An Interview with Altered Sky: “We’ve never been this ready”

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Altered Sky Band Promo Photo

Last month, Rock Sins was able to catch up with Glasgow pop rockers Altered Sky as they prepared to set out on their headline Scottish tour. We were lucky enough to catch up with the entire band about a variety of topics, so lets launch straight in and see what they had to say:

You guys went out on a tour of the UK last year, how was that?

Richard: It was the first time we’ve been in Birmingham and it was surprising. Really busy.
Ana: But epic sound, it was good, definitely in the end.
Richard: It was the first time we’d met a lot of the touring bands as well.  They were all lovely.

So, you guys are from Alloa, but you all live in Glasgow now?

Ryan: We’ve all moved here over time anyway, we all lived in Alloa before. We gravitated to Glasgow for music.
Ross: Band stuff.
Ryan: Band stuff, yes.

Tell me what you guys got going on other than the tour.

Ana: We’ve just got back the first recording of our first album, now that is a huge thing. And are we ready to release it?
Ross: I don’t know.
Amy: We’re so ready. We’ve never been this ready, it’s insane and Romesh is doing such an amazing job.
Richard: He’s the man.
Amy: He is the man. With the best dress sense.

What can we expect from the album?

Ryan: Music.

Well yes that would be a good start. Rather than hours of silence.

Ross: No that would be silly. It’s certainly our best stuff to date, we’ve been working plenty hard on it, a lot harder than we worked for the ‘Stop and Live’ ep, which was the last one we released. We’ve got a few different sounding songs in there, because with an album we thought, we’ll do a couple of variations on things. Couple of slow songs; introduce piano, keyboards, which we’ve never done before.
Ana: Scary.
Ross: We’d never recorded such an array of instruments. So it was fun.
Richard: So the variation is going to be there.

Well,you’ve got 15 minutes with an EP to just hit listeners with. “This is Altered Sky” , with an album you can really show what we’ve been thinking the whole time.

Ryan: We’ve got 40 minutes, 35 minutes to do it, so it’s good.

So you’re excited to release it?

Ana: Definitely.
Ross: Its going to be pretty good. The album will probably be out towards the end of the year. Our plan is to sort of tease it out with a couple of videos and then obviously we have the Scottish tour.  Certainly after this tour we’ll have a couple more tours, couple of videos…
Richard: You make it sound really boring.
Ross: No, its not boring.
Ana: Epic tours, epic videos.
Ross: Couple of brilliant tours, yes.  But yes everything leads up to the release of the album so that’s our main focus.

So ladies, I interviewed Butcher Babies last year and we had a big long chat about females in rock music and in music just generally, so I was wondering what your opinion on it was because I personally believe the big deal for women in metal and rock will be when it’s not a big deal and it’s not a focal point.

Ana: Yes…
Amy: Basically. I don’t know we’re at the stage where, I mean we’re being compared to a lot of bands who are very well established, which are Paramore, Tonight Alive, We Are The In Crowd. I don’t see that as a negative thing though. We get a lot but it’s not all that humbling to hear anymore, because you’re up there with them in a sense. And it doesn’t seem that much much of a big deal, it’s just like we’re here too.
Ross: What about when you hear everyone describing you as female fronted, why are we not just a band? Why do they have to say we’re female fronted?
Ryan: It’s the always the first thing in the description.
Richard: Female fronted, pop punk whatever band.
Ana: I don’t really have much of an opinion about it because it’s just how it is.
Ross: Yes it’s definitely on the way to getting fixed in some sense but I think you’re right that when it’s not being talked about in any way then that will be it properly fixed, but yes at the moment the whole having to say a band is female fronted is a bit pants.

So who inspires you guys, all of you, I’ll let the men talk in this one as well.

Richard: We talk away.
Amy: Everything.
Ryan: Don’t know, musically or…

Musically was what I was looking for…

Richard: Say Ghandi if you like.
Ross: Inspirational figure. But no. I don’t know, musically I suppose…
Ana: Music sound, I mean movie soundtracks, epic things, Silent Hill, stuff like that. But the real inspiration, that is the real inspiration but we just moulded it in to what we want to sound like and we’ve finally found it for this album, you know it’s going to be that refined sound.
Richard: One big boss fight.
Ana: Really that’s the whole point, that’s the whole point and it’s what life’s about. I don’t know, just individually I always used to listen to bands like Killswitch Engage, at the moment, we don’t have that much heaviness in it but it’s underneath and it’s very much what’s driving it.
Ross: But I think bands like that or certainly anyone that’s upcoming, any bands we see a few steps ahead of us, that’s what gets me inspired. I watch any of their tour diaries…
Richard: …especially things like Young Guns, or Mallory Knox. They just released their album and seeing all the stuff they’re doing, watching their tour diaries…like wow I want to be there but when we first heard about them they were probably about the same sort of stage as we are just now…
Ana: They were getting the album ready weren’t they?
Ross: The album release, yes.
Richard: Yes, so to follow in their footsteps would be massive, yes.
Amy: It’s exactly the same thing Rich is saying as well with live show, if you go to, well to be honest before we properly listened to them we went to see Paramore in Aberdeen 2010 and we were just like…
Richard: Right that’s how it’s done.
Amy: …that is what to do, that is literally how it’s done and it just gets like a fire inside you.

