Mastered by Patrick W. Engel at TEMPLE OF DISHARMONY in March 2019.
Following in the footsteps of Amulet, Wytch Hazel, Seven Sisters, Dark Forest and Toledo Steel, Skyryder are another name to be added to the growing list of protagonists of the new wave of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. The roots of the band go back to the year 2016, as drummer Andy Macknight explains: “We were originally based in London when Adam played bass for Seven Sisters. Originally it was just him and Michalis Moatsos from Endless Recovery on drums. It was put on hold for a little while when he moved to Russia for a brief period. Adam moved back here in 2017 and met Andy through a mutual friend that summer. They knew a lot of the same people so it was almost bound to happen. There were a couple of jam sessions of just the two of them in Newcastle until Luke (Williams) was found through and advertisement that was put up a short time later. It was through Luke that we met Jonny (Luke and Andy had both unknowingly watched him play with Trendkill at “Bloodstock” about a week before). Adam literally asked for another guitarist that could ‘shred like Malmsteen’ and Luke dragged Jonny into the fold. Adam already knew Luke (Mills) from when he lived in London and seemed the perfect fit. We found out a little while later that three of us were literally stood metres from each other at a King Diamond show in London about two years prior to meeting, as fate would have it.”
Based in the North East of England, the different band members are actually scattered across the country: “Adam and Luke (Williams) are from the Durham area, Jonny is from Teesside, Andy comes from Sunderland and Luke (Mills) is from Portsmouth on the South coast. We're a really mixed bag. Newcastle is the epicenter of the music scene in this part of England so we spend a lot of time there.”
“The scene in Newcastle is absolutely fantastic,” beams Andy Macknight. “All the bands and promoters hang around together and it creates a really unique environment. There's some excellently diverse bands and musicians doing the rounds, a bit of everything for everyone. Bands like Live Burial, Horrified and Vacivus have all of your death metal needs covered, then you have all of your more NWOBHM/trad sounds covered by guys like Culloden, Usurper and your more full on thrash metal and power metal elements by guys like Starborn and Risen Prophecy. We're big fans of all of these guys and there's so many other brilliant ones. On top of this the promoters are world class and they work damn hard. They've put on some of the best line-ups that we've ever encountered. They always take really good care of us guys too. We owe an awful lot to the guys in Byker Grave Promotions especially.“
The CD EP »Vol. 1«, now issued via High Roller Records on vinyl, is originally from 2018: “That’s correct. It was mainly to be used as a statement of intent as well as a way of unleashing Skyryder into the world. It had actually been written long before this line-up even met and there's still some of the original demos floating around from before most of the first line up were even in the band.”
According to Andy Macknight, »Vol. 1« is soon to be followed by »Vol. 2«: “We've just finished recording the second EP, which will round off this part of the concept story which we think sounds great. Then after that we'll be starting on the album. Ideas are already floating around for a full-length. There's so many great ideas doing the rounds it was almost inevitable that we'll do one.”
“We've always really liked treading that fine line between traditional heavy metal and power metal,” explains the drummer Skyryder’s sound, “as we feel there's a lot more to play with and when we feel like it we can cross over that line a little bit.” In addition to that, some epic metal leanings can be found as well. “A couple of us are big fans of the likes of Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol and Heir Apparent,” confirms Andy Macknight. “We don't think it shows so much in »Vol. 1« but there's a good chance they might have influenced certain parts of our future releases. The NWOBHM influence is also definitely there, just maybe not as prominent as with some of the other bands around us. You can't really play heavy metal nowadays and not be influenced by the NWOBHM sound in some way, even if they aren't direct. There are so many other bands that encapsulate that sound perfectly. We just drag in influences from so many other places that it probably gets overshadowed a little bit.”