In Conversation With Band of Skulls

BOSkullsIn a very short span of time, Southampton, UK group Band of Skulls has an impressive list of accomplishments and is steadily seeing their fortunes change for the best.

Mixing classic rock, guitar-heavy bands like Led Zeppelin with modern groups like The White Stripes, their debut record ‘Baby Darling Doll Face Honey’ is a potent blues-driven mix of both these bands.

Band of Skulls vocalist-guitarist Russell Marsden doesn’t deny the band wearing their influences on their sleeves but admits that defining a specific genre for the group is not easy for anybody, not even the band.

“There’s some disagreement within the band over what our songs should sound like,” Marsden admits from the band’s recent American tour.

“At the end of the day though, I’d like to think that our record isn’t necessarily defined by the sound or style of our songs, but rather by the excitement that went into making the record. I don’t think that good music is tied down to one specific genre or time period. The three of us in the band get inspired and excited by all kinds of different records covering many genres of music.”

According to Marsden, the Band of Skulls members have always held diverse musical influences, with their members having played in other bands ranging from extreme metal to jazz music.

‘Baby Darling Doll Face Honey’ was recorded, mixed and mastered from January through to March 2009 at Radiohead’s Courtyard Studios in the UK.

The band’s first taste of success arrived only a scant month later when they came to the attention of influential online music retailer iTunes. The company was so excited about Band of Skulls’ music that they selected their track ‘I Know What I Am’ to be the coveted iTunes Single of the Week in April, despite their record not yet being released.

The song racked up more than 350,000 downloads between Canada and the U.S., giving the band an unprecedented level of exposure before they even had a record available for purchase. In addition to the iTunes coup, buzz was steadily building from critics and fans alike and positive word about the band began spreading internationally.

And as if all of the above isn’t enough, the group landed their song ‘Blood’ in an episode of the popular HBO series True Blood and has a track (‘Friends’) on the upcoming soundtrack to New Moon, the next installment of the Twilight movie series.

If things have been happening too quickly for the group, Marsden hides the stress well.

“So far, it’s been amazing; we are very lucky but it’s strange because in our little bubble nothing has really changed. More people are discovering us and you sense something building, but in other ways, it’s just another day,” he says.

These days, Band of Skulls are adjusting to the touring life rather well. They have practically been going non-stop since Spring and Marsden doesn’t foresee things slowing down until the holidays.

“We are trying to find a balance that we are happy with between playing live and finding the time to get more songs written. We love playing shows but are trying to get some more writing done. We don’t want a long gap between our records, so in our minds, we’d like to retreat and focus on making some new music.”

Band of Skulls excellent debut record ‘Baby Darling Doll Face Honey’ is available in stores and online now.

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