Interview - The sky is alright

Sky is Alright is a shoegaze band based in London and Los Angeles. 
The band is comprised of members of Signal Hill and The Littlest Viking, both of which paved the way for LA’s post-rock and math-rock scenes from the early 2000s.

Hi Guys and welcome to this interview. Tell us about your latest release Sky is alright.
Rishi: Thanks for having us! Last June we released our debut self-titled LP. It was released on
digital, vinyl and CD via Somewherecold Records. Our recent release “Sky is Alright Acoustics”
features acoustic versions of 3 of the songs: “Sky is Alright”, “Mistress Pessimist” and “Indigo

How would you describe your sound?
Rishi: Loud guitars and drums combined with breathy vocals. The contrast between loud and
soft is really important for us. It defines not just our sound but also highlights a duality within
the band: there are 2 of us, and we are split between LA and London. We’ve brought this out in
the album art as well, with the 2 sisters on the cover. In terms of connecting to other
bands/albums, I would say Siamese Dream distortion mixed with breathy vocals a la Pinback or
American Analog Set.

What do you write about?
Chris: Rishi comes up with awesome shit, I just try to not fuck it up with stupid, ostentatious
drum fills.

Rishi: Given the current state of the world, life is feeling more like a
struggle. So our songs tend to glorify another time and place. We try to paint a picture of some
faraway landscape that is more appealing than our current reality. So there is usually an
escapist (and sometimes defeatist) element. The LP tracks are about:
1. A beach in Greece
2. Escaping city life via self-medication
3. My wife (who is quite the pessimist!)
4. Leaving LA 12 years ago
5. Living with a bi-polar partner
6. Escapism amidst a world in chaos
7. A night of bad decisions resulting in an existential crisis
8. Finding solace in the simple act of throwing a rock into a lake (knowing that the rock will
be static, at the bottom of the lake for longer than the rest of my life

What do you listen to when you are home?
Chris: Purple Rain, the Clueless Soundtrack, and the Crow Soundtrack almost exclusively.

Rishi: It depends! If I have friends over: Tears for Fears, Echo and the Bunnymen, Jamie XX, and
Beach Fossils (digging the new piano ballads). If my wife and I are just chilling: Erik Satie, Laura
Groves, Conius, and The Album Leaf (especially his latest re-imagining of “One Day I’ll be On

Your favourite live performance so far?
Rishi: This is a tough question! I recently saw New Order at the O2 in London. This was my first
show after the lockdown. So it was an epic one just because it felt so good to see live music
again. They played all the hits plus a couple Joy Division tracks so it was a real treat. In terms of
past shows, I would say these are my most memorable:
Death Cab for Cutie & The Dismemberment Plan @ The Epicentre in San Diego, Feb 28, 2002
No Knife @ The Casbah in San Diego, Jan 23, 2009
Blur @ Canes in San Diego, June 15, 1997

Chris: For sure this is a hard one. The best show I’ve ever seen is probably Do Make Say Think,
Anohni a close second. The most fun I had was probably at one of the early Zwan shows at
Cane’s in Pacific Beach (RIP). My adolescent brain couldn’t process being like 10 feet away
from Jimmy Chamberlin

Tell us a funny story that happened in studio or on stage
Rishi: Chris has the best laugh. It’s one of those sharp, slightly jarring laughs where you’re not
sure if he’s actually laughing or just faking. But either way it is hilarious and sounds awesome. A
few of those laughs snuck into his drum takes in the studio. Was hoping they would make an
appearance in the final mix, but no luck! Maybe on LP2!

Chris: The second album is going to be just me trying to perfect Eddie Murphy’s infectious laugh.

Your favourite albums?
“Siamese Dream” Smashing Pumpkins
“American Don” Don Caballero
“Apollo Stars” Golden
“The View from this Tower” Faraquet
“On” Imperial Teen
“Control” Janet Jackson
“Self titled” Owls
“Dopethrone” Electric Wizard
“Power, Corruption, & Lies” New Order
“IV” Fucking Champs
“Fix My Brain” The Marked Men
That’s probably too many but #yolo

Rishi: Love this question! Here are the ones that immediately come to mind:
“We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes” - Death Cab for Cutie
“Blue Screen Life” - Pinback
“Fire in the City of Automatons” - No Knife
“Know by Heart” - American Analog Set
“Clinging to a Scheme” - The Radio Dept
“Tired of Tomorrow” - Nothing
“Fighting Starlight” - Benton Falls
“Dream Signals In Full Circles” - Tristeza
“At Home” - Keep Shelly in Athens
“Life of Leisure” - Washed Out

A musician you would like to meet for a beer?
Rishi: Back in the day I probably would have said Ben Gibbard, but now I will go with Erik Satie,
mostly just to ask him if “Vexations” is really meant to be 18 hours long.

Chris: Either of the brothers Gallagher, collectively they’re the Don Rickles of rock and roll, so I
would want to hear either of them just read random musicians to filth.

What would you ask backstage if you were the most important band on earth?
Chris: Basically the backyard of the kid from Blank Check.

Rishi: I would love to have a soundproof room to mellow out in before shows. I’m boring these
days, so there will likely be minimal party antics haha.

What are your plans for the next future?
Chris: Really excited to start playing shows, and working on new stuff is always my favorite part
of being in a band.

Rishi: Ideally it would be great to play shows! Though it’s really difficult aligning schedules since
we live so far away from one another, and travel is still not super easy these days. But hopefully
2022 will see some Sky is Alright shows. We also have a handful of songs already written for a
second LP. And in the short term, we have a 3-song “Sky is Alright Remixes” EP coming out on
Friday November 19th!
Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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