Daniel McMaster – Vocals
Rohan Chant – Guitar
Daniel Hawkins – Vocals & Guitar
Rupert Muir – Bass
Ben Hallett – Drums.
After quite a few years out of the scene Gold Coast pop punk outfit Skyway are back. I missed these guys first time around but that will be changing this time! I caught up with Daniel last week to talk about the new single, making a come back during a pandemic and Machine Gun Kelly…..
So after all these years you guys have chosen to release a new song during a pandemic!!
Yeah, they say there’s no better time right! It’s been a crazy year. A lot of things have happened, and people have had a bit of a hard time. We recorded this last year with no indication that this was what 2020 was going to involve. But it’s here and rather than wait and bide our time we just got excited. We want to put it out and we want to start playing. We want people to hear it so here we are.
I missed you guys the first time around; I was off being a mum. Is it still the same line-up?
Yeah it’s still the same line-up. We are still hanging, making music and keen to play shows.
Have you guys still been making music together for the last 8 or so years?
No not really. Individually we have done a few different things musically. A few different projects here and there but nothing together. Last year was kind of the first time we all came together. I mean we have shot across a few ideas here and there and had a few little jams over the years. Last year was when we got serious about actually doing something substantial and recording to release something.
There was a reason for that, or you all just decided now was the right time?
Over the years we have entertained the thought, going back and forward with we should do this and that. One thing or another always stopped that. Last year we had a few jams, and we were like this stuff is sounding really cool we should record it. Commit to it and stick with it and see how we go. And here we are. Nothing is really planned; I think it is what it is. Something things just happen, and some things don’t, and it just happened for us last year. We are excited to be here.
I saw all these posts pop up of social media and I had no clue who you were, so I’ve been jamming your old stuff to catchup!
It’s been awhile so I can’t blame you there. Obviously it’s been awhile between making music. 8 years is a long time in the music world to kind of stop and start. I’m sure there are a lot of people exactly like you that haven’t really heard about us.
You better give us a quick rundown of who Skyways are then.
We’re a pop punk/punk rock band from the Gold Coast. We are releasing a new EP on 20th November. It’s there, it’s raw and it has a bit of energy which is what we are all about. We are looking forward to putting it out. If you’re keen have a listen.
You’ve obviously got a few people keen because your Spotify for the single is sitting on 7.5K.
It’s going pretty well. It’s always hard to try and predict anything in this industry, especially after having so much time off. I’m really happy with where it is at and how it has been received and everything else is a bonus. If I can make one person get a little bit of joy out of it then that is a massive bonus. The number one thing for us was that we were happy with it.
Pop punk seems to be making a bit of a resurgence lately.
It’s weird. It seems like a lot of different genres of music always come around full circle. It dies off for a bit and then there will be some popularity again. Have you heard Machine Gun Kelly’s pop punk album?
I have! I didn’t ever think I would listen to MGK let alone be singing along to it but here I am!!!
I know. I think that has done a massive for that kind of music because he is getting a lot of ears on it that haven’t really listened to that and that is only good for it. It’s back in the mainstream. I think his album was number one on the Billboard Charts which is frigging huge. It’s majorly dominated by hip hop stuff so for that kind of music to break through again and get the number one spot is massive. I think you are going to start seeing some more of it around. Some more new bands pop up and stuff like that. I think there are sub genres of it now. It seems like back in the day pop punk was Blink 182 or New Found Glory. It was encapsulated I that sound. But now you have more kind of emo pop punk or the more punk rock pop punk. It’s so broad now.
It’s becoming harder to put a lot of bands in a specific genre full stop. Especially across metalcore.
I think that is the way of the future of music really. It’s just the way things happen; things evolve and if genres get melded together that means you are experimenting with different stuff and I think that is great. That’s what it is all about.
I do too. I’m not a fan of genres. I think bands are playing for themselves again, not so much for the audience. This is seeing some amazing songs get released.
That’s it. That is what it should be all about, it shouldn’t be about pleasing anyone besides what you are doing and that’s exactly what we have done. We made the EP we wanted to make. I think these days you have more freedom.
