We all conceal something behind the earthly façade we show to the world. Maybe, it’s an unspoken fetish. Perhaps, it’s a covetous urge. Or, it could just be the kind of darkness we acknowledge in passing—but don’t dare reference aloud.
SKYND peel back those layers and uncover what lurks beneath in all of its painful glory. The industrialized gothic and true crime-inspired electronic duo—Skynd [lead vocals] and “Father” [producer, multi-instrumentalist]—exorcise beauty by bloodletting as they mine some of history’s most baffling, bizarre, and brutal crimes on their debut trio of interconnected independent singles.
We caught up with singer SKYND to learn more about the duo
H2Z: Lets start with you telling Australia all about Skynd?
SKYND: Well I am Skynd and I write songs about true crime. I am fascinated with true crime so I like to write songs about it and tell the story.
H2Z: Would I be right in saying you like to take the dark and bring it into the light? And what started you wanting to do that?
SKYND: Yes, that is a very good way of putting it. It all started when I was four years old when my imagination showed up for the first time. He was the reason for me to get interested in true crime. He was the one who told me that there is not always good, there is also bad, and I want to show you that. So as I got older and I grew up, he whispered all of these stories in my ear, like the one about Gary Heidnick, he made me interested in it and that’s when I started writing about it. When I started writing about it, I wanted to remind people that evil is lying in all of us, and we are all capable of inhumane cruelty, so that was the reason I wanted to write about it too.
H2Z: Some of the songs touch on pain and suffering, do you ever wonder how relatives and friends of the victims of these crimes might feel about your songs?
SKYND: I am not worried about hurting anyone as I know there is a fine line where it would be disrespecting the victims and I would never cross that line. My songs are about honouring the victims and never disrespecting the victims. They have suffered and no one should ever make fun of that. I stay with the facts, I don’t make up stories, I don’t make fun of it. I have also made myself very clear from the start that its not about glorifying these horrible crimes and the things that happened. I dont want to turn a blind eye to it, and no one should ever turn a blind eye to what happened to these people, as turning a blind eye would be what disrespects the victims. I just want to tell their stories. The true stories. It happened. There have been many many movies about these things, and many books and documentaries about them, So I am just telling the story in my songs. No one is bragging about this. I will never glorify any cruelty, I am just going to sing and write about it and not turn a blind eye to it.
H2Z: Have you ever started writing a song that became too dark to complete?
SKYND: If it ever happened, I wouldn’t tell you. There are certain cases where I take my hands off. Sometimes there are cases that are a really big challenge to me, because I want to make it listenable. I want to make the song complete. So sometimes it takes time. Some cases are so brutal and I really want to finish the song about the case, but I need to walk away from it, and go work on something else. I come back to it, when I am ready to, because I know at the time I really wasn’t ready to finish it, and in one case almost 2 to 3 years later I was able to finish the song. Then I am able to also get into it with a new vibe.
H2Z: You have your partner in the band, producer and multi instrumentalist named “Father”, who brings the musical side to the songs. Do you feel that between the two of you, you are able to push and challenge each other to bring out the best in each others sides?
SKYND: Of course. Of course he is more involved with the music, and the producing and he is so good at that, where as I work out the vocal lines and melodies and am the lyric writer. And it certainly is a challenge as he comes up with these great pieces of music and I have to make sure the cases I want to talk about fit. We are always coming up with great ideas to work on. I might come up with a great vocal line which challenges him to write the music around it.
H2Z: Speaking of collaborations, you have worked with Jonathan Davis of Korn. Is there anyone else you would like to work with.
SKYND: We have a few people in mind to collaborate with but I don’t want to say anything right now as I want it to stay as a surprise, so sorry I cannot tell you (laughs)
H2Z: “Jim Jones” is your newest single. Tell me why you chose to write about him specifically?
SKYND: Jim Jones was always really interesting to me. Its so fascinating but also so frightening how one man can manipulate so many people, especially using religion. It was so interesting how people kept following him while ignoring all the obvious facts about him, and who he truly was. Thats what made him interesting to me. He is not the only leader in this world, and in history to be like this, there are certain others as well. What he did with the poison cyanide, I just can’t find a reason why you would want to drink cyanide, because someone told me too. For me that is something so far away from my imagination, you know. But, in 1978, it was something that really happened. Then when I heard the 40 minute audio tape where you hear the people drinking it and dying, and it made me feel like it was happening around me and I had to write about it. And before that tape Jim Jones wasn’t really on my topic list, but after it I just had to get it off my chest. I had to finish. The thought that someone could convince others to drink Flavor Aid with cyanide in it is just insane.
H2Z: Last question. Any plans for a full length album and tour?
SKYND: A full length album, we haven’t really thought about. I feel its important to us to just keep going with chapters, and we haven’t really planned anything else as yet but I’m sure there will be a lot more to come in the future.
H2Z: Ok SKYND, thanks so much for your time today and we look forward to more from you soon
SKYND: Thanks Andrew, good bye.
BUY/LISTEN TO JIM JONES HERE
Last year, SKYND arrived on the scene with a debut EP featuring three songs and videos that nodded to infamous serial killers. Chapter 1 included “Elisa Lam,” “Gary Heidnik,” which features a cameo from Korn frontman and true crime aesthete Jonathan Davis, and “Richard Ramirez.”
Stay tuned for more information about future SKYND music beyond Jim Jones.
SKYND LIVE DATES:
5/9 — The Great Escape — Brighton, UK
6/14 — Download Festival — Donington, UK
With the release of Chapter 1nn 2018, and over 3 million hits on Youtube, SKYND are back. The duo represents the next level of aural immersion, intermingling sound, visuals, and a warning worth heeding. “All human beings are capable of cruelty,” Skynd says. “We have to keep the inner animal in check. We’re here to provide a different perspective on the psyche to maybe answer some questions.”