After practically dropping right off the map for a year or two, Sydney’s Sienna Skies are coming back hard with a new album to show for themselves – ‘A Darker Shade Of Truth’. With the band heading to the U.K. early next year, and with their new album out now (via InVogue Records), we recently shot some questions at Sienna Skies and their newest vocalist Thomas Pirozzi, as he and his band move into this next chapter of Sienna Skies. And like a bunch of fucking legends, they sent their answers back near immediately!
So we’re speaking on the eve of the release of your new album, are the band’s nerves and weight about to be taken off your collective shoulders and are you dreading the first few reviews?
I think that the weight is definitely off our shoulders. It’s been a long time since the start of the writing process, so letting people hear it is just a breath of fresh air really. Reviews so far have been positive but definitely looking forward to the first one that bashes us a little [laughs].
[Laughs] nice. With the title, ‘A Darker Shade Of Truth‘, does that mean that the truth isn’t always pretty or that it’s a false truth, maybe? Or was that the title chosen just because it sounded pretty cool for the name of a record?
It was kind of a spin on the first album name, ‘Truest Of Colours’, in a sense that the songs on this record are honest, but a little dark.
Right! Now, I’ll be straight up with you, I absolutely loathed ‘Seasons’. So please, convince me as to why I should I go check out ‘A Darker Shade Of Truth‘?
It’s a completely different album! Steve left the band just after the release and I joined, and from then we began writing, and just rolled with any idea until we completed a song, and ended up with this collection of songs. Whereas ‘Seasons’ was written and recorded in a space of around twelve weeks total, we took closer to two years for this record.
The front cover of the album has a very obvious reference to your first album with the red/orange leaf, and is that maybe symbolic of the band is coming full circle? As you also recorded this new album at Electric Sun, where you also recorded the first album.
Yeah, that’s it exactly! Being in there with Dave and Stevie was a breath of fresh air. Close to home, awesome blokes, and they were 100% committed. It was definitely the place we needed to be for it.
Good to hear. Now, in the press release, it’s said that this album was written over the course of 12 months and across three countries, so was the band scattered around due to your respective travelling and living situations? And if so, was it a struggle to make the writing of this record work at times?
I was living in Canada, and I came home just to see family for a little when the guys asked me to join, knowing fully well I was going back to Canada, so we toured and started writing in Australia, and we had a lot of riffs and shells of songs that we had before I left. So I spent another eight months in Canada writing lyrics while the guys were here slowly developing the songs. By the time I got home, we basically started fitting the pieces together. It definitely hindered the process but some of our favourites off of the album only got finished two weeks before we hit the studio so we’re glad we didn’t rush it.
Also, with getting Jarrod Anthony Martin from Caulfield on ‘Divided’ a) nice pick for a guest vocalist and b) are there more guest spots on the album for listeners to discover?
Yeah, he’s an absolute legend. He and I worked together when we were 17. He’s in Watchtowers now and their new stuff is unreal. We also grabbed Kevin Schultz from The Bride to jump on my favourite track, and JT Woodruff from Hawthorne Heights also lent his voice to a song. We basically wanted friends on the album. We couldn’t give a shit whom would give us a boost in popularity. And these three guys have always supported the band and myself so it means a lot to have them on there.
Cool! Also on ‘Divided’, and the song’s first few lyrics – “As I listen to my brother speak of the hell inside his head/I wonder if it’s in me too/And too often I’m thinking the same thing, my indecision is my own/But he proved me wrong, these words run deeper – The imperfections and differences of our skin, only mean one thing/The hell in me is the same hell in him” – is that the true tale of an actual family member dealing with depression and mental illness or something else entirely?
I wrote that the day after Caulfield’s final show. I went home and listened to the album, and their track ‘Hell Inside My Head’ is definitely a favourite. It just really bummed me out that they called it quits. I consider Jarrod a brother, so that’s where that comes from. It’s also why he was the perfect pick for the guest spot on the song.
Oh, right – good match then! Now, I saw that you guys are also heading out to the UK in March. I imagine that there are more plans to take Sienna Skies to other international markets?
Yeah, for the first time too. Really excited to get there. EU dates are being sorted out at the moment too. We’re lucky we can use this as an excuse to travel. We’re heading to Japan for the second time just before Christmas, but international dates are definitely what we have in our sights at the moment.
Finally, the last time that I saw the band play live was back in 2012 at Loud Fest in Melbourne. I have a feeling that for many people, it’s been a long while since their last Sienna Skies show (save for the Chunk tour). So why should punters come back out to see the band live now in 2016?
We’re a fresh band again. We stopped taking everything so serious and just want to have fun playing shows. And it’s pretty cool that we’re still able to do that. We’re so keen to finally start playing these songs we’ve been sitting on for so long, and it’ll definitely show the next time you catch. Us.