British indie rockers Another Sky imbue their music with the energy of a gathering storm. Songs are given space to develop, lying in gestation until suddenly pitching forward to reveal the full power inherent in the band’s sound. Perhaps the most crucial element of all this is lead singer Catrin Vincent’s rumbling, weighty vocals. Another Sky are currently busy preparing their debut album for which they’ve already dropped the singles “Apple Tree” and “Chillers.”
Ahead of their show in Zone One at Elsewhere on 3/9, the band took the time to answer a few of our questions.
A quick Google search for Another Sky brings up article after article about how amazing your concerts are. How important is it for artists to have a captivating live show in the streaming era?
It’s where the money is now, but I totally respect artists who produce amazing things in the studio that can’t be recreated. Any artist can find their niche, it just so happens that ours is live. I loved what David Byrne’s said in ‘How Music Works’ about treating the studio and the stage as different ‘venues’ and how difficult it is to translate one into the other. I also read about Will Wiesenfeld’s (Baths) approach on and AMA or an interview once. I’m paraphrasing because I can’t find it but he recommended not trying to recreate anything from the studio and instead, reworking it into something exciting and new. We’ve always written from jams so it’s easy for us to dive into a live show but now we write more in studios, we are experiencing that roadblock for the first time. There are some synth parts in Chillers that I tried to put on my sampler and play while singing, but it doesn’t look right. Some people think we play to backing tracks, but we don’t. We just use Max’s drum machine for samples and it’s felt very organic because his expertise is electronic music. We’ve spoken about not being sure if the audience is even aware some of the sounds are coming from Naomi’s bass, because it doesn’t sound like a traditional bass. There’s a lot going on.
On the song “Avalanche” you spend the final minutes repeating the lines “When you hold them to account/They’ll spit you out/Just a bad taste in their mouth”. Who are those lyrics directed at and why were you spurred to write them?
I feel like nobody gets held accountable for abuse of power. It feels like no matter how loudly you speak up, you can be paid off, or gaslighted, or painted as crazy whether the media are on your side or not (and especially in women’s cases, they’re mostly not). Michael Jackson died a free man. R Kelly went free for too long. Ryan Adams ruined a plethora of women’s music careers. Donald Trump is still president of the United States…and it just becomes a joke around a pub table, or a new topic of conversation that feels far away and only relevant for celebrities, when it’s even worse for the people at the bottom of the hierarchy. I really believe in the sentiment that nobody is bad or good lately, and retrospectively looking at the lyrics for Avalanche, I can see what I was trying to get at. Sometimes I sing the last line differently live; ‘they’re your enemies and they are all your friends’ instead of ‘they’re your boyfriends’. Nobody can escape socialisation and we exist in a system that’s so subconscious and insidious, that no matter how woke you believe YOU are, it will always exist inside you too. As you grow up, you discover you were taught an idea of ‘justice’ that isn’t really justice. It’s justice through a white lens, or a male lens, or a capitalist lens. I guess the lyrics are asking you to question everything. So many people have not been held to account. The justice system works for its own benefits, not for justice itself.
Recent singles such as “Apple Tree” and “Chillers” have featured a much more energetic and rock-forward sound compared to some of the more lowkey tracks on 2018’s ‘Forget Yourself’ EP. Is this at all indicative of the direction you’re taking for the upcoming album?
No, the album is going to be a real mix! I don’t think we’ve written one song that sounds the same. There’s a lot of slowies. We love the slowies. I think it’s about the dynamic of the whole album and where we place each track. Perhaps we should treat it like a live set.
What’s next for Another Sky? When 2019 comes to a close, what will you want to have accomplished?
I can’t believe we’ve already done Jools Holland. I would have said that. I think the main goal is to tour, tour and tour some more. We want to get in everyone’s earholes, in the flesh.
What does the band name, Another Sky, mean?
It’s the name of an Emily Dickinson poem she writes to her brother, ‘There is Another Sky’. She’s trying to convince her brother to move back home. I think it fits the music really well. The music is like a mirror to the world, ‘hey look it’s kind of shit, let’s acknowledge that’, then presents what we think could be a better world. We’re trying to convince everyone to move back home.
Interview by Nicholas Demasi
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