M.S: Hi guys! It’s a enormous pleasure to have an interview with you! What’s going on? How it’s working the new CD?
JIM : Thank you. It’s been kinda crazy the last month’s cause “Peace Breaker” is the first CD on our own Label. That’s a whole new experience for us. In the past we never even thought about starting our own record company and the way it happened was pretty weird too. Y’know, in Dec 2006 we had this offer from “The Agency” to support Motorhead for a single show in Paris which turned out to be amazing for us. The sound was chaotic with these borrowed amps and cabinets and 1 Guit Amp just blew up after the first song. But from the Stage I saw these three huge moshpits going on. I think there were about 6000 crazy metalheads in the venue and it was just a huge party. Anyway, the French promoters must have liked what they saw about Skew Siskin cause a couple month’s later they told us to support Motorhead for a full tour in france in may+june 2007. What an offer … the only thing was, that our new CD wasn’t ready at the time and we hadn’t even started thinking about how to release the CD and the tour was just 4 weeks away.
Going on a tour like that without new music to offer was no option. So we forgot about sleeping and worked our asses off to have everything ready for the tour. That was the moment when we deceided to form our own label. There wa simply no time to shop the songs to recordcompanies. We had only 5 days to mix all of the songs and 1 day before the tour we got the first 1500 CD’s from the printingfactory. We loaded everything in our tourbus and off to France we were. No distributioncompany, no releasepromotion , no nothing. During the tour we met people who knew other people and all the sudden we had a distributioncompany in france. After the tour we got a mail from the Soulfood distribution guys cause they read about the CD in our newssection and the rest is history. What great about this is, that we have for the first time a release in Spain. Some people say that there were other CD’s from us in the shops in Spain but nobody told us.
M.S: Attending at the real mission of the interview, we will start talking about "Peace Breaker", your new studio album. Talk us about the new sound. What changes will find the fans between " Peace Breaker" and the other albums? Talk us about the work, your ideas…
NINA : The difference between this one and the earlier ones, is the fact that we’ve recorded very fast and simply mixed it down in just a few days. That way you can hear the raw edge which we really enjoy to hear, because that’s mainly the sound we got on stage! The fact that this is a new CD also makes a difference, as the band has a new line up on “Peace Breaker”. Every musician brings a new very personal vibe to the recordings sound. This can not be done on purpuse, it’s just a natural procedure. We also decided to not have a real slow ballad on this album. Also, we released a song of our friend Ivan Kral for the first time. We know each other for many years and we are happy to have that song “I Don’t Care” on the album!
I, Nina, have recorded the vocals in just 10 days. With all the backings and double layers that is very fast for me, as I usually, or let’s say earlier, had the habit to re-record over and over which gave me the title: perfectionist. But I am not aiming to be a perfectionist. Sometimes I am really convinced I can sing a song better and I give it a try. But that makes it very hard often. So, on “Peace Breaker” I sang and took the best version immediately to make it less stressful and less complicated!! And I must say: I am more that glad I did it this way.
M.S: What have been the initial media reactions for the new album? Did you read any reviews of it?
NINA : Yes, of course, we do read reviews. 98 % is really blowing us a way! We got good critiques and a lot of new fans among the journalists. Maybe it’s because the CD sounds like it’s recorded in a few days! That makes it consumer friendly, as we are all overdosed in the music scene with “over-recorded-over-mixed” sounds.
The lyrics also get extra points everywhere. Even though it’s not just the typical rock lyrics! I sat down for a while and thought a lot about what do I really want to say and always came to the conclusion, I only can speak about what really moves me. That fact makes the songs extra honest and is also very current to our times nowadays.
Many people want interviews too, and now I must say, it’s really cool to give an interview to Spain!!
M.S: How did the writing process work? Did someone bring in a song to work on or was it spontaneous, ideas coming from jamming and just playing
NINA : You know, there’s never a real “rule” on HOW to write a song, or a certain way on what’s best. It sure might be easier to have a riff first and add the lyrics at the end, but because Jim and me write 95 % of the songs it happen to happen that we write together and I already have titles and sentences while the riffs develop. To say in a real raw way: the best is to have a groove, a riff, and great lyrics with a great hook. Then, of course, you must arrange it and that is what we work on the most. Sometimes a song turns out a little different than we have planned. Sometimes we do re-write some ideas and change it around. So, you can say, every idea we have could come from either jam sessions, or earlier ideas in the back of the mind, often it’s an idea that hits you when you just get out the shower or you see a movie, or whatever turns you on. So, if we are take songs from other people, like the one from Ivan Kral for example, it’s because we really think the song fit and shows some side of Skew Siskin. We don’t care where the songs come from really, as long as the songs are reflecting us!
