We caught up with Ryan and Danny from Skinny Living just before their show at Broadcast to talk about their latest EP, possible future releases and everything in between! Check out the interview below:
YOU RECENTLY RELEASED AN EP NAMED ‘3’, HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO CHOOSE THE FOUR SONGS OUT OF ALL THE SONGS YOU’VE WRITTEN?
Ryan – Good question. This was a bit of a collaborative decision, for what we were going to do for this first. We recently got our first manager and he was listening to our music and thought it was a good idea to go that way with ‘Better Way of Thinking’. It was the initial idea for the EP and we got ourselves into the idea of the way that was working. And when we were working with Jake, the producer, he really liked the sound of ‘Only I’. We were playing around with another couple of songs but ‘Only I’ seemed to stand out for us. So ‘Only I’ lead the way and the we brought in ‘Better Way of Thinking’ to accompany it, and then the other two songs. For ‘Got Control’ we asked our fan base, everybody online, what song they wanted to hear and ‘Got Control’ was the one that got the most votes so we put it on. And then, we only wanted to do three tracks but for iTunes you need to have 4 and we only found that out very close to the release date so we quickly recorded an iPhone demo of ‘Granda’ and put it on.
YEAH, SO THAT’S YOUR THING ISN’T IT, RECORDING ONTO YOUR IPHONE IN TRAIN STATIONS AND STUFF?
Ryan – Yeah!
SO HOW DID YOU FIND THE TRANSITION OF RECORDING ON YOUR IPHONE TO BEING IN THE STUDIO?
Danny – One of the things that were weird was we had more than just what we could do at once. So we started adding bass and the beats are a lot more thought about rather than just on the box. But then, we didn’t want to push that too far. It was weird for us, it was a learning process, because we didn’t want to go in there and just make it sound like the videos but we also didn’t want to go in there and make any sparkling, amazing sounds.
Ryan – We got an opportunity to make that mistake in the past, we’ve recorded some stuff before. Storybook we’re happy with, although we sound very immature in it, and sometimes I cringe at the sound of my voice in it, but the actual overall sound of it was just enough, it was just right. It sounds like us, but then we went to record some of the other songs that we released that we’ve actually taken down off social media. We just went over the top, we had so many different sounds on it we just kept putting stuff on it and we ended up not sounding like who we are
Danny – It was like we were having fun whilst doing it but the music wasn’t translating that.
SO WHAT WAS THE MAIN THEME OR INSPIRATION FOR THE TRACKS ON ‘3’?
Danny – Self –what’s the word? Looking at yourself.
Ryan – Self-realisation. I think that ‘Only I’, follows a story that I went through before I moved over here, and I didn’t realise that the song was approaching on that until we got through the writing process of it, then the song really started to speak to me about – you can go to a place that’s really dark in your mind or dark in life and loads of people around can say “come one you can sort it out you can do this”, they can advise you on what to do but only you can make the change to make it happen. And better way of thinking is about intuition and going with your gut instinct. The fact that both of these songs have a similar meaning it took over the creative vision of the EP.
SO YOU GUYS ARE CURRENTLY ON A UK TOUR, HOW ARE YOU FINDING THE EXPERIENCE OF TOURING SO FAR?
Danny – It’s amazing, it’s weird. And this is the first time we’ve done a tour with a team around us, it’s taken the heat off us quite a bit and it means that our job is to just play music now.
Ryan – We can focus more on what we want to be doing. We spent a lot of time, when we did an open mic tour and drove around the country on our own, and when we did the last tour we had a sound engineer that was the driver and the tour manager, so it was all mad, but having a proper team around us we can concentrate on the music a lot more.
Danny – I think we’re a bit more used to tours now, we know it’s better to go to sleep early and drink lots of water…
Ryan – Well… One night out of every five or something!
SKINNY LIVING ARE VERY ACTIVE ON FACEBOOK AND YOU’RE CONSTANTLY LIVE STREAMING PERFORMANCES, HOW DOES THAT EFFECT THE WAY YOU WRITE AND PUT OUT MUSIC?
Ryan – In the beginning it helped us make decisions for what we were going to release, and it also helps us find out what people like us to say in our music and the sounds that they like.
Danny – Facebook live is so good because it’s more like a conversation, people ask us the finer details that no one usually bothers to ask.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU GUYS ACTUALLY BEEN WRITING AND RECORDING MUSIC TOGETHER AS SKINNY LIVING?
Ryan – Three years in December.
AND HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU’VE CHANGED AND GROWN AS A PERFORMANCE FROM THREE YEARS AGO COMPARED TO NOW?
Ryan – Hugely.
Danny – Yeah It’s laughable when we look back.
Ryan – It’s funny because sometimes you take a step back. Like you’re going along and you feel like you’re growing and growing and then you take a step back and you realise you’re not as good as you were at one time before because you’ve forgotten what you were doing. We used to play four or five days a week just constantly touring around the country off our own back, playing small gigs and open mics. And that keeps you on form and then stopping for a while and going into the writing process and staying away from the live scene and you lose a bit of your knowledge of doing it. So the first couple of days on this tour, I thought, were quite slow. The gigs were still great but I just didn’t have the impact and energy but when we got over to Ireland, it was our third or fourth gig, it just heated up. And I feel like we’ve got into the swing of things now.
FINAL QUESTION, WHAT IS NEXT FOR SKINNY LIVING?
Danny – We don’t know! That’s the thing. It’s weird, we have rough plans, a really rough guideline and then when it comes close to it that’s when decisions are made. Where we are as a band right now it’s hard to see where the progression is going. Our plan could completely change, maybe one song hits or a song we expected to go really well flops, so it’s hard to think where we could be. Album hopefully?
Ryan – More music. Another EP, maybe some singles. But definitely I would love to release an album next year it just depends on if we’re ready or not. We’re just trying to get the sounds right. We’ve got enough songs to do a couple of albums but it’s just getting the right songs together.
DO YOU THINK YOU’LL DO THE SAME AS LAST TIME, IN REGARDS TO ASKING FANS WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR?
Ryan – Maybe, yeah. More than likely I think because we’ve had so much support from the beginning and we’ve asked, quite a lot of the time, for people’s advice, like we let people pick a name for ‘Let Me In’ which is probably our biggest song.
WHY WASN’T THAT ONE ON THE EP?
Ryan – That’s why, because it’s our biggest song. We’re waiting for the right time to put it out. And it’s probably one of my favourites to play.
After the interview the boys went on to play a phenomenal show. With support from Lewis Capaldi and Nuuxs, the night was a journey in itself. As well as performing the songs from their new EP, they played some brand new songs and even songs such as “The Journey”, a song I have longingly waited to hear again after so long.
Peace n Love