Recently finished a “world tour of Scotland”, Glasgow’s own Altered Sky took a few minutes out to answer some of our inane questions. Thanks to the band themselves and the lovely Lisa at Rage PR for linking us up!
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first… Altered Sky? Who the hell are you?
We’re a rock band from Glasgow, Scotland: Ana, Amy, Ross & Rich! Who the hell are you anyway? How did you get this number? Is “Moshville” even a real place??? [in my head it it is – Mosh]
How did you guys meet?
Ross met Ana on Myspace (we miss Myspace) back in 2009, Ana knew Amy and Ross knew Rich. Initially we got together with the idea of recording some tracks as session players for Ana who had written few songs as a singer/songwriter. From the first rehearsal we realised there was a chemistry between us: we got on like a house on fire! We soon decided to become a proper band and Altered Sky was born!
And what kind of music do you play? If you were trying to convince me to buy your EP or come to a gig, how would you sell yourselves?
We’re a rock band – it’s hard to define more specifically than that, but some cool UK bands to use as comparisons would be Young Guns and Mallory Knox. We love that big sound they get and combining that with all our own influences (from Japanese anime and video game music to Lady Gaga) we get a sound which we think is pretty unique. You should definitely buy an EP and come to all our gigs or Ana and Amy will kick your arse. We’re not joking – dinnae mess with them!
Incidentally, I love the cover art for Stop and Live. Who did that for you and how does it fit in with the album/lyrical theme?
Ana had a rough concept of the tinman trying to fix his broken heart before he died and we’re all fans of the steampunk aesthetic. We had a look online for artists who incorporated the sort of style and feel we had in mind. The work of an American digital artist Mike Penn really jumped out at us with his sci-fi/fantasy themes and incredible attention to detail. We got in touch with him and he came back to us with the finished piece which looks even better than we imagined in our heads! The concept itself came from the lyric in Where I Belong: “Wind up / somehow this tin pumps blood”.
You’ve played some name venues up and down the UK (Garage in Glasgow to the 100 Club in London). Why do a tour of Scotland right now? Why not ramp up the dates and cover more of Britain?
Somehow in all the time we’ve been a band, we’ve never managed a run of shows all in Scotland. We decided it was finally time to sort that, so the Scottish tour took shape. It’s been great to play for people who have been asking us to come and see them for ages – to visit towns that we’ve never been to before, despite them being (sort of) on our doorstep. We’re putting together a plan for the rest of the year, which will definitely include a full UK tour as well as some adventures further afield…
I gather you’ve already got plans to begin your conquering of the US with a show (hopefully) at SXSW this year?
It’s definitely on our to-do list, though it’s looking like being 2016 by the time we get to cause chaos in the US. We’re also putting together plans for tours in the Far East, mainland Europe, South America and everywhere in-between!
In case your year’s not busy enough, I gather you’re also working on a full album. When are you hoping to release this? Hell, when do you expect to find time to write and record it?!
Already finished – we’re just that efficient! We recorded the album with Romesh Dodangoda at Longwave Studios in Cardiff in December last year and have just received the first mixes back. We can’t reveal too much, but safe to say the songs are sounding MIGHTY. The plan is to release it later in 2015.
The band’s been together since 2010. Did you always have the aim of creating something serious, or was it a hobby/project that’s taken off?
Since day one, being in this band has been the most fun I’ve ever had. It’s an unusual and very lucky position to be in where you can be having a great time working at something you love with great people. We went into the rehearsal studio that first night in 2010 with a definite goal in mind: to record a few songs together for Ana. Six weeks later we had recorded a demo EP, but even before then we had a new set of goals: to play live shows as Altered Sky and be the best live band we could be. The goals keep changing, but the fun that we have together will continue for a long time to come!
And are you happy with where you are now? Where do you reckon/hope you’ll be in another 5 years?
We feel we’ve been growing steadily for the last few years and have been careful not to rush into anything. We’ve come such a long way already as a band and people from where we were back in 2010, but we’ve always been ambitious, and we’ve got some grand plans ahead! In the short term, it’s going to be hell trying to keep the album under wraps for the next few months: we just want to share our songs with everyone! We’ll be releasing a few teasers soon: a lead single will be on the way soon which will be a taste of what’s to come on the (as yet un-named) album. Looking further ahead, once the album comes out, we plan on doing a whole world’s worth of touring (literally) – playing our songs to as many people in as many places as we can! After that, we’ll see – Ana already has enough songs in her head for another ten albums!
Final question… if you could have one band you look up to offer you a support slot on a tour, who would it be?
Ooooh tough one – between us we’re never able to decide on a single band, and some of these are less likely than others, but it would be incredible to share the stage with 30 Seconds to Mars, Slipknot, or even One Direction! We’re not fussy – we reckon all the crowds at their gigs would enjoy our show! We’d also love to be a part of The Warped Tour in the US: that really would be living the dream!