Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start the band / become a soloist?
A crystallisation of disparate influences stimulated a lot of song-writing resulting a need to capture, and record as many of these songs as possible. The influences were geo-political mainly: nearly 20 years of war in Afghanistan, nearly 20 years of 0% interest rates (-ve in Europe), a collapse of global growth and productivity, Crimean annexation, and the likely breakdown of democratic stability in HongKong. The influences that these pressures have on young generations. Introduce us to all to the members and your musical history?
Ben ‘Ferdy’ Ford Guitarist and co-Writer, George McFarlane, bassist, keys, sound designer, co-Producer, and co-Writer. Josh Brown played drums on 1.5* and we’re seeking to cast a new drummer to replace Josh Brown who is pursuing other projects of his own.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
We cannot answer that question as we have not yet experienced such. Thank you for asking.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
Best avoided. It is healthier to work with facts and possibilities rather than speculation.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
Possibly, yet didn’t we all?
What useless party trick do you have?
Pretending to take an eyeball out and eat it. Breaking nose in a controlled manner.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
SkyQuaker have yet to perform live together but when we do we’ll let you know for sure.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Ben ‘Ferdy’ Ford and Steve Hope Wynne took up Campanology (bell-ringing) for a few weeks. It is a high skilled capability among thosewho really know how to. George McFarlane has some great stories about Prince from when he worked at Paisley Park Studios.
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
Hard Rock with an avant garde interweave of other genres, such as Bhangra and Jazz.
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
The willingness to try to include other music styles and Artists.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
Nothing to piss us off but deeply concerned about erosion of democratic process within universities and unwillingness to facedifferences of opinion. Current conflicts are disturbing.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
Thank God for Rock and Roll. It’s an expression of gratitude to all entertainers of all genres and their generosity to us all. Queen Kongas it is a reflection of the Spirit of Democracy and free-thinking.
I hear you have a new album, what can you tell us about it?
“1.5•” (degrees) is SkyQuaker’s debut album. It’s an interrogation of how the global chase towards Net Zero may trigger unforeseen,unwelcome and unintended consequences.
Talk me through the thought process of the album?
While avoiding a hectoring tone yet utilising such for effect, the album attempts to foresee and explore current events of stress in the context of a racetowards resolving climate crises. Were there greater CO2 threat events in times past ?
What was the recording process like?
Extremely varied and abnormal. Song-Writer demos were laid from the foundations of click and programmed drum tracks as instrumentation andvocals were built. There-after we all went into Echo7 Studios in Surrey to lay live drums, add backing vocals with Roo Savill (one of the hottest andmost sought after female vocalists in the UK) and further instrumentation with outstanding Trumpeter Paul Jordanous.
Paul is also one of the mostsought after brass wind and piano players in the UK at this moment. After that we sent files to Mike Garson who recorded the most astonishing andremarkable improvised Jazz Piano at his studio in Los Angeles. Mike Garson is likely one of the most gifted Classical, Jazz pianists alive on ourplanet at this time. Mike was / is David Bowie’s pivotal career pianist. Mike has also worked with Smashing Pumpkins, Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails,The Cure and recently with Def Leppard.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the album?
Working with Mike Garson and after he had sent us the most remarkable piano tracks from his studio. It took the whole production up many levels interms of musicianship and production values as well as with Roo Savill and Paul Jordanous. Also, coping with the multiple interruptions of Covidlockdowns and serious illnesses.
Would you change anything now its finished?
No but thank you for asking.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Finding a new Drummer. Completing albums 2 & 3 and rehearsing to go live now that the Covid lock down threat seems to havediminished.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Nothing more thank you. At the moment preparation is key.