SKYND – Pre-Show Interview, Glasgow, 29th November 2023

SKYND – Pre-Show Interview, Glasgow, 29th November 2023

4th December 2023 0 By John Deaux

It’s bitterly cold in Glasgow this evening but it’s perfect conditions for a SKYND show, especially as the venue is in what was Glasgow’s oldest church. Ideal for a visit to The Dark Place

Hi Skynd, it’s a pleasure to meet you again, and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule. You’ve been on tour now for the best part of a year how have the shows been going?
We came here in September last year and then again earlier this year with Ice Nine Kills, and now we’re back again with our second headline show and people are still buying tickets which is fantastic.

You mentioned the special guest slot on the Ice Nine Kills shows which was a match made in heaven.
It was indeed a dream line-up. Not just in terms of subject matter but also from a theatrical point of view. I’ve always looked up to Spencer (Chandras. Frontman of Ice Nine Kills). He’s a great artist and great performer and to see him be in his character all the time was so inspiring for me.

Who approached who for that tour (Wurst Vacation)?
They asked if we would part as a special guest and I couldn’t say no.

When the offer came in I was like ‘fuck yeah I’m gonna do that’

You took 3 months off after the Ice Nine Kills shows, what did you get up to in that downtime?
Writing new songs and creating new videos is all I did really and the feedback has been so great. I can see it now with the headline tour. 

Alot of people are showing up in their Ice Nine Kills Wurst Vacation tour shits and it’s like ‘Oh you came back. That’s amazing. Thank you so much That’s a huge honor for us.

What do you think is our fascination with the subject matter you cover?
People are drawn to these stories like me because it’s such inhumane cruelty. I mean, how can some like Chris Watts for example, kill his 2 children and his pregnant wife? This is a question that we’re all trying to explain.Why was he doing what he was doing and I think the question of why is something we try to explore and try to understand and most of the time it’s not understandable. But still, it’s a fascination that still draws me to all these true crime stories.

Especially the why it happened, what was the reason, and what kind of backpack this person had, was it mental health?

For me, everything starts with mental health as it just plays the biggest part of it and I think that’s what draws people to it. I guess it’s also the shock factor as well. When you read about it, it’s like ‘what the fuck’!

Take Anders Brevik for example with the Norwegian Terror Attack.  This is something I struggle with. How can you point a gun toward children and just kill them randomly? This is still a question mark to me. So I think that this is what draws people into it, dig into it, and investigate it.

You’ve just covered Aileen Wournos which will hopefully be coming out as a stand-alone track
Yes that will be released
How did you get drawn to that particular case?
Aileen was on my list becasue I feel like in the 90’s this case was being talked about so differently.

I remember one interview where a lady asked her ‘ but how can a prostitute be raped?’ When I heard that I was like ‘what the fuck, she’s a human being. how can you ask a woman that question? and it’s kind of like a feminism thing for me aswell. 

In the 90’s she got treated differently for what she was doing. In my opinion, it’s her whole backpack that drew her into darkness. Beacuse her grandfather raped her,  abandoned by her mother, and abandoned by her father, she had to give up her child for adoption, then at the end, she was betrayed by her lover which is heartbreaking to me.

She lashed out when she was 30. She wasn’t like Jeffrey Dahmer who killed animals first or picked up roadkills and played around with dead things. She was different and she got treated like a bad human being. 
Like garbage basically
Yeah, people call killers monsters. Yes, what they did is inhumane but it’s still human. There’s a backpack that put this person in that situation. Like shitty parents or growing up in a shit hole. I don’t know.

But what we need to think about is what happened to this person an why it happened and for Aileen Wournos it’s different. She would have been treated differently had this happened now. I’m 100% sure of that and I still feel for her because when she admitted to those crimes, she had to, and then she got killed. It’s heartbreaking still.

I think what she did was wrong however they basically executed a mentally ill person. 
Exactly. And today you’d give her the help she would need. I know she did inhumane things but when you think about the 1st guy she killed, he was a predator as well and no one believed that woman when she said that he forced himself upon her, and then a journalist asked how a prostitute can be raped, it’s horrible.

That’s why it was incredibly important for me to write about but I never had the right words and I feel like now is the right time. Because no matter what happens in this world with the women in Iran for example. If they’re not wearing the hijab the right way they get imprisoned, so now is the right time for me to talk about Aileen Wournos.

I want to ask you about another case. What is your take on Ed Kemper? Do you think that the whole system let him down when they released him back to the one person (his mother) that HE said shouldn’t go back to?
It’s the system that failed him. He was really intelligent. He had a high I.Q. and he knew what people wanted to hear.

He also gave them a lot of answers too but they never listened. I feel like with him, he told people who he is. He was so vocal about it. When he got arrested he was so vocal about everything. People just don’t listen. 

It’s the same with Columbine with Eric and Dylan.  They had their problems, they had their mental issues yet noone was listening to them. I don’t know if it was Ritilin they were given but they gave them medication to be silent and there were so many signs that you could’ve seen but no one paid attention to them. What they did was horrible and I don’t want to talk about them as they still get glorified in my opinion.

But at the end of the day, they were teens and there was a reason. Bullying is a big topic, not getting the help that they need,  and here we are again. 

