Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned Folkestone duo SKIES to find out more…
Who is in the duo, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the name?
Hey! We're SKIES, Alie Cotter (Lead vocals/Guitar) and Jericho Tozer (Vocals/Drums) from Folkestone in Kent, UK.
Jericho: We met through my brother Joel, he was the bassist of Alie's band at the time while I was at Uni. Our bands played gigs together so we ended up hanging out. Alie was looking for a keyboard player to join her band so I decided to learn to play the keys and joined in. A year later we began SKIES as it is now.
Alie: The name also came from Jericho's brother Joel, he was working at a clothes shop and had mentioned to a few people he knew that we were looking for a new band name and coincidentally 2 people both said 'SKIES'. We felt it fit our vision for the band and our sound and we haven't looked back since!
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Alie: I've always loved lyrics, I don't mind if they're screamed or spoken word or anything in-between so I've never felt too influenced by a specific musical influence. Sometimes lines from films or conversations I hear are more inspiring than songs!
Jericho: The music tastes of my family on both parents' sides have supplied me with plenty of inspiration. My Dad's side fuelled me with Classic Rock music from the Bluesy to the Heavy - AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy etc... My mum's side brought me new wave 70/80's - The Buzzcocks, X-Ray Specs, Joy Division etc... My Uncle on my Mum's side would make me tapes of albums from Jimmy Eat World, Something Corporate, Brand New, Funeral for a Friend and many more during my early teenage years. The music he gave me still heavily influence my daily listening.
How would you describe your sound?
Jericho: Euphoric synth pop/rock I guess would be how I'd describe our latest songs. We love writing music to inspire and uplift ourselves - and hopefully other people! The bigger sounding the better for us.
Alie: I was asked once to describe our sound in 1 word and I ended up kind of cheating and saying 'SKIES', but it felt right. Skies are big and open, can be dark, can be beautiful and are always different. I feel like some of our songs are dark and some big and we have others in-between, so our band name feels like quite a good way to describe our sound/vibe too!
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
Alie: Our latest track is called 'Born Yesterday'. It's a song written about someone being suspicious of someone cheating in a relationship - but instead of lying down and taking what's going on, they stand up for themselves for once. It's meant to be an empowering track for anyone caught up in that sort of situation.
What’s your local music scene like?
Jericho: There are a handful of passionate independent music venues in Folkestone which is amazing. Artists who push to jump from these smaller venues to bigger venues in the area are few, which appears as though there isn't a thriving scene in Folkestone. But there are a few bands in the area working hard to achieve real progress away from home and it is exciting to think this could develop a scene of enthusiastic new bands wishing to bring more musical success to the scene!
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
Alie: We're always working on new music and are excited on the next set of songs we're working on! We have a lot of demo's that we're working through and we have also been in the studio so there's a lot more to come from us in future.
Jericho: We have a headline tour in November which will take us around the UK over 10 dates to promote our latest single. We'll be pushing our touring further over the next 12 months and are always excited to see what festivals we can play!
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Jericho: The closest we've come to a collaboration has been with our remixes. We've had a few awesome remixes done for us by SHAPES, The Walton Hoax and Amethysts. We're always excited to hear more of these in the future.
Alie: I think most of our favourite bands write in such a way that collaborating isn't really their style - and I feel similar as our writing process can be quite a sacred thing really. If I had to choose though, I think doing something with Logic would be awesome, I loved the Eminem/Dido vibe and I'd love to do something like that one day.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Alie: I wish I had some rock n roll stories but thankfully everything has gone pretty smoothly so far, ...apart from once forgetting both my guitars!
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
Alie: I think we're worth a listen...