Since the release of their debut EP Forget Yourself, indie quartet Another Sky have successfully carved their own creative lane and are gaining serious momentum. Now with a new EP just around the corner, we caught up with members Naomi, Catrin and Jack to discuss life on the road, independent venues and a few unexpected records for their ROR playlist.
Hey Another Sky, how’s your year been so far?
Naomi: Pretty good, we had a UK tour in February and then America in March playing SXSW, which was amazing and now we’re starting a new tour.
How did you all meet?
Jack: We met at Goldsmiths University studying Popular Music where they like to throw you in with loads of different musicians. All of us were in different bands when we first met but we liked each other’s music taste and eventually we all got in a room and practised and since then have made it our priority.
Is it a collaborative process when it comes to writing?
Catrin: Yeah it’s collaborative, we like having ownership over the music. Interesting stuff comes out when there’s four people trying to make what they think it should sound like and never landing on what one of us thinks it should, it always lands on something…weird.
Jack: Yeah we used to rehearse in the same spot at Goldsmiths every week in a room that was connected to the main studio control room. We’d sneakily rig our room with mic’s and as soon as we’d finished writing a song we’d record it straight away
Catrin your voice has been described as quite distinctive, how much thought was put into it?
Catrin: I think every singer goes though a process where you grow up singing in an American accent because our culture is so Americanised. All I worked on was getting rid of that and then I guess it's from being in choirs, it's quite a classical sounding voice. Where I'm from, there wasn't much pop music, everything was very classical and even though I'm not classically trained, I just picked up on what my parents were listening to and what music was going on at school. Then when I went to uni I just focused on getting a bit more of a speech quality, Goldsmiths are very big on singers sounding like how they talk to bring authenticity, I'm still working on it and I feel like my voice is still a work in progress.
Naomi: It's definitely changed since we started uni.
Catrin: I had to learn to sing over a band, my teachers would say ‘it’s cool but how are you going to sing over a band?’ and I was like it'll be fine and now five years later I'm like whoa this is hard!
Any thoughts on the music industry?
Jack: It's hard, when you're at the point where we are now it's extremely hard to live and do the band at the same time. When you're on tour you don't get food allowance, so we have to fund that ourselves. It’s a viscous cycle because when you're on tour for a month and you cant work to earn money, how do you pay for it all? Then on top of that you have a house or flat to pay for so there's a lot of things like that are super unfair towards the artist.
Catrin: It's kind of like a mirror of society, because every part of the system works in a way that becomes a rich kids game. It becomes normal, it becomes normal not to be paid and it becomes normal that musicians suffer financially.
Jack: We're not in it for the money don't get me wrong, it's just on a technical level it's extremely hard to make it work.
Naomi: Yeah we thought it was hard at uni but actually this is fucking solid. Before, we were at uni kind of struggling but at least we could eat, this venue is actually a blessing because we’ve got some free pizza! Trying to hold down a job and tour at the same time is ridiculously hard and I think it's such a stigma that successful musicians are rich.
Catrin: Also, I feel musicians don't talk about it because you want to give off the appearance that you're successful and it's all going well when actually successful musicians are still struggling so you know it's just not working, I think the money just isn't going to the artists essentially.
Naomi: It's a tough career path but obviously can be pretty rewarding. Doing what you love, what a shame it has to be so hard.
How important is it independent venues like Guildford Boileroom exist?
Catrin: It's incredibly important and it sucks because so many venues are closing down. We were in Liverpool and we were told that two venues were closing down and they were some of the best in Liverpool. It's a bit of a joke, I just feel really angry about it.
Naomi: If there's nowhere to play at this level, you can't go straight from uni to like a stadium tour, so how's anybody supposed to succeed.
Catrin: Also not even just for musicians, it's important for the community to have somewhere to go to enjoy themselves and see live music.
What are some of your favourite records?
Naomi: I'm really into Kelly Lee Owens, she's doing some work with Jon Hopkins, it's just nice to chill out to.
Catrin: Sufjan Stevens Carrie & Lowell is just like the best record ever in my opinion. It's incredibly emotional and has really impacted our friendship group. I remember reading reviews and seeing people say that this is his 'Kid A' and every time I go back to it I feel like I'm going back to myself.
Jack: Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock are always going to be there for us and Mark Hollis’ solo album. To be honest, I've been mullering The Corrs and I'll tell you why. Everything is so full on and the music we write is very deep and I can't listen to deep music while making deep music, so The Corrs is just the complete opposite to what we do and I love it because it makes me feel light, I sort of just lift, it cheers me up every time. Talk Talk and The Corrs, I like a pop hit.
What have you got coming up?
Catrin: Festivals! Latitude, Blue Dot, Tramlines and we’re supporting Elbow!
Naomi: Headline show at Village Underground.
Jack: Yeah our biggest one ever!
Catrin: We’re going to plan really big things for it too.
Jack: Also a new EP on the 14th June.
Speaking of EP’s, how important is the artwork on yours?
Catrin: It's so important, so it's this guy Mikey Burey who we met through a friend and we sort of give him a rough idea and he just runs with it. I often get a lot of people ask about the Avalanche artwork.
Naomi: Our music is quite colourful so it's good to have like a visual comparison to it.
Catrin: It's really hard to put our music to any other artwork now.
Jack: Yeah it's so detailed and just reflects what we're trying to do.
Life Was Coming In Through The Blinds’ EP out June 14th.