole song was about regret. Doing something stupid and not being able to take it back or fix it and it haunting you. hence Being dragged along the floor in the video.

So the track is part of your upcoming EP, what can we expect from the EP?

A: Afterwards is the first single which has come of our upcoming EP, which is all recorded and done, sitting on the shelf. We are releasing this next song in the summer, which we will feature tonight. Its going to be a bit different, still melancholy and sarcastic with a bit of tongue and cheek. Show a different side of us. We will release another single around our autumn tour. Releasing the EP throughout the year is the idea.

What can you tells us what fans can expect, without giving too much away?

A: Afterwards is a good reference point. However, One song is very different. A couple of others are more what people are expecting. Its half and half which is good I think for a second EP. You don’t wanna sound like a completely new band or sound the same as the first EP.

J: It’s a good sister. We just take out bits of progression and what we have learnt and move that on rather than change it.

Is there anything we can look forward too?

A: EP, Tour and really our master-plan is do what bands do; write music, record music, tour the music and we always think I wonder what will come next. That’s our plan to be a band for as long as possible.


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