M.S: For those who don’t know SKEW SISKIN yet, what’s your music style? Which are your influences?
NINA : The music we play is rooted to the 70’s, early and late 70’s! It’s edgy and ruff like let’s say you feel and hear in punk music, it’s honest like punk, but the riffs are more from the mid/late 70’s, my vocals are more influenced, 80% from 70 singers, and the rest is the spirit of punk and a bit of soul even! Skew Siskin is a mixture of Ac/Dc and Motorhead, mixed with The Who / Janis Joplin (on Speed, hahah) and just rock’n’roll you know! Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple meet Sex Pistols!
After we stir it up it’s Skew Siskin!
M.S: Which aundience has SKEW SISKIN?
NINA : Young + wild, freaky style, rockers, young and old, even punks and gothics sometimes, also normal music lovers, but mainly people with a very strong connection to good music! People who have seen a concert of Led Zeppelin, or Jimi Hendrix and come to see us, or have seen Motorhead and AC/DC, those poeople do really love us and enjoy to come to the shows. Sleaze and Glam fans also come to rock with us! Our style is very unique and we are proud to have such a great fan mixture.
M.S: In what land does SKEW SISKIN had better acceptation and a massive support by the metalheads?
NINA : It’s been great everywhere so far! We had great shows and times with people from Germany to Belgium, to France, to UK, to USA and Holland! I do look forward to play some shows in Spain soon!
M.S: How do you see the Metal scene in your country?
NINA : There’s a huge following of that music but still a little more in the dark. We don have a lot of bars and clubs, but it’s a ll very commercial. If you want to just open up a club and have unknown bands play, it won’t really work anymore. People are just looking at the money, which is a shame, but understandable too. It’s just that you can’t survive being unknown, as it was 30 years ago, when clubs just booked some bands being sure to have 100 people show up! That doesn’t work anymore.
I just don’t know if Metal is really “accepted” or not. In the charts, when Iron Maiden show up in the top ten all the sudden, it’s a real sensation and people who hate metal all the sudden have to accept that Metal is a big issue in our time! On the side of the coin it shows that a lot of people have problems with Metal /Rock, as they still find it ugly, loud and dirty. Which is cool! That way I still can be a rebel! And I can still climb up the ranks!
M.S: What state do you think rock music and live gigs are in at the moment?
NINA : Record Companies, talking about the major ones, try to earn the money too now that a band gets from playing live. That is very very sick and unfair and not the right way. They also want to earn from the Merchandise and everything else. That’s one of the reasons Jim and me created the Label and released our own album! Live is very important. But not only it’s important for the band, or their credibility, it’s also important to keep the soul of the music alive and have parties with the fan eye to eye! You can’t simply top live! You can play a show on the internet of course, but it never is as physical as it is to meet in the club and sweat together and drink and yell and dance! That momentum is the reason why rock music is alive! You must feel it, and if it feels great, you want it again!
M.S: After promoting this album, what do you intend to do? Which are your future plans?
NINA : I guess the way is already clear: we are writing/recording new songs, release the next album, go on tour again and watch a lot of great movies in between…
We have a new drummer, who we will record the next CD with. His name is Sansi and he lives in Berlin. He will be on the tour with us from now on. We got a photosession to do with the band and a new web site to upload, new t-shirts to create and so many unsung lyrics to sing.
There’s a lot to do and I can sit still!
Our future plan is to never ever stop to rock!
M.S: Do you already Have any touring plans to support the new album?
NINA : Not yet, or not official. We, Jim and me, are always talking to people and look out for good touring possebilities. As soon as we got anything in the pockets we always announce it on our website: www.skewsiskin.net ! So the best is to keep visiting us from time to time and see what’s new.
M.S: Well, that’s all. Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer, & if you want to say something to Metal Symphony’s Spanish readers, now it’s the moment.
NINA : Ok, thanks too! I enjoyed your questions and hope you will have many readers!
To all the readers: Let’s have a good time all the time, see you at the shows !