I was very kindly given the opportunity to interview the wonderful Sky Larkin. I was able to catch the 3 piece play an instore gig at Pure Groove records last October and was impressed by how good the sounded and the energy they put into their performance. The band have lots of tour dates lined up for next year as well as the release of full length The Golden Spike. Make sure you catch them live where you can. Photo by Liam Henry. Questions:
A ‘challenge’! Can you think of two sentences that rhyme to describe your band?
KATIE: We make noise. A girl and two boys.
You have a new record coming out in 2009, which you recorded in Seattle with John Goodmanson, what was the recording process like?
KATIE: We spent a week at Death Cab for Cutie’s studio (they kindly lent us drums and amps as we came over with just our baggage allowance of guitars) and a week at John’s place. The recording process involved lots of ice coffee (katie), Red Mountain Dew (Nestor) root beer (katie), PBR (Doug) and 35 cent ramen noodles.
Did you get up to anything exciting in Seattle? Did you get homesick?
KATIE: The recording process was pretty intense but we had a few days to wander around, we went to the aquarium and saw an octopus so big I thought it could read my mind. We went to the sci-fi museum which was possibly the most brilliant people-watching spot ever and drooled over everything in Sonic Boom records.
I’ve seen a few acoustic-y, stripped down videos of you playing on the internet, they sounded great. Is that something you enjoy doing/ would like to do more of?
KATIE: It’s definately out of our comfort zone- I’m used to singing with a wall of sound behind me! But its also fun to do in a mildly-terrifying way, I’m glad you enjoyed them.
You have a headline tour at the start of 2009! Are you excited? Eager? Nervous?
KATIE: All of the above, we’ve been on tour for the last tour months as a support band so have been the bridesmaid for a while so it’ll be fun to be the bride- though it is nice playing first as you can leave all your stuff set up after sound check!
Where is your favourite place to play? Is there anywhere you’re particularly looking forward to playing?
KATIE: We’ve had fun all over but off the top of my head I can remember especially fun gigs in Munich, Brussels, Bradford, Edinburgh and Piano’s in NYC. The Brudenell Social Club in Leeds is definitely our homecoming venue though and has an extra special place in our hearts because of that.
If you could collaborate with anyone, anyone at all, who would it be?
KATIE: Collaborating is hard! It has to be the right person otherwise it just goes sour- so I’d maybe be afraid of working with someone I really loved in case we ended up butting heads. We have collaborated creatively with our friends in the realms of Sky Larkin; our friends the art collective Nous Vous have done our artwork and our friend Matt Maude lovingly crafted an animated video for Molten for us.
You’ve had some pretty cool watches made up for the Beeline single. Whose idea was that?
KATIE: I think watches was specifically my idea but I’d have to trawl through the gmail conversation before I told that to a judge, our managers Anna and Gareth are super-enthusiastic about keeping things interesting and it was one of those two that was like “LETS DO BEELINE DIFFERENTLY! WOO!” and we were like “TOTALLY!” and it kind of spiralled from that.
Nestor, you’re so fun to watch drumming! Your face is crazily expressive. Does it get tired after being so animated for prolonged periods of time? Do you have any control over it or does it just happen (like the Hulk)?
NESTOR: It does get tiring yes, but its too much fun to let it get in the way! I’d much rather enjoy myself and run the risk of wearing myself out instead of just sitting back and taking it easy. I think it would detract from the quality of our sound as well as not being as fun to look at. Yeah, I suppose I do have control over it, but I’ve got so used to playing that way now that it does just tend to happen. I find that if I don’t let myself go then I don’t really enjoy it… If only I could turn green at the same time, then that would be perfect!
5 things you’re excited about in 2009?
1. Roaming over more of the world to see new and familiar faces and pastures.
2. The release of The Golden Spike so we finally have a document to share
3. Moving to the seaside (I’m moving house)
4. Reading and writing as much as possible
5. Root Beer
Be sure to check Sky Larkin’s website, they are also on Myspace and LastFm. The Golden Spike is out early next year on Witchita Records. And here is a photo of Nestor’s drumming face from the Pure Groove instore.