Band of Skulls Premieres 'Bodies' Video: Watch It Here

Andy Cotterill
Band of Skulls photographed in 2016.

When it came time to make the video for "Bodies," the first single from its fourth album By Default, Britain's Band of Skulls eschewed high concept and decided to show the trio at its most basic.

"It was the first time we had a film crew come in and film a live gig and the backstage pre-gig kind of moments like that," bassist Emma Richardson tells Billboard about the clip, which was filmed at shows in London and Paris and is premiered below. "It was a great opportunity to show what we do in the best way. They did a really great job and captured that energy and that sort of spirit of the gig." And fortunately Richardson and her bandmates aren't the type to offer pre-show live animal sacrifices or any other top-secret rituals they wouldn't want documented for posterity.

"No, there's nothing like that," Richardson says with a laugh. "I get nervous as hell before we go on stage, so there's a lot of pacing and that kind of fear and adrenalin that drives you. Then when you walk on stage and see all those people and start the first song, then you feel natural and you're in your zone and you're happy. There's just that petrifying kind of walking on stage moment that happens. It adds to it, definitely."

By Default marks a bit of sea change for Band of Skulls, at least in terms of its writing process. "The first three albums, we'd be out on the road and then straight into the studio recording the next one, then back out on the road again," Richardson explains. "With this record we took a bit of a break." The group wound up hunkering down at a church in its home town of Southampton, England, where the vicar brought tea and biscuits while Band of Skulls worked on songs during the week, then cleared out for regular church functions on the weekend.

"It was quite bizarre," Richardson recalls. "I think it's the most time any of us have spent in church. We were going to church every day. It was very surreal." It was also productive -- Band of Skulls came up with some 100 musical ideas and nearly 30 songs during its town-month stay in the church, which were subsequently recorded with producer Gil Norton at Rockfield Studios in Wales, where the group also made its sophomore album, 2012's Sweet Sour.

"That space really inspired us and influenced the album," Richardson reports. "The sounds in that church were amazing. The drums and the vocals and the space in the room really lent itself to the songs, the feel of the room and the reverb off the walls. Gil loved the sound we were getting on the demos and really tried to keep that feel."

And with plenty of material left over from the church sessions, Band of Skulls feels that it already has a head start on whatever comes next. "There's a lot of things we're thinking about -- now, actually," Richardson says. "There are some things that are pretty finished, some things that need a bit of work. It was a very productive time. There's a great new wealth of material we can build onto and keep adding to. It's ongoing, really."

Though it will be spending most of the summer in Europe. Band of Skulls comes across the pond to play an acoustic show June 19 in Brooklyn and then appears the following night on NBC's Late Night With Seth Meyers. The group's North American tour begins Sept. 6 in Boston. The full itinerary includes:

June 19: Brooklyn, NY, Rough Trade (Acoustic)
September 6: Boston, MA. Royale
September 7: Montreal, QC, Corona Theatre
September 8: Toronto, ON, The Opera House
September 9: Columbus, OH, Skully’s Music Diner
September 10: Chicago, IL, Metro
September 11: Minneapolis, MN, Fine Line Music Café
September 13: Denver, CO, Gothic Theatre
September 14: Salt Lake City, UT, Urban Lounge
September 15-18: Victoria, BC, Rifflandia
September 16: Vancouver, BC, The Vogue Theatre
September 18: Seattle, WA, The Showbox
September 19: Portland, OR, Revolution Hall
September 21: San Francisco, CA, Fillmore
September 23: Los Angeles, CA, Wiltern
September 23-25: Las Vegas, NV, Life is Beautiful
September 24: Solana Beach, CA, Belly Up
September 26: Tucson, AZ, Rialto Theatre
September 28: Austin, TX, Antone’s
September 29: Dallas, TX, Trees
September 30: Memphis, TN, Minglewood Hall
October 1: Nashville, TN, Exit/In
October 2: Atlanta, GA, Terminal West
October 3: Durham, NC, Motorco Music Hall
October 4: Washington D.C., Black Cat
October 6: New York, NY, Terminal 5
October 7: Philadelphia, PA, Union Transfer