Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
S: Our drive is purely music based, we love metal and the aggressive sounds that make you want to pump your fist. So whilst we class ourselves as Melodic Death/Groove metal, it’s just a vague term to describe the diversity of our sound.
We’re all about writing/playing good riffs and memorable melodies with aggression and passion. We try to write a song so that it stands on its own without context. Hearing one Skarthia song will only give you a peak into what we’re about, you’ve got to listen to several to get a real picture of our sound. It’s nothing unorthodox or unheard of but it’s certainly not typical.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
S: We were born and raised in London, UK. That’s how we initially met; we all went to the same Jewish high school in North London. The music brought us together, being the few that thrived on metal. It’s fascinating how a little societal seclusion can be like rocket fuel for determination, we weren’t like our peers and yet we thrived on that difference. We had a supportive music department that allowed us to run wild and we didn’t care about anything else. We learned to play as a group, we bonded over our jam sessions.
After playing together for a couple of years, we wrote and released “Retaliate”, our debut album, that’s when it got truly serious.
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
S: Music inspires us! It’s a pathway to the soul, we couldn’t be more inspired by anything else! There’s just something about hearing that one bit of a song that makes you feel warm inside, riffs that make you feel powerful and far more capable than words ever could. Music can bring out a fire in you that no other medium can. Think about it, we get together as a band to create something that no one can see or touch and yet it changes people.
Our lyric topics stem from our personal frustrations and experiences both with the world and ourselves from the perspectives of both symptoms and causes. We’re observers, so we write what we know.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
S: We just want to put our music out there to reach the whole world. For us, it’s not about playing onstage to massive crowds, we play our music to share and expose people to it. Our motivation has always been believing in the music we write and in sharing it.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
S: Easy, playing Bloodstock Festival 2015. It was such a clear milestone for how far we’d come at that point, and the crowd’s response was the cream on the cake. The funny thing about that gig was the night before was so hot we all slept with the aircon on full blast. As a result, we all woke up with hoarse throats, but we still managed to give that performance our all.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
S: Whether it was gate-keeping 30 years ago or the over-saturation of music today, there will always be challenges when promoting your music. The key thing is, how much do you believe in your music? If it’s worth your belief, then you’ll respond with confidence, determination and persistence, which are all key to getting your music in the right hands. You are the best medium to promote your music, sure, the tools will change over the years, but if you are the promotional force and have undeniable faith in your music, then your potential is limitless.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
S: We love to play with friends, we meet new bands all the time and it’s always great to make new connections and discover new music but there’s something about sharing the stage with bands you’ve known and played with for years. We always try to find a balance between the two when it comes to bookings.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
S: It depends on the context, doesn’t it? In relation to ourselves and our music, our goal is to share it with as many people as possible. Spotify is an excellent medium for doing so and gives us, as artists, a way to track who’s listening and who wants to see us play. We don’t earn enough from Spotify to quit our day jobs, but that means it’ll take us longer to put out new music. We never set out to do this for money.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
S: There’s no song we wish we’d written, though many inspire or impress us as musicians. Massive Attack’s “Teardrop”, is an excellent example of how less is more. Sometimes it’s more effective to keep things simple and combine elements cleverly than to write something flamboyant and virtuosic. That song gives us goosebumps even now.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
S: The merch battle between bands and venues is getting a little out of hand, this may be a sign of the times, given the cost-of-living crisis. It’s a shame because of how much the two entities rely on each other to succeed.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
S: We always have material being written or worked on, though right now, we’re just
focused on spreading the word. For some listeners, it’s not just a song, it’s medicine and we take that seriously.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
S: You can find us on all socials and music platforms, just search for “Skarthia”.
If you want to buy our music, you can do so at Bandcamp. Otherwise, you can stream our music on Spotify, Youtube, Tidal, Deezer, Apple Music etc.
Check out our new release, “Legacy”. If you like your music ferocious, dripping with riffs and good melodies, then this is what we aim to deliver. We really hope you enjoy it!
Band/Artist location – London, UK
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Check our page for Skarthia