Interview: Malum Sky

Formed in 2014, progressive metal band Malum Sky hail from Cardiff and won Metal to the Masses on their first attempt, played to huge crowds at a number of UK festivals and already have a couple of releases under their belts. Malum Sky are due to release their next mini-album towards the end of the year, so I thought now would be a good time to catch up with the band and see how they are getting on composing this piece of art and their plans to tour. Thanks for your time guys and wish you the best with the release of the album.

First of all, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for our readers at Moshville Times. Let’s start off with an easy one first shall we and tell our readers how things with Malum Sky began?

Malum Sky began with Mike looking to form a band, which led to Saki joining as he was in university with Mike at the time. Mike’s girlfriend at the time knew Jon’s girlfriend, so that’s how Mike and Jon met. A few drummers took the stool until eventually Joe arrived and made the stool his own. Original vocalist Abraham decided to leave the band shortly after releasing the first EP, and after a long search for a replacement we found Ben.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc?
Ben (vocal)
Shure SM58, Boss VE-20 FX

Jon (guitar)
Laney vh100r, Orange PPC212ob, Ibanez Iron Label, TC Electronic Flashback, Engl Screamer, Ernie Ball strings

Mike (guitar)
Jackson Guitars, Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, Zilla Cab, Ernie Ball strings

Saki (bass)
Ibanez SR535, Warwick Streamer LX, Squier Vintage MOD Precision Bass, Ashdown Rootmaster, Ernie Ball strings

Joe (drums)
Yamaha Kit, Sabian Cymbals, Remo Pinstripe Skins, Vic Firth sticks

All things going well, you are going to be releasing a new album in the coming months. What can you tell your fans and the metal world about the sound of the new album and will there be a change from your previous material?

Yes! Our new mini-album will be out at the end of the year. The sound of Malum Sky has definitely evolved since the first EP. The core progressive and technical elements of the sound are still present, but the music and its energy has become something more visceral and arresting than before. There is more aggression in the new material, and more exploration of where we can take our music, technically and emotionally.

Malum Sky is definitely not shy in front of the camera. Do you have plans to record a few videos for the forthcoming album?

We do. The first video from the new album is being filmed very soon and we are also currently planning the second one!

How often is the band able to get together and rehearse in the studio? Where do you get together and record?

We usually write and rehearse in Cardiff. We like to get together as often as possible but sometimes time constraints mean we can only get together when we have to! We’ve actually just said goodbye to our first long serving rehearsal room! *sobs* Onwards and upwards though!

How are the songs constructed in the studio? Are there the main songwriters of songs that take care of everything or is Malum Sky a band where all members contribute to the songs?

The songs usually start with an idea from Mike and/or Jon and then the rest of us get involved. We all bring our thoughts and ideas to the table, we try everyone’s ideas out and usually stick with what works best for the song. It’s definitely a collaborative group effort to bring the whole song to fruition.

With members being in bands beforehand and now currently a five piece band in Malum Sky, do you feel that you are all writing the music that you want to record? Is there a bit of negotiating between members when songs and ideas are being recorded or are the band always on the same wavelength when it comes to song writing?

There is definitely a lot of negotiating! That is perhaps one of the most enjoyable things about writing music. Having lots of different ideas and perspectives means we can explore a lot of options for each song and figure out what works best. Ideally we would only write music that we would be happy to record, but there are always those ideas that end up on the cutting room floor! It’s all part of the creative process.

What should a metal fan expect from a Malum sky live show?

The energy, precision and passion vortex!!! We always give 100% and we aim to get 100% back from the crowd. It’s an intense energy transference process, feeding off each other and making the show the best it can be for everyone.

(c) Will Tudor Photography

Malum Sky won Metal to the Masses for South Wales last year. How was the experience of playing live at Bloodstock?

Absolutely fantastic! Can we do it every year please?! The gig itself went really well for us, the tent just kept filling up more and more as our set progressed. We got a very enthusiastic response from the crowd and press alike. The whole festival was a very smooth experience for us. It’s extremely well organised and the staff are all very friendly and helpful. There is a feeling of community at Bloodstock that you just don’t get anywhere else.

How hard has it been to juggle the touring side of things with the everyday jobs? Do you have plans to go on bigger tours and further afield in 2018?

It can be painfully difficult sometimes, to be honest. It all depends how far you are willing to go and how badly you want it! A lot of bands end up calling it a day at this level due to the sometimes impossible task of juggling two usually incompatible careers. If you’re lucky, you’ll have people around you that want you to succeed and support you. We are all realists in Malum Sky and that definitely helps us work together and stay on top of things. We have plans to tour later this year with a short run of dates in August with fellow Metal to the Masses winners Kinasis. We hope to have more dates confirmed for this year as well, watch this space. With the album releasing at the end of the year, you can expect us to be on the road as much as possible in 2019.

How hard is it for a progressive metal band like Malum Sky to survive in the current climate where bands have to tour non stop and sell merchandise in order to bring money back into the band?

It depends how you look at it. From a business perspective there is always going to be battle happening, that’s the nature of the music business. You have to be very successful before you start getting back anything close to what you put in, in terms of money and personal sacrifice. It goes back to how far you are willing to go and how bad you want it. I think the power and impetus that drives the songwriting and live performance of the band is something that’s independent of the business elements. You have to have that musical relationship working by itself before anything else can happen.

Hailing from Cardiff, there is a strong metal scene throughout the whole of Wales and the UK and yet it is difficult for a band from these shores to reach the next level. Why do you think that may be?

I guess the most obvious reasons are geography, economy and diversity. Let’s take London and the surrounding areas as an example. It is a larger area, there is a larger economy, and a larger population, which means greater diversity of people and music. There are more venues and more people to support them. The grassroots music scene has taken a kicking since the last recession and a lot of venues have closed down. That has contributed with a negative effect on the UK music scene in general. Despite all this, the scene we have at home in South Wales is vibrant, and full of diverse metal bands all just waiting to be discovered!

I thank you for your time in answering these questions. A fun question to end this interview. If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 5 CDs to the party, what would they be?

Ben – Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Jon – Karnivool – Sound Awake
Mike – Periphery – Periphery II: This Time it’s Personal
Saki – Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against The Machine
Joe – Mastodon – Crack the Skye

Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?

Watch out for a new music video dropping in Oct/Nov time! The mini-album will be along soon after! That will give everyone plenty of time to learn the songs ready for what will hopefully be 2019 on the road! Like our Facebook page, Subscribe to our YouTube channel, Follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and support your local music venues!!!

Malum Sky: facebook | twitter | instagram | soundcloud



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