An ideal timing to have a brief chat with Skinner Box since they are releasing their debut full-length ‘Alpha Waves‘ today, that will present on Friday 28th, at Death Disco, with Youth In Outer Space supporting. Fans of dark alternative and female-fronted indie bands, open your eyes, and above all your ears.
Feel free to introduce Skinner Box to our readers…
We are a band from Athens, that was formed in the beginning of 2012. Our music can be described as a mixture of ethereal vocal lines combined with fuzzy alternative –shoegaze guitars, dark bass lines and atmospheric keys.
Which would you consider the main differences music-wise between your debut EP ‘Life Is Chemistry’ & your first full-length?
After two years of absence, the band came back with more energy and passion and ready to create new songs. We believe that our new material is more mature than the material of our debut E.P. We are excited of our new music journey. We think that big steps or big dramatic changes will produce big results. Our sound is much different now… More shoegaze forms added , but the most exciting thing for us, is the team working so, each member added a small piece of himself. We added our ideas to a “music jar”, shaking it slightly until they filled the spaces of our souls, that’s how ‘Alpha Waves’ was born.
What about the addition of Nick Zourbakis (guitars) and the new drummer Konstantinos Athanasopoulos… How come?
After some difficult life rearrangements, the band welcomed Nick Zourbakis (guitars) and a new drummer Konstantinos Athanasopoulos. It was too hard to find musicians with passion and with the same pulse with the rest of the band. But something magic happened with these talented guys and they became without second thought, our partners in crime… The difficulties made us appreciate the strength of our newfound friendships, realizing that we all relied on each other to get through tough and lonely moments we are all experiencing.
Once again you decided to collaborate with Alex Bolpasis for the production of your album. Should he be considered the unofficial 6th member then?
In Artracks Studios we took the baptism of fire and it was a good introduction for us in studio matters, cause it is not as simple as it looks. Alex with no doubt is a part of Skinner Box. He is achieving a balance between theoretical and practical initiation in recordings and we are fortunate and thankful to have his constant support .
You chose to self-release ‘Alpha Waves’, but on the other hand the distribution will be undertaken by Inner Ear Records. Why didn’t you choose the self-distribution way?
Our contract with AFMusic – Germany has been determined, by our personal choice cause we decided to follow the path of a self-funded project. Regarding the part of distribution we are happy that Inner Ear Records liked our songs and trusted us. If you want to be reliable to your fans, you have to be able to provide them with the best and immediate services. For that reason, you have to cooperate with a professional. Inner Ear is a known and reliable label that can guarantee the safe and immediate distribution of our vinyl worldwide.
Which bands would you consider that have mostly influenced your sound?
As already said, we are five different people with different music taste and we are really happy for this fact. This diversity takes out our creativity that is easily perceptible in our new album. It would have taken us a lifetime to count the bands that left their mark on our lives.
Do you believe that the “daily routine” can affect creativity then, and in what way?
There’s so much we experience in our lives. There are the big or small moments that shape us. For many people, life is not turning out like they had hoped. They are disappointed, confused, and discouraged. But it doesn’t have to be this way while you can’t control everything! You need an escape black hole. Music is our cure and a key that can unlock the door of our souls. On one hand, it is the way to escape from our real problems and on the other hand we use this “daily routine “and our “next door” experiences to create music and lyrics.
On April 23rd you published ‘Rat Park’ video on your YouTube channel. Would you like to share a few words about which were the reasons you chose this song to be the first taster and also how was the experience of the Secret live event @ The social yogis project?
It’s a song with a weird dynamic for us. ‘Rat Park’ was an experiment regarding the drug addiction. The psychologist Bruce K. Alexander created an ideal park of rats. It was a large housing colony and there were 16–20 rats of both sexes in residence, food, balls and wheels for play, and enough space for mating. Rats by choice used drugs daily. The results of the experiment appeared to support his hypothesis that drugs do not cause addiction… it is just a personal life choice. Metaphorically speaking the problem is that people feel comfort in the perfect imperfection of their microcosm. It was the first time we played a semi-acoustic set and we were curious enough for the final results. It was α really great night in a wonderful place. People embraced the new versions of our songs! We would like to thank Sissy Fragiadaki, the owner of The Social Yogis Project, for the extremely nice and friendly atmosphere.
Apart from your debut album should we expect any surprises from your upcoming live appearance at Death Disco, on April 28th?
Of course, you have to expect surprises! Life would be boring without some kind of spark in the dark. You will have the opportunity to listen to some of our new songs.
What holds the near future for you?
We want to explore… new sounds , new songs, new experiences. We are planning some live shows but we can’t say anything yet, more info soon!
Photo credits: Jo Gogou