THE SKYS
Colours Of The Desert
(Cinderella Records)

 

Although they’ve been going strong since starting up back in November 1995, the Lithuanian band known as The SKYS really hits their stride with their 2012 CD Colours Of The Desert. After a few spins it’s clear that Colours Of The Desert is a masterpiece of 21st century prog-rock. For Americans, the names of the group members might be hard to pronounce yet the music, sung in English complete with complete printed lyrics, Skys caters to a cross-section of international music lovers. In addition to the band’s 5 piece core—including lead guitarist and singer Jonas Ciurlionis and keyboardist-vocalist Bozena Buinicka—SKYS are joined by a number of renowned musicians, including esteemed guitarist Dave Kilminster of the Roger Waters band, and a number of other gifted players. With their mix of Euro-flavored prog, complete with a decidedly Pink Floyd influence, The SKYS have been praised in their native Lithuania and neighboring Russia, Estonia, Germany and beyond and they’re poised to bring their sound far and wide. There’s plenty of top musicianship throughout the 9 track Colours Of The Desert CD but, backing up the style there’s also plenty of memorable melodic hooks and arrangements that will no doubt appeal to prog-rock mavens of all stripes, cultures and continents. www.TheSkys.com


mwe3.com presents an interview with
Bozena and Jonas of The SKYS

Jonas Ciurlionis – vocals and lead guitar
Bozena Buinicka – keyboards and vocals


mwe3: Can you give a little background into the formation of the original Skys band and how has the band evolved and over the course of 4 albums starting in 1997 and up to the new Colours Of The Desert in 2012?

Bozena Buinicka: The whole journey of The Skys was started by Jonas back in 1995. Later Alex (guitar, backing vocalls) had joined in, then Justas (bass), and then Bozena (keys, voice) and the last person was our drummer Ilja.

Due to frequent changes it took 15 years till the final line up was formed. Some could not stand the tense rehearsals and were not ready for hard work others, had personal reasons or didn’t have any idea what is it to be in a band and treated music only as fun, but not work. It is a hard road where you can see all colours of the desert.

Jonas Ciurlionis
: well it was a long and winding road (lol). The hardest thing was to find soulmates for this journey. I met a lot of people and many of them wanted money and fame, girls and drugs but just a few of them wanted to dedicate their lives for the music.

mwe3: Who wrote the music and lyrics on The Colours Of The Desert can you describe the chemistry of the different members of The Skys, both in the studio and live in concert?

Bozena: Music and lyrics are written by Jonas Ciurlionis and Bozena Buinicka and also several lyrics are written by Bozena’s father such as “I… He…” or “The Pyramid.”

I think that The Skys is a very crazy company. Very funny people that you never can be bored with. Everyone’s different, has his own character, hobbies but the whole band is as a fist, all working together and understanding each other during rehearsals and concerts. Each member of the band gives something to each other. The band is like a mosaic, each is a different detail but when we’re all together we have The Skys.

mwe3: Jonas, what guitars are you featuring on The Colours Of The Desert and how far back does your history go back with the guitar. Do you practice and what are you favorite guitar styles? How about instrumental music as I know there’s a cool instrumental track on the new CD.

Jonas: Colours Of The Desert was recorded with my Gibson Studio. I've also used a couple of acoustic guitars at Steve’s studio in London but I don't remember which ones. Well, I’ve been playing guitar for 25 years now and I’m sure I still need a lot of practicing. Practicing is a core everywhere in sports in arts and in sciences. If you stop doing that your level will drop. However, you need more than practicing which is only a technical side of music. The most important thing is to practice your soul which you put into the music (lol). Regarding guitar styles I love Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour. I love the subtle style of Eric Clapton in The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking and of course, David Kilminster (lol). I also love old original blues school. What I don't like is sports in music. So, I don't tolerate when it's too many notes or the guitarist tries to be the fastest in the world. How did you know about the instrumental track? (lol)

mwe3: What was it like working with Roger Waters guitarist Dave Kilminster and I also see there’s Tony Spada of Holding Pattern on the CD too. What other musicians contributed to the Skys and the making of the new CD?

