Awash with talent, Dublin has produced some amazing musicians and bands. One such band is Battle Skies, with a catchy chorus and great guitar playing, it is hard not to like them! They were kind enough to answer a few questions for us so we could share their story...
To start with, a nice easy question, would you like to introduce yourselves?
Vinny (Lead Guitar)
We all hail from Dublin
And how did Battle Skies begin?
It started out initially as recording project in 2019 between frontman Darren Shanley and Vinny Duggan (Lead guitar). We were mates a long time and always planned to collaborate on some tracks together but were always busy with other projects until last year.
Our early song writing session lead to the recording of 'The Horizon' EP which was self recorded in Vinny's home studio set up and produced /mixed / mastered by Colm Rutledge who has played a really important role on all our records so far. Following the release, the band hooked up with John Lawlor (drums) and Ross Graham (bass) which completed the 'Battle Skies' line up.
For those who haven't heard your music, how would you describe? Who are your biggest influences?
It's always hard to describe your sound but I'd say we would fall into an indie rock'n'roll band. We try write all our songs with really strong melodies, guitar hooks and big choruses In terms of influences we are all big music heads and it is impossible to narrow it down to a few bands but some big ones for us would be QOTSA, The Strokes, The Coral, New Order as well as loads of other genres from dance music, 60s Garage and Punk.
What kind of messages are you trying to portray with your songs?
Differs from song to song really for instance our first EP was filled with songs to soundtrack a weekend out on the town, where's our new one is still very much us but a bit more personal and inward looking which probably reflects the mood of this year! But I suppose the songs all have an integrity and honesty about them.
Out of all your songs so far, which one is your favourite to perform and why?
White Line Fever from our first EP is a fun one to play. It tends to be our go to, to get our rehearsal or gig rocking!
Have you had many live performances? If so, which has been your favourite and why?
This is an easy one for us! We all have lots of experience gigging in other bands but with this project we have only played one show (due to COVID) which thankfully went really well! The venue was Fibber Magees, which is a cool rock'n'roll venue in Dublin. It was a Saturday night and the vibe were perfect for our maiden voyage!
Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the music industry... Has it had an affect on you?
Yeah it has been a really brutal year for anyone in a band or in the music industry. We had just clicked as a band and played our debut gig when the world turned upside down. We had a few more shows booked which we were really looking forward to but then everything went into lockdown so the venues, closed, rehearsals space closed and for a while it was even hard to buy a pack of strings or some plectrums! We tried to make the most of a bad situation. Thankfully a few of us have recording gear at home, so as it became clear gigs (and even rehearsals) were in jeopardy for the rest of the year we used writing and recording as our key motivation to get us through the year from hell!
Because of the pandemic, a lot of musicians have moved to online streaming etc... Do you think this could be the future of music?
There is no doubt that this year is really going to shake up the industry and music makers have had to be really inventive this year to keep things moving in anyway they can. I see a recent trend of more established acts doing global online live streamed ticketed gigs, I can see this being a regular thing for the next while. If you think of it, people probably listened to more this year than any year from being at home so much but yet the way the streaming sites are set up few artists or bands will see benefit from it. Don't get me wrong I love Spotify as a product that I use, but lets face it no bands are making any money from it!
In terms of our music. Tools like 'Distrokid' (for music distribution) and 'WeTransfer' for sharing ideas with each other and sending massive music files to our producer Colm n Berlin have been really useful this year and have enabled us to to create new tracks and make them available worldwide. In many ways I feel 2020 was the worst and best time to form a band!
Lets hope we can return happier times where venues can reopen, we can all enjoy music together and stroll home with our ears ringing, holding a t-shirt or vinyl purchased from a bands merch stand!
Tell us an interesting fact about each of you.
Okay the lads were a little shy on this one, either we don't have any or we want to keep our skeletons locked away in the closet! So I will give you one good one! In his day job our drummer John is a plumber for the president of Ireland!
You have a new EP coming out on the 27th November, Do you want to tell us about that?
The 'Atoms' EP was recorded in the second half of this year. We really immersed ourselves in the process the last few months as it became our main focus. The recording itself was very difficult at times as we had to really pull together, a lot of the time in different locations to capture it all. We feel the four songs are really strong are are really proud of how Colm Rutledge (producer/mixed/mastered) has it sounding.
Its pretty different from our debut. The EP straddles indie pop, shoegaze, punk, garage and some of the tracks have a bit of an anthem vibe to them or at least they did in my sitting room!
It was really important for us for the tracks to be released in 2020, because the four tracks provided the soundtrack of our lockdown this year and and also gave us the focus to get through it and make something new and exciting. Looking back at it it was a miracle we got its finished with the amount of obstacles thrown our way since March! We can't wait for tracks to be out there digitally on the 27th and then hopefully in the live set as soon as we can gig again!
What are Battle Skies plans for the future?
Its hard to plan to far ahead with the current climate of COVID-19 but our plans for 2021 are to get back rehearsing and hopefully get our live set back on the stage gigging. We would love to get abroad to Berlin when our producer and good mate Colm is based to do a gig & some recording.
Also when we have EP number three completed (potentially midway through 2021), we plan to release full length vinyl of which will contain all our releases to date (which would be our first psychical release).
Are there any messages you would like to share for our readers?
Thanks for reading, please give our songs a stream/share and spread the word. Stay safe and hopefully see some of you at a gig in the not too distant future!
Finally, Where can people find you?
Instagram - www.instagram.com/battleskies
Facebook - www.facebook.com/battleskiesmusic
Twitter - www.twitter.com/battle_skies
Our new 'Atoms' EP out 27/11/20 - https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/battleskies/atoms
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us! We cannot wait to hear more from you!
As always, if you would like to feature on our website or star in one of our video podcasts, do not hesitate to contact us via Twitter, Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can now also support our new Patreon page so we can carry on sharing the talent from across the globe!