Auckland-based high-energy rock band Poison Skies have just released their long-awaited debut EP Day to Defy, and are embarking on the Road Rage tour, a 5-city trip through the North Island, with co-headliners Rebel Sound Radio. Terry had a chat to Jamie (bass), and here's what went down:
What would you describe as Poison Skies' style?
People have put us in the kind of punk vein but we see ourselves as more high energy rock mostly because our influences are vary from metal, punk and normal rock and hard rock music. So we donít want to just fit into just one category. With some of the things we are doing now we are heading on down more of that heavier end so itís not real sitting in that punk vein anymore.
You've just released an EP, and you're about to go out on tour could you please tell us about that?
The EP is something we have been working on for a long time now we first went into the studio in 2014 starting to put it together working with Dave Rhodes who was also the engineer for Blindspottís first album and worked with him in Depot sound studio down in Devonport and we have just worked away at it slowly and finally got it ready for us to put it out there in the world. Itís coming out on the 24thof October with a 5 date tour of the North Island to follow kicking off on the 5th of November in Wellington.
Is this the bandís first release?
This is our first EP and from this we have had 3 singles so far of it. The first one Victim of Reality was released in December 2014, we then released City Streets and 86 last year, and we put out a cover of a Tracey Chapman song. We went back and thought how would her song Fast Cars sound if a faster band played it and so we put that out although itís not on the EP you can check that out on YouTube.
Could you tell us about the writing and recording process please?
We kind of have a number of different ways in which we can work. Because we have 3 guitars, bass and drums, we have quite a lot of people there that could write and can write. So we go from one spectrum of someone coming in with a completed song or at least the completed riffs for their instrument and everyoneís all layering around that to someone just coming in with a riff and we have jammed it and all written it collaboratively. Probably the only constant with the way we do things is Nick usually wonít write the lyrics until we have a completed song musically. But he always has a vocal melody that he is throwing down immediately and finding the words to go over the top of it.
Could you tell us a little bit about how you guys all came together?
We had all been playing in lots of different bands in Auckland and we all knew each from those bands so we all knew each other from the scene but had never played together. Although Poison Skies' is quite new we have all been doing this for 15-20 years around the Auckland music scene. So we all got together and created this new thing that was what we had all wanted all our other bands to have to achieved.
How hard is it to make music in NZ?
Making it isn't hard but the getting it to people is. I came it from a bit of a DIY Punk approach in that at high school was already writing music with mates so music has always been a big part of what I do. The hardest part is getting out to some of those other cities. Getting the product, the songs is the hard part. We're independent, we do it all ourselves. Right down to writing up the contracts, working out how were going to do it, whatís the show going to be like. We donít have a manager or anything so it can be a bit of hard work, but itís worth it.
One last question could you please give us some words of advice for young musicians?
Just have fun with it. Thereís too many people coming out too quickly and they get discouraged because they arenít playing massive venues from day one and you have to get some road dirt on your band first. You have to do the miles play some gigs and have some fun. Also a lot of it is around professionalism. Thereís so many bands that we work with that are just so easy to work with. You know that they are going to turn up on time to sound check you know that they are going to put on a killer set and Iím always going to pick a band like that instead of worrying about if they are going to turn up are they going to have all their gear. So be professional but have a good time with it.
Formed in 2013, Auckland-based high energy rock band Poison Skies have quickly made a name for themselves with their incendiary live performances and uncompromising, yet hooky, songs. With all members already linked together through previous bands, gigs and tours, an opportunity finally arose to get together to create a new band with an emphasis on great times, great tunes and great energy.
Boasting up to 3 guitars, a powerhouse frontman and an incredibly tight rhythm section that packs the force of a freight train, Poison Skies definitely make an impression. An upbeat, high octane approach associated with the likes of Pennywise, Rise Against, Story of the Year, AFI combined with diverse influences from metal, punk, and rock (local and offshore), Poison Skies deliver blasting waves of high energy that any rock enthusiast will surely appreciate.
Poison Skies' debut EP Day to Defy was released in Oct 2016, and features their 3 previous singles. The EP was recorded and mixed by Tui-award winning engineer Dave Rhodes (Blindspott, Stylus) and mastered at Stirling (New York) and Sage (Nashville) studios.