What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
It’s hard to say what exactly inspired me to make music except that the inspiration seemed to be there for as long as I can remember. I recall walking around my backyard singing to myself and was overheard by my Aunt who told me I had a nice voice. That was the first time anyone ever acknowledged what I was doing musically – and it was strange. Stranger still was my first band – a Christian band called Jesus Reign – whose first show was at a bookstore downtown where an older woman, after staring at me the entire time, later pointed at me and called me Satan. Later we played at a couple of churches but didn’t go over too well (people were blocking their ears). The pastor later told us that maybe we should play in the woods or something.
Not too long after those days I became interested in the blues and started playing bars across the area. Later I joined up with a band called Blair’s Carriage in the 90’s with my current bandmate Scott Levesque. Other bands included Hallucinating Arkansas (a state I finally visited last year!) and Emetrex for which we put out several CDs and toured the UK a couple of times. I’ve also collaborated with the band Wheat for which Scott Levesque was the singer and recorded their 2007 release Every Day I Said a Prayer for Kathy and Made a One Inch Square for which I toured with them in the US and Europe.
Skyjelly started initially as a solo thing which, before that, was an experiment in songwriting with loops and mic percussion. At a solo show one night I met Eric Hudson who expressed an interest in playing drums with me and actually showed up the next week for the next gig. He eventually moved up to the great North Woods but I soon started playing with Scott Levesque on bass and Dave Melanson on drums. Our first real recording – Blank Panthers/Priest, Expert or Wizard – was recorded with Dave Auchenbach (Lightning Bolt, Small Factory) and was released by LA’s Doomtrip Records in 2017. The following two cassette releases, Gost Rock and Black Powder Sunrise Girl were put out by a UK label called Eggs in Aspic in late 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Our latest release, We Pull the Stars Over Our Heads Like Covers, was recorded by our drummer, Dave Melanson, at our previous Fall River rehearsal space and is being put out by the Boston outfit, IHeart Noise. It’s totally live, one-take, and partly-written-on-the-spot. We took advantage of the few minutes we had when the cover band next door wasn’t playing (Bad Company songs, usually).
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Sci-fi short fiction seems to be my non-musical influence these days but I’ve always been interested in space exploration and musing about the vast void all around us. Music-wise, influences are just too numerous to mention but lately I’ve been fascinated with Middle-Eastern and Northern and Western African guitar players.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
That’s a hard question to answer. I don’t know that anyone could tell you what their music sounds like. I typically say we’re a psychedelic, middle-easternish blues band but others might disagree.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Records: Hypermagic Mountain – Lightning Bolt, Kind of Blue – Miles Davis, Sonic Seasonings – Wendy Carlos
Books: A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut and anything by Arthur C. Clarke.
Movies: I don’t like movies
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I love both for very different reasons but with equal intensity. I think that the distinction between the two has mostly dissolved in this band. We record a lot at rehearsal and live shows – so much so that it just seems second nature now.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Being publicly accused of personifying Satan has got to be right up there.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Maybe Watch Out because everything about it is different from how we normally write and play and record.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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