I don’t understand how school shootings in the USA are still happening especially something like Columbine. Gun control should play a big part in helping the problem but there also needs to be a bigger question asked. 
The whole mental health situation in the states is fucked. If you don’t have the money, you can’t get help and that to me is inhumane. 
It should be a human right to access the help you need and not have to pay for it. THE UK is no better, there’s a massive waiting list for help. To make matters worse it’s hard to get the right contacts.
If you don’t have the right contacts or you’re not related to someone who has them, you CAN’T get the help and it’s the suffering on your own that makes me super sad, And now especially after Covid. A lot of people got depressed and a lot of people are still struggling with their mental health because of that and again not getting the help they need.

OK so they got the injection that they needed but not the mental health help that they need as well. 

It’s something that needs to be spoken about more and I feel that if I can open that discussion then I shall. 

Do you get much backlash from you covering true crime in music?
I get criticized almost every day. People tell me that this is disrespectful. But to me, I’m just pointing the finger on that case, whatever you do with that fucking case, I don’t care, but talk about it openly. If I can open a conversation and people start talking to each other about it and maybe recognize certain patterns, I did my job. 

We need to learn from the past.
Indeed, if we don’t learn from the past we’ll continue to repeat it forever.

There’s also still the stigma attached to being depressed. Yes, it may be easier to talk about it, but it’s still a taboo subject. 
If you talk to friends who don’t get it, they tell you to play more sports. If it were that easy I think everyone would be doing it. 

I know it helps but it’s not the solution.

That’s where I find I’m quite lucky. There’s a friend of mine who also suffers from depression and we try to get together as often as possible for what we call ‘fireside chats’ just so we can vent and talk shit over a coffee.

If you have close friends who get what you’re going through then you should be able to lean on each other just to make sure that you’re doing OK. You need that support network. 
I always wanted to create a safe space for my supporters The Skyndicate so I created that safe space, so people can come into that group and talk about their mental health and everyone is accepted. Wherever they come from and if there’s one that’s disrespectful, they just get banned. And I love that.

I’m on that particular Facebook group. The way that it’s been set up and the way it’s run is fabulous.
That’s what I’ve always wanted and it’s my rules too. I want people to come together and now have close friends that they never had and now they can talk about True Crime/ 

I was bullied in school because I had an imaginary friend and I talked about that and people called me weird. I know I am but isn’t it OK to be weird?

When I do signings and people tell me about their story and when they tell me that they found good friends through my music.

The main reason I’m drawn to you is not so much the subject matter but you sound incredibly fresh in what has become a very stale genre. Everyone plays it safe and then you came along. 

Has meeting Father played a part in that?
Of course. He was the first to get what I was trying to achieve, what I wanted to sing about, and how I wanted to sound.

To me, it’s like this connection we had and we still have. He’s like my best friend, my twin flame, my brother and we can talk about mental health as well. To both of us, it’s really important. He just doesn’t like to stand in the spotlight. He likes to be in the studio and create. That’s the balance we have aswell.  I’m the loud one, I’m the ADHD one, he just wants to be in the back and just create music with me. That’s what he always wanted and that’s why it works so well. I think if we both wanted to be in the spotlight I don’t think it would work as well.

How did you and Father meet?
We met in Australia.

I wanted to meet Katherine Knight. Because that didn’t work out I went to a bush party and he was sitting on a rock doing this (sits with head in hands rocking back and forth) and I was so drawn to this guy as he was so weird and I’m drawn to weird people (laughs) maybe not weird but you know what I mean. 

I sat next to him, we started talking and we felt that there was this connection that I had been looking for. The next day we went to the studio and we wrote Elisa Lam.
The last interview we did together we discussed our theories of that case

I told him about it and said that I wanted to write about it and he found it so interesting so we watched the footage and I came up with my notebook and told him I have these lyrics, what do you think would go, he came up with the melooldy line. It was just a match made in heaven.

We wrote Elisa Lam , Gary Heidnick, Katherine Knight (obviously) and Richard Ramirez.  They were the 1st tracks we actually sat down and wrote. I was so hyper focused on those cases and he was just so happy to have someone that he could create new music with.

It’s definitely a whole new soundscape and it’ll be intersting to see who you inspire/influence musically in the future. 
That will be very intersting but I don’t think they’d like to admit it.

 True Crime has always been in art. Andy Warhole. I think it was in an exhibition that he did where he had pictures of women who got murdered. There are so many paintings as well there’s a band called Macabre who did a whole album about Jeffery Dahmer. So I’m not the first one to do this, I’m just the first woman to be doing this and people are like, ‘I hate this woman for that’ yet they didn’t hate Andy Warhole or Brian Murphy for doing the Dahmer movie, 

Who Influenced you?
Pink Floyd was one of my main influences. When I heard The Wall for the first time in my early teens I think that was the onbe that gave me the corage to write about true crime.

Because The Wall is about true events as well and the way they transcribed it into music as well, it’s so theatrical and to me it’s pure art. It’s one of the best albums out there. 

Then there was other bands that came trough like Korn, Slipknot and Kate Bush. Kate Bush was my influence for the pitched vocal. But she can do that by herself and she tells stories so well with how she sings and that always fascinated me.

You are performing almost every night on this tour. How are you maintaining your voice? 
I do vocal warm-ups every day with vocal coaching and on tour I try to eat healthy, try not to smoke as much (laughs). I don’t drink alcohol so I drink a lot of ginger tea which helps and keep myself warm, which helps, especially at the moment (referencing the coldness of Glasgow this evening).

Again,  many thanks for granting this interview so close to show time. It’s been a pleasure as always. 

Join the Facebook group The Skyndicate HERE and to keep up with all things SKYND, click HERE

 

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