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?
Obsidian Skies: We have settled on the genre of Symphonic Progressive Metal, but with all of the subgenres that exist, there are probably a million ways to describe us. All we know for sure is that thrash metal fans would be offended if we used that label. Our songs are lengthy and don’t necessarily follow a standard structure which is why we’ve gone with the progressive tag, and we like to add orchestral layers (including an entire symphonic interlude in one of our songs) so we feel that the symphonic tag fits us well.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
OS: From 2014 to 2017, we were in another band together, Endlight, where Logan played guitar and Tim played bass and vocals. During that time, we learned to work together very well and became the band’s primary songwriters. After the band broke up, we remained close friends but didn’t work together musically for a while, instead focusing on other work. Logan went back to school for a Bachelor’s Degree in Composition, and Tim went through an accelerated full-stack web development program. Around the time the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we began to work together again, meeting every week to write some music together. After a while, the concept of Obsidian Skies began to take shape and we planned this first release.
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?
OS: Nature, the unknown, and science really inspire our lyrical themes and motivate us to write music. Both of us also just have a need to create some form of art and music is a great outlet for that. Great stories and fantastical worlds inspire our songs.
Musically, Tim is influenced by bands like Eluveitie, Ne Obliviscaris, Insomnium, and Alkaloid as well as great bassists like Linus Klausenitzer and Dominic LaPointe. Logan draws a lot of inspiration from tech death bands like Obscura and Alkaloid, as well as classical and film music composers like Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and John Williams.
So far, our songs have all revolved around sci-fi themes with an emotional element. We may diverge from sci-fi, but we’ll always want our music to be story driven.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
OS: Continue making music that we’re proud of and that we can share with the world. Being picked up by a label, like Season of Mist or Nuclear Blast, would be amazing. But so long as we’re able to keep writing music, we’ll be happy.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
OS: As a band, we haven’t been around too long, but we are very proud of this release. We’re extremely satisfied with the EP that we were able to write and record and think that this is the best metal music that either of us has ever written.
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?
OS: It’s definitely a challenge to stand out in the sea of all the artists. We’ve been working with Jon Asher of Asher Media Relations and Tom MacLean of Twelve-Tone Studio, and they’ve both been helping a lot with getting some more exposure. We’re excited to be doing interviews like this to help reach new fans; it’s an avenue that we didn’t really explore before in our previous band, relying primarily on live shows. So far, the reception of the EP has been great! People really seem to be connecting with it, so it’s making promoting it feels a lot more rewarding.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
OS: Currently we are just a studio band so we don’t have any live performances. As we gain more traction, we’d love to tour at some point in the future!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
OS: We know there are definitely problems, especially the low financial payouts of some streaming services. But with the internet simply existing, it’s always going to be possible (and easy) for people to pirate music. We’d much rather have our music get in the hands of potential fans than worry about the few pennies that we would be losing by them downloading it “illegally”. So we’re in full support of any way for our fans to get our music digitally and support streaming sites that facilitate that process.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
OS: We don’t really have any songs that we wish we had written instead of the ones on this EP. We have several exciting ideas in the works that we’re thrilled to start on and will make it onto our next release, a full-length album.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
OS: The DIY aspects of the industry can get really tiring. While it is nice that it’s possible to do everything ourselves, it’s a lot to tackle, and a lot of new ground to break as we don’t always know what we’re doing in terms of marketing, promoting, etc. But it does have the benefit of more creative freedom. While it would be nice to have a more standard model to follow, where an executive deals with a lot of those issues, we know that it would force our music in a certain direction. So there are definitely pros and cons to being an independent artist.
If we could, we’d change the necessity to be “profitable” in a creative field.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
OS: This interview! But no seriously, we’re about to start writing our next album. We plan to sequester ourselves in the woods for a few days to get a good jump start (assuming we don’t hate each other after those few days).
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
OS: You can digitally pre-order the album from our Bandcamp page and the whole album will be available on all major streaming platforms on October 14th. We are currently setting up a merchandise store on our website so that we can print merch on demand for our fans!