After only being together for a year and a half, Canada’s newest electronic metal export, Skip The Foreplay, have scored a record deal with Epitaph, a debut album release and a spot on this year’s Warped tour. KYS caught up with the band’s lead guitarist and creator, Chuck Pilon, to find out how things happened so quickly for the group.
You guys are relatively unknown here in Australia, what can you tell us about the group?
We are an electronic metal cross core, whatever you want to call it band from Montreal, Canada, we recently were signed to Epitaph Records and we just did our first ever tour a couple of months ago with Falling In Reverse, which features a member of Escape The Fate, Ronnie Radke, anyway we are a new band in the scene and we are having a lot of fun and people seem to enjoy it and that’s pretty much it.
And how did the tour go?
The tour was amazing, it was our first tour ever as I said, and all of the shows were sold out so you couldn’t ask for a better first tour.
How long have you guys been together as a band?
Um, not too long, like a year and a half, maybe.
So being signed to Epitaph and doing a tour of that calibre after not even a year and a half together, that’s pretty amazing and doesn’t really happen to very many bands, how did it happen for you guys?
I know, what happened was, I started the band and found Mat, the other guitar player, and he knew a lot of people and one of them happens to be our manager, Alex, so he actually showed us how to be a hard working band and we did a lot of work and worked really hard in our little time as a band and we’re lucky that everything went so fast but we also worked really hard for it.
So was the more than one label option for you, if so, what made you choose Epitaph?
We had a couple of companies that were interested and we just picked the one, I mean, it’s Epitaph you know? We just picked the one that all our favourite bands are signed to. The owner is from Bad Religion you know, so we just picked them because we think they are the best label ever.
I had a listen to your record yesterday, the meld of metal and electronica in this fashion is a relatively new style of music, what made you decided to start a band within that genre?
It was natural for us because we are all fans of electronic music, rock music, metal and hardcore, we just love all of these types of music so we just wanted to do this electronic hardcore thing and bring it to another level you know, not to do the same thing as the other bands already have.
That interestingly leads me to my next question, in a scene like this one, very rarely do you see a lot of differences between the bands involved, how do you plan to stand out from the crowd?
It’s really hard because there are so many bands. There is a label called Rise Records that keeps putting out bands that I believe sound a lot alike so we really tried not to sound like, I’m not going to name any specific bands, but we really didn’t want to sound like any of those bands and right now people say we sound like Attack Attack or Abandon all ships but I don’t think we sound any one of them because we really tried hard not to.
Listening to the record there seems to be an element of humour to it, was that a conscious thing or did I read that wrong?
Well thank you for getting it because there is not a lot of people that get that, we had a lot of bad reviews from people who said that we have shit lyrics but it’s the fucking point. When we wrote the lyrics it was to make fun of pop music, there is a lot of pop music right now and the lyrics are bullshit so we tried to make fun of that a little bit.
So the humour side of things is and important element of the band? Because it’s kinda the type of music that is hard to take serious…
Exactly, when you think about electronic music you think about going to a club, you think about dancing, you think about parties so to have lyrics that talk about death and emotion it’s not dance music so we wanted to have funny lyrics about partying.
In Montreal is this a popular music scene?
There are a lot of good bands in Montreal but it’s more of a hardcore and heavier bands, we are like the gayest band from Montreal but we don’t mind when people call us fucking pussies, we’re just like whatever as there are a lot of good bands in Montreal.
Did you find a similar response when you toured the states?
Absolutely not, there was a huge difference between the crowds in the states and the crowds in Canada, first of all they are way younger and they are more open minded I believe so I really enjoyed touring the states.
Considering the amount of times you guys have been together, did you find it tricky to gel as a live act, especially in combining live instrumentation with electronic music?
Practice is the key, you gotta practice as much as you can and that is what we do, we practice three or four times a week, we just do it as much as we can. As for the electronic thing, that is the reason why I chose not to have a keyboard player but an actual DJ in the band. It is amazing to have a DJ and not just a keyboard player because it’s tricky to mix the electronic with the live instruments, especially since we have a lot of fucked up sounds so the DJ helps with that a lot.
Once you were on the road playing a lot of shows did you find things you had to tweak which may have worked in the practice room but not in a live setting?
Not really because even before our first show we knew that we had to practice not only our songs but the live show. Our show isn’t just music, it’s an entertainment show so the choreography, the lights, we practised everything in the jam space. So when we started touring a lot of people were surprised that these were our first shows.
Let’s talk about your record ‘Nightlife,’ now that it is out are happy with it? It is what you envisioned it to be?
I’d say yes but it was written and recorded a year and a half ago so it was what I expected it to be then but now I would change some little things, but yeah I’m pretty happy with it.
What would you change for the next one?
I’d say I’d work a little more on the writing actually because this one was written in two weeks. We wrote the record in the studio so we had to rush it, it came out well but the next one I will take a lot more time to write it so it’s even better.
What about the actual recording and working with a producer, how was that process for you?
It was a first time for all of us actually writing and recording at the same time, it was stressful to have a deadline for the recording at the same time, it was me and Mat that wrote the record and for the longest time we didn’t even see each other because we had jobs as well, I would be in the studio from seven in the morning to one in the afternoon and he would do the rest of the day, so that was kinda hard but we did it and we’re proud of it.
It’s funny how you say you guys had never really experienced any of this before and how everything happened really quickly yet there are musicians out there who work for years and haven’t been given opportunities even close to that, are you conscious of people getting pissed off with how quickly it all happened to you?
Oh yeah, we’ve pissed a lot of people off, especially in Montreal, a lot of people were like "how the fuck did they get signed when this band have been working their asses off for ten years and never got attention." I would say that, apart from the shows, we did the same amount of work as any other band, we just concentrated in a short amount of time. We put all of our money and effort into shooting a video, we paid our recording studio for the full length ourselves, we bought a van, we did all this stuff and put so much money and effort in it in such a small amount of time that no one can really be pissed about it because we did the work.
So what is the plan for the rest of this year? Will you try and tour overseas?
We really want to go to Australia and the UK, we just wanna go overseas and tour as much as possible anywhere in the world, that would be the best thing for us as a band to promote the album.
Is there anything actually lined up or is this more of a wish list at the moment?
Well we have Warped to but nothing else has been confirmed right now but you know, we got some plans.
When do you think you will start working on some new music?
I actually started already just writing some riffs and stuff like that, we preparing ourselves slowly so that when the time comes we’ll be ready.