Chugging riffs and refreshing vocals are the aim of the game for Skies In Motion and the Derby metalcore guys have just unleashed them in abundance on their brand new record, ‘Life Lessons’. For fans of Architects, While She Sleeps and a host of the best British metal bands, Skies In Motion have learned from their peers and produced a record that uses tempo changes and breakdowns to full effect.
We caught up with the band who filled us in with a track-by-track guide to ‘Life Lessons’.
An introduction to the album. The idea behind Architect is to stay strong for everyone, your friends, your family, your partner and also fans of your music and they in return give you strength to go on. Dave and Andy intended on creating a start to the album with an almost The Ghost Inside inspired tone setter; short, punchy and a taste of what’s to come. This is also a subtle dedication to Tom Searle, who influenced us all greatly.
Cascades describes people that bully and try to hurt others, usually as a result of their own insecurities and self-loathing. “We all have demons, but don’t take it out on other people.” These people will eventually get their comeuppance if they continue along that path. Musically this is a lot darker than anything we’ve done before as a band, and we wanted to show this early on in the album. We aren’t the same band that recorded that EP.
This track focuses on the moment of realisation that you are better off alone and being happy with yourself, rather than prolonging a connection with someone who treats you badly and demeans you to point where you feel like nothing. This is our biggest nod to our past material, and is probably the most musically technical song on the record. Dave wrote the main riff of this about 5 years ago, Andy made some tweaks and the song became what it is today.
04.) HAPPY FAMILIES
Paternal abandonment, about coming from a broken home and longing for that feeling of a true family. It also explores the failure to understand why someone’s family would not be interested in their lives and want to be close with them. Meanwhile other close families are all around you and you have to bear witness to it. This song is very close to Adam’s personal upbringing and he wrote the lyrics on a long walk one night. Seeing the lights on in people’s houses and longing for the family time he witnessed that night. Andy really wanted to have a bouncy song on the album, and the opening riff is exactly that. This is quickly becoming a live favourite, for both us and our audience.
05.) LEARN THE HARD WAY
What it says on the tin. We’ve all had difficult upbringings in one way or another, these have made us stronger people. Especially when we unite together as a band, everything we’ve been through has given us tough body armour, bounce-back ability, resilience and has taught us to be persistent and keep going to find happiness. The music reflects that, constantly rising and falling before it resolves in a climactic outro, led by the lyric “If you fall down, you get back up.”
‘Ugly’ targets a number of different societal problems, the demise of the human race today and the sad reality we are faced with politically and environmentally. A heavy song that normally has a lot of bodies flying when played live. With the final breakdown being explosive and technically different every phase, this is certainly something to witness live.
07.) FINDING MYSELF LOST
A state of lowness (sometimes depression) for whatever reason, finding a glimpse of happiness and then falling right back into that dark place where you feel alone and doomed. Trying to find reason in what’s going on around you and the crushing knowledge that it’s going to be a hard journey to find your way out of it. One of the more ‘ballad-y’ tracks on the album, this song ends with a riff that’s collectively one of our favourites on the entire record. We’ve been massively influenced by Architects, and the closing riff is a big nod to them.
08.) SWORD SWALLOWER
This song is about trying to make your way through life, setting yourself on your own path and being whatever you want to be. No matter what walk of life you are from or what your ambitions are. It covers the struggle and obstacles that get in the way of our goals and how to overcome them. The lyrics and title for this were influenced by the opening speech of the Robin Williams film ‘Patch Adams’ – “All of life is a coming home. Salesmen, secretaries, coal miners, beekeepers, sword swallowers, all of us. All the restless hearts of the world, all trying to find a way home.”
‘Gonvena’ is about Dave’s feelings regarding the passing of his mother. All written by Dave, and performed by him with raw passion and emotion. The name comes from both the name of the house his mother grew up in, and a location in Cornwall that is close to the family and was regularly visited by Dave and his mother when she was alive. It was originally meant to be an instrumental interlude, but as time went on Dave thought it deserved to become more than that. “If I was lost she was my one true north, she was the sunshine that followed storms” – I think the rest of the band agree that this is one of our favourite tracks, and can’t help but have our hairs stand up on end and shed a tear every time we listen to it.
10.) WHEN HOME FEELS DISTANT AND DISTANCE FEELS LIKE HOME
A track that simply encompasses the feeling of your life/home being out touring on the road. Compared to when you’re in your physical home, and your heart is actually out on the road. This track describes the isolation of being trapped in your own abode, wasting time, just wanted to break out before time catches up with you. Musically, a very fast track in comparison to the rest of the album that reflects the speed of thoughts in our minds both at home and away from it, written in a major key to reflect trying to stay positive throughout.
11.) FIVE YEARS
Another extremely sensitive track. This song is about Adam’s late friend Sam who passed away five years before the song was written. It took all this time to feel comfortable writing about it; most of this time was spent just trying to just find the words that would justify Sam. The quote of “And just like the movies” comes quite literally from the Alien Ant Farm song ‘Movies’ which Adam sung over and over in his head when he moved to Sam’s school and met him in 2001. It covers happy memories they both shared, including the time Sam returned after a Winter of not seeing each other, and how he had never been so happy to see someone. Just before it was all ripped away from him.
‘Hopebringer’ shares the feeling of going through the darkest times in life, feeling empty and alone. It’s intended to reach out to people feeling the same way and to bring hope to them, as we know how it feels to be in that position and no one should have to feel alone. Dave wrote this song about 6 years ago, and when the rest of the band heard it we all agreed we needed to use it. Funnily enough, Dave wrote it during a time he was searching for hope, so the name of the song is actually quite poignant. The language of the song is posed as though it is being addressed to the listener, “Your friends care more than you think, don’t be so quick to throw away the best things.”
As a band we literally always reach out to anyone that might need our help but we also understand that words in a song can mean a lot to someone too. The song ends with an homage to our first EP, with the riff from ‘House Of Dreams’ making a return in the outro.
‘Life Lessons’ is available now, and you can order it online now via the band’s BigCartel page (here).