Sidewalks And Skeletons
Hello Jake and welcome to Brutal Resonance! I always enjoy asking this question first as it gives me a little taste of what artists personally like. What are three of your favorite albums of all time and why?
Jake: Hey! Thank you for having me! I have SO MANY favourite albums but here's three. First, Slowdive's "Souvlaki" (1994). Slowdive are one of my favourite bands ever and this album is just complete perfection from start to finish. I found it at the perfect time in my life when I needed it. It resonates with my soul. Favourite track: "When the sun hits".
Second, TR/ST's "TRST" (2012). I don't know what to say other than I just love this band and this album. I've listened to it so many times. Robert Alfons is just a genius and everything he touches turns to gold. A dream would be to collaborate with them someday. Favourite track: "Candy Walls".
Lastly, Crystal Castles' "Crystal Castles II" (2010). I had always been mainly into heavy genres like deathcore and metal up until I found Crystal Castles, my friend gave me this album and told me to listen to it, so I took it home in 2010 and listened to it in bed while I fell asleep. The album continued playing whilst I was asleep and sort of embedded itself in my dreams in such an amazing way. And forever after this listening to the album felt like being able to listen to a dream, like it shouldn't be possible, some form of magic. And I have connected with that album and their music ever since, in a very strong way. Favourite track: "Celestica".
Let’s just jump right into it. You’ve a new album “Exorcism” that’s released on Re:Mission Entertainment. It’s described as dark and magical. What does “Exorcism” represent for you? What is the overall theme of the album?
Jake: "Exorcism" is about the juxtaposition between the innocence every being is born into, and the harsh realities of the world which quickly swipe that away. In a way we all become possessed by the world. We can lose the person we once were. It's a constant battle and this album for me was a musical representation of that in various ways.
You’ve been making music under Sidewalks & Skeletons since 2011. It’s been ten years. How does “Exorcism” mark your maturity and evolution in making dark electronic music?
Jake: I feel like when I first started making music it was pretty unhinged. I was around 19 when I first started making the music which became the first 2 S&S "Volumes", those are only released on Bandcamp, I never knew what to expect whenever I started creating. It was very influenced by horror, fear, and shrill synth textures which I'd usually make at 4am whilst losing grip with reality. Over the years I have broadened my musical palette and allowed myself to be less defined by genre constructs, and just done whatever felt right at the time. Exorcism shows quite a lot of the range of sounds and genres I've adapted to, whilst simultaneously flowing in a cohesive way.
I’d like to discuss the collaborations on the album a bit. Track number two, ‘Shadow’, contains vocals from Goo Munday. Tell me a little about why you worked with Goo Munday and what she brought to the track.
Jake: Goo Munday is a great friend, and a great musician, vocalist & producer. She worked with me on my 2019 album "Entity", so it was an honour to have her on the new album. I feel like "Shadow" really just fell into place. It changed quite a few times during the process but the final piece just felt right. And we both really vibe with it.
You also enlisted CASHFORGOLD for ‘Eternal Rest’ and ‘Name in Blood’. You chose to make the song ‘Eternal Rest’ into a music video. What about this song made you want to transform it into visual media?
Jake: CASHFORGOLD brings so much to every track we work together on, we just connect so well that everything always happens naturally. We made "Eternal Rest" back in 2020 and it's still my favourite track I've ever done I think. It just holds a really special energy within it. And "Name In Blood" is the moment we embrace chaos, and let everything unravel. Be prepared for when you hear that one live. We're gonna be touring together and playing all of these songs very soon.
The last track on the album features a collaboration with Ferngazer. The song is apparently inspired by early Crystal Castles. In what ways is it inspired by Crystal Castles and how did Ferngazer fit this vision?
Jake: Ferngazer is one of the most recent finds I came across, and I was so excited to work with her. The track was written as an instrumental initially which had some chiptune elements inspired by early CC, and then when I sent it to Ferngazer she just took the whole thing to another level! It felt perfect for an outtro which the ethereal slow ending of the track.
Tell me a little about the cover art. Is it meant to be a literal interpretation of the themes on the album?
Jake: The cover art is a photograph by one of my favourite gothic photographers "Noxious Flesh", and that is also her on the cover. Something about that image represented how I wanted the album to feel, and sometimes when you just know - you just know.
Out of all the songs on “Exorcism”, which one is your favorite and why?
Jake: "Eternal Rest" is still my favourite, I have such a connection with that track and so does CASHFORGOLD.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2022? Any new singles, albums, or EPs in the works? Any live shows upcoming?
Jake: This summer we will be touring as much as possible! We want to be all over the world if we can. It's been so frustrating not being able to get out there properly since 2019 due to the world falling apart, but it's time to go full force and make up for lost time. There will definitely also be a lot more music coming! You know I never stop. It's in my blood.
Lastly, I’d like to thank you for your time. I wish you the best of luck and leave the space below for you to mention anything I may have failed to cover. Cheers!
Jake: Thank you for having me! I appreciate it. I also just wanna thank anyone reading this and anyone who checked out the album. You all give my life meaning. Much love.
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
Share this interview