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Tommy Dietrick (from Sky Parade)
Uniquely ready for world domination!
Phillip Hong
June 5, 2010
Through the years, indie has been through a lot of flak in regards to the quality of the music and the attractiveness of the genre. To be frank, quite a few bands that I've observed don't seem to produce anything else but noise and static.
But the basics of a popular hit doesn't come from a specific genre; success comes from a mix of being catchy and different at the same time, and Sky Parade looks to be very popular in regards to their genre, "psychedelic rock". As quoted below, they're ready for world domination.
Their tracks aren't based on utter noise, but a form of rock that keeps the listener salivating in a genuinely joyful way, along with the smooth sounds of amicably slick singing. Tommy Dietrick spent some time with us, trying to figure out the grammar...
PHIL: How did you develop your passion with music?
TOMMY: My dad took me to see Pink Floyd when I was 10. I think that experience and his love of music as we were growing up made an irreversible impact on my way of life. I try to spend my days being creative and exploring sound as a kind of canvas where the paint is never really dry. I grew up listening to to a lot of bands like The Kinks, The Stones, Pink Floyd and then as I got older I discovered Shoegaze, Britpop and Indie - everything from My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive to bands like The Verve and The Pixies.
PHIL: Was Sky Parade a natural grouping? How did you come together as a band?
TOMMY: Sky Parade really began as a recording project. I was always playing in other bands from about the age of 14 to 25 and then I just decided it was time to form a band of my own and really explore writing songs. I had always written songs, but I had not taken it out in any true public form. After touring around as a member of bands like Smallstone and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, I made a leap of faith to just do my own thing. I'm glad I did.
PHIL: Which song, in your lineup, do you enjoy performing the most?
TOMMY: To this day, one of my favorite songs to play live is still "Losing Control" which was the 1st song that I wrote as the band emerged from the garage to the club scene. But truly, every song in our set is fun to play...
PHIL: Sky Parade is varied in psychedelic rock, which means there's a lot of creativity involved. What do you do to make sure that the band keeps its individual identity while you're performing different styles of this diverse genre?
TOMMY: I think the plan is we have no plan. We've never been a band to purposely mimic the sounds of other artists in the Psych-Pop-Indie-Shoegaze category. We simply try to make music that we find interesting and that we like. Music is just like the words we use to write a great novel. It's a language and everyone has the capacity to express their own unique vision of the world. I think when people who know of our band hear a new track, they hear whatever it is in that song that makes us uniquely Sky Parade.
PHIL: Are you planning on a bit of world domination?
TOMMY: We are always planning world domination! But, we seem to have settled on an indie cult underground type of semi-domination... Hah! I do however think several of our songs have mainstream appeal but I don't have any pre-conceived ideas of how it should be for us in the long term. We are happy to have a cult international following. We'll let Lady Gaga and Kanye West have all the ridiculous glory for now...
PHIL: As mentioned earlier, you perform a psychedelic form of rock, which makes this last question kind of painful. Would you rather cover Tom Jones, or the Black Eyed Peas?
TOMMY: Well that is a no brainer, Tom Jones all the way...
The glass squid on the album cover is probably found way too deep to encounter so probably would be the least of my problems. He is lovely though more like an extra terrestrial than a squid.
Phillip Hong is a presenter on AMPM, combining some great indie music with quotes and interviews.
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