FEATURE: Band Of Skulls
By Alana Mazurke
English trio Band Of Skulls have announced an Australian East coast tour after the successful release of third album Himalayan. The LP, released March of this year, follows suit of previous releases 2012’s Sweet Sour and 2009’s Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, maintaining the known alt rock Band Of Skulls sound. Yet this time round it seems that the Southampton trio have decided to turn up the volume, pace and punch making their recent tour announcement all the more desirable. I spoke to vocalist and guitarist Russell Marsden about the upcoming tour, creating Himalayan and how the band could possibly deal with the incessant touring.
To say this band tour a lot would be a massive understatement. In the next 5 months the band will play in over 14 different countries and what seem to me to be an innumerable amount of shows with the band only just reaching the halfway mark. “You have to set yourself little goals, halfway is always a good goal to aim for. You don’t want to wish it away; you just take it as it all comes.” The long list includes quite some big named festivals such as Reeding and Leeds Festival and Glastonbury. “For our own shows we can prepare for them, with a festival they’re always different, it’s exciting but things can go wrong. You don’t know if you’re gonna enjoy a festival until it happens. It’s a great way to get your music to people that haven’t heard you yet… like one big music convention.”
“When we get to Glastonbury we will feel very satisfied with our days work.”
The last time Band Of Skulls reached our shoreline was in 2012 for their Sweet Sour tour and like many bands before them will make the long journey again to play their raw, bluesy raucousness. “There’s a healthy mix of cultures there and we seem to do well with a mix bag…Australia has all bases covered; we’re really excited to come back and play some bigger shows it feels like it’s been a long time.” Which is most likely due to the constant touring in between each album release. It’s been 5 years since the release of first LP which featured popular tracks ‘Death By Diamonds And Pearls’ and ‘Blood’; in retrospect 5 years seems like a long time, but even to me I haven’t felt it’s been all that long from hearing Band Of Skulls for the first time to now. “So much has happened but it doesn’t feel like a long time; we’ve been working for 5 years solid which is good as now when we played the songs together they all seem on the same level, old song or new song they just sound like us its cool to hear.”
“We do a lot of touring which is good but as a small band it costs a lot of money to do., I think a lot of bands will realise they need to sort a balance out with that. I think you’ll find more bands will put out more records out to support myself. I’d like to put more records out and work even faster than we are actually.”
The band worked with producer Nick Launay known for his work with Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and Nick Cave on the band’s latest studio release Himalayan. Launay, who is said to be an Australian advocate, really tied in well with this album. All 12 tracks just sound well produced and obviously tied in so well with the bands sound and structure. “Our goal was to make a record that would really help our live show…that was fun to play. It’s got more energy than the first record even. Nick…he opened our minds to a load of new ideas that we will take with us.” The LP was released earlier this year and is now available on vinyl and as Richard states “It’s something to show your mum!” Tour dates and info below as well as first single off the new record ‘Asleep At The Wheel’.
Melbourne//June 17th//The Hi-Fi
Syndey//June 20th//The Hi-Fi
Brisbane//June 21st//The Hi-Fi