"Music and movies should always aim to make people feel like they're not quite in reality."
Jake Lee aka Sidewalks&Skeletons made it to Athens for a live performance and left us drooling. I had the chance meeting with the witch house producer and having a quick conversation with him about music, his future plans and his favorite movies.
VIBERATED -So Jake, this was your first show in Europe besides the UK, how are you feeling? Sidewalks&Skeletons -Yeah that was my first show out of the UK or the USA and I had no idea how this was gonna go. But Greece showed me how it's done. I came out tonight and didn't know what to expect; but it's been so good. I came out expecting to see 20-30 people but it was a full room and it's really nice to see that many people. I definitely wanna come back and play in Greece again.
-I think last year -and correct me if I'm wrong- you went on tour with Crystal Castles as an opening act, how was the experience of touring with these guys that had such an impact on your music? -That was in 2016 actually. Yeah we played shows together in the UK. I also produced the track "Their Kindness Is Charade" on their latest album 'Amnesty'. It was really cool because their first album was a big influence on me when I was first producing, so producing tracks for their latest album and playing shows with them was kinda surreal. I never thought I'd be able to do that. It was a really honoring moment.
-Your metal and post rock influences are all over your music, I'm guessing you're a metal fan. -I'd always been into metal - the heavier subgenres like deathcore. There's some bands from the UK that I really enjoy. I live in a city called Leeds and there's a band called Martyr Defiled and a heavier band called Dead Swans, that play there. Basicallly everytime these guys played I was at their shows and I was always really heavily into that kind of music, like disgustingly heavy. I don't like music that's all , I dunno, I dont like any kind of metal that is clean. I want it to be disgusting and heavy. Everything metal that I listen to is kinda of that genre. But definately that's the influence in the music that I make now. As you said you can hear the influences in the music that I make, cause even to this day I still listen to em. When I chill I enjoy listening to deathcore, bands like King Conquer, Lorna Shore, Knocked Loose. That's the kinda stuff I wanna hear at all times.
"Having a normal job can be quite soul-destroying sometimes and at the end of the day you don't really feel like making music."
-I think your music being a sountrack for the video game "Ruiner" really helped your reputation, would you like to tell us a bit more about this collaboration? -I got an email from a company called Devolver Digital, they produced "Ruiner" and were in charge of licencing and stuff. It said "We have this collection of tracks of yours that we would really like to use in the game" and I was like "Yeah let's sign the contract". In total I think they were 11 tracks of mine they used in the actual game. I haven't done anything for a video game before but I was like "Yeah let's do it, if you need me to change anything or make anything new I can do it right now". Im really into media in general, so if somebody wanted me to make like a movie soundtrack, or a game soundtrack or anything, I would sit down and make the whole thing. So i was like "It's 100%, I need to make this right now and give it to them". And that's what I did. An it was really cool cause a lot of people have come to me and said "I found your music through Ruiner", and that's just crazy.
-So, any future plans? I think you're working on a new album. -I'm realeasing the new album in 2019, hopefully some time early. The last album that I made was called "The Void" and there was a track on that album called "Entity" so the next album is actually gonna be called "Entity" and I'm working on that right now. I'd say it's 30-40% complete. The end of the year I've got a show in London and then I have shows in Texas in the US. Then next year I've got shows in Poland, maybe in Berlin and then a full USA tour; I'll visit most of the states. More shows in the UK, hopefully more shows in the EU - I wanna play more shows over here. I'm hoping to do everything in 2019 cause this is what I wanna do now. When I first started it was like a hobby, I never expected to get anywhere with it, never really expected anyone to listen to it or like it. I was just making it for myself cause I enjoy making it. I'm doing the same thing now just more people listen to it. I would do the same music even if noone was interested in it. Everytime someone comes to me and says they listen to my music, I just really appreciate it. And now being able to do USA tours? It's like the dream keeps getting bigger. It's crazy, I never expected it.
"If somebody wanted me to make like a movie soundtrack, or a game soundtrack or anything, I would sit down and make the whole thing."
-So basically, that's what you do in life right now. -Yeap. In the past I was doing graphics and video editing, printing and all that stuff but I've always wanted to just do music. So after I left that job, I've been able to focus on it more. At the moment I'm spending a lot of time doing remixes, and working on the new album and all of that needs time. Having a normal job can be quite soul-destroying sometimes and at the end of the day you don't really feel like making music because your job has taken it all out of you. So now I feel really excited making music and it all flows really smooth.
-One last question for you Jake. I know that you're a big movie fan. Who's your favorite director and some of your favorite movies? -Watching movies can be a great influence for me to make music. Sometimes I even feel movies influences me more than music. My favourite director is David Lynch. I love the Twin Peaks series. My favourite movies are Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway and the Twin Peaks movie Fire Walk With Me. They are all at a level that is so surreal, like a dreamlike state. I feel like music and movies should always aim to make people feel like they're not quite in reality. I never want to make music that makes people feel normal; it needs to feel weird. I mean a lot of people who listen to my stuff get high and then they're like "Wow I understand your music now" haha. So I encourge people to feel music on a different level than they do normally. It's like connecting both ends.
Sidewalks&Skeletons played live in Athens November 17th. Really looking forward meeting with this guy again and vibing with his extraterrestrial tunes.
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