New Skyline Fire will be performing alongside The Narrow, Knave, I Believe In Giants and Hiraeth at Rumours Rock City for the next instalment of Brochella on 21 September. We caught up with the band’s vocalist Ray Harrison to discuss the band’s beginnings, his fashion sense and the current state of the local music scene.
New Skyline Fire was in a development process for over one year before performing their first show in December 2017. What was the thinking behind this approach for your debut show?
One of the main reasons behind it is that we, as a band, didn’t want to rush the process of getting a band together to hit the stage ASAP. We wanted to spend our time in studio, writing all our content and piecing it together. Once we had recorded our demo tracks, we then could spend time in the band room rehearsing the songs, instead of trying to write songs, etc. We also wanted to deliver a finished product before we launched, that meant having art work, a music video, merch, physical CDs, etc. done before we even played our first gig.
The band has members from bands such as Wysdiman, Pyramid Tongue and Fragmented Children. What does that experience bring to the current line up?
Well it brings a vast amount of different experience with the South African Scene. Having come from various bands, that are of different styles, from different eras of the SA Scene, helped us out big time when it came to writing music. Taking that into account, it also taught us that we can culminate our unique tastes, to put New Skyline Fire together.
The sound of New Skyline Fire is quite unique to the metal and alternative scene in South Africa. How would you describe your sound to someone who does not listen to any heavy music of any kind?
Wow! Well, here it goes – I’d say it is all about passion, with quite a few of our songs being about life’s lessons. There are songs that are heavy as hell, with the melody of delicious whisky and beer infused happiness. Let’s call it beer core!
Why do you dress like he has just come from cricket practice on stage?
It’s most probably because I can. To be true, I have the style sense of a blind hippo. Nonetheless, all I want is to make sure that I don’t drown in my own sweat. Gotta love being in my dirty thirties!
What has been the best show the band has played to date?
We really enjoyed our launch show as it was over a year in the making. To finally get up on stage and to throw down was a huge highlight for all of us. With that being said, we just love being on stage together, whether it’s to 5 people or 100 people.
What do you say is going right for the scene currently?
Personally, I really think that the new bands coming out on the scene are really upping their game from the get go. It’s great to see new bands starting from a younger age and taking their craft seriously.
What is one thing is the band looking forward to most on 21 September at Rumours Rock City?
Firstly, Kudos to Mike Pocock for putting together a stellar event, and for putting us on the bill! We all grew up in the scene when The Narrow were smashing the scene properly and all have huge respect for them, so to share the stage with them is super kiff. We are also really looking forward to seeing Knave again as we have shared the stage with them on numerous occasions, many moons ago, so it’ll definitely be one for the books.
Your guitarist, Ruan, does all the recording and graphic design for the band. How important is it for bands to use the skills they have in the band to maximise promotion?
It’s extremely important to do so. We all know that writing music and performing on stage is not exactly cheap. If you have a Ruan in your band, it really does help keep costs down, but it also helps us learn more about each other, other than sharing a mutual love of music. It’ll also help the “Ruan’s” in the band to expand their craft and grow as well. I see it as a total win situation
How many beers are consumed by the band before they hit the stage?
It depends on who is paying. Could be 6 – 58. We all know our limits, but for myself, I try keep it to 3 and 2 shots of Whisky to fire up the chords.
Any shout outs?
Always! Fred Otto, who from Day 1 has had our backs and constantly pushing us to go further and do more. To our families, who put up with all the time apart when we’re in studio or the band room. Thank you for always understanding our insane love of music. To all the people in the SA Music Scene. Let’s keep building together and fighting the good fight. Lastly, to all the people who attend the shows. You guys are the reason why we get to play shows like Brochella on 21 September. Words will never be able to express our gratitude to all of you.
Tickets for Brochella presents The Narrow, Knave & more are now available via Plankton.mobi for only R80. Tickets can be purchased here. Tickets will also be available on the night for R120 at the door.
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Photos by Alexander Wolf Photography.