Interview: Know Your LA Bands with SkeleteenBy Seraphina L.
BeatCrave is proud to bring you noise rock group, Skeleteen, as part of our Know Your LA Bands series. With Kyle Justin as a core member, Skeleteen has been resurrected numerous times since their formation in 2002. Even after of Justin’s travels from Orlando to New York, and then to LA to play with Scarling, we’re happy the band has once again resurfaced this past year. Matthew William joined him as a main member of the band in 2006 and since then, the two have been flooding the LA music scene with their experimental sound waves.
Go to a Skeleteen show, and your eardrums will never be the same again. Although deemed too loud by the conventional, it is a tsunami of heaviness engulfing the daring listener into a ocean of unpredictable dynamics, rhythms, and melodies. However, if you want to play it safe for your first experience, there is always their latest album, No Fun Intended. Available from their MySpace, the newest album via Future Static features the adrenaline-pumping single, “Gone,” and is some of the best local rock we’ve heard in 2009.
Want to know more besides the fact that we need to brush up on our obvious Daisy Chainsaw references? Then check out our exclusive interview with their very own Kyle Justin below!
Where in LA are you currently from?
We lived in West Hollywood for years. We’re currently out of California for recording purposes, but heading back and will be living somewhere in the valley.
Does “skeleteen” mean anything? How did you choose this band name?
The name Skeleteen is loosely inspired by Daisy Chainsaw’s album titled “Eleventeen.” It doesn’t have any direct meaning, I just liked the name and how it sounded.
Congrats on joining Future Static! What’s the hardest thing you’ve learned about the music industry before you found a good niche?
Not to sound jaded, but some people want to take what’s yours, make it theirs, and capitalize off of it, leaving you screwed in the process. You need to start rethinking who you’re working with if you have people telling you what to do and how to do it. The best way to go about it is to be totally self-sufficient, but still have the support and help of others, still be a part of a community of creative people who support each other. Future Static is one of those little communities.
Is a hiatus as deadly to a band as most people think it is?
No, not at all. It’s a learning/growing experience just like anything else you have to go through in life. Sometimes you just need a break; it’s not a bad thing at all. In some cases it’s a really good thing because you start over fresh with a better and different outlook.
How about line-up changes?
They’re not deadly. It’s necessary and almost has to happen. Eventually, you end up finding the right people. Most of our favorite groups have gone through extensive line-up changes. It does put a damper on things at the time but you move on and find new members. It’s no reason to stop what you’re doing.
Your dynamic differences – going from deafeningly loud to whisper soft – are incorporated into a lot of your music. Does that just happen in performances or are dynamics a core foundation in your writing?
Dynamic contrast has a definite foundation in our songwriting and sound. Loud/quiet, hard/soft, noise/silence are always incorporated in our music, whether live and recorded.
Have there been any benefits since it’s rounded down to a two-person band?
Though there’s only two official members at the moment, we have friends collaborating with us. We’ll be auditioning new members when we return to LA. I think two-piece bands are great, but we need a third and possibly even a fourth person to create the sound we want. Writing-wise, the band started out as a two piece and evolved into a trio. It’s easier as a two-piece, because there’s less of a lot of things – people, drama, line up changes, personalities to clash – and only two people playing together, but we want a different sound than what the band was before.
How do you feel about having Skeleteen revived in LA rather than New York?
I think either city would be receptive to what we do. I really appreciate LA’s underground music community because it is strong and is being noticed by people outside the city.
Where did the name of your latest album, No Fun Intended, come from?
It’s a play on words – that’s obvious. We realized most of them aren’t very happy songs. I was coming out of a bad situation during the writing and original recording of most of these songs. With that said, we’ve recorded a lot of material since this mini-album and there’s a lot more variety. We wanted to put “Little Glimpse” on this album because it’s a very different song. It got it’s name because it’s a little peek into the future. It’s more along the lines of what to expect from the new stuff.
Do you plan on being part of more compilation albums in the future?
Yes, always. The People In Your Neighborhood compilation put out by Sounds Like Tomorrow (Future Static’s sister label) was especially great because all the proceeds went to Midnight Mission (a charity in downtown LA that benefits the homeless and needy).
What’s your favorite bar in LA?
I don’t have any because I don’t really hang out in bars. If you mean to play in, we dig all the bars we’ve frequented in the past.
Give us one reason LA trumps New York.
I honestly love both cities just as much, for different reasons. They’re totally different. The only thing LA may have over NYC is better weather (depends on who you ask), but snow is fun in short bursts.
What did you last have for breakfast?
Oatmeal, coffee, orange juice, Emer-gen-c.
How do you think your eardrums are doing?
I think I’m kind of deaf. (Smiles.) Matt is much more cautious about protecting our ear drums.
Tell us one thing about yourself we probably don’t already know.
I’m an animal lover and love to care for orchids.
Photography by Kyle Justin