An Interview With Vocalist Skynd28th February 2023
I was lucky enough to catch up with the incredibly voiced Skynd as she took a break from tour preparations for the up-and-coming Ice Nine Kills shows. Obviously, the 1st thing that was asked was about a physical release of the 4 E.Ps to being released as a novella kind of affair and the 3 tracks that haven’t been recorded studio-wise as yet (Bianca Devins, Mary Bell, Robert Hansen). Skynd played things very close to the chest. Although Skynd did say 2 of 3 will be recorded but she wouldn’t say which 2. They want it to be a surprise.
What transpired next is transcribed below.
You’ve been diagnosed with ADHD. Tell me how that affects you with the writing process.
It’s hard for me at times. Filtering out noises. It’s as if I can hear everything, and smell everything as well. I’m super sensitive to sensory overload. I get that a lot, especially when I have a signing session, it can get a little too much.
I take medication as well, but when the meds start wearing off it gets bad. Also with focusing, when I’m writing music with Father, by now, he knows. Sometimes I’m all over the place and then I’m like we have to take this idea and that idea, we then have to take this information and use that information and take this idea and that idea. He’s always like we have to have a structure before we continue. I’m so happy that he’s helping me with this.
For me, it’s hard when I write or translate a case into music. it’s what information is really important to tell and what is OK not to put into the lyrics. Especially when it comes to the lyrics.
It’s great to hear that the meds help.
Do you sit and write with Father? How does the dynamic work?
(laughs) because of my ADHD I don’t sit and write.
The whole process is I’m coming up with the topic I want to write about. I don’t really play an instrument, everything I do is with vocals. I hear things. I can’t really explain it. It’s like in front of my eyes I have this melody so it’s in my ears so I can just listen and I can just sing it. I go with Father to the studio and we just start off with all the recordings that I did with my vocals. Then we create the vibe I hear or I can visualize for the song, and from there it’s Father coming up with ideas and then it’s me coming up with vocal lines.
Sometimes the lyric is already there or while we’re writing the music it’s really easy to come up with the words. But sometimes it’s like we come up with the music and we create this feeling but we don’t have the right words yet. It just depends sometimes.
Also what Father likes to do is to just create sounds or a feeling and then he just tells me to listen to them and if I have an idea or a certain case that I could connect it to.
If you could interview any of the people you’ve currently written about, who would it be and why?
Actually, I would like to talk to every one of them as every one of them is unique and it would give you a different perspective.
It would be interesting to get the reason out of Katherine Knight as to why she did what she did because there’s not a real explanation as to why. on. She would be interesting to talk to.
I’d also like to talk to Tyler Hadley to see how he’s doing in jail and to see if he’s grown in any way as he was just a teen when he committed his crimes or if he’s still in the same mindset of how he talks about it.
Personally, I would like to speak to Michelle Carter. I’d like to find out what was going through her head at the time.
I don’t know if I’d like to talk to her, to be honest. She gives me some kind of vibe, especially now as she’s had the opportunity to change her name and live happily ever after in a new life.
It feels kinda wrong because she’s an example of what texting someone the wrong words and the wrong messages can actually do.
I’m glad I wrote a song about her so we won’t forget what she actually did.
True. I think it’s important that we remember what these people have done. Kind of like, those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Exactly. That’s what keeps me going. Exactly that. Especially that quote.
Have you had any backlash or comments from any of the families?
I feel as if I’ve not got any personal feedback. When I check the comments on YouTube, there was one I remember on the Tyler Hadley post. This person said something along the lines of that he knew Tyler and he was listening to the song in jail.
If you check the comment sections there are some that are pretending to know people but I’ve never really got any direct feedback. Which would be very interesting to know.
What is the origin of Skynd?
The story behind Skynd? When I was around 3 or 4 years old, I had an imaginary friend who first showed up he was the one who introduced himself as Skynd, which is where I got my name from. The thing is he appeared and he told me all those horrible stories. As I grew up, those stories got even creepier and I grew up with this.
Over time I was drawn to those stories. So I wanted to read about it and maybe try to find the reason they did it. Reading into the human psyche. Because it’s so interesting and you can learn so much about yourself.
You can learn certain things about mental health and it’s educating.
You’ve got the tour coming up with Ice Nine Kills soon, what song in your set are you most looking forward to performing?
I like to perform John Wayne Gacy at the moment as it’s a new one.
I really like the way you’ve paid respect to the victims on that track as opposed to focusing on Gacy himself.
When Father (multi-instrumentalist) and I met and when we first started translating cases into music over time I always wondered if it was respectful to call out the names of the victims.
I called a song Elisa Lam but I never actually sang her name. With this one (Jogn Wayne Gacy) it felt important to the song
It’s definitely important to remember them so they’re not forgotten as victims are often overlooked I feel.
It feels like a good song to start naming the victims
You just touched briefly on Elisa Lam. What do you think actually happened to here?
It’s a tough one. I don’t think she did that to herself. There was something or someone else involved that did whatever it did. Just the whole water tank thing. Like the door on the tank takes a couple of people to lift it. There’s no way she could’ve done that on her own.
True, it’s a 20-pound door apparently.
It just doesn’t make sense to me. So if it was supernatural, or someone else. I don’t know.
It’s a mystery and I don’t think we’re ever going to know.
It’s weird to me how she was found in the tank. She was clothed in the elevator video that was released and yet she was found naked in the water. Unless she’s had a complete manic episode and stripped off somewhere along the way, but surely they would’ve found her clothes?
But then how did she open the hatch? Also, they needed a special key to open the other door.
If she did have a manic episode then why did she end up in that tank? It’s impossible for her to open it Someone had to be there to help her. Someone wanted her in that tank.
The Black Dhalia also happened not far from that hotel as well. There have been a lot of suicides and strange deaths in that place.
I’m on the same page as you about Elisa Lam. On a happier note, what are the vocal effects that you use? You have one effect that makes you sound childish which is incredibly creepie.
On the recordings, I think we used different ones but as far as production, that’s Father’s knowledge.
For the live shows, we have a system that pitches the vocals as I’m singing. Before I had those meaty rings that were connected via blue tooth which don’t work on festival stages. We couldn’t use them properly and actually wearing a glove sucks while performing as you have to hold your hand still. If I moved my hand up, my voice would go up or if I moved it down, my voice would go down.
So we have this system, I don’t know what to call it. It’s Father’s idea. While I’m singing there’s a pre-recorded effect that alters my voice. Sometimes it’s on and other times it’s off and it’s my natural voice.
I change my voice or the pitch of the vocal as it helps me to tell the story in my way. So the high-pitched child-like voice is the innocent part where the lows are really bad. It just helps with the storytelling.
It really does draw the listener in to engage with the story.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat, one final question for you. If your friends were to give you an award, what would it be for?
I think, for being a true empath.
I feel like I have a lot of empathy for people.
That really does come across in the songs. You truly are respectful which is a hard thing to be when writing about such a taboo subject.
Skynd is truly an incredible individual and an absolute pleasure to talk to. I’m stoked to have been given the opportunity to chat and I look forward to seeing Skynd at one of the many shows with Ice Nine Kills.