Music gets a fire inside you, that’s quite a good description.  So where’s your favourite place to play?

Richard: Here’s not bad.
Amy: Barfly, London was great.
Ross: Camden, Barfly.
Ana: Camden Barfly and the 100 Club was pretty cool.

So what can we expect from the tour?

Ross: Party, after this we’re going absolutely mental.  Oh yes, absolutely.
Richard: Every night of the week there’s always something.
Ryan: There’s a few gigs.
Ross: Is there?
Ryan: Aye.
Ross: I think we’re going down south somewhere.
Ana: Yes I think?

As long as  a few of you know where you’re going.

Amy: Yes, well…
Ana: Well at least I don’t have to drive the van.
Ross: We’ll get there I’m sure.

You’ll find your way eventually. Right so the site that this is for is called Rock Sins, so I always ask “What is your biggest Rock Sin”….last night I was talking to a band who came out with, “Yes our biggest rock sin was one time when we were on the tour bus and we turned around and our guitarist was bollock naked and humping a pillar”.

All together: Woah

Yes I know, the Defiled story was pretty good, when I interviewed them they were like, “Yes my biggest rock sin was this time in Australia on my birthday when I ended up at a naked cocaine party”.

Ross: Woah.

So, you know, no pressure. This is Rock Sins.

Amy: You’re going to be really disappointed.

I’ve had some quieter ones as well, like “we’re not actually rock sinners”. Although I’ve had another band who pee’d in the kettle at every hotel they stayed in.

All: UGH!
Richard: We stole all the coffee from the Travelodge.
Ross: A sin against being rock and roll would be more our sort of forte rather than doing something mental on tour we do something that’s like opposite.
Ana: Well at the moment we’re living on a budget a day so it’s kind of like grab the Fridge Raiders and let’s go.
Ross: Yes 75p bread from Tesco, spread over three days.
Ana: Yes we wrapped up mushrooms in chicken last night and ate them.

Wow.

Ana: Yes that was epic, yes. Crazy times now, crazy times.

You know what, don’t change because there’s so, so much tragedy going on with bands living the rock and roll life style.

Amy: It’s not generally who we are I mean, we would do it if we did it,  if we were crazy, I mean I’d probably be drunk now, if I wanted to be.
Ryan: Are bands getting cleaner now, I mean you don’t see the whole Guns N’ Roses…
Ross: Drinking all night.
Ryan: Yes totally stuffed up…

I don’t think there are going to be any bands quite like Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue used to be in all fairness. 

Richard: I think there’s a lot of bands take it very, very seriously, they know it’s their job, it’s their career. If they fuck up they’re gone, huge trouble, but then you need to have a good time you need to party as well. We don’t drink as much as we, definitely not as much as some of the other bands, even on the tour here but we’re doing all our own driving, we’re, you know, living on the cheap.
Amy: But when we’re not touring we do have some mega parties that I can’t remember. That’s why they’re so funny.
Richard: Yes we like a night out occasionally but on tour it’s trying to keep it as professional as possible.
Ana: It’s heads down.
Richard: Heads down, get the job done. That’s pretty much it.

I think that’s quite a good attitude to have, it would be interesting to see if that changes, when you guys are on the front of Kerrang and you’re getting offered like all sorts of drugs from Hayley Williams. See what happens.

Richard: The only one we had was that Heroin gang in Dublin.
Amy: And last night Ryan’s girlfriend, who was trying to give him hugs…
Ana: She just kept touching people. She was just like…
Amy: She was offering herself, she was offering herself wrapped up in a hug

That sounds a little bit creepy…

Amy: It was a bit, she was wearing a onesie.
Ryan: Yes it was a Dalmatian onesie.
Amy: It was a Dalmatian onesie.
Ryan: I thought it was someone else until I looked back and said, “Oh fuck”.
Amy: Woah.

So one final message for everyone out there.

Ana: Don’t do drugs…
Amy: Don’t do drugs.
Ana: Don’t pee in kettles.
Amy: Don’t pee in kettles.
Ross: Don’t drink boiling piss.
Ryan: Don’t set the bins on fire.
Ana: Yes right.
Amy: Yes right.
Ryan: Don’t do it.

What?! Who set a bin on fire?

Amy: Ryan.

How?

Ryan: I put my cigarette end in the bin and there was a box of pizza and the grease just lit on fire.

Did you have a moment of “oh shit what did I do”?

Ryan: Yes.
Richard: We just stood there and looked at it and I was like, “Ryan that bins on fire”, “Oh so it is”.
Amy: We were just standing there looking at it, looking…
Richard: I was like “I’m going to leave.”
Amy: Ryan was like, “What do I do??” And everybody came out was like “What’s wrong”.

Hahaha, thats some excellent advice there. Don’t do drugs or set fire to bins…..or pee in kettles! Wonderful.

Thank you.

Altered Sky are currently putting the finishing touches to their debut album, due later this year. They also recently released a stunning cover of Taylor Swift’s blank space (which you can listen to and see the video for here). We’ll have more news from Altered Sky as and when anything is announced. In the meantime you can follow Altered Sky on Twitter at @AlteredSky.

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