Interview by: Ernest Platt
Before we chat, I thought it best to let you know what the band have to say about about themselves.
-SKYND’s lyrics reach deep, deep down into the sinister abyss of the human soul. In her own words – “I want to get as close as possible to the evil that humans are capable of. I am obsessed with it. For weeks, months even, I’ve been trying to get into the heads of the most vicious, cruel killers. There is nothing more fascinating to me than people who have reached the boundary of their humanity.”
In being asked to take on this interview I entered into some serious investigative research and I can tell you all this. If you were to find yourself down a dark lane one evening, pray that you don’t hear music. Pray that you cannot see shapes in the shadows. And above all pray that you don’t come face to face with the girl herself.
As beautiful as she is and as stunning as her photographs are the way that the makeup is done and the aura that surrounds her, draws you into the depths of those eyes and that menacing smile. I would encourage running and I would advise not to stop until you found yourself in a public place. But alas like me you will be mesmerized. You will be held captive by the depth of the songs, by the presence of the vocal and by the absolute genius that is SKYND.
Frightened as I was, first up for me was to find out exactly how the band was put together.
“Father and I met in Australia at a bush party. He was sitting on a stone rocking back and forth and something inside of me, a voice, told me to have a look. I walked towards him, sat down right next to him and started talking. The next day we went straight to the studio. But Father and I had an unexplainable connection way before we met. Like twin flames. We are each other’s teacher, best friends and so on. We clicked the first time we met, and we felt the connection.”
It’s fair to say that as good as the lyrics are there is a very very dark theme running throughout which almost borders on obsession and this was something I was very keen to know about.
“Skynd was my imaginary friend that came to me as a child...whispered dark stories in my ears that peeled off my skin. I’m also really interested in the evil human psyche - but actually, we are not writing lyrics we are documenting real life cases.”
It’s at times like this when I could use a drink or some form of stimulant to allow me to realise that I am in the presence of someone that is going to make a difference. Someone that deals with the very depths of humanity on a daily basis and with a profile such as that has she managed to meet any of the people that fascinated her so much.
“As we were writing in Australia, I came up with the idea of visiting Kathrine Knight as she is serving her lifetime sentence in prison. Unfortunately, visiting her wasn’t possible that time but we would love to organize meets in the future.”
For me visiting and getting the chance to listen to their stories without any cameras or interviewers involved would be very inspiring for my songwriting.
I for one am not someone that would want to be in the presence of some of those people for fear of the effect it may have on me and as I sit staring in wonderment I asked where the inspiration came from for the whole look which at times is striking but depending on your point of view could also be seen as frightening or disturbing but I guess that that is the whole point. The intrigue is almost as enticing as the music.
“SKYNDs look is inspired by modern & old fashion, haute couture. Also I like to get inspired by Different Material. Loads of my clothes are self-made by me and my stylist. Like everything we do, it’s dark in tone but I’ll leave the rest up to your interpretation!”
Something that I came across in my research was that SKYND recently got together with Jonathan Davis to record a track which received high acclaim. Definitely worth the bragging rights and so the question was how the whole project came about.
“Father and I got our first songs mixed by Eric Racy who knows JD pretty well, and he thought about showing our first three Songs to JD. JD heard the songs and contacted us and called our music “hauntingly genius”. Also Gary Heidnik, is one of his „favourite Serial Killers“ (I don’t like favourite when it comes to Serial Killers) but that’s how the collaboration came along. We are very honoured having him on GARY HEIDNIK.“
As exceptional as Phase 1 of the SKYND journey has gone we are very excited. Phase 2 is on the way and I wanted to know what we could expect. Short and sweet came the reply.
“The same as chapter 1 but with new songs, new videos and new SKYND looks.”
There is an amazing cleverness to everything that the band does and one of those things is knowing where to draw the line. SKYND’s videos really do walk the line and I’m just wondering how far they think they will be able to push that without going over the edge.
“It depends on the story itself how far we can go with the video - in the end I want to capture the offender, or the victim like in Elisa Lam. Elisa Lam’s body was found dead in a water tank, February 19, 2013. To date, it is still an unsolved case. How did her body got into the water tank? What if she got killed? What is the mystery behind it? Did she really played the elevator game? She was bipolar? I’m trying to document the cases into my videos. What could have happened. I’m staying with facts, sometimes I’m trying to not explicity show the victims like in Gary Heidnik.“
When you have the time to take a breath away from the SKYND rollercoaster you can stand back and see that the first collaboration with Jonathan Davis was inspired and that therefore brings up the further question of future collaborations and will there be anything there that we would just die to see.
