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Preview Band of Skulls

After three years of touring and enjoying the success of their debut record, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, Band of Skulls will be back in Leeds with new material. We chatted with drummer Matt Hayward about the Southampton band’s sophomore effort, their post-gig rituals and how much they love Leeds

Preview: Band of Skulls

Although we haven’t heard anything new from Band of Skulls since their 2009 album Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, the blues rock trio have been able to keep themselves fresh in our minds through other means. From placements on various films and TV programmes including True Blood, Skins and My Soul to Take and appearing on The Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack, fans don’t have to wait for the band’s next gig to hear their music. And with music sales decreasing each day, the band welcome these opportunities to expose Band of Skulls to people who normally wouldn’t listen to blues rock.

“In this sort of day, for us to carry on as a band, sometimes you can’t be so precious with what your music is used for,” says drummer Matt Hayward. “Ultimately, it gets your music out to more people that you thought would never have heard of you otherwise. Then you can’t be too against it really. It’s not something we strive for or are looking for. But we have been asked quite a lot so we look at the things. And if we feel there’s something that can do some good and allow more people to hear about us then we’ll let it happen.”

Luckily for us, Band of Skulls will finally release a new album, Sweet Sour, on 20th February. The record’s first single, ‘The Devil Takes Care of His Own’, which Hayward says was a real joint effort by him, guitarist and singer Russell Marsden and bassist and vocalist Emma Richardson, has already been on rotation since December,. “It definitely felt like a bridge song between the last record and this new record,” says Hayward. “It encompasses all three of us really.”

Staying true to gritty strings and heavy rhythms, ‘The Devil Takes Care of His Own,’ is just a taste of what Band of Skulls are bringing to the new album as well as their upcoming show at Stylus at Leeds University Union. Hayward promises that they will play old and new material, but the old stuff will be “louder and bigger than it was before”.

“It will be a mixture of the two. It was really nice because on the first record, we did so much touring. When you’re touring with one record, it’s hard to fill the set when you have 10 or so songs. Now we have the luxury of these two records,” Hayward says.

It isn’t Band of Skulls’ first time in Leeds, as they played at the Leeds Festival in 2010 as well as a set in The Cockpit, and Hayward admits that the band always loves coming back. “We, as a band, love Leeds as a town,” Hayward says. “We can’t tell you exactly why, but every time we go there we have a brilliant time. We’re actually very excited to go back there.”

Although Hayward couldn’t recall exactly where his favourite spots were, he revealed that the band tends to frequent the local bars, especially if they had a successful night. “After the show, we’re a big band for celebrating,” Hayward says. “If it’s gone well, it’ll be a big night out. If it hasn’t gone well, everybody’s devastated and they sort of cool off and go into their own corners I guess.”

Find out which it will be when Band Of Skulls play Stylus in Leeds University Union on 18th February

Posted on Wednesday 18th January 2012
Emily Tan

Leeds University Union

Lifton Place, University Of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT

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