Band of Skulls Wonder: How Many Synchs Is Too Many?
Licensing was good for Britain's Band of Skulls and its 2009 debut album "Baby Darling Doll Face Honey." The song "Friends," of course, was a breakout from the "Twilight Saga: New Moon" soundtrack, while the group's music was also heard on "Friday Night Lights," "Gossip Girl," "Castle," "Going the Distance" and "United States of Tara," and in several commercials and video games.
But bassist Emma Richardson tells Billboard.com that the trio is being a bit more careful and selective in the way it's deploying songs from its sophomore set, "Sweet Sour."
"There's usually a couple of things in the pipeline, but nothing I can confirm," Richardson says. "You're offered things; sometimes they feel right, sometimes it doesn't. You have to go on gut instinct, really. It's been helpful to us in the past; we wouldn't have been able to make this record and go on tour again if we hadn't done some of those things. So we don't want to turn up our noses, just because. But you don't want to be known as the band who has all their songs on every advert, either. We just have to make sure it's the right thing."
Thompson says that despite the momentum generated by all of the first album's song placements, she, guitarist Russell Marsden and drummer Matt Hayward "didn't have a plan" for "Sweet Sour," which Band of Skulls recorded with producer Ian Davenport at Rockfield Studios in Wells. "Everyone just laid all their ideas on the table and ended up coming up with what we have for this record," she explains. "It's a bit of a sum-up of the past couple years. We were on tour for a long time, so it was nice to get into the studio and work again. It takes some time because everyone's got to agree on everything. It's got to pass a lot of tests, so it takes a little more time than most bands. We've learned to talk through it, at least. It never comes to punches or anything like that."
Richardson did say, however, that one goal for "Sweet Sour" was to expand Band of Skulls' sound. "We didn't want to just make a rock record that was straight-up loud all the way through," she notes. "We had a couple of other ideas floating around that we wanted to look at as well, and I'm glad they've made it to the album. We didn't know there were going to be a lot of slower tracks that came out like that, but we're glad they evolved into what they've become. It's nice to show some more sides of what we can do."
Band of Skulls will be showing that on the road for the foreseeable future. The group will be in North America until May 22 -- including shows on both weekends of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival -- and currently has four U.K. festival dates booked for the summer. "I think we're going to try to tour this album as much as we can," Richardson says. "This year is pretty busy already; we've got a lot going on, which is great. We'll probably do more in Europe this summer, then come back to America again and hopefully Australia as well."