THE SKIRR (from l-r): Matt Green (drums), Gus Nicol (bass), Chris Whyte (vocals/guitar).
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
The Skirr are a indie rock three-piece from Stoke-on-Trent.
Since their formation in 2012, the band have impressed many with an upbeat, guitar-led sound coupled with thought-provoking lyrics.
With an acclaimed debut EP ‘Bolt from the Blue’ and new material currently in the works, it seems the trio aren’t going to fade away from the music scene any time soon.
I chatted in-depth with vocalist/guitarist Chris Whyte.
How did the band get together initially?
Gus and I both worked in the same office building and got chatting at the water cooler one day. It turned out we had loads in common, including that we both missed being in a band. So shortly after that, we decided to get together for a jam and that was that!
We have been through a few line up changes over the years, but Matt has been with us for about two years now.
How did the name The Skirr come about?
Our old drummer was a massive fan of owls and the Skirr owl is an extinct species from South America. It also sounds a bit piratey and everyone likes pirates, right?
How would you describe your sound?
Indie rock ‘n’ roll.
Which bands/artists influence you?
It’s hard to say really, but it’s mainly upbeat, catchy, indie rock, stuff like Weezer, REM, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Pixies.
What is the inspiration behind your lyrics?
Mainly life experiences – good and bad. We also write about stuff in the world that affects us. Some are about love, some about break ups, we have one about bullies and others are about all the horrible stuff that is happening in the world.
Do you see yourselves as a political band then?
Not at all! We’re certainly won’t be singing about Brexit or Donald Trump any time soon!
But it’s hard not to write about things that affect you emotionally, be that love, hate or something terrible that’s happening in the world.
You’re all from Stoke-on-Trent. What is your opinion of the music scene there currently?
The Stoke scene is amazing! There are so many talented bands around at the moment and there’s so many awesome venues to play at.
The promoters seem passionate about good live music too which helps, we’re loving it.
How was the recording process for your debut EP ‘Bolt from the Blue’?
Long winded! We were sponsored by MAS Records and it was originally meant to be four singles recorded over two years.
We were in the process of getting the second song ready to release and then our drummer left just after we’d finished the third recording.
So with the help of Woody at The Old Smithy studios in Worcestershire, we programmed a drum track and recorded the title track ‘Bolt from the Blue’ and decided to release all four songs plus ‘Little Sister’ as an EP.
‘Little Sister’ was recorded and produced by Ryan Pinson at RML Studios in Wolverhampton. We’re recording with him again in January, so we should have a new single early next year.
How is the experience of playing live?
Playing live is what it’s all about! We love it! Recording songs is great fun but it doesn’t compare to playing live to an audience. The crowd, when we played at the Freebird in Newcastle-under-Lyme, were simply amazing.
You mentioned earlier that a new single should be out early next year. What can we expect from it?
Well, it’s a song called “Just One Kiss” and it’s a song about jealousy. It’s an upbeat pop rock song with hints of classic T-Rex.
Will there be another EP or maybe even a debut album released on top of that at all?
You’ll have to wait and see, I’m afraid!
We’ve got a renewed energy now we’re a three piece, so you can expect to see and hear a lot more of us in 2017!
What is the band’s long-term aim?
We just want to play our music to people for as long as we can.
We have no aspirations of world domination. We’re not the next Beatles. We’re just three guys who want to rock out and enjoy live music with our fans!
Anything else you would like to say?
Only that we’re supporting ALMA when they play at The Underground in Hanley on 17th December. It’d be great to see some familiar faces!
THE SKIRR’S DEBUT EP ‘BOLT FROM THE BLUE’ IS AVAILABLE NOW.
TWO OF THE SINGLES FROM THIS, ‘STEAL THE SUN’ AND ‘LITTLE SISTER’, ARE AVAILABLE ON iTunes, GOOGLE PLAY, SPOTIFY, AMAZON AND MORE.