Interview: Skeletons On Holiday
Published on August 5th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
London-based five-piece Skeletons On Holiday, the brainchild of former Moocher main man and Artrocker scribe Ric Rawlins, will this week unleash their tremendous new single “Sink or Swim” on an unsuspecting populace. An alternately menacing and dreamy showcase of their talent for musical cross-pollination, “Sink or Swim” bodes sufficiently well for the band’s future to take one look at its title and declare, with a soothsayer’s authority, “Swim!”
We fired some questions over to the Skeletons On Holiday camp and received back the following, suitably collaborative set of replies; but first, though, check out this werewolf-stalked video for the single…
What’s the line-up of the band? How did you all meet, and how long has the band been going for?
Ric: It started with me bumping into an American called Ryan (lead guitar) on Brick Lane – we had a little walk and discussed the Pixies, ideas, tactics… Ryan had built a guitar pedal with his own bare hands, which was pretty impressive.
Jess (vocals) turned up to the first rehearsal with a flower in her hair so I thought she was some kind of mystical Welsh hippie! Turned out she’s the only person in the organisation who can bloody spell (and she’s not a hippie, I might add).
Adam was this powerhouse, punk rock drummer who was craving that ole’ feeling of smashing things in public again… I originally met him and Mat (guitar) through my girlfriend. Mat’s a conceptual pop addict, we wrote a magazine feature on The KLF together.
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
Jess: I would describe the songs as weird, moody and quite ethereal but with heavy, driving riffs.
Ric: Yeah, it’s either adrenaline or melodrama with us. Also, coastal UFO abductions are a recurring theme.
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
Ric: We rehearse at the Premises in east London – they got international death threats from Michael Jackson fans in 2010 for allowing a blasphemous King of Pop statue to be built on their site. We record with Garageband – it’s easygoing but you can also push it quite far if you need to.
Are you signed to a label? If so, how did you come to their attention?
Ric: We’re signed to our own label, which probably doesn’t count! It’s called Hold Me To Ransom. We used to just push our songs on Bandcamp, but with “Sink Or Swim” we’re going glam and bringing in iTunes, Spotify and so on.
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like…)
Mat: We are not going to record an album until Kate Bush agrees to produce it. This may take some time.
Where can we hear your music online?
Ric: “Sink or Swim” is out…. everywhere! Well, digitally, anyway. It comes with another new recording called “Comets”, which is, again, a UFO abduction ballad. There’s a singles collection EP on iTunes and Spotify too.
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
Jess: My favourite gig was our first ever one, which we played without a bassist at the Buffalo Bar.
Ric: Our first gig with Adam at 93 Feet East was a fine day. Shooting the video for “Sink or Swim” was insane – imagine walking into your local pub with a life sized bear’s head in a bin bag. We loaned the beast from a hippie gardening shop.
Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is…)
Ric: The 1234 Festival in Shoreditch on 1st September is our next date – it’s a great little outdoors festie that Lydia Lunch headlined last year. Mat is excited about getting a bracelet that reads “ARTIST” on it… we’re all excited.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
Ric: Ryan is also in a band who’re poetically named Cuntbucket! They’re really forward-thinking and transmit their gigs live online. It’s a semi-improvisational, noise-rock kind of thing.
We’re friends with a sci-fi, techno-grunge duo from Berlin called The Unkindness of Ravens. Their gigs are strobe-lit, gritty experiences.
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
Mat: The Pet Shop Boys.
Adam: The Wildhearts – no contest!
Jess: Pink Floyd.
Ric: If it wasn’t for his ’80s albums I’d say Bowie. As it is… Super Furry Animals!
Ryan: How can you choose? If I had to listen to one band for the rest of my life I’m not sure I’d like them much after a while…
Skeletons On Holiday, thank you.
“Sink or Swim” is out now. Click here to like Skeletons On Holiday on Facebook!