Newcomers 'Light Skies Darken' talk touring and successes after a stellar year!
To make it in the music industry is no easy task, but that hasn't stopped the ferocious new-coming progressive power trio, 'Light Skies Darken' from having an incredibly successful year as a band!
The English band spent the year touring, creating music and accompanying videos to receive a great reception. And it is no wonder, the band have a unique and creative sound! The band consists of singer, Lizzy, drummer, Reubes, and guitarist, Dan. I had the pleasure to have a chat to Reubes about the band.
The band's most recent single is 'Addiction', a song with a distinctive sound and I feel you can easily listen to again and again. So I wanted to know who or what inspired the sound.
Reubes said: 'Addiction is much more of a hard hitting, raunchy rock number in comparison to the tracks on our debut EP and I think this shift towards a heavier sound is perhaps a result of our live shows. We wrote and recorded the ‘Stare into the Sun’ EP before playing the material to audiences. However, the music we have since written has been performed extensively in front of crowds where it has naturally evolved and developed the essence, energy and power of ‘the live concert sound’. Musically I think the track has been influenced by our taste in 80s/90s hard rock bands like ‘Whitesnake’ and ‘Def Leppard’. Lyrically, the track is inspired by people who risk the dangers of insatiable desires and the consequences of them blindly feeding their various addictions. It is an important message and one that tries to hopefully unmask the evils that come hand in hand with unhealthy obsession as it can destroy lives. '
You have a unique sound, who are your inspirations?
Reubes: 'Despite our younger age, the three of us have some classic and less commercial individual influences. We all listen to and like most genres [such as] Jazz Fusion, Metal, Classic Rock, Pop, Funk etc. although have always loved prog music. We take huge inspiration from the raw power, visual energy and musical attitude of classic rock legends such as The Who, Glenn Hughes/ David Coverdale era Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin although love the musical finesse, technicality and class of acts like Toto - the less mainstream stuff especially, Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree. Lizzy and I also have a soft spot for lighter rock acts like The Police and synth, keyboard-based pop, rock prog acts like 80s era Howard Jones and It Bites and Frost.'
'Interestingly, Dan has a love for pop punk music and more heavier acts. We always try and make an active effort to not sound particularly like anyone as it seems futile and pointless to recreate what already exists but equally, we are inspired by all of these styles and artists and that combination of influences is what has led to the creation of our sound.'
Going back the band's roots, Reubes said: 'Lizzy and myself were raised to rock from birth and as young kids would often mime along to live concerts of The Darkness and Pink Floyd in an effort to kick start a journey towards the stage. By the time we had reached our mid to late teens we had already had a taste of what it was like to perform in front of an audience, be in a band and write our own music. Despite enjoying and learning a lot from the musical pursuits that had occupied us up until that point, we realised a shared ambition to create something of our own. A band that would fuse the musical flavours of our inspirations into a fresh and unique blend of original music that we would have fun playing and enjoy sharing with an audience. We have some quite interesting musical heroes for players of our age [such as] Toto, Deep Purple, Mr Big etc. and so were worried of the struggle we would face to find other band members that would share the same background, playing style, commitment and ambition.'
So how did the rock trio come to be, Reubes explains: 'Amazingly, a friend of mine that I had briefly played with in a previous line up was interested! Dan has been playing for many years and has built up an eye-wateringly impressive YouTube following and is an incredible all-round musician and so we couldn’t believe our luck when he expressed his interest in helping to form the band. We decided to keep ‘Light Skies Darken’ a trio as we found the musical chemistry between the three of us worked really well and we also liked the visual aspect of the show we were putting on. Since then we have just been working really hard to move forwards and reach as many people as possible with our music!'
Was music something you always wanted to pursue?
Reubes: 'I can’t really speak for Dan on this one, but myself and Lizzy were brought up by a very musical family. Our parents have always played in a Pink Floyd Tribute show and so at a young age we were introduced to the world of live music and the behind the scenes stuff that makes it happen. Music is what I have always been about and I always feel at home when performing on the stage and I can tell that the same is probably true for both my band mates.'
As a band that has worked especially hard since their recent formation, I wondered how they got to the point of releasing their music, music videos and touring.
Reubes: 'Our writing process can take on many forms and songs can evolve in a variety of ways. Sometimes, one of us will have an idea which we will then work on and send to the rest of the band to seek their thoughts and input. We all play most instruments which really helps us musically empathise with each other and grants us the invaluable opportunity to individually write material. Other times, we will get together in our practice room [and] studio, where we have filmed our live covers on YouTube, and out of nowhere will seem to produce a track.'
'It can take months to finish a song or a matter of minutes depending on how naturally it comes together, the ideas that may pop up and the inspiration we have at the time. Usually we will spend several sessions or hours as individuals, crafting and refining each track before we record it and they tend to develop gig by gig as was the case with Addiction. Lots of time and effort goes into recording the songs and producing the accompanying videos. Luckily, we are able to engineer everything ourselves and don’t have to use outside recording studios, I mix and master all of our music once we have recorded it, which saves a lot of time and money.'
'We are very fortunate to be able to have worked and work with the amazing Sam J Lance who has created both of our official music videos - Stare into the Sun and Addiction. He really understands the music we make and has this ability to produce the most visually stunning videos to work alongside it. There is a lot of work to be done to produce each video and so many fine details to decide on and consider in order to get the best end product but we are blessed to be able to work with such an awesome creative as Sam.'
With a career and hobby that is at times very demanding, it's important to look at what are the highlights of creating music.
Reubes said: 'I think it is safe to say that the band would agree that the most rewarding aspect of creating music has been the ability to move people with our songs. Every gig it is amazing to see people smiling and enjoying themselves while we play and it is such an honour to be able to perform our own songs to audiences - songs that are a part of us and which contain the essence of our passion and love for music. It is also an amazing feeling to see how far our music has reached and that people all over the globe have listened to the tracks we have written!'
With an incredibly successful year just been, I wanted to know what the band has in store for the future.
Reubes: 'We have been blessed to have an amazing first year or so as a band and had the pleasure to play some great gigs and meet some wonderful people and so looking to 2020, we want to build on that. We have a lot of new material which we have started to add to the set list and I think it is extremely likely that we will be working on our first full length release this year. It would be brilliant to also try and reach out to some new areas and audiences throughout the UK and as always, try and bring our music to as many people as possible. We managed a small tour in 2019 although it would be nice to put on a headline tour in the not too distant future where we could team up with some of the great acts we have played with so far - hopefully promoting our debut album!'
Follow Light Skies Darken Instagram page for updates: @lightskiesdarken
Check out Light Skies Darken's recent single, 'Addiction' here: