Some of you may be aware that our photographer Lara and I went to see Skyclad and Skiltron play at Bannerman’s Bar in Edinburgh a couple of Saturdays ago (17/1/15), and that I was supposed to get interviews with both bands which unfortunately didn’t happen. Well it so happens that after continued communication with Skiltron mainman Emilio Souto, we managed to get a few questions answered via e-mail yesterday!
Thanks again to Emilio for his time and patience. Hopefully we can catch up with Skiltron again in the future!
I believe the band has been around since 2004 so recently Skiltron would have been celebrating it’s 10th anniversary – how has the first decade of the band been?
Many things have happened, it’s not easy to hold a band and 10 years is a lot of time. Within these years we have recorded 4 albums, played lots of gigs and recently we could make it to Europe, playing festivals and tours, which is extremely hard to achieve for a band from Argentina. Overall we are more than happy with what we have been doing and of course we’re going for more!
How did Skiltron come together in the beginning?
The roots of the band came from another band we used to play in, also with Matias (drums). This was a few years before the concept of Skiltron was born. At some point we decided to make a band like this, so we started to work on some songs around 2003, still without the name of the band. Later in 2004 we recorded a demo and started to put the band together.
There has been a lot of changes in the lineup over the years, with the core members being Emilio and Matias – how is the lineup today and is this lineup stable for the foreseeable future?
Well, they were some changes but lately we are mostly playing with some session musicians, so… The band right now is me on guitar, Matias Pena on drums, Ignacio Lopez on bass, Pereg ar Bagol on Bagpipes, and on the live shows we have Martin McManus on vocals, who is not a full time member but is singing with the band since last year, so we will see how it works.
One of the main features which makes Skiltron unique is that the lyrics focus on Scottish history, and the band features the use of some traditional Scottish folk melodies via instruments such as bagpipes and tin whistles. What makes the band interested in Scottish history, Scottish music and Scotland in general?
I think that the Scottish story works perfect for our music. I just find it thrilling and so rich, and every time I am there I always try to find new topics to write about.
Musically, besides Scottish folk music, what other influences does Skiltron have?
I like a lot of different music. I don’t know exactly what I will call an influence and what I don’t. One of my favourite bands ever is Guns N Roses, but I think you can’t find elements like that in our music :P
More close to our sound, I’m a fan of Skyclad, Amorphis, Falconer… just to name a few.
The band are originally from Argentina – are you now more based in Scotland? If so, does this allow for Skiltron to tour the UK and Europe more often (and generally reach a wider fanbase worldwide)?
We are splitting our time between Argentina, Germany and Scotland. Of course being in Europe helps a lot to develop the band and reach more people since it allows us to play more often there.
What plans does Skiltron have for the future? It’s been a couple of years since your last album (2013’s Into the Battleground) so could we see a new Skiltron album this year? Is there any more touring plans this year, and I believe you guys are due to play Wacken this year so could we see any more festival appearances for 2015? Finally, is there any plans for more Scottish shows this year? The Moshville Times will definitely be there to see Skiltron again, especially if you guys are playing in Glasgow!
We are setting some gigs and festivals for 2015 and it certainly is amazing to have the chance to play Wacken for the first time! Actually it’s the first time ever for an Argentinian band, so we are more than happy! And yes, we will be playing again in Scotland in September ;)
Also we are already working on new stuff, probably to be recorded later this year, but we don’t have any official date yet.