Band Q&A – Skies Behind

We spoke to band ‘Skies Behind’ who are from Cork, Ireland! The quartet are;

  • Dan – Vocals
  • Rich – Guitar
  • Cathal – Bass
  • Joe – Drums

1) Who are your top 3 influences? 

You can ask us to do 30 influences and we’d still have a tough time with leaving artists out so 3 is gonna be hard. That being said one of the great aspects of this band is the variety of influences each of us brings to the song writing process, we all listen to very different music. The three that influence us most are; 

  1. Neck Deep 
  2. The Story So Far 
  3. Knuckle Puck 

2) How did you get your band name?

Joe (drummer) came up with Skies Behind. He has some weird explanation about how it relates to the transience of time or something, he didn’t explain it to us for a long time what he meant by it so I’m not sure if he had an explanation ready himself. In any case, I like the name not having a strict concrete meaning and instead being more of a loose idea, it allows people to project whatever they want to mean onto it.

3) How did you meet? 

I (Dan) met the band through Joe. We had gone to school for a few years but we weren’t super close friends. Joe had always been in bands growing up and I had always loved to sing but had only done musicals. One night when we were 16, after a friends party, we were walking home together and I had heard that he needed a singer in his band so I was like ‘Hey Joe, can I sing in your band?’. He laughed it off since he didn’t think I was serious (in his mind I was the guy who did musicals) but I sent him a text the following day saying that I was serious, I auditioned for them and I got in.

4) What’s your song writing process?

It can vary. What often happens though is that the guys will start playing an idea that they like and we’ll loop it while Dan tries to write lyrics over it or find a vocal melody. We build a rough outline of a song like that and then we’ll come back a refine it for a few weeks. Once we get to demoing the song we’ll have a pretty good idea of everything but hearing it back recorded for the first time gives us all a different perspective on the song so that’s usually the stage where we make our last big changes. 

5) What are your plans for a year from now?

Well, we’re after throwing a bit of a spanner in the works since Dan is leaving to study in Paris for a year this August. Before that however, we’re hoping to get some more gigs in around Ireland while also spending time in the studio to get our next batch of songs recorded. We’ve got an acoustic live album in the works at the moment and we’re also in the middle of designing our next line of merch after the success of our first merch line on the website.

6) First gig experience?

We played our first gig in the local YMCA in Cork. It was actually in front of a pretty decent crowd of maybe 40 people. We were second on out of 4 bands and at the time we had a different drummer, with Joe (our current drummer) playing bass and Cathal (our current bassist) playing for the opening band. Needless to say we were pretty awful but playing that day was a massive learning experience for all of us. 

7) Biggest challenge so far?

Our biggest challenge as a band has been and continues to be maintaining a consistent level of hard work in improving the band. It can take a really long time to actually see the results of the work you’ve put in, especially in music when you have other commitments like work, college, sport, etc. But, when you’re onstage and the crowd sings back your lyrics to you or when a friend texts you out of the blue saying how much they like your new song, it really lets you know that putting the work in does get you somewhere, even when at the time it might not feel like it.

8) What’s the best thing about performing live? 

What we love most about performing is the ability to be up on stage and, without restraint or societal pressure, just be myself. We can just get up there and do our shitty dance moves, jump around like an idiot and scream! Once we’re not afraid to look stupid on stage and just enjoy the music and the moment, then the crowd can start to do the same. When that happens it’s a really special feeling. The best gigs are when everyone forgets about other people judging them and just allow themselves to fully enjoy the show, whether it’s a crowd of 5 or 500 it doesn’t matter, those moments are the best part of performing.

9) Favourite song to play live?

Oceans is our favourite song to perform. We wrote the song specifically so the audience could sing with us and with the way the song builds throughout and then drops off a cliff at the end, it’s a really fun song to end the night on.

10) What inspired you to write your recent songs?

Our latest EP ‘Home’ was written all about the stage in life that we have been and are going through right now. We’re all 20/21 now and we’re at a stage in our lives where everything is changing rapidly and getting pretty serious all of a sudden. ‘Home’ deals with the daunting nature of making decisions that will alter the course of your life but not really knowing in what way, while also looking back at where we came from and how our childhoods and hometowns have shaped us. If we was going to write anything meaningful, it had to be pretty honest so these songs come a lot from my (Dan) own personal experiences.

11) What do you all do when you’re not musically involved?

All four of us are in University at the moment. Joe and Rich are studying at Cork School of Music so they’re pretty much musically involved all the time. Cathal studies art at the Crawford art college and Dan studies Commerce and French at university College Cork. Dan and Joe play American Football for the Cork Admirals and Cathal plays Ice Hockey for Cork and Ireland so we’ve always got something going on.

12) In your opinion, what’s your best song?

Our best song that’s out right now is probably ‘Home’ it’s the eponymous acoustic track off our EP which has incredible vocals done by our friend Pheobe Dipple. Pheobe is such an incredible singer an amazing person that it was an absolute honour to have her on that track. Knowing what she adds to that song makes it our favourite.

13) Who has the worst dress sense?

This easy and is no doubt, Richard. 

14) Funniest show story?

We we’re playing a battle of the bands one time where, during our final song, Cathal was running and jumping around the place, bringing his usual energy. He went up to Joe’s kit to play a few bars with him and when he went to turn away he hit one of the overhead mics and knocked it to the ground. We have it on video and it’s pretty funny seeing him and Joe react. It was even funnier watching him apologise to the sound engineer after.

15) Pizza! What do you all have? 

I mean, we’ll eat any pizza you put in front of us but if you wanna get specific:

  • Dan: Thin crust, chicken, ham and sweetcorn.
  • Rich: Red onion, mushroom, bacon and chicken
  • Joe: Pineapple. No pizza, just pineapple.
  • Cathal: Pineapple on pizza is a world ending sin. Pepperoni, red onion, chicken and extra cheese is bomb.

16) Most annoying member?

Cathal tends to mumble and it can be REALLY annoying. Otherwise, Dan is probably the most annoying member as he tends to be fascinated by things that really don’t interest us and then won’t shut up about them (like world capitals).

17) Who has the worst tattoo?

Joe and Cathal have a couple bad tattoos but I think they just really wanna show off they’re knuckle puck one, so we’re gonna say this one.

18) Fast forward and you’re millionaires. What do you do with the money?

  • Dan: Buy a warehouse and build Skies Behind HQ like the Foo Fighters’ studio 606
  • Rich: Set up a composing corporation for music and video games.
  • Cathal: Cover myself in tattoos and buy a classic Vincent motorbike. –
  • Joe: Move to Canada and buy a studio.

Follow Skies Behind on Twitter and Facebook.

Listen on Spotify.

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