Skin Wings : An Interview

Skin Wings out of New York City play the blues and spice up the joint wherever audiences are found. 

O) denotes my replies, (S) denotes Sam Maynard's responses.

 

Who are you and what do you do? 

(O) We're Skin Wings, and we play the blues.

Skin Wings performing - Photo credit Michael Lebron

Skin Wings performing - Photo credit Michael Lebron

How would you categorize your music? 

(O) We've been evolving since we started, always incorporating the blues into our sound, because it comes so naturally, but lately we've been focusing on trying to make really raw, stripped down garage-esque blues.

What's one song you have a personal story behind? 

(O)Well, they're all deeply personal. Typically, I, start by forming lyrics with the shards of my freshly broken heart and newly torn out guts and I hand my blood and guts to Sam, and he takes his own existential dread and anger and makes guitar sounds that match my blood and guts.

Skin Wings performing - Photo credit Hannah Delmore

Skin Wings performing - Photo credit Hannah Delmore

 

When did you start writing songs?

(O)We started playing together about eight months ago, but I've written lyrics and poetry for as long as I can remember. It's only since Sam and I started this band though that I've felt like an actual songwriter.

(S) I think I started seriously writing songs when I was around 12 or 13 and I've been doing it ever since. Olivia and I have a very democratic songwriting partnership, one of us will have some idea and we both chime in with ideas and finish everything together. It's very collaborative, which I love, it's one of the hardest things to actually make work and it comes very naturally to us.

 

What are your musical influences?

Skin Wings performing - Photo credit Michael Lebron

Skin Wings performing - Photo credit Michael Lebron

(O)We're very influenced by artists like Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, Billie Holiday, and Jefferson Airplane. Certain partnerships, such as Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Grace Slick and Marty Balin, and Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham really influence our dynamic, which I think is just as crucial as purely musical influence. Sure Janis Joplin influences our sound, but Led Zeppelin influences the way we perform and balance each other out.

What's the best place you've performed at? 

(S) Greenpoint Gallery has been great to us. We've played there a few times now at art openings and group shows and it's always really fun. It's also great to get a crossover audience of art fans, who I feel like might not normally be at shows otherwise.

What's been one challenge with the band? 

(O)When we started out we tried playing with a few other people and quickly decided that we wanted to remain a two-piece band. But as we've been trying to do bigger things with our sound and style, we're looking to add a drummer and a bassist, and finding other musicians who want to play the kind of music we're making and have the time to devote to the project has been difficult.

What's next for the band?

(S) we recorded 5 songs for an EP a while back, and we might do a couple more. We are planning a free, online only self-release for later this summer, and eventually a 7" vinyl release. 

Fun Questions

If you were stuck on an island what five items would you want with you? 

(O) An iPod with infinite battery power loaded with all my favorite music, a guitar, a hula hoop, a lighter, and a pound of marijuana.

(S) a guitar, sunglasses, a battery powered tascam 4-track cassette recorder with infinite batteries and infinite tapes, my Xbox and one of those spray bottles with a fan attached to it. 

If you could perform on any stage where would it be? 

(O) If CBGB or the Whisky-A-Go-Go were still open, I'd kill to play at either one.

(S) the Moore theater in Seattle, I grew up going to shows there and it would be such a trip to see it from the other side.

If you could have a super power what would it be?

(O) Flight. No question 

(S) if I were as smart and rich as Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark I think I would probably spend my money slightly differently...