“A lot in mind .... Were really keen to work with Horro9. We think they’re a super exciting new act. I think our team have reached out about a possible collaboration which could be cool. We’re big fans of Lady Gaga which would be a dream collab. We think the mix of genres would be really interesting. Also, big fans of Post Malone and Marilyn Manson of course and B-Real from Cypress Hill.”
With the first month of the year drawing to a close SKYND already have one festival lined up in Brighton and we are now very pleased to reveal that they will be playing Download festival on the 14th of June this year.
The live arena is a very special place to be and with Download in mind everyone who plays there is stepping on hallowed ground. With the way that the bands videos are shot would they be able to pull something like that off on stage and would they be looking at creating an extravaganza that would be instantly jaw dropping and just blow the mind.
“Absolutely :) We’re working on a mind-blowing show at the moment getting all the ideas, visual and lights together. We’re trying to create a feeling what you only have while being on a live show of skynd. Work in progress.“
How do you decide who to look at and understand before writing songs?
“I’ve got a note book where I write all the details of all true crime stories I’ve ever read, and I just decide while we drive what stories will be next.”
I have spoken to a lot of bands that are quite dark, but they are not really on the same plane as SKYND. But it doesn’t matter who you are, everyone needs some downtime. I would be personally staggered if away from the band and the subject matter if downtime even existed. For me that would haunt my mind and burn my eyes.
“To be honest I like to wind down by reading books about true crime. When I’m not reading, I’m writing music – combining my two passions! Also it’s really relaxing creating new make up or drawing outfit Ideas, creating clothes and playing with my favourite Doll mini Skynd.“
Do you feel there is a limit to what you can write about or is it all up for grabs?
“It’s all up for grabs and I’m not nearly done telling true crime stories and writing songs about them. There are so many cases in this world I’d like to sing about. There is so much to sing about. I recently read about a mother who kept her daughter in a room not feeding her not taking care of her. thats pure evil or Jeffrey Dahmer who wanted to make his victims zombies. Also its a need to write about crime, serial killers or unsolved cases because we should not forget about it and learn from it.“
Are you thinking about an album soon and if so, is there a release date in mind?
“We’ll be releasing chapter 2 & 3 first - there will be an Album soon but no release date yet.”
Who would you say are your biggest musical inspirations?
“The vocals of JD and Kate bush were always an inspiration to me. Also Pink Floyd. Psychedelic rock was always a genre I loved and got inspired of. Enigma and Trap as genres in general are inspiring to me at the moment. I like to listen and discover new music which is also very inspiring.“
You have an ever-growing number of fans. Is there anything you would like to say to them?
“We have been so fortunate with the first three tracks we released to have built such a supportive and strong fan base. We love the cult following that comes to our shows and follows us online…We would just like to say thank you, we appreciate it a lot.”
The world has a fascination with morbidity. Why do you think that is?
“Morbidity, the fascination of it, is part of the anthropological basic equipment of man, the human condition. Many people enjoy watching cruelty in fictional media. It is not just the act of violence itself that fascinates, but rather the reasons that have driven a person to do so. Curiosity is not to be underestimated in terms of being a driving force among human characteristics. If a piece starts with a murder, the first question is always: Why?”
Does the subject matter you deal with have an effect on your personality or have you got a good handle on it all?
“SKYND is not about me or my personality - It’s about documenting the inhuman cruelties humans are capable of.”
What’s the future for SKYND and where do you hope to find yourself in say five year’s time?
“Playing live going on tour and release more music chapter by chapter.
Playing a sold-out show at R
oyal Albert hall was always a dream for me. “
Any final words?
“Make sure you got your inner animal tamed because we are all capable of doing inhumane cruelties.”
I have a huge admiration for SKYND and the way in which they go about their business. There is an intelligence at work here that deep down has unraveled all the qualities of what it is to be human and has tapped into the reality of what people really crave. They are in the UK this year and it would be wise to go and see them. Might just alter how you see things.