Band of Skulls sounds like the name of a band who’d shriek like Lucifer’s bastard spawn and kick the crap out of your crippled grandma – yet, this English garage rock trio are none of the above. Whilst the world continues to spit out an endless stream of indie bands, BOS have gone about and established themselves as the new saviours of rock ’n roll with their audacious debut, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey.
Sergio caught up with Russell Marsden (vocalist/guitarist) and asked him a few questions about the band, the Twilight film series, and England’s shocking World Cup performance.
One thing which has intrigued me the most is your band’s name, Band of Skulls. You could totally pass as a death metal band – don’t you think?
Maybe. Maybe a frustrated goth metal band forced to play the blues (laughs).Naming yourself is a very strange experience. In the early days, we used to have one kid in the front row, with eyeliner on, looking a bit confused (laughs).
Speaking of eyeliner, one of your tracks appeared on The Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack. Are you a fan of the series at all?
That’s our goth problem, isn’t it? (laughs) We’d basically known about Twilight before we were asked to do it, but our reasons [for appearing on the soundtrack] were for us. Considering all the other bands who were asked to do it, do we want to be on the same CD as Muse, Thom Yorke, etc., etc.? Yes! If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us.
You’ve been touring around Europe for a while now, are you going to be slowing down now heading into the festive season?
Slowing down in the sense that we’ve finished touring, but, in fact, we’ve already started – when we’re not on the road– the next record. That’s where our minds are right now; making the next record. That’s what keeps us going.
So what have you started to do with the new record? Anything different from Baby Darling Doll Face Honey?
There are ideas we are hoping to explore, which we couldn’t explore on our first record just because we were asked to release it so quickly. Obviously, we’ve had all the time in between, but right now we’ve got our songs and our producer Ian Davenport has listened to what we’ve got so far. It’s a very similar process; just we’ve got a bigger studio and a bit more time. We’re writing a record to tour the world, rather than the last time where we didn’t know what we were writing for (laughs).
Many people have cited Band of Skulls as “grassroots rock ’n roll”. Do you feel musicians nowadays are going back in time for inspiration rather than look at contemporaries?
I don’t know. We’ve never really looked in a particular sort of era for inspiration or anything; just listened to great music. Probably what’s happening at the moment is that music – or popular music – is becoming very sanitised, sequenced, auto-tuned, and all these things – and some people just need a more natural, organic sort of sound.
Final question, will you guys be coming to South Africa soon or does South Africa still hold bad memories after England’s recent performance at the FIFA World Cup?
(Laughs) I’ve done a couple of interviews with South Africa and we always have this joke: you do an interview and a few months later, you go to the show and say thanks for the interview. I really hope so. It would be a brand new adventure for us and it would be really great. I was in Germany when the World Cup was happening and I had the pleasure of watching that terrible performance (laughs). I hope we can come and have a more successful time.