Interview With 'Skyeladder'
Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?
Hi we are called Skyeladder and we are based in Lancashire UK. The band was initially formed via Janie and Paul Britton who met in 2001 after Paul advertised for a singer and they started going out, they later married Dec 5th, 2003.
Janie and Paul, came up with the name of the band in 2014 whilst sat in a cottage on a croft in a place called Hungladder on the Isle of Skye.
We (Janie and Paul) go up there to write our songs and we draw inspiration from the beauty of Skye’s views, environment, way of life and being there really made us think about how we wanted to move forward musically. So, we decided that we’d use the Skye as in Isle of Skye and the Ladder from Hungladder and then meshed them both together to form our bands name Skyeladder.
Janie sings lead vocals, plays keys and guitar and Paul plays rhythm guitar and backing vocals. Both Paul and Janie are the song writers for the band.
Paul: Initially we played our songs acoustically, attending open mics to hone our craft and when we felt ready we decided to add a drummer, Lead Guitarist and Bass player to further expand the sound that you hear now. I’d describe our music as Pop/Rock with a hint of Americana and Blues.
Skyeladder have performed at some memorable places including Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. The British musical Fireworks championships in front of 10,000 people. Darwen’s Library Theatre Auditorium stage at Darwen Live and Manchester’s O2 and also the Apollo Theatre. They have also appeared numerous times at Carfest North, organised by Chris Evans (Radio 2) the event sold 20,000 tickets, raising money for BBC Children in Need. Janie and Paul have also made numerous radio and TV appearances.
Paul: So how to describe the band well, it’s a fusion of Americana and Rock without being too heavily influenced by any genre or artist. Although people have likened us to Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Crowded House and The Pretenders.
This is where at the start of 2016 Nathan (Drummer), Adam (Bass player) and Ewan (Lead Guitarist) joined the band.
Janie: Unfortunately, Paul developed bowel cancer and had an operation in Sept 2016 meaning that we were off the gigging circuit for a while. Luckily, he recovered fully (thank goodness). But the following year October 2017 we were struck by another blow in that our dear Friend and Lead Guitarist Ewan died in a very short period of time from bile duct cancer. We also suffered another blow in January 2018 in that Paul (Janies hubby and the rhythm guitarist and joint songwriter in the band was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma) But being the strong chap that he is Paul is determined to push through and continue with the music even whilst going through intense chemo.
Paul: We have only just started to look for another Lead Guitarist and we are actually auditioning a nice chap on Friday of this week.
What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?
Janie: I work for an IT company managing a team of Architects, To be honest, I always wanted to be a singer and musician but also a professional photographer, so guess I have my dream however it would be nice to drop the day job though. I have been lucky in that I’ve had my photographs published several times in fashion/fireworks mags and also on the News where I was first on the scene at a siege when I was in my early 20s. I’ve also done a bit of modelling for a few designers across the UK, walked various catwalks including London and New York Fashion Week. I’ve also been an extra on telly for Coronation Street (suffering a cut head in a boxing scene when Ashley owned the butchers shop), Shameless (where I was part of three ladies in a van smoking a ciggie (even though I don’t smoke) about to rob a warehouse, Emmerdale, and tons of ads including DFS where I was made to perform the conga on the A34 at 6am (far too early).
Paul: I am a guitar teacher and musician, I’ve always wanted to be involved in music in one form or another. I’m never happy unless I am writing, recording, gigging or making music. I ‘ve been involved in bands from age 15 onwards, after leaving school I started worked in studios in Stoke, as a guitar tech and also a session musician. In particular I played on a demo track for Kiki Dee, later becoming a guitar teacher.
Adam: I am a self-employed graphic designer after having left University in 2017. Before joining the band, I was in my third year of university studying graphic design; I started on that path probably from the age of 12/13, though it was always a bit of a toss-up between that and studying history. I think I made the right choice but hey, I'm relatively young I guess I'll know more in 20 years, ha! ( Paul says that’s a mistake as there will be 20 years more history to learn by then)
Nathan: I am currently at University studying music, engineering and production. I was at college studying music performance. I always wanted to be a performer just had no outlet until the band.
