The rapid rise of Dublin band Skyfever is an inspirational story that’s seen them, in their words, “ignore the status quo” to get their music played at Premier League and NFL matches and gather a few rock royalty superfans – in just two years as a band.
The quintet of Luke Lang (vocal), Brian Clarke (guitar/sounds), Tyson Harding (guitar), Ciaran O’Brien (bass) and Karl Hand (drums) are your archetypal tale of a band trying and failing before they find the right members and then it all ‘clicks.’ But it all came together with a chance meeting between Luke and Brian outside U2’s studio in Dublin, and they haven’t looked back since.
They released their first single The Returning back in 2017, which was so good that it attracted rock legend Alice Cooper to share it on social media. As Brian explains: “We are fans of the Nights with Alice radio show, we took a chance and reached out to just say hello and then a couple of weeks later he mentioned us across his shows social media. It was our first major victory and opened a few doors for us!”
Give it a listen below to see why it caught Cooper’s attention:
The band since released debut EP Rear View Mirror last year then released latest single Kings back in February, which offers a reminder of what’s getting people so excited about the band.
It opens up with a delicious wah-infused riff, which continues under lively drums. Luke’s engaging vocals take over, answered by little blitzes of guitar, then the guitars build the intensity alongside a flickering synth sound. That flows straight into a huge chorus of “But Kings, Kings will rule, Of Kings, tonight they rule.” A mini guitar solo kicks in after the second chorus, then feeds into livelier vocals to bring the song to an end. Check it out below:
On the track, the band say: “Kings was written after a lost weekend involving a lot of whiskey, Muhammed Ali documentaries, Game of Thrones and rediscovering early U2 albums. Embracing the war within and who you really are is an important mantra within our band and this song is the anthem for that way of life.”
And it’s fair to say that the track has gone down well, being playlisted at a Chelsea Premier League match, a Carolina Panthers NFL game and more. As Brian explains: “We were quietly confident anyways as we could see peoples reactions when we played it live. Kerrang Radio embraced it, so many College Radio stations all across the US had it on rotation, lots of rock and alternative stations spun it too and it even playlisted at massive games in the Premier League, NHL and the NFL.
“The footage of it being played at the Chelsea game got over 100,000 views… madness. Lots of great things going on with the most important of these being the messages from the people who love the track and adding it to their daily lives. That’s the big one for us!”
The band grew up on the likes of U2, David Bowie, Metallica and Oasis, with Brian describing their sound as “the fearlessness of early U2 and Oasis, the heart of Chris Cornell, the bohemia of Bowie and a bit of the futurism of Muse.” And they hope their own music will inspire others, as Brian says: “Our goal is what we can then create to maybe inspire the next generation. There are no small village dreams in this band!”
While on what inspires them to write music, Brian tells us: “Inspiration can come from anywhere, we always mining for ideas. Obviously because we are younger, our minds are wide open to all sources. Lately, I have discovered the Smashing Pumpkins and my mind has been blown wide open.
“Billy Corgan creates worlds within songs! When something hits me this hard, my curiosity is triggered and I want to find a way to do that too. Listen and watch the video for Stand Inside Your Love and you will get what I mean. Dali the artist is also a huge influence as I do write from pictures in my mind as well. They can be pretty warped too – the reality you create in your mind is always better than your actual life.”
We’ve met a few Irish bands recently, so we asked the guys to give us their thoughts on the current scene. Brian said: “Music tends to go in cycles and Ireland has always been apparently a small but diverse music scene with rock being just a part of it. Currently, the scene is ‘being different for different’s sake,’ with hip-hoppy tunes and some of it is actually cool, though you can really feel that rock is emerging. Rock is outside the main current trend at the moment, though we are okay with it. We can feel what is coming and it is so exciting to be in a band making music that means something!”
There are so many reasons to be excited by Skyfever, and not just because Alice Cooper said so. They’ve honed a classic rock sound with big vocals and thrilling guitars and you can expect to hear plenty more from Skyfever soon. They’ve just finished up in the studio and tell us their next single “is on a whole other level, we are literally coming to take the souls of anyone in our way!”