Foto-© Sebastian Madej
Vor etwa zwei Jahren tauchten Another Sky erstmals auf der Bildfläche der Wahrnehmung in UK auf, um schnell die Presse durch ihren abstrakt-verkopften Sound und besonders auch durch die einzigartige Stimme der Sängerin Catrin Vincent zu begeistern! Vom NME (“a call for action“) über Clash Magazine (“Hypnotic, truly original“) bis The Independent (“striking“) oder zum Guardian – die Lobeshymnen konnten wie reife Früchte an jeder Ecke geerntet werden, während die vier mit Acts wie Radiohead, Talk Talk oder Slowdive verglichen wurden. Und da dieses Jahr nicht nur ein Auftritt beim Haldern Pop Festival, sondern auch noch die zweite EP Life Was Coming In Through The Blinds erschienen ist, nutzten wir die Gelegenheit und sprachen vor Ort beim Festival mit Frontfrau Catrin – unser Interview!
– Name: Another Sky
– Band members: Catrin Vincent, Jack Gilbert, Naomi Le Dune and Max Doohan
– Founding year: 2014
– Location: London
- Album: TBC
What is your first memory of contact with music? And when did you start to play music?
When I was two, my parents bought a piano from a junkyard. It had real ivory keys and wouldn’t tune to concert pitch. My sister was having piano lessons, so I used to sneak in after she was finished and try and copy what I’d heard her play. My parents sent me for lessons but I was such a little shit and refused to learn how to read music. I didn’t want to go back to basics after learning how to play the Titanic theme. Boy, do I regret that now.
Which was the first band that really struck an impression on you, why and what did you think about them at the time?
Fightstar. My friends all loved Busted, who I hated, but when Fightstar came out I thought it was the best thing ever. I liked that they wrote about really dark, obscure and nerdy things like Chuck Palahniuk or war. Their harmonies were great. It was basically math-rock with Busted’s face. Charlie had to go back to Busted, though, to feed his family.
How did you meet and in which situation did you form the band?
We met at University in London. Jack wanted to make a big band like Coldplay and scouted Naomi and Max as the best bassist and drummer. He said he was looking for a vocalist, and I said, “what about me”. I didn’t even want to be in a band, I just wanted to hang out with Jack more. When we got in a room together for the first time, we wrote a song so quick we just sat back and laughed. I brought a lot of uncommercial darkness to the project, so apologies for ruining the Coldplay dream. It became this totally free collaborative project after that, which is why we sound like four bands in one. I like that, though. Less room for egos.
How did you come up with the band name, what meaning does it have for you and is there a story behind it?
We wrote a song called Another Sky before we had a band name. Another Sky is a poem by Emily Dickinson and the song, written in 2016, was about feeling like the sky was falling in…and wishing we lived under another one. We chose the name for the band because it made complete sense; when we make music together, we feel like we’re somewhere different. A lot of the lyrics are about imagining what could be.
How would you describe your music and which influences do you have?
At the moment, my favourite band is Big Thief. They’ve been the latest influence on Another Sky. They have this power to completely resonate with people without compromising. Our music is a shapeshifter, it never settles on one thing, which we creatively enjoy. Our influences are so vast. Our big one is Talk Talk and we also bonded as a group over Jon Hopkins and his album Immunity.
How did you make the way out of the practice space to sign a label deal to play festivals and tour the world? Which were the steps and how does the time feel for you looking backwards?
When we left University, it was sink or swim. We didn’t know if we’d get signed, we didn’t know if anyone cared but we put on this headline show before we’d even released any music at St Pancras Church and sold it out. It feels very nostalgic, looking back. I guess the hardest part is trying to keep up with your musical evolution. Songs can take three years to get released and by the time you release it, it doesn’t feel like your music anymore.
You’ve released 2 EPs up to now – so how far are you in working on the debut record and what can we expect from it?
We’re really far in, recording it at our studio at the moment. We’ve got the excellent Jolyon on board, who produced Daughter’s first record and produces Slaves. Some of the songs we’ve done with him in a professional studio, some we’ve done in our own shabby but much-loved studio. We got a really cool drum sound in the hallway and we have our own piano, Dorma.
Your songs are often also covering political and also social themes – would you think that it is important for a young British band at the time to be also political in your songs and why?
I don’t think everyone should force themselves to write politically, it should come naturally because you’re genuinely feeling it, but I don’t get this whole ‘preaching’ thing. Everyone’s so afraid of it. I think that’s just code for shutting people up. If it’s too uncomfortable for you, it’s probably something you yourself are perpetrating or you are complicit in. And I get not wanting to be blasted with negativity all the time, I really do. We all need breaks, but the answer isn’t denial. Sometimes music is an escape, sometimes people want validation, “yes, I feel this. Do you feel this too?” and to see their own realities reflected back at them. That’s the basis of human connection, bonding over shared experiences. Art is cathartic documentation, holding up a big mirror to the world. That’s what moves me.
How do you feel about the actual political situation in UK?
Awful. We all feel it, deep down. Boris Johnson makes money out of a no-deal Brexit, even if the country suffers drastically. There were arguments for leaving the EU but not under a Tory government. It’s going to devastate most of us. A lot more people have become homeless since I moved to London in 2013, it’s quite shocking to see on the streets and the trains, and there seems to be a real, tangible, collective sadness. So many of my friends have been refused disability benefits and are really, really suffering. It’s horrible. Depression is rising in my generation, especially those living in London, which I don’t think is a coincidence. It’s becoming impossible to live there unless you work in a bank. The rest of the UK gets ignored, historically the North always has been. Class has always been a big problem in Britain. This is just summing it up, it goes so deep. We’re seeing it across the whole world.
In which situations do you usually write the lyrics for the songs and is there a special surrounding / atmosphere that you work best in?
I take notes of interesting things I hear in conversation and I write lyrics like a novel. Sometimes I’ll write them in rehearsal, but it usually takes me a long time to finish them. I write them on the backs of receipts at work. I try and constantly write, flexing creativity like a muscle. I get a certain feeling when I know lyrics are right, like a puzzle piece slotting in place. Sometimes I spend a whole week on just one word. I work best when I feel good and look back retrospectively on difficult times. I can’t write if I’m in a low mood.
You’re one of the hottest newcomer bands from UK at the moment – which other newcomer bands/artists would you suggest to give a listen to?
Saltwater Sun, Ailsa Tully, Ed The Dog, Nilufer Yanya, Jade Bird, Coby Sey, Chris Hyson.
Whats next on your schedule?
We’re performing with London Contemporary Voices on the 26th October at the Union Chapel, in London. We’ve never performed with a choir and Anil is a legend, so we’re pretty excited. We’re supporting one of my idols as a teen, who we’re not allowed to announce yet, then we’re on a stadium tour with De Staat in Holland, who are incredible. We were so lucky to be chosen by them. Then we’re off to the US! Somewhere in all that, we’ve got to finish the album.
What should we know and what shouldn’t we know about Another Sky?
I’m saving what you shouldn’t know for a gritty British comedy about being in a band, sorry! But you should know that Max really loves Susan Boyle, X Factor winner of 2009.
What are you doing when you’re not doing music?
I wish I could say something cool like a carpenter or a dog re-homer, but I’m a receptionist. Jack works in a guitar shop, Naomi works in heating and ventilation and Max waters plants.
What was the last record you brought?
Sufjan Stevens Illinois in Rough Trade, New York.
What did you learn in 2019?
Failure is never really failure.
Which song makes you dance every time?
Lizzo – Boys