Thursday, March 12, 2015

Countless Skies Interview

Interview answered by James Pratt (Lead Guitar)

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We're a melodic death metal band from the UK (Hertfordshire area). We've just released our debut EP and have started playing gigs across England.

2.A few months back you had released an ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
It's melodic death metal. There will always be elements of other genres in our songs, though, as we all listen to an array of different music (I get slated by the other members for having Drake on my phone!). Comparing it to the demo we recorded as Hatespire; this EP is definitely more melodic, emotional, on another level. We're really proud of it.

3.The band was an a hiatus for a few years, what was the cause of the split and also the decision to reform?
It was my fault, really. I was at uni and had to finish my course, so a full-time band in another area of the country was out of the question. We're all good mates anyway; so once we were all back living locally, everything just fell into place pretty easily.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
That's really Ross' area. The lyrics for the EP are kind of personal, character-based pieces. Penance is a song about regret, and Reverence about contemplation. It reminds me a little of the story of Siddhartha Gautama becoming enlightened. I can speak about Everlast, as I wrote those. It's kind of a preaching about neglect and thoughtlessness using a few different situations.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Countless Skies'?
Our name comes from the Be'lakor song of the same name. Anyone who hasn't heard the album it's from, Stone's Reach, needs to stop what they're doing and listen. It's a real masterpiece.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The first gig we played after our EP launch was at The Castle Tavern in Luton. It's one of those intimate venues. We had a few mates there so that always helps, and the rest of the crowd seemed to react really well to our set. We really just get up and play, and try to have a good time.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Yeah, we have a few this year. We're playing at an all day event in Sheffield next month, that'll be our furthest gig from home! Also, we're back at The Castle Tavern in Luton on the 28th March for the 'Metal to the Masses' competition. The winner gets to play Bloodstock, which we'd kill for. We've been to the festival loads, in fact I'm pretty sure Ross has been to every BOA since 2006 (making this his 10th in a row). I think our Facebook or Bandsintown is the best place to see our upcoming gigs.

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Right now we're not actively seeking a label. We're happy funding our own music and working to our own deadlines. That said, we're definitely open to the right deal, we're just very cautious about that sort of thing.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of progressive and melodic death metal?
Feedback has been great, we've been sending EPs all over world. Something that amazed me was how well the clean vocals were received by fans of melodic death metal. I know not everybody encourages it in this context, but we had confidence in Phil's performance on the EP.

10.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We're working really hard to try and get an album out by the end of the year, and I'm pretty sure we can make that deadline. Right now we're still finding our own sound, and the music we're writing now is building on and evolving from what we did with the EP. We're always discovering new music so I'm sure we'll always be adding to our sound.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Ross and I would always jam In Flames and Dark Tranquillity songs when we were starting out, we learned a lot from those bands. When writing the EP we were listening to a lot of the Finnish bands, like Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum. As for what we're listening to now, I can only really answer for myself. Right now (and I'm a little late to the party on this one) I'm really getting into Animals As Leaders. I'm definitely not saying that's where we're heading, but there's a lot to be learned from a guy like Tosin.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Wow, it's taken your question for me to realize I literally have no hobbies! My only real passion, other than music, is an unhealthy obsession with Apple products. Nathan is a professional lion-tamer, though. I might have made that up.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Yeah, which Apple Watch should I buy?

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