Let’s Outshine the Sun with Skytown in this Creator Conversation. Answering the questions is Dale Crain (vocals/lead guitar), Jason Ford (Guitar), Eliot Cooper (Drums), Tim Burress (acoustic guitar/vocals), David Williams (Bass Guitar), and John Edens (Electric Guitar). We talk about their music, how they funded their album recording, filming their music video, riding Spanish horses, and more.
How do you describe yourself and your band’s music?
JASON: We feel that we’re a pretty grounded band and we feel our music reflects that. We’re all small-town guys and experience the same problems and life-issues that nearly everyone else in the world experiences on a daily basis. And I think that comes through in our music. We don’t sing about twerking girls or flashy cars or sipping on Dom in the French Riveria. We sing about picking yourself up after having your dreams crushed. Or fixing up a busted ride cuz it’s the only ride you have. Or going out the bar and hanging with our friends. What you hear us sing about onstage is what we live on a daily basis. There’s no pretentiousness here. What you see is what you get. And we’re cool with that. We never set out to make music that was fake or dishonest. There are plenty other bands out there making music and singing about their fairy-tale lives and that’s just not reality for us or for the vast majority of people. We just want to be who we are and play music that reflects that.
Use only seven words to describe your album, Outshine the Sun?
JOHN: “Great album. Wish I was on it.”
(John joined Skytown a few months after the album was recorded)
What was the greatest challenge you had when making the album?
JASON: Honestly, the greatest challenge was coming up with the money to record it. We had been playing the songs for quite a while, and were real comfortable with them, so they were pretty much worked out and so very little changes were made in the studio from how they were written. The actual recording of the album was in reality, pretty easy and uneventful. Coming up with the money it took was really the greatest challenge.
How did you come with the money for the album then?
We came up with the money for the album by busting our asses playing shows, sometimes 3-4 in a week and a lot of the times the sets were 3+ hour sets on consecutive nights. We played anything and anywhere we could find. We had a lot of support from our friends and family and everyone made some personal sacrifices along the way, but really, it was just good old fashioned hard work and dedication.
How can one outshine the sun?
“Outshine the Sun became almost a challenge to us to go out and demand attention. Not in an arrogant or prideful way, but in a way that leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that when you go to a Skytown show, you’re going to see a band that leaves everything on the stage, every single night, no questions asked.”ELIOT: The phrase ‘Outshine the Sun’ comes from a line in our song ‘Belly of a Whale’ that says ‘And the moon can’t outshine the sun’ and in that context it means that there are some things in life that are universal, ie, you can’t change the mistakes in your past, you can only learn from them and move on, etc. But as an album title, that phrase ‘Outshine the Sun’ became more of a metaphor about what we wanted to do as a band and with our music. We want to be noticed. We want people to remember us. And in the crowded world of Rock-n-Roll, bands that make the biggest and most lasting impressions are the ones that ‘shine’ the brightest. So ‘Outshine the Sun’ became almost a challenge to us to go out and demand attention. Not in an arrogant or prideful way, but in a way that leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that when you go to a Skytown show, you’re going to see a band that leaves everything on the stage, every single night, no questions asked. We want to be the band people remember when they shuffle through hundreds or thousands of artists on Spotify or Pandora. We want to be the band that stands out. We want to be the brightest object in the sky.”
What advice do you have for people to not let vultures eat their dreams?
DALE: Always keep your family and your friends (these are the ‘Blackbirds’) flying close. Without their ‘songs’ or words of encouragement, this strange world of Vultures we live in will always eat your dreams.
Let’s talk about the music video for Through Circles. What was the process like for you?
TIM: For me, the process was a lot of fun! Filming everyday for a week straight, some days from sun down til sun up. With help from our manager, Joel Rekiel of BLDGBLKS Music and our family and friends, it was awesome to see the finished product.
Have you ever rode a Spanish Horse?
DALE: Haha. Only in my dreams.
What else would you like people to know about yourself and your music?
DAVID: I would just like people to know that it’s real and we believe in it (and ourselves) whole-heartedly. We’ve all got something invested in this sound we’ve created and you can feel it in every performance. And we’d love to share that with people and invite anyone to come out (to our next show) and experience it for themselves.
For more on the band, visit weareskytown.com