Foreign Skies hit us like a juggernaut on first listen and had us hooked ever since. We thought we'd catch up with the band and find out what makes them tick, and how they came to make music that is both magical and mystical but also delivers a supreme punch.

There's probably not any particular way to start, so I'll just make a comment about how this EP is very instrumental oriented, is that something that came about through design or was it an organic thing?

The way we tend to work is really instrumentally driven, I listen to a lot of instrumental music so it tends to come more naturally to me to write something and work the vocals round it! I do like the result and I'm glad its noticeable that we are instrumentally driven! Jamie Coltart

It was pretty much organic in the way of individual influences and each other's goals for the EP. We've had a lot of comment on how the music isn't as 'post-rock' and 'progressive' as we let out to be, but it's that aspect that we love to toy with. We would love to realease ten minute instrumentals but as a band starting out it's not demographically efficient in terms of embracing people to listen to the tracks, so that's where the vocal input came from... We would love to go full instrumental and release the material that we are capable of, but that's for the future! Calum Strain

Yeah we both got that from the album, for us the music was the stong and the vocal became more apparent on the 3rd or 4th listen. Is the first release from you guys?

We definately write the songs completely instrumental and 'quickly' add vocals later, usually with a tight timescale that we have a gig or recording coming up Calum Strain

We released our debut single 'Bloody Stitched Skin' in March 2013, it was a really good start for us and luckily we found a producer we worked well with first time and could confidently return to record the EP Jamie Coltart

it was one of the things that both of us picked up, the instrumental focus. Talking of production, it's very clean and crisp, is this something that was your choice or the engineers choice?

I think it was really a joint decision, Paul (our producer) works differently with different bands. Since the first recording we all have became really close friends with Paul and he really got to know what production qualities we liked, what influenced us and how we worked! So I think that Paul really picked up on what we liked and what we wanted from the EP and ran with it! Im also really picky with my guitar tones and sounds but from working with Paul I had complete trust in his suggestions which I think really helped for the recording process! Jamie Coltart

yeah, being a guitarist myself it does help when engineers/producers actually get what you're trying to do, rather than being too overbearing in what they want to do - when it's a happy union, that's when the magic happens

I couldn't agree more! I've worked with producers previously who are great, but that just try and mold you into 'their' sound too much. I really think Paul takes what a band has and works with it instead of trying to get a sound he is comfortable with. Personally I would also prefer to put out a record that was a bit risky but maybe not as well received rather than have just a safe sounding record and I think we all felt that during the recording process Jamie Coltart

going back to the risque angle of the songs, is that something that drives you as a band - being something a bit different (whatever that means) rather than just plugging out tracks that are radio friendly or whatever?

The whole 'clean and crispy' sound would have definately been a blend between mutal decision and natural engineering of the EP, we more focused on the dynamic feel of the record, and through that the development of the overall sound would have became apparent as we had so much dynamic level in each track, a muddier or grungier sound would have masked initally what we intended the sound to be like, Paul definately picked up on that Jamie Coltart

As i mentioned earlier with the addition of vocals, as a band starting out, we have to appeal to a wider audience, so we would love in the future to develop into a more niche audence but for thisnow we have to adhere to the unwritten rules of the book, but rules are made to be broken so im sure each realease will sound more and more eclectic by nature Calum Strain 

I think the risk aspect of it comes naturally. Together we all have different influences as such and so we dont usually aim to be that band who have a very specific nor particular sound. We all gel together well and push out what we like and the outcome really works well for us Kevin Hanson

I don't really think we have intended to release to a mainstream audience though I think its just going to be a natural progression for us. We've have always talked about the difference in mainstream and what we love doing, and the is a huge gap between the two, so trying to find a balance between them without releasing material that isnt who we are was always an aspect of writing that we always adressed. A perfect example would be the difference between Bloody Stitched Skin and the EP opener Swells... Its all about natural progression and a vision of where you want to be in the future, and by finding the perfect glue to make that happen, hopefully we will achieve that Calum Strain

given what you've said about being something different to what the mainstream is looking for, how do you feel about the whole social network side of things? for example, I'm guessing the count of facebook likes isn't as important as the number of people who actually appreciate the music?

