Published on December 31st, 2012 | by Aditya0
Musicancy Investigates : Devesh Dayal / Daniel Tompkins [Skyharbor]
Known as Hydrodjent before, these guys are now called Skyharbor and they are one of the best which emerged in the past few years. At first, it was just a small project by Keshav Dhar. Then Anup Shastry (Drums), Devesh Dayal (Guitars), Nikhil Rufus (Bass) and Anupam (FOH/ Management) joined in, the latest addition being none other than Daniel Tompkins (Vocals) who was the ex – vocalist for the band Tesseract. Skyharbor released their debut album Blinding White Noise : Illusion and Chaos on April 3rd (India, UK, Europe and Australasia) and April 4th (United States and Canada) via Basick Records.
We talked to Devesh Dayal and Daniel Tompkins recently, and here is the interview we did with the djentlemen :
Musicancy : We have had many djent metal bands, but Skyharbor has been successful in being different, be it the sound on your songs, the lyrical structures or the song structure as a whole. What, according to you, gives you that distinct part?
Devesh : Since I wasn’t involved in the writing process for the first album, I can’t really say for sure. But if I were to analyse, I’d say that Keshav has a very unique and effective way of adding layers to his songs. He really knows how to best compliment a riff and take it to another level. And then Dan got on board, which was absolutely a match made in heaven. There is no other vocal style better suited to the huge sounds that Keshav creates.
Musicancy : Daniel, that is a very interesting story about how you met these guys from Skyharbor. Which of their songs was it you listened to that made you contact them?
Daniel : I stumbled across a myspace page for what appeared to be a band called ‘Hydrodjent’ which made me smile, so I checked out the one song that was uploaded at the time called ‘Order 66′. As soon as I heard the song I was very impressed with the vibe and sounds that Keshav had created, so much so that I asked if he’d like me to do a little guest number on the track. This guest feature eventually turned into an album and Blinding White Noise was born a few months later.
Musicancy : We heard about you becoming a permanent member of Skyharbor! How are things looking? How are you going to manage your time between the two countries?
Daniel : Time management has always been important. We realise however that for all of us to make Skyharbor a full time touring band would be slightly unrealistic due to the fact that we have members from India, U.S and U.K and we all have various bands and commitments. We will be touring on some level though I’m sure, let’s see what the future holds.
Musicancy : What is the band focusing on currently?
Daniel : Primarily writing for the second album, something we don’t want to rush but at the same time we’re eager to get on with. We are quite writers and are excited by the idea of progressing the Skyharbor sound.
Musicancy : How is it like, having a vocalist like Daniel Tompkins, as a permanent member?
Devesh : It’s awesome. He’s a great dude and an amazing talent. Unarguably one of the best vocalists of our time.
Musicancy : So, you guys are playing Strawberry Fields in Bangalore this year. How many times have you played in this city before, with Skyharbor or other bands?
Devesh : I’ve played in Bangalore about five or six times. One with Skyharbor and the others with Goddess Gagged. Interestingly enough, the first time Goddess Gagged ever played a show outside Bombay was in Bangalore, and was at Strawberry Fields (2010). We won and it was an awesome experience, now this time I’ll be back but headlining instead!
Musicancy : Daniel, how is the reaction to your online vocal coaching? We are sure you must be quite busy with your schedule now?
Daniel : The reaction has been great, although I’ve been coaching for some years now. I’m very passionate about passing on the knowledge and skills I’ve gained over the years and there’s nothing more satisfying that watching my students develop and find their true voices. I have students worldwide, it’s manageable, but juggling the various time zones around does get a bit of a headache!
Musicancy : How was it playing at Euroblast? We saw the videos – that laptop must have given you a heart failure! What exactly happened?
Devesh : [laughs] What happened was, we didn’t know how much the stage would be shaking until we all got up there to set up and Anup started checking the kick drum. Keshav put the laptop on a table which was shaking like crazy, and during the first song the laptop inevitably fell off. Luckily everything kept playing and nothing was unplugged. I didn’t even know this happened until like, half an hour after we were done playing and Anup was talking about it. But anyway, Euroblast was one of the best experiences of my life and a huge step in my music career. I had a blast and I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more!
Musicancy : What future do you see, for the underground bands from India? Do you think bands from our country can make it to ‘that’ level? The question is not about the talent, we have lots of it, but about how music is not lucrative in here, you know what we mean!
Devesh : Great question. Culturally, pursuing music as a career (especially rock/metal) is a lot less common or accepted in India. Unless that changes and young musicians and music enthusiasts are taken seriously, it will be very hard for a lot of these underground bands to do big things. In most countries where “big” bands come from, there are companies sponsoring and supporting the music scene. Things like energy drinks, etc. That doesn’t really happen here on a large scale. I don’t know when or if it will happen, but if it does it will really help bands to do their thing. Keep in mind our scene is still very young. I’d say its hitting puberty right about now. So time will tell!
Musicancy : Which would be your most favourite place in the world to play a gig? Any particular festival you’d like to play at?
Devesh : It’d be a dream come true to do Warped Tour, or play at any major festival like Download, Soundwave, Sonisphere, etc.
Musicancy : Okay, Dan the last one. This is a question we have been asking every artist who is not from India. How do you like Indian food? Any special favourites?
Daniel : Well, I’ve been to India four times now, I love the food especially the variety of curries but you know I’ve got to be really careful with what I eat and tend to steer away from being too adventurous. The last time I picked up nasty stomach bug which lasted a month!
Skyharbor can be contacted at their official online presence :
Skyharbor are :
Daniel Tompkins – Vocals
Keshav Dhar – Guitar
Anup Sastry – Drums
Nikhil Rufus – Bass
Devesh Dayal – Guitar
Anupam Roy – FOH & Tour Manager