Leeds trio Sky Larkin are, it's fair to say, going places. Beneficiaries of much circulated mp3s and Myspace presence, they've spent the last year sharpening their angular pop craft, being voted hottest UK band of the moment by Nothing But Green Lights' panel and supporting many a fine band. They released their debut 7" on Dance To The Radio last month and in a couple of weeks they're heading off on a UK music blogger's wet dream of a bill supporting Los Campesinos! Before that their singer/guitarist has a few questions to answer...
How would you describe yourselves?
33.3% blonde ape, 33.3% Welsh low frequency hair, 33.3% banshee.
Take us through the story of the band to date.
I went to study in london, started writing songs that would become Sky Larkin early 2005, did some demos with Nestor around my 19th birthday (Traits And Traitors is from this session), Lindsay joined and we had our first gig September 2005. 2006, gigged when we could (I've been at uni in London, the others are in Leeds). Summer 2006 Doug joined (Lindsay left to concentrate on her other band Mother Vulpine), we played at Leeds Festival and with Howling Bells, Broken Social Scene and as part of the ¡Forward Russia! Leeds residency. Autumn 2006 played with The Gossip, recorded single with Andy Sterolab. Single came out January 2007, also in January we were asked to play in Stockholm with the 1990s. We love pear cider; we love Sweden. March we tour with Los Camp, April we will have new material coming out on a Dance To The Radio compilation, May I have exams, and June perhaps another single coming out... Sorry if that sounds confused!
Is Dance To The Radio's increasing presence a sign of a healthy scene in Leeds?
Absolutely, and the compilation they're putting out in April reflects that.
How do you write songs?
As I'm in London until I finish my degree this year, I write whilst I'm away from the boys and bring the songs home to them. We then work out what they're supposed to be when they grow up.
You're showing signs of becoming a hype band, both through NME notices and the love of music bloggers - something to welcome or fear?
For me a 'hype' band is one that's thrown at people and has something externally imposed on them - I think we've had a much more organic journey than that. I welcome any outlet with which we can communicate our music with people - that's why we're opening our mouths in the first place. It's a strange kind of reverse snobbery to shun the opportunity to do so because of what you think a publication stands for. We're thankful for the warmth we've got so far and especially from the Internet as for the most part it's people writing for free and reading for free.
What did you grow up listening to, and what have you been liking recently?
In terms of childhood Doug grew up listening to a lot of folk, Nestor grew up listening to a lot of dub and I grew up listening to a lot of 80s rock. The most recent gigs I've been to have been Joanna Newsom, Bloc Party/Metric, Sarah Williams and Napoleon IIIrd. I've rediscovered my love of M83 this week.
Many thanks to Katie and by extension her band. Sky Larkin have a Myspace, obviously. Tour dates with Los Campesinos!, who we may have typed a couple of things about in the past: March 1st Nottingham Social, 2nd Birmingham Barfly, 3rd Glasgow Capitol, 4th Manchester Late Rooms, 5th London Spitz.