It doesn’t seem that long ago, but Band of Skulls’ “Baby Darling Doll Face Honey” was released in 2009. Since then the band has toured the world and built themselves a big rep for being a great band in the studio and on the stage. Since then they’ve released some great albums including “Sweet Sour”, “Himalayan”, and most recently “By Default”. Alternative Addiction was honored to get to do an interview with the band in August with our very own Paul Carr asking the questions.
AAPC: Do you remember the first album you fell in love with?
BoS: There was a bunch of records my parents would have on rotation in the house which I really liked but the first album I fell in love with was Michael Jacksons Off the Wall. It was given to me as a birthday present on cassette, I think I played it so much the tape finally gave way.
AA: How are you feeling about your new album, ‘By Default’, now that you’ve had some time to live with it?
BoS: We're feeling really great about it. There's so much that goes into putting a record together. It doesn't always come easily and we put ourselves through a lot to achieve it. It's another chapter to our story and we feel very fortunate that we still have the opportunity to write, record and to take the record around the world with us and play it to as many people as we possibly can.
AA: What did you want to achieve with this album?
BoS: We've only ever tried to create something that comes from a completely honest place and something that we can be 100% proud of. That's the goal with every record we've made. If you don't believe in the music that you've made, how can you expect anybody else to?
AA: What is your definition of success for this album in particular?
BoS: I guess that success can mean many different things to many different people. For us it's being able to put records out. To this day we still can't believe that we get to do what we do. When you can look at something you've created, knowing that everything you have has gone into it, that's success to us.
AA: You are known for a more riff oriented sound. Talk us through your writing process. Does a song usually start with a riff, a chord progression, a drum sound or what?
BoS: Songs can come from anywhere. A riff, a lyric, a bass lick, a beat. When we're writing we have a very open platform to put forward anything that we feel holds some kind of meaning and we keep doing that until an album starts to take shape. Ultimately the best ideas bubble to the top. We don't confine ourselves to our given instruments. Everybody's a drummer, a guitarist, a bass player. It becomes really exciting when you have the freedom to write on anything and hand it over to someone else to interpret. A lot of trust goes into this as you're really baring all. The best things we come up with are the purist collaborations between the three of us.
AA: You wrote a lot of songs for this album. Can you put your finger on what it is about a song that marks it out as a keeper?
BoS: We've been playing music together now for quite some time and so we've learnt that there's a gut feeling we all get when we hit on something special. Sometimes it can take what seems like forever to find it, but when it happens it's the greatest feeling. We are all about making lists. For this record there was at least 100 songs being worked on. It kind of becomes a league table. When you get stuck on something we quickly move on to an idea lower down on the list to see if we can bump it up the table. Then we try and find the songs that fit the best together. It's quite a methodical process.
Read Part Two of the Interview