In September, DutchMetalManiac’s Julia Obenauer reviewed Countless Skies’ album New Dawn. You can check that review here. Now Julia interviews bassist/vocalist Phil Romeo, read it below.
Hey guys! Thank you for doing this interview with DutchMetalManiac. Could you briefly introduce your band?
Hi, we are Countless Skies: a four piece melodic death metal band from Hertfordshire, England.
How was the band formed? Did you know each other before?
James and Ross have been close friends and metal enthusiasts since school, often playing guitars together and dabbling in the idea of having their own band. They met me years later, introducing me to the genre. We produced a demo (Hatespire) in my home studio, before I became their fixed bass player and clean singer. Nathan was found later, whilst searching MySpace for available drummers.
How did you come up with the band name?
Countless Skies is the title of a great song by the band Bel’akor, a huge influence in our song writing.
Let’s talk about your album, New Dawn. It got really good reviews so far, and I personally loved it as well, especially the diversity between the songs. How did you guys approach the songwriting and the recording?
Most of the songwriting is handled by James, who will oversee the final composition of not just the individual tracks: but the album as a whole. Everything is written into software like Guitar Pro, often traded back and forth between the rest of the band to pitch compositional ideas or tweaks to their own parts.
New Dawn was recorded at HVR Studios, under the expertise of Danny Biggin.
How long did it take to get the whole album done?
Just over a week of full time recording every day. We actually slept at the studio itself.
The album cover also very nicely reflects the tone and mood of your songs in my opinion. Who designed it and how did you choose the cover?
Our artwork has always been a testament to the talent and skills of Carl Ellis. We send him our music and explain what we are after. He will then send us several ideas, rough drafts of what he believes will work as an artist. The band narrow down the choices and Carl works on the final draft, making a few edits until it is finished.
I heard some influence from Dark Tranquillity in your songs. Which other band(s) inspires you and your songwriting?
Bel’akor, Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, Devin Townsend, Wintersun.
What’s your opinion on the current melodic death metal scene? Any bands you are really into at the moment?
The scene is very much alive and kicking, with bands like Raze the Void, Aghast, Dorylus, and Cerberus Unchained. Perhaps not melodic death, but definitely check out Spectral Darkwave, Everest Queen, Outright Resistance and the unforgettable Footprints In The Custard.
You will be touring the UK with Whispered in September. Are you excited?
Unbelievably so, we’re all big fans of the band. Not only are we excited for our first tour, we will be sharing the stage with an exceptional band. It should be a great experience for us.
I saw that you played quite a bit of shows in the UK already in the past years, amongst others also during Bloodstock Open Air. Any of the greatest and/or most bizarre moments on or off stage you feel like sharing?
Watching Paige Lee (Outright Resistance) smash a light fitting with a confetti cannon was a pretty splendid sight, even if accidental.
Ross being interrupted by a drunken stranger, mid song, to ask the crowd for a rizzler was a little strange. Especially when he fell off the stage immediately after.
Any chance to see you live on stage in the rest of Europe someday, apart from the shows in Ireland in October?
We are certainly hopeful, having all shared the dream of travelling and performing our music outside of the UK.
Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?
Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy the album. Keep supporting your local bands, venues and promoters!
Thank you for doing the interview!
Stream New Dawn in its entirety below.