Eyes to the Skies are a 4 piece alternative indie rock band from the South of England. Alex, George, Mike and Jonno have just supported local bands Kill ’em dead and Undergroud Pilots at The Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth and ahead of their set at Victorious Festival in Southsea, frontman Alex found time to chat about their band and whats coming up for Eyes to the Skies:
So how did you all meet?
George and I have been friends with each other since we were about 3 or 4. We’ve known each other forever and have so far failed to get rid of each other! We both met the other two, Jon and Mike, in college! We were all studying Music together at South Downs College in Hampshire.
Where did the name ‘Eyes To The Skies’ come from?
Well, thats an easy answer that one, Throughout life I’ve had some battles with health related issues and you know when you’re feeling down you sometimes just look up at the sky and you hope someones there looking out for you. It came from that really. Just thinking.. Eyes To The Skies sounds kind of catchy! So we stuck with it.
You have deemed yourselves as an alternative-indie band, who are your main musical influences?
The thing that is great with our band is that we’re all from a similar background music wise, but we all bring our own influences to the table. As a whole our sound is influenced by Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Catfish and the Bottlemen and many more. But at the same time we try our best to develop our own sound.
Would you say that they are some of your favourite artists?
We all listen to pretty similar stuff, but at the same time we all have our own guilty secrets. Myself, I’m a huge fan of Catfish and the Bottlemen. Our drummer Mike is heavy on Arcade Fire and Queens of the Stone Age. Jonno’s influenced by Devin Townsend & Catfish and the Bottlemen. Our guitarist George is pretty much the man to talk to when it comes to music, He’s into anything and everything.
I believe thats the best way to be, to be open minded about music. Do you all get involved with Songwriting?
When it comes to songwriting it usually starts with me sitting on my bed with my acoustic, and then I’d usually film myself playing this idea with some vocals and pass it to Mike and George. They then both pitch in their bits and then we take it to the practice room and craft our parts and it all comes together. Lately the last few songs we’ve been writing, George and I have just been sending videos back and forth to each other with different various ideas and bits n bobs.
What gives you inspiration for great lyrics?
It’s more like, as and when they come. I’m usually always writing down cheeky one liners, hearing things people say and thinking, corr I’ll have that, that’ll be a good opening line and then I go from there. I’ve written about many different things, a few songs here and there about having arguments, a couple of songs about a time in my life when I got really unwell. They are hard and emotional songs to write at times but it just rolls off of the end of the pen and onto paper! I love songwriting.
So after all the work that goes into the writing and construction of a song, who do you play the tracks to first in order to gauge a reaction?
Usually to be honest with you, once we’ve got a new song together or a new idea if I’m sat on my bed and I’ve written some new lines and a simple chord sequence, I’d usually go play it to my Mum and be like ‘What about this one’ She usually says It’s amazing! But thats what a mother would do always, Right? So to be honest we just practice the songs together at Casemates Rehearsal Studios in Portsmouth. When we think they are gig ready, then we take them out and see what the crowd reactions are. Thankfully so far it’s been rather class!
You are playing a few festivals this summer including Victorious Festival, tell me how that came about?
So this year at Victorious we’ve been invited to play on the Academy of Music Performance stage by our old lecturers at South Downs College! We loved our time at college, it was great and its where we as a band formed. So it just feels fitting to be asked to play on their stage at the festival! And we’ve been gifted the Headline slot of the Saturday night! It’s going to be class! We’re hoping to be on a bigger stage at Victorious 2018 as well!
What can we expect from your set at Victorious Festival this year?
At our set at Victorious this year you can expect a proper guitar band playing with volume and energy! Come along and check us out! We try to make every show we do feel as big as a stadium even if the venue is super small! A big thing for us is talking to the crowd, getting on a proper friendly basis with the audience is always class.
What is next for Eyes To The Skies?
Well, we’re releasing our single ‘Don’t’ on the second week of August! It’s going to be available on all platforms. We’re going to be gigging anywhere and everything! 2018 is going to be huge for us for gigs. We’ve got lots planned. Heading over to play a few shows in Europe supporting bands then we will be headlining our own shows! And further throughout the rest of this year, we’ve got some super exciting things to announce that we’re totally buzzing for.
Speaking to such a young and enthusiastic band with such fantatic ambition is very exciting and I am looking forward to seeing their set at Victorious Festival on 26th August aswell as hearing about the exciting annoucments that they have in store later this year.
Victorious Festival 25 – 27 August 2017- August Bank Holiday- Southsea Seafront