Ewan was retired.
Janie: Unfortunately Ewan passed in November 2017, but we will always be grateful for his contribution to the band. He was a free spirit and his aspiration was to play as much music as possible whilst having a good time.
Tell us about your latest Album and why our readers should check it out.
We currently have an album out for sale online via www.skyeladder.net called “Yeah Yeah Yeah” which Paul and Janie released in in 2015.
Having recently spent some time in the studio Skyeladder are preparing to release a new EP back end of 2018. The EP is called “Life Is For living” with the first single,” What In The World” being released around July/August. The EP is also about positivity, love, hope and support.
Skyeladder have launched a crowd funding campaign to complete and promote their new EP “Life Is For Living” for more details please see https://rocketfuelhq.com/skyeladder
Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?
Janie: I’ve not really been awestruck, but I was pulled up on stage by Madness’s sax player Thommo - Lee Thompson and got to play Sax in front of 1000s at the Apollo in Manchester and was then presented with the Sax signed by the whole band at the end of the night. So that was pretty cool.
Paul: I’ve been awestruck every time I meet Booga, from “Ezio band” as he’s such a great guitarist. Also Ezio because he’s such a great song-writer and although I think I’m also a great songwriter when I hear his songs I know I have so much to learn.
Nathan: I’ve met a few of my favourite bands and have never been awestruck as I know they're just the same as me. Probably Anderson Park and the free Nationals as they seem really chill and would be down for a jam.
Adam: I don't think I've ever been awestruck by any particular person, but the music scene is filled with impressively passionate individuals, I think they're all as awesome as each other.
If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?
Paul: Something unspeakably memorable, a journey into singalong madness, that encourages you to let your imagination run riot and your mind fill with joy and laughter and your heart fills with love.
If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?
Janie: I’d love to tour with Damien Rice he’s got such a beautiful calming edge to his voice that makes you drift away his songs are just so gorgeous. I’d also love to sing with Tom Jones, he’s a feisty one with a fantastic voice.
Paul: Definitely Chris Rea for me, why wouldn’t you want to go on tour with someone who’s voice you really enjoy. Who’s music you really admire and who plays the type of venues that you really want to play. I’d also love to tour with Garth Brooks, because his tours are immense and memorable.
Adam: If I had a band I could go on tour with it'd for sure be Modest Mouse. They formed a huge part of inspiring me musically, and still do. I'd love to get a chance to play with them and soak up just a bit of their enthusiasm and talent.
Nathan: Tyler Joseph from twenty-one pilots for an hour because I have so many questions.
You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?
Janie: I’d like to spend time with Nina Samone, and also Janice Choplin - both amazing artists in their time. I would ask them how they coped in a very masculine world, what inspired them to step out of the box and be different and did they get equal pay lol.
Paul: Mozart, just so that I could ask him what he thinks, about the current music scene and the fact that his music can be heard through a tanny little box that we call a phone. I also would like to spend some time with Glen Frey, to ask him if he regrets the time that the Eagles didn’t spend recording and writing together.
Adam: If I could spend an hour with a musical icon I think it'd probably be Stuart Zender, the bassist from Jamiroquai in the 90s. He plays such a different style of bass than I'm used to - I'd love to know his process.
Nathan: Tyler Joseph from twenty one pilots for an hour because I have so many questions.
And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?
Janie: No its too violent for me lol, I love the typical soppy romantic Christmas movies like Miracle on 34th Street and Love Actually.
Paul: Don’t know never seen it, but then again I’ve never seen James Bond films all the way through or any of the Star Wars films.
Adam: And yes, Die Hard is the greatest Christmas movie ever (after Elf).