Midweek rock n’ roll time – here’s Sky Valley Mistress to tell you all about themselves!
How did you meet?
Russell used to play bass in a Scottish Sex Pistols tribute band called ‘The Sax Pastuls” and me and Kay went to one of their shows before we had any idea who he was. The show ended up with him knocking their singer out on stage and going on some crazy rant about he was going to bite the head off Ozzy Osbourne because a bat wasn’t punk rock enough. It was pretty damn wild… We both had the same idea and went to talk to him after the show to see if he wanted to be in our band. When we got there Starsky was already talking to him about the same thing and before we all knew it we’d done way too many tequila shots and made a blood pact to start a band.
How long have you been playing as a band?
According to The Stooges’ Wikipedia page, they state us as an influence behind forming their band. I can’t work out the maths behind that either.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
The Californian desert.
What are your influences?
Man, they change all time… Right now we’re listening to Ty Segall, SPQR, Karen O and Danger Mouse, Thee Oh Sees, Foals and WOOZE.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We play loud as fuck electric guitar music. We’re not trying to sound like anyone else but we know it’s been done before and it’ll be done again but that’s the best thing about rock and roll, you don’t need an invite and everyone’s welcome to do whatever the fuck they want.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
A lot of the lyrics have personal meaning to us but we try to write them in a way people can interpret them how they want and put their own meanings to them. Take as much or as little as you want from them when you’re listening, just don’t forget to shake your ass.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We played our 400th show last week so if you ain’t already been to a show, then where have you been?! Imagine the music that would be playing in the elevator down to hell. Not too heavy but just the perfect kind of kick ass jams to get you in the mood to party with Lemmy.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I think Russell stage diving mid song trying to bite the ear off a guy that looked like Ozzy with long hair and round glasses will always be up there as one of those moments. That, or seeing the same guy come to another one of our shows a few months later. I don’t know about you but if someone in a band tried to cannibalise me, I wouldn’t come back. We either played really fuckin’ good that first night or that guy is on another level of rock and roll.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
We all love collecting/hoarding gear so we use a lot of different stuff but Starsky has 3 main guitars a Burns Marquee (left handed), Univox Hi-Flier (right handed flipped) and a Danelectro 59 (left handed). He puts all that through Ampeg V4 head and two Hiwatt 412 cabs.
Russell plays a Fender P Bass, Epiphone Rivoli and a Gibson Ripper and tried to blow the speakers of his Ampeg 610 cab with an SVT head. When it’s my own kit at a show I play a Ludwig Stainless Steel Drum Kit (24” kick, 13”/16”/18” toms) and Kayley uses 2 mics live. A Beta 57 with no FX and a Sennheiser e609 running through a Radial Voco Loco, Boss RT 20, Boss DD20 and a EHX Cathedral.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Our debut album Faithless Rituals out 20th March 2020. Every record comes with coloured vinyl and a board game based around the album in the gatefold sleeve that includes 16 tarot cards, a spinner and 4 playing pieces. Our latest single Skull & Pistons is out now everywhere, so go and listen to that, pre order our record, call your boss and tell them you’re not coming into work because you’ve done everything you need to today.
What are your plans for 2020?
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Two of our favourite bands that we’ve played with have to be Deja Vega and Psyence. They both rip so hard. It wouldn’t matter what the order of the bill, that night would just be one huge party.