Bozena: Oh, it was a great time! Very intense and productive work. Each of the musicians who recorded the album gave a part of him/her self and made a fantastic job. Huge work was done by Steve Rispin who was a sound engineer for the entire album.

The album features Dave Kilminster (Roger Waters band)John Young (ex-Scorpions, Bonnie Tyler), Snake Davis (Eurythmics, P.McCartney, Ray Charles, James Brown), Tony Spada (Holding Pattern), Anne Marie Helder (Mostly Autumn, Panic Room), Martin Beedle (Cutting Crew, Sarah Brightman).

Jonas:. The most important thing they all are cool guys so it was a fantastic time during the recording sessions and after that as well.

mwe3: Can you say something about your early exposure to rock music and progressive rock, jazz and classical music in Lithuania? What were some of your big influences while growing up and can you same something about your history in the country of Lithuania?

Bozena: It is difficult to tell. I could speak about jazz and classical music in Lithuania as those styles are quite developed. However, speaking about rock and especially progressive rock my opinion is not very good. I think that our neighbors, for example, Poland has much better tradition in this genre than Lithuania. When the world was creating rock history in Lithuania it was forbidden by Soviet Government. Lithuania was isolated. It is good to see more and more young bands which start to play something similar to rock. There are bands which try to use prog elements. However, it’s very limited in numbers. Our society didn’t grow up with rock music and therefore the situation here is quite sad. It is like a helloween of cheap pop which in most cases is not professional but has occupied all mass media.

Jonas: well, my opinion about Lithuanian music in general is very bad, including jazz too. We have some good musicians but we have very few composers. So, I was influenced by foreign bands instead of Lithuanian music. And my first influence started at age of 9 when I bought a vinyl with 4 songs of The Beatles. Later on I discovered other great bands The Doors, Led Zep, Pink Floyd, and many more

mwe3: What’s been the reaction to the Skys CD in Lithuania and throughout the rest of the world? What plans do you have for Skys in 2013?

Bozena: Colours of the Desert is more popular abroad than in Lithuania. Most of the CD sales are abroad. Out of 35-40 concerts this year only one was in Lithuania. I think this fact answers very well the question about the reaction to the Skys album in Lithuania and abroad. In 2013 we still be working on achieving our goal. We’ll see what comes out of it as I have no idea what will happen after half an hour or the next couple of months. Life can change in several minutes.

Jonas: well, surprisingly Lithuania is full of ignorance. (lol) While we got hundreds of positive reviews abroad including such majors as Classic Rock Magazine, Sweden Rock Magazine and many others I hardly can think of maybe a couple of reviews in Lithuania. While in a less than a year we got 9 international awards we've never been nominated for any award ever in Lithuania. While we got lots of radio airplay abroad and our song “When The Western Wind Blows” is already 9 weeks in the Polish radio charts only a couple of radio stations here played the album. It is not that we care much about it but it's strange, isn't it? And that's keeping in mind that none of Lithuanian bands has ever made it to that international level so far. I think Lithuania still has to gain independence from the Soviet legacy in music and in thinking in general. Anyway, we have a lot of plans for the next year but I prefer to talk about facts not plans. (lol)

Thanks to The Skys @ www.TheSkys.com

 

 
   
Attention Artists and Record Companies: Have your CD reviewed by mwe3.com.
Send to
: MWE3.com CD Reviews Editor Robert Silverstein, P.O. Box 222151, Great Neck, N.Y. 11022-2151
E-mail: mwe3nyc@gmail.com
 
 
CD Reviews Feature Reviews & Features Archive Photo Archive Contact MWE3 Home
 

 

Copyright 1999-2012
MWE3.com - All Rights Reserved