Interview on ITN Magazine

Let’s talk a little about the history of your band. When did you originally form and is this the original line-up?

We’ve started back in 1995. And the only founding member is Jonas. Current line up formed between 2006 and 2010. Lithuania is a tiny country with not too many musicians and even less of them wanting to play progressive rock or stick in a band for more than couple of shows especially if those are not paid well. So, it took years to find dedicated enthusiasts.

Do you remember how the idea of forming the band first came up?

The Skys was formed after the break up of another band called The Rising Sun. Half of the band decided to continue and that is how The Skys started.

How would you categorize the style of the band?

Since the beginning The Skys tried to mix prog rock with blues, classic rock some psychedelia and pop based upon 70’s spirit. And I think we’ve succeeded. We are progressive rock just in rather Eloy and Pink Floyd manner/roots than contemporary neo prog/metal.

What image do you want your music to convey to your fans?

The Image of Love

Who are your influences and how have they shaped your bands’ sound?

All classic rock/progressive rock. Eloy, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Fish, Free, Dire Straits, L. Cohen and hundreds of others.

Let’s talk a little about your latest album what are the listeners in store for with this release?

Oh. Hard to tell 😊 So, far the album was received rather well though I’d say with some caution. There are fans who admire it from the very first spin but there are people that need more time to digest it. This album is different – it is still our style but harmony wise it is very wide. There’s a lot going on, Harmonies, melodies, riffs and stuff. While the album is only 42 min. long it has a lot information which cannot be grasped right away and requires repetitive spins. And this is what music critics have noticed. That only after one spends enough time with the album one discovers the hidden gem.

Where did record your latest release at?

The album was recorded at NRG Studios in L.A., also Flint Barn Studios U.K and Liscombe Park Studios U.K.. Mastered at Abbey Road Studios.

Producers are a very important factor in recording a good record. Who did you use to produce your record?

Indeed they are. Very often underrated. We had a chance to work with couple of them. The US part was led by Rocco Guarino and the final mix and sound of the album was produced by fantastic Grammy Winning producer Dom Morley (Amy Winehouse).  Dom managed to reveal and shape The Skys sound perfectly.

Does the entire band contribute to the writing process?

Most of the songs are created by Jonas and Bo.  For this album however, we also had Ilja bringing a riff for the Dead End (mid part). There was also more collaboration between Jonas and Bo.

How do you feel the band has evolved musically and personally over the last year?

Well personal evolution is a tricky thing and it depends on many factors 😊. Music wise everyone plays better. And band as whole became more tight, professional, We grew significantly in the last decade. And there’s still plenty of space to develop in the future. It is very important for any band to grow. Musically our compositions got more complex. And especially the latest release reveals it.

Where do you draw the inspiration for the songs you write?

They just pop into our heads 😀 In fact everything what surrounds us inspires us. The World, Nature, human beings, politics and societies, cultures and philosophy. The magic of life.

How important do you rate the lyrical side of your albums?

Less important than music. Music 70-80% and lyrics the rest.  I don’t want to deny the importance of poetry and text. It is just me – I am more of a musician than a poet.

What are your current tour plans, if any?

We have couple of nice shows in the U.K at HRH Prog Festival together with Rick Wakeman, Focus and other prog legends. Then later on we have shows in Lithuania and Poland together with Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd) and Neil Taylor (Robbie Williams band) and couple of shows in Japan. So far this is it. But the dates will be filling up during the year.

Describe your live performance for those who have never seen you live?

It is hard to describe. Better come and see us 😊. In general it is Music. Just music in the fullest sense of the word.

Do you see as we do that most local radio rarely support the up and coming new bands and even more local bands just starting out?

Well there are many indie radio stations that play indie bands. The question why majors don’t? I guess it is music bizz which is far more concerned with money and fashion than artistry and meaningful music. It is a machine which produces a lot of income to some guys. At the same time do we remember what was hot in 2004? Nope! And unless we google it nobody will remember. That’s the answer about the quality and value of the music. Radio stations are just part of this machine.

What do you think of the music industry right now?

It is pretty lost. I would describe it as a situation of confusion. Hipster movement did not produce anything worthy (how could it?). Parts of music industry are holding on old rock stars who are dying every year.  Parts of it are stable on metal but metal music is in its dead end – no new Metallicas or Sepulturas. And pop industry are still changing young sexy boys and girls every 5 years. Hip hop is full of weird name artists doing primitive and simple songs. Nothing even close to the old school hip hopers.  Electronic music and DJs still have their scene. So, basically it is very fragmented I’d say. At the same time there’s a lot of simplicity and stupidity take for example “what does the fox say” or “little big” phenomena. Disappointing. Is this all what music bizz has to offer? Or are we living in era of infantile music listeners’ generation?

Did you find it hard to break into the business and what was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?

Well, music business is tough. The biggest challenge is to stand out. It seems like every second human being on this planet plays guitar or sings. It is fantastic! But at the same time try to be unique, noticed and promoted in this huge ocean of sounds 😀 I know even pros have to struggle. And then even if you are there still a lot of time, money, efforts, practicing, and music creation. Imagine how many lifetimes does it take :D.

Tell us about your thoughts on your local music scene?

It’s a shame but I don’t really have much time to go to local concerts. I am pretty busy all the time either with music or with philosophy. And some free minutes I have I want to spend for me and my close ones.

Are there any new and upcoming bands that you are into?

There are many great new bands. Fantastic ones! I just cannot distinguish one. We’ve played with some of them. And to others I’ve listened online. At the same time, I urge people to go and discover new bands. You will be amazed how much quality music is out there. I mean old bands are great but do not get stuck into the good old days.

How has Social Media impacted your band?

Well Social Media is great tool though full of trash too. I remember days when there was no much internet. All correspondence was done via regular mail and phone. No band websites. Social Media changed it significantly. It helps to promote and connect to your audience. Nowadays I’m still learning how to show a proper “duck face” on Instagram.

Where can our readers find you on the web?

What equipment is the band using and do you have any endorsements currently?

We do have endorsement with WB Gear. No any particular brands though. Bo uses Korg Kronos and Nord Stage. Justas just got his new Music man bass. He has his old Fender Deluxe too. So, he uses both. Me myself I have my old Gibson and I recently bought a fantastic Framus guitar which I enjoy every single day practicing. And our drummer goes with Tamburo XD.

Thanks for answering these questions. Do you have any last comments for our readers?
Love and Peace to all!