On 1st June 2007 at 12:01 Anonymous 6613 wrote...
theseeeee guys really r imense and joe wingfield is mrrr sex!!!!! haha good luck guys! ;)
Maria Pinto-Fernandes speaks with Leeds band Blue Sky Project on the eve of the release of their ‘Fenestrae’ EP
Blue Sky Project are four young guys who met conveniently after being inexorably changed by the experience of bands on Leeds Festival's criminally underrated unsigned stage. They make no secret and indeed no apology for their luck in forming an exemplary musical outfit that fell 'magically into place by the end of September'. The band's openness is refreshing as drummer Alex seemingly bares his soul 'I listened to a couple of Blue Sky Project demos and decided I wanted to be a part of it' thus acknowledging the fact that musicians have hearts like we mere mortals. And this is the concept that lies at the very core of Blue Sky Project: they each want to be here making music to soundtrack our lives, they aren't just churning it out for the sake of it.
Music is luckily an inherent part of each member's life and vocalist Lewis even recounts a childhood Christmas when the present of a keyboard in short, decided the course of his life for him. His wise, heartfelt and painfully true words 'I don't write music out of choice; it really is a necessity for me' resound in my ears for hours. Some say that folk such as these are losers in an increasingly crowded field, but with visible sincerity and a genuineness that bands should strive to emulate, the band don't seem too worried about the precarious situation they are in as Alex explains 'Playing music with Blue Sky Project is something that feels right'.
The conversation soon turns to the prospect of the collective's 'Fenestrae' EP which has been lauded on forums such as this site's own despite it's not even having been released yet and rightly so. The EP is an esteemed effort which goes some way to all but tearing apart of musical boundaries over a mere five tracks. The band admit that they feel privileged to be able to put their material out to the masses in this format because after all, a CD format that one can touch, play and engage with remains one of the best ways of communicating with the people. What strikes me about Blue Sky Project is that they aren't just using the interview to plug the EP and at no point do they compromise their reputation as a serious-minded quartet possessing ample talent by bragging about how good they are. They don't need to, the music speaks for itself. Lewis explicitly states that from the band's formation in September, they had a plan which culminated in being asked by a label to record. The outfit's expectations are realistic in that they know the contract may not be what their dreams are made of, but the fact that they seem willing to engage with the industry and not partake in the petty 'them and us' game will undoubtedly see them go far and in a short space of time.
The essence of Blue Sky Project truly comes to light when we talk about recordings versus live performance, as the band have an interesting story to tell. The band's original premise was to be a recording outfit, but rather than use this as a protective and consequently stifling shield to hide behind, Blue Sky Project used their time to really develop as individual musicians who would be capable of a unique and cathartic fusion. Once this was achieved they transformed into a live project who as a result constantly maintain a live focus when writing and recording demos. The outfit 'want to be great at both, for totally independent reasons' which is refreshing to hear in our day when some bands foolishly choose one over the other. Here we have another case in point of Blue Sky Project having erased another factor that could have potentially led to their detriment. In their live shows, the progression of the collective is evident as they have gone from being a band who goes on stage, plays to a few punters and leaves to the sort who generate crowd anticipation in venues long before their stage time and justify this by gelling with hundreds of people. Lewis explains 'We played a gig recently to a few hundred kids and it became blatantly obvious at one point that the front row knew the lyrics better than I did. Scary at the time, but an amazing feeling in retrospect.' A feeling that is more than mutual amongst the band's dedicated and numbered band of followers.
It seems churlish then to ask Blue Sky Project to state which Leeds venue provides such a unique sound and set up with the scope to demonstrate how and why they do. However, the guys tackle the question with open minds and Albion Street's Mixing Tin is cited as having a 'sort of party atmosphere' which definitely isn't a bad thing when the band's unforgettable live shows number amongst the venue's impressive live back catalogue. And as name changes can often herald the ill-fated transformation of a venue, there is collective hope that after what I'm promised will be a legendary name change party on 15th June to Trash, that the venue will continue to cater for bona fide talent like these. Dry Dock seems an unlikely outlet for the outfit, but I am promised that their show there some months ago is still the talk of Leeds' music scene. To consider that Blue Sky Project thought their performance shameful, but that a crowd including a fellow music journalist thought it spectacular only goes to show that here we have a few guys whose song writing and musicianship are enough to surpass even the greatest of obstacles. And that's talent for you. Talent which you can imbibe for yourself this coming Saturday 2nd June at the relatively new yet seemingly established Rio's for an EP launch which will undoubtedly prove eventful. Later on in the month, the band have garnered a place on the bill at Trash alongside Buen Chico, KRAM and Record Department. And towards the end of July, Blue Sky Project will provide a much-needed boost for the slowly stagnating live music scene with a triumphant performance at The Cockpit with The Humour and Authors of Malicious Code.
Blue Sky Project clearly love the position they're in as each member visibly glows throughout the interview. Their responses are truly humbling as pretentiousness isn't an issue for them as they don't pretend to be something they're not. Arrogance doesn't cloud their judgement either as Lewis professes naturally 'I'm proud of what we're creating'. The four are aware and prepared for the fact that not everyone's going to like what they're doing and they know that they have not yet achieved their full capability. 'when we do get there... well. We'll just have to see' sounds oh so wonderfully promising.