Southampton trio Band Of Skulls are back with their long-awaited follow-up to their debut ‘Baby Darling Doll Face Honey’. ‘Sweet Sour’ is released on 20th Februar, and to give more of a taste of what will feature on the album the band are releasing the single ‘Bruises’, accompanied by a video in which a gang of masked Mexican luchadores take on a group of geeks in an energy fuelled ten pin bowling war. Following the release of ‘Sweet Sour’, the band will embark on a hefty UK tour to showcase their new material to their ever-growing collection of fans.
Disorder got the chance to chat with bassist Emma about their second record, her art exhibition and collaborating with each other.
You’re bringing out a new single ‘Bruises’ on the 12th February, and the video tells an interesting story. Is there any reason for why you decided on this idea?
We had a few suggested to us and that idea made us laugh. I like the way they picked out certain lines and used the slightly euphoric use of the chords because the video and the song kind of builds up. It’s just a really fun video.
Your second album ‘Sweet Sour’ comes out on 20th February, what can everyone expect from it?
We toured quite a lot with the first album; we played live for about a year and a half or two years around and about and we were playing slightly bigger venues than we thought we would. We wanted to make it feel like we had a bigger sound when we next go around so it’s definitely a bigger record. There are still quieter songs on there. We just collaborated a little more, I think. Because the three of us all write, there was a little more trust involved in showing each other our own songs.
You say you’ve done a “collaboration” this time, does that mean you made changes from how you worked on the first album?
It was generally more just the writing of the album that was different. Recording-wise, we worked with Ian Davenport again. The trust level was higher with this record. We had to show each other everything and be prepared to be knocked down at times when it doesn’t work.
How does it feel to be a band that are now influencing a new generation of bands with their music?
Are we? It’d be nice to think that we could influence other people in what they do. There aren’t enough really loud guitar bands around at the moment, so it’s nice to influence new bands.
You’ve got an art exhibition open at the moment, and some of your artwork is going to be featured on Sweet Sour. What’s the story behind those pieces?
I painted four quite large pieces when we took some time out over the summer after we’d finished recording, and they’re all featured throughout the album artwork. I also collaborated with a Canadian artist who created a sculpture based on one of the paintings which is featured on the cover of the record. The exhibition features 8 paintings – four from the first album and four from the second. It’s going really well and it’s just really nice to see them all together up on display for people to see.
You painted these after you recorded the album, would you say that they were inspired by the music you made?
I would say they are slightly inspired. There is definitely some sort of a connection between the paintings and the sounds we created.
What are your opinions on this idea being thrown around that guitar music is “dying”?
I have heard that quite a bit recently but to be honest, I don’t really see much evidence of that to be true. Just because the guitar music scene isn’t necessarily flourishing it doesn’t mean that it’s dying. It’s perhaps not the thing of the moment but every genre has its time; folk, acoustic, electro have all been big but they haven’t died and there is still obviously a big guitar scene.
You’re probably preparing for your tour in February and March now, how are you feeling about playing new material to your fans?
We’re very excited – we’ve not done a lengthy tour like this for a while. I’m looking forward to being able to play longer sets again; we’ve got plenty of material to choose from now. It’ll be great to see how the two albums work together live too. We’ve got a band called Broken Hands supporting our UK dates, and then we’re doing some dates supporting The Black Keys which we’re all excited about. We’re all big fans so it’ll be great to see how they work live and what their fans are like.
Finally, is there anyone you recommend to watch out for in 2012?
I’m looking forward to the new White Denim record. I’m not sure really, I’ll have to have a little listen around for some new stuff.