Again trying to get as many people listening to the music as possible is great, but hearing back from somebody who genuinely loves the tracks is one of the greatest feelings and drives us to do more. Social media is a great way of getting your music out there to so many people, but the return of the very few who appreciate's the music makes everything worthwhile. At the end of the day, most social media platforms tent to be free to an extent, so free exposure with a small return of dedicated fans is a win/win all round Calum Strain

Yeah I think the social networking side of things isn't as important given the kind of sound we have. I think at one point our download count was higher than our page likes. Though I really enjoy the engagement part of social networking it doesn't really bother me if people aren't engaging when I can see they are still obviously into our music Jamie Coltart

You guys seem to have a very close view on what you want - how did you meet, where did it all start etc?

Me and kevin have been best pals for years and always wanted to write music together. We finally found the time to write together and initially played with another guitarist/vocalist, which was great but we didnt have the passion for it as we do today. I then met Jamie at college while studying Music Business together, he showed me his other recordings and felt he shared the same ambition as kevin and myself. I brought him into the studio with us two and there was a genuine bond between us all - through the music. At this point Jamie and Kev barely knew eachother, apart from knowing eachothers names.. yet both of them shared an un-real 'tightness' in the studio together. From there we all became personally so close to eachother and from bringing Kev and Jamie together, to this day, i am still mind blowin how two individuals who had never met managed to produce the outcome that we did. They both gel unbelievably with eachother, and personally I dont think I could have found three people to bring together any better Calum Strain

what are your thoughts on management and the like? Is it something you feel you'd need or are you more than happy doing things your way - unless of course you found someone with the same vision

Thats something we have all thought about. I could give you another big speil, but the simple answer is the Jamie and myself studied Music Management quite intensively, so for now we are more than capable of handling everything ourselves. However if the right person or company came along with the right vision, we would happlily take another think Calum Strain

I really think that management within the band is important, personally I don't think anyone can be more driven to help the band succeed other than the the people writing the music. However there is obviously times where that is just not possible or someone will be able to take it that step up. I wouldn't be against outside management I just don't think its really appropriate until the right opportunity came up Jamie Coltart

We all know where we want to be with Foreign Skies and as individuals, but the main thing that drives us is eachother. If everything ended tomorrow, I couldnt be thankfull enough to have spent time writing track with the other two, it has been a brilliant experience and hopefully we can continue this for a long while to come Calum Strain

Do you guys play outside Glasgow? If so what's your thoughts on the music scene elsewhere compared to your home soil? A few folk have mentioned to us that Edinburgh is fast becoming the place to play? Do you think Glasgow is a bit over saturated?

I really love playing shows away from the city you are based. Getting to play infront of a whole new crowd and seeing how you are received I think is an important part of playing live. Playing home shows can be great too but I think if you play it too regularly and start to see familiar faces you kind of need to stop for a while. We haven't played a lot of shows outside Glasgow but we haven't played that many shows at all yet. We have been asked to play outside Glasgow a good few times which I think is good as it shows we are getting interest from elsewhere! I don't think any of us have had much experience playing Edinburgh but i found it a bit of a struggle trying to book shows for there, hopefully we can report back soon on what an Edinburgh show is like! I kind of think the Glasgow gig scene is just a bit too big, coming from a small town and going to play small towns that don't have much music coming through really shakes things up for their community and people all really seem to appreciate you going out there for them! Not saying Glasgow punters don't enjoy live shows just with so much choice it is quite difficult to appreciate all that is going on! Jamie Coltart

From just gigging experience in Glasgow I think it is basically about who you bring, there doesn't seem to be many people just popping into random gigs in Glasgow! Edinburgh is definitely somewhere we plan to be going to in the next few months so I look forward to it! Jamie Coltart

Thanks to the guys for taking the time to talk to us. You can find out more about the band from the following sites:

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ForeignSkiesOfficial

Bandcamp - http://foreignskies.bandcamp.com

iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id881499878

Contact - ForeignSkies@outlook.com


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previous events

One Night In Rio

On 20th July 2013 we hosted "One Night In Rio", at The Rio Cafe. Seven fantastic artists played and it was the perfect cool down to a hot, hot day. Megan D, Nik Garcia, Sophie Rogers, Martin Livingstone, Christine Bovill, Genesee, CS Buchan and Friends

Get Your Noses Out

On the 3rd of March, 2011, we organised an event to raise money for Comic Relief - "Get Your Noses Out". Robert Bowden, Dean Tajwar, Bruce Nicol and Rufus & Ben provided a great night of comedy and music.

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