The French band Nine Skies offer us this exclusive interview, answering various questions about the band and previewing their new album.
– Yours is a young band, in a world music scene that tends to offer more and more commercial artists, where does your choice to play Progressive come from? Do you encounter difficulties in proposing a more engaged genre?
“It just came naturally; even if each member has various musical influences, progressive still the style which allow us to express ourselves as much as we want to.
We always tend to get out of the traditional musical pattern and propose something more engaged, something that can invite people to a kind of reflexion too.“
– In a world where the internet offers the possibility of having access to music for free, how much this affect the production choices of an artist?
“It is important that people can listen to your music. There are so many great artists everywhere, and today, thanks to the internet, it is much more easy to access it. On the other hand, bands cannot ”live” only with their productions. The real-life of a band is happening on-stage and through the interaction with the audience.”
– France is a country with strong musical traditions, even in the field of Prog, how do you see the modern Progressive scene both in your city and in the whole nation?
“We don’t really have the feeling that France has a strong musical tradition for rock or prog music. Of course, we have fabulous artists like Lazuli, Ange, Magma, Franck Carducci… But they are touring a lot in England and other countries.
England still for us the traditional country for music, where all the great bands we were used to listening to are still playing! Nowadays, Poland has such a great progressive musical scene with fabulous bands too.”
– Let’s talk about you, what does the name Nine Skies mean and where does it come from?
“To be honest, it just sounded great when we were looking for a name!!!”
– After the good response of the first album ‘Return Home’, in November will be released “Sweetheart Grips”, in a double CD, how did the idea of the album and the choice of the theme come about?
“We haven’t thought of a concept album for this one at the beginning. It just came naturally with the composition. Alexandre saw a documentary about ”Sweetheart Grips” one day and all began with this. This paradox between violence and love reminded us of the feeling we can find in our music.”
– Many important guests are on the record, what prompted you to choose these collaborations and how much has their contribution affected?
“We are very lucky to welcome such great artists and nice people like them on the album. They all are big influences for us and their participation fits perfectly well with the feeling we wanted to have on the songs.”
– The proceeds from the album will go to charity at “Ian’s Chain”, a choice that demonstrates the band’s social commitment, what prompted you to donate the proceeds to charity and why just this institution?
“It is really important for us to help people who need it if we can do it. Art is a good way to act and pass a message, then we are really glad if we can help the association. We already knew the association, which is close to our heart and organise a lot of musical events, a festival each year… There are doing an amazing job, then it was natural for us to choose ”Ian’s Chain”.”
– Two years have passed since the first album was released, in what ways did the band evolve during this period?
“The lineup changed, as the two singers, Alexandre Boussacre and Freddy Scott left the band for personal reasons. We knew Alienor Favier for years and had already played music with her. She has such an incredible voice and is an amazing person as well, then we are really lucky to welcome her.”
– The release of the new album is coming, do you already have a program for a tour and live dates to sponsor your record?
“We played last week at the Prog en Beauce festival, with Clepsydra, Albion, and Mystery and it was an amazing experience. We don’t have any new date planned for now but of course we want to play the more we can, and work is in progress for next year then hopefully, we will let you know soon!”
– This is perhaps the most obvious but inevitable question, what are the band’s programs in the short and long term?
“We are already working on the new album (it will be something quite different once again but we cannot say more for now!) and of course find opportunities to perform on stage!!!”