Interview: Sky Larkin
Published on September 27th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
We dug Sky Larkin’s third album Motto here at Rocksucker – “manages to induce a rush of energy and an otherworldly sense of elsewhere all at once, a rare combination”, that’s what we said – so we catapulted some questions over to Katie Harkin and Nestor Matthews, fresh from playing a triumphant homecoming show at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds…
How was the homecoming gig?
Katie: So wonderful to be back at the Brudenell, a place that really is the core of the Leeds Music Scene. The music and art colleges also brought a lot folks down as part of their freshers event so it was a unique atmosphere: a blend of people that were brand new to the city, plus the Brudenell faithful and our friends and family.
Nestor: It was an honour to induct so many fledgling Brudenellians.
Have any other dates on the tour stood out for whatever reasons?
Katie: We played an instore at Pop Recs Ltd in Sunderland and a 12-year-old dressed as doctor drew a picture of us (it’s on our instagram if you’re interested in his work).
Furthermore, any personal highlights from this summer’s festivals, playing and/or watching?
Katie: Tramlines in Sheffield was a lot of fun. And The Invisible managed to rearrange their whole set as just a two-piece at short notice as their bass player’s partner went into labour!
Nestor: Phoenix’s headline set at Leeds Festival this year was so flawlessly great that it helped me forget that I was practically swimming in mud.
Your sound on Motto puts me in mind of Sonic Youth. Does that please you, or are comparisons something you’d rather avoid?
Katie: It’s certainly good company to keep, thank you! Comparisons are how music writing had to function before sound could be embedded next to written word. So it’s interesting to see how people make those connections these days.
Nestor: I remember when we first started, we would burn off a few copies of a demo EP we’d put together and bring them to shows. Someone reviewed it and said my drums sounds like Steve Shelley (off of Sonic Youth), which I was, and still am, pretty chuffed by. So in a way it’s nice to think that we’re still channelling that sound/attitude!
Anyway, as far as I’m aware we don’t consciously aspire to sound like anything or anyone in particular, which can make some comparisons equally obtuse and/or predictable, but sometimes those same comparisons can turn up something amazing that we’ve never heard or thought to listen to, so they’re all muchly appreciated.
What is John Goodmanson like to work with?
Nestor: Genuinely enthusiastic and enthusiastically genuine. We’ve been lucky enough to work with John on all three of our records so there is an openness and an honesty between us that I think has been integral to the recording process as a collaboration.
Ridiculously early to be asking, granted, but have you given any thought yet to a fourth album? Do you have material in mind for it yet?
Nestor: Well, we’re in the middle of touring the new record around the UK and I’ve felt new ideas or motifs popping into my head mid-song. I think now that album three is out in the world we can free up some of the space it was holding in our brains. We don’t know what exactly will fill it yet, but things are already starting to trickle into the gap…
What other new music from 2013 have you enjoyed?
Nestor: I am currently head over heels in love with a record called California X by a band called California X. I think its West Coast powers are what’s keeping the sun out over here.
Sky Larkin, thank you.
Motto is out now Wichita Recordings.