After riding a wave of buzz thanks to their previously shared singles 'Katerina' and 'TMI', as well as performing at sold out shows throughout London, electro-indie outfit Zkeletonz now return to deliver their latest glittering offering 'Don't Be Lonely Now'.
Channeling the bright and euphoric aesthetic of acts like Cut Copy, Van She, and Midnight Juggernauts, 'Don't Be Lonely Now' is the sun-kissed anthem we have all been longing for since lockdown began. With its fresh and vibrant guitar hooks blended with smooth and uplifting production, the trio are set to become one of the most talked about new artists of 2020.
So with their profile firmly on the rise, we sat down with them to find out more about their background and what led them on this musical path.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
This is probably a bit of a surprise, but two of us started on violin and one on clarinet. Ed and Gav didn’t get very far with more classical instruments, but Will is still a very talented violinist. And a very talented guitarist. And a very talented pianist. He’s pretty much carrying this whole project, we won’t lie.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
I think there’s probably a difference between ‘influence’ and ‘inspiration’... there are lots of artists who inspire us to make music, but you might not hear their influence in our music in an obvious way.
We’re often told we sound like bands obviously similar to us, you know, stuff like Cut Copy, The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, and Phoenix. But our creative relationship with those bands feels quite weird to be honest. Almost too direct and abstract at the same time; as if it happens by osmosis. We really just, kind of, live amongst their albums and singles rather than feeling like they’re source material for our project.
Inspiration is different. It’s probably a cliché, but David Bowie achieved so much artistically; his work is particularly inspiring because he found ways to be brave and experimental whilst also creating music that had mass appeal. He was pretty far out, man.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
Growing up in the sleepy Midlands, enjoying a misspent youth of sneaking into rock clubs and drinking White Lightning on park benches, it’s only natural that all three of us were acolytes of the emo, pop punk and metal sounds that were huge in the early naughties. Think along the lines of Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Jimmy Eat World and the like. Pop punk is due a renaissance. Mark our words.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
One song? I’m not sure it even works that way! This is probably quite an obscure dance record but ‘Her’ by Kissy Sell Out was the song that prompted Ed to get some decks and start DJing and producing electro, which ultimately led to him being signed to the same label Gav was on at the time and then meeting Will through Gav. Years later the three of us got together to bring Zkeletonz to life. So I guess that was a pretty important song for setting a series of events in motion! Without it we might not even have met, let alone started making music together.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
Gav definitely goes strong straight out of the gate, music-wise. It’s not uncommon for him to kick off the day with his favourite band Dance Gavin Dance, who make metal-core. He probably likes them because they are both a soundtrack for his morning, and an explicit instruction on what he needs to do.
Will probably starts the day with something a little more laid back… perhaps a little bit of Solange or Moses Sumney? He usually works his way up to banging techno by the end of the day though.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
Probably 100% of them? You write what you know I guess. If you’re friends with us, we’ve probably written a song about you. If we haven’t, we’re probably working on it right now. It’s called “You’re Awesome”.
What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?
There have been lots of huge achievements like when the video for our first single was on Sunday Brunch, but it’s definitely the little things that stand out. This sounds like such a minor thing, but meeting people at our gigs who are ‘fans’ never stops being weird and awesome. The first time that happened was when we realised that Zkeletonz had definitely taken on a life of its own.
Also, the first time someone did some ‘fan art’ of us was a pretty wild moment. I think someone drew us floating in space, which was amazing because we love space. It’s massive.
Outside of music, what is your biggest passion?
We’re all pretty sporty boys, actually. Will is feared in the world of Saturday-league hockey for his utterly ruthless mastery of the way of the stick, while Ed is considerably less feared in his chosen sport of amateur boxing. Will and Gav both love watching a bit of football, and Ed usually goes along too to feel included.
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
This is such a hard question! How different would our lives have had to be for this to be the case? We’d probably be living on the side of a mountain somewhere, picking fruit and writing poetry. Not just any kind of poetry though; probably Haiku or something like that.
And what advice would you give to other musicians looking to stay productive through the coronavirus lockdown?
OK, time for a serious answer! Keeping a sense of routine is probably the single most important thing. Taking ten minutes first thing in the morning to make a coffee and plan your day makes such a huge difference. Also, sometimes it’s not being productive that’s difficult, as much as the pressure to be productive. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you’re not busy 24/7. Chill out and play some Animal Crossing or something, you’ll feel better for it. Good luck and stay safe!
Zkeletonz's latest single 'Don't Be Lonely Now' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.