People can do the entire thing themselves now and get it up onto all the platforms. You don’t actually need a label to get your music out there.
Yeah that’s right. You don’t have the outside pressure of people telling you what you should be and what you should do. It’s so much easier these days to get your music out there and not have to rely on any other outside sources.
I know Spotify isn’t the best place to put your music with the return that you get but when you are a new band starting out and you think what you have to outlay to produce a cd or record, then tour it and all the other added extras…
It’s hard to make a dollar on the streams with the way it is set up. I think that is only a matter of time before that changes. I think that there is going to be an uproar, a revolution or something like that amongst musicians. It is what it is and that is the landscape that we are in at the moment. In regard to getting your music out there we are in a much better position now than we were 10 years ago. Obviously there are still issues to iron out. Hopefully that happens. I think the freedom the musicians have these days to be able to get your music out there is amazing.
Definitely. So tell me about ‘Cut the Ties’
This is the first one that we decided to release. It’s a faster song, a bit more punchy. There are a few themes. It’s a song about disconnecting, whether it be anything in your life I suppose that you consider not healthy. That can range from a few different things; alcohol, substance abuse, abusive relationships. Anything in your life that you think is not good for you or not contributing in a positive way and you are cutting yourself away from that. That is what the song entails. There’s a few personal themes in there for me. I’m just coming up on two years sober now, I decided two years ago not to drink anymore or do anything like that. So there was a bit of personal input there for me. It’s just my lifestyle now and that’s the way I wanted to change. I’m happy with how everything went and with my life. I mean it works for me. I’m not one of those people that go out there and try and preach to people to be sober and do this and that. If someone is happy doing whatever then I’m happy. It’s just what worked for me. That’s my interpretation of it, people obviously have their own interpretations, and this is just one of the themes that added to the song.
What about the title of the EP ‘Hope floats, Love Sinks’
It was a lyric off ‘Cut The Ties’ in the bridge. I just think that it really fit with all the kind of lyrical and musical themes on the EP. I mean it speaks for itself really, especially with the goings on of 2020. I think everyone could use some hope and to remember that there is always something to hope for. Sometimes the love can sink but if you keep the hope hopefully you can resuscitate it. I just thought it was a good little hook and it explains and summarises the EP.
You shared the stage with some pretty impressive bands last time around.
We played quite a few shows back in the day in our short time. In terms of our lifespan we kind of went pretty hard out the gate. We played with some amazing bands, a lot of amazing local bands too. We were really lucky to be able to share those experiences.
Hopefully it won’t be long before you can jump back on the stage.
That’s the thing isn’t it. Live music has taken a hit this year but hopefully 2021 can bring it back on track and we can get the scene thriving again.
I think the scene is still thriving but just in a different way at the moment. Fan bases have gone up, bands are interacting more on the socials with fans. Music is still being released and people are looking into bands a bit deeper.
That’s definitely something that has been happening. Obviously people are online a lot, I mean what else is there to do. Being locked down and listening to music, checking out your favourite bands. But I am sure that there are a lot of people out there that just want to hear some live music again too. I mean people love live music; I do. There is nothing better than going to a show where a band that you really enjoy is playing. I’m really hoping it’s not too far away before they lift some of these restrictions, like the seated restrictions. Obviously it’s good that there is still the ability to have a live show even with those restrictions, but nothing beats a mosh pit! Especially for the heavier music.
Any last words?
‘Hope Floats, Love Sinks’ is out on 20th Nov. We appreciate everyone that is checking out the new single ‘Cut The Ties’. The people that have sent messages, or like stuff we have put online. We really appreciate it, and we can’t wait to play our new stuff live. Hopefully we will get to Adelaide when everything is back to normal. Until then the EP will be out online, and people can check it out via Spotify, Apple Music those usual outlets. Also thanks for having me.
Roll on normality and gigs because these guys will be on my list of bands to see. Check out Skyway’s new single below and hit up their socials.