Q and A with These Raven SkiesNovember 27, 2014
These Ravens Skies are a Canadian rock band that has been steadily gaining some momentum. The band recently finished up a successful run on the Uproar Music Festival tour where they were able to showcase their fun classic brand of rock to new fans around the states. The band is made up of vocalist Perkins, guitarist Alex Whitcombe, bassist Trevor Landmark, and drummer Shand Munro. Take a look at what the guys had to say when they talked with BareBones Ent!
BS: How did These Raven Skies come together?
TRS: We’d be in a band together previously but as we sat down to write a follow up record for Dreams of Reason’s Radically Poetic, we decided to switch gears entirely. Our writing sessions were taking the band down a different path and it became evident that we’d need a fresh start and that’s when These Raven Skies was born.
BS: When did you know you had something special?
TRS: There was electricity in the air the minute we starting writing music for These Raven Skies. That inspiration came from knowing that we’d be working with Jeff Martin. His involvement gave us an entirely new approach to our writing sessions.
BS: Can you walk us through the experience of working with Jeff Martin?
TRS: Working with Jeff was nothing short of amazing. We had such a great musical and personal rapport that the recording project felt like it was second nature. We’d begin each day with a review of the previous day’s work, developing a strategy for how we planned to move forward and approach each section of the song we’d been working on. There was a lot of spontaneity to our work, but also a lot of methodical reflection on how each of the tracks was developing in terms of performance and arrangements.
BS: What did that mean to you to have him take such an interest in your music?
TRS: It was huge for us! We’ve been fans of The Tea Party and Jeff’s solo work as well, so for him to take interest in what we were doing was surreal. His interest definitely fired us up and encouraged us to write the best possible material to present to him.
BS: How do you feel your band has grown?
TRS: Travelling all the way to Australia to work with Jeff Martin brought each of the band members closer together on a personal level. Our interaction as friends and musicians grew over the course of the recording process and that’s reflected in the fearless approach we took to bringing this album together. Jeff encouraged us to bring greater depth through layering and the interplay of different instruments and this concept has now been permanently instilled in the band. We’ve begun writing new material with this approach in mind.
BS: What can you tell us about your debut album?
TRS: The debut album was recorded over the course of two three week sessions in Australia. We chose to approach the record using Led Zeppelin’s sense of light and shade (dynamics) and embrace a classic rock sound within the context of modern rock. That’s where a lot of the acoustic elements came from – 70’s folk and rock.
BS: How do you feel fans have responded to the music?
TRS: Fans have responded extremely well to the music – we were really happy with the reception we received at UPROAR. These Raven Skies doesn’t play to backing tracks live, so you might get a little something different every night that you see us. We tend to jam a little and medley songs together. A lot of fans have said that we’re ushering in a new era of southern rock, which we think is pretty ironic for a bunch of Canadians!
BS: Your single “No Need to Worry”, has a great classic rock feel to it. How did that song come together?
TRS: I (Alex) was sitting around with my guitar at home and the intro riff just came to me! The song is in dropped A# tuning for all the guitar players out there, which is a pretty limited tuning for guitar. I read somewhere that the tuning couldn’t be used to write anything other than a nu-metal song, so I was out to prove someone wrong and it looks like we ultimately succeeded! Once I met up with the guys, the rest of the song kind of fell into place. Everyone picked up the vibe and the result is what you hear on the album. [Video at the end]
BS: Did you have a lot of fans ready to sing along to it on the Uproar tour?
TRS: Fans were singing “No Need to Worry” at every one of our tour stops. That was a pretty cool experience for all of us. By the time we finished the tour, people would be cheering as soon as we started playing that intro riff.
BS: What was playing that tour like?
TRS: It was an amazing experience. The tour routing was a little gruelling, but we had a great time. All the bands and the crew were nothing short of amazing, so it was a great way to show off our new album in the USA.
BS: Were you able to meet up and get any advice from the other bands on the tour? What was their advice for you?
TRS: We hung out with a couple of the bands on a regular basis so there was a lot of advice and tour survival tips. Stay hydrated was number one! We weren’t used to the 100 plus degree temperatures in Irvine and Tucson, so it was definitely challenging for us. Most of the guys told us to stick with it and to tour repeatedly throughout the USA. We’re fortunate to have made some friends and fans not only out of the bands, but their crew as well…They believe in our ability to be successful and develop our fan base.
BS: What is next for These Raven Skies?
TRS: We are planning to do a nation-wide Canadian tour in November and then return to the United States to finish off the year. Our sights are set on Germany for 2015, where we have a rapidly developing fan base. For the foreseeable future, we’ll be on the road.
BS: Anything else you would like to say to your fans out there?
TRS: Stay hydrated lol. Seriously though, keep an eye out for us because we’ll be coming to a city near you really soon! Feel free to interact with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – we’ll respond personally to your comments. We love you guys and are really grateful for your support!