Gold Skies Ahead: UK Pop Punk Invasion

goldskiesahead2013_1_400x285Although the band is based in the UK, Gold Skies Ahead found themselves making their way across the Atlantic to record their latest EP, produced by none other than Mike Herrera of the legendary MxPx!  Entitled Bremerton, after the small town in Washington state where the recording took place, the songs would later be mixed by Justin Hill of Sikth back in London .  A stunning collection of heartfelt pop punk, Bremerton by Gold Skies Ahead is a short yet towering collection of tunes well worth seeking out.  Fronted by brothers Jimmy and Kenzi and completed by friends Joe, Jack and Jonny, the band has gained a rapidly expanding fan base in the UK and beyond. Here is an interview we conducted with lead vocalist Jimmy to find out more about this dynamic band on the rise…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Gold Skies Ahead, and how long the band has been together.
Hi I’m Jimmy, lead singer. The band has been around for about 2 years now.

Where is the band based out of, and what is your music scene like there?
We’re from a town called Bedford, just north of London. The scene isn’t really buzzing here, but we’re lucky we are very close to London so there’s always something happening nearby!

Is there any story or concept behind the title of your EP Bremerton?
We flew out to the States to record the EP with Mike Herrera, and Bremerton is the name of the town where the studio is based (about an hour away from Seattle). We really loved the experience and the people we met in Bremerton, so we thought what better way to pay tribute than by naming the record after the place?

Select two songs from Bremerton and what inspired the lyrics.
All This Way – This one has a sort of double meaning – on the one hand it’s about being in a relationship for a while, going through a lot of tough times but then still ending up together stronger than ever, even when people doubted you. However, the relationship doesn’t necessarily mean between a girl and boy. It’s a little bit about us as a band and surviving setbacks. I love it when songs allow you make your own interpretation.

It’s Always Rainy in Seattle – this is a fun one! It’s basically about the classic reputation you can sometimes have about being a guy in a band – that you are a ‘player’ when it’s not always true!

bremertonep1_300x300What was the experience like recording with Mike Herrera of MxPx and what did he contribute to the overall recording process?
Mike is one of our musical heroes – we grew up listening to MxPx! To be able to work with him and to have him do guest vocals on the EP was a dream come true. As a producer he is super chilled out, very patient and willing to listen but equally willing to offer his own ideas, which is invaluable considering all the experience he has. He’s also ‘one of the guys’ and was always willing to have a beer or play soccer with us etc – I think that was important to help us get on the same page creatively. I’d just like to take a quick opportunity to shout out Justin Hill (from Sikth) who mixed and mastered the record back in London. We have been working with him for a long time so he knew exactly how to finish off the great work Mike did back in the States for us.

Has Gold Skies Ahead ever toured or played any shows here in the States and if so, how did the experience go?
Whilst we were in Bremerton we did manage to squeeze in a very short acoustic set at an open mic night. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to allow for recording and a tour, but there is something in the pipeline for 2014…we’ll be back!

What could one expect from a live Gold Skies Ahead show?
You can expect us to give 100% on stage every night no matter where it is or how big the venue is. We bring the energy and we like to share that with the fans!

Any strange or scary stories from the road or at a show?
Our flight to Seattle actually got cancelled on the day, but we couldn’t afford to lose any studio time. Luckily we managed to get the very last seats on another flight – which lead to the sight of 4 tattooed rockers frantically running from one end of Heathrow airport to the other in a desperate attempt to get on the plane in time! Getting through immigration in the States was also a pretty scary experience!

What is the best and worst part about having two brother in a band or what’s the best and worst part about being in a band with your brother?
The best is part is that we are often on the same wavelength about things. We have a connection which makes it easier to understand each other’s ideas. Also, knowing that if shit goes down – you will always have someone who’s got your back.
The worst part is the disagreements – but it seemed to work out pretty well for Oasis all those years even with all the fights!

If you could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Motley Crue! Can you imagine what an experience that would be?! The crazy big stages, the partying backstage etc. To me they are the very embodiment of Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll.

The Queen Of England invites Gold Skies Ahead to play one song for her at a Royal Command Performance.. What song would you do for Her Majesty and the guest and why?
I’m not a big fan of the Royal Family, so I’d probably go with some of our heavier stuff from our first EP ‘Chapter One’ (free download on our website) and just try and piss her off to get a reaction! I’ll go with our song Green My Eyes.

What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most after hearing your music for the first time?
Whatever they want to. I’ve learnt over the years of being in bands that you can’t force people to like you – some people do and some people don’t. I suppose I’d just like people to know how much work, money, time, love and sacrifice has gone into each song. Hopefully they can find SOMETHING in the music they can relate to and enjoy.

Any final words of wisdom?
In the immortal words of the great Hulk Hogan…“say your prayers, take your vitamins and you will never go wrong!” Also – buy our new EP!

Gold Skies Ahead is:
Jimmy – Vox
Kenzi – Guitar/Vox
Jack – Lead Guitar
Joe – Drums
Jonny – Bass

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

Gold Skies Ahead on Facebook

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