Interview - Sky Valley Mistress
California is on the minds of Sky Valley Mistress but a very soggy Manchester evening brings them back down to earth where we discuss Grease!, the boys wearing dresses, tears and a trip to the desert.
Wet words by Anthony Firmin and dry photos by Cai Dixon.
A typical Manchester evening, absolutely bucketing down, even under the large cover on the patio of Rebellion I was getting wet – it simply was not designed for this volume of rain. With a band playing inside this was going to be the only place that was relatively quiet where I could catch up with Sky Valley Mistress after they had just competed an absolutely firing set.
You also played at The Castle on Oldham Street last night, how did that go? “Hot and sweaty, the water was dripping off the walls and there were a lot of people there. Everyone was drunk and everyone was dancing and we killed it!”
Which is what it is all about but to be truthful I haven’t seen a single performance where you haven't killed it “that is the aim” says the Hell Kitten. The show I saw earlier in the year at Gullivers was just brutal “that was a single launch and we promoted that night so when you put that level of grandeur on a gig the expectations are high, not just for the fans but for us as well. The result of that was a concern, a worry that if things are not perfect then the night might suck. And things didn't go perfectly but everything was good in a beautiful way.”
The Hell Kitten adds “it is like your own birthday party where you put so much planning into it that you don't actually experience it. And also the boys couldn't decide which dress to wear.” That last comment may be a little too much information.
I have just purchased the 12 inch single on beautiful blood red vinyl, why I have waited until the last few copies are left is beyond me, so should we be expecting more material to be released soon? “ALBUM” shouts the Hell Kitten, “we finally have our debut album coming.”
The band are heading out to California and the recording will take place at the infamous Rancho de la Luna recording studio in Joshua Tree which has been home to acts such as Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Eagles of Death Metal, Dave Grohl, Arctic Monkeys, Mark Lanegan and Iggy Pop to name just a few.
Big news indeed. “We are going to get a big muscle car and drive off like they do in Grease!” A discussion then ensues about the ending of that film and Saturday Night Fever, I would save you from the details, dear readers but alas the conversation continues “…and that is how the album is going to sound.” What? Like Grease? “NOOO! Like the end of every John Travolta film!”
Manchester Rocks is obviously very pleased that they are making this trip to record the new album as we have been supporters of theirs for a couple of years - it is MASSIVE news!! “It is the only studio that we all ever wanted to go to. We are not that kind of techy band where it is which microphones do they use and perfection like that. We are a live band which will work going to Rancho because they record you live. All our heroes have recorded there and with us preparing for the album will need to be at the top of our game and this is helping us to push to make the best album we can. And I don't think there's ever been a bad record that come out of the desert. Iggy Pop recorded his last record there – it is going to be emotional, there will be tears. We are going to be there for 10 days and then head to LA for a few.”
"Over the last couple years we've played something like 300 shows so preparing for this recording is why we've not been gigging so much recently but still working hard, just shifting our focus. So we have three shows left before we go to Rancho so for anyone reading, watching, listening you need to come and see us because there will be a lot of work and less gigs before the album is out.” The band explains that there is no exact date set at the moment for the album's release but it is likely to be springtime next year.
As the conversation winds down we return to the matter of Grease… “On the last day, when we leave, they need to film us doing the John Travolta strut out of Rancho.” And on that note…