Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ohio Sky - This House is Old and Full of Ghosts
***** UPDATE: Bought an extra copy of 'This House is Old and Filled with Ghosts' to give away, that's right, give away. You want it? Leave a comment or follow @crookedsparrow on twitter or figure out some way to get my attention and I will  pick somebody at random to send it to. ********

As we run through our semi-annual spring/summer revival here at the Makeshift Desk I've decided to dig a little deeper into the back part of the drawer and pull out what I hope will become a regular feature around here: Artist interviews. Vince DiFranco, singer and guitarist from Cleveland's Ohio Sky, was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. Please check out both their full length 'Curses' and their new EP 'This House is Old and Filled with Ghosts'. You'll be greeted by a wall of sound that is at times both crushing and beautiful and songs that are just plain good

Q: You guys are from the Cleveland Ohio area and I'd read an
article from a few years ago where you sort of said that
you weren't quite sure how the band fit into the Cleveland
scene. Do you still feel that way or have you sort of
found your niche, if there is such a thing? 

A: I think that the music scene in Cleveland has been getting stronger in the past 5 or six years. There has always been talent in this city but its very diverse. We have been going through growing pain as far as us carving out our own niche, but we've begun to truly develop a cohesive sound in the last 2 years. This has helped us establish a stronger and more diverse audience as well as more confidence in our live performance.
Q: How long have you been playing together?

A: About 3 years with the current line up. 5 years all together.

Q: Are you guys working with a label right now or self
releasing everything?

A:As of right now we are self releasing everything through our production company ELECTRIC PYRAMID.

Q: The new EP sort of plays like a mini concept album to me,
with the 3 longer songs broken up by the two shorter
tracks,The Silence, which sort of sounds like a weird
seance to me, and Daybreak. The record is described on
cdbaby as "A haunting journey through the shadows of the
mind." Is there a specific concept behind the record or am
I just making that up?

A: Its definitely not a concept record but all the songs come from a similar place. The tracks all serve to paint a picture of a time and place where the future is uncertain and the past still haunts us.

Q: You recorded the album at SUMA studios and have posted
several teaser videos of the making or the record. It
seems like you guys were having a good time. What was the
recording process like and is there any reason why you
decided to record at SUMA instead of where you recorded

A: We recorded at SUMA because it has an amazing live room and had the rustic vibe we were after. The 2" tape machine did not hurt. We only had two days to record all the music so there was a general panic and anxiety throughout the whole process. After we left the studio we had no idea what we had created, bad or good. 

Q: The guitar leads on this record have a sort of Pink
Floyd/David Gilmour feel to me. Was that a sound or style
your were shooting for? What did you guys use to record
the guitars?

A: We were not shooting for a sound or style, we were just doing what was best for the songs. We used alot of equipment to make this record. The rhythm tracks were done with a telecaster and a 66 gibson es125, the leads were played on a strat.

Q: Stylistically the EP seems a little mellower than Curses,
what was the song writing process like and was it a
conscious effort to sort of make a quieter record?

A: We wrote the record at our home in Cleveland with acoustic guitars, A casio, and a piano,

as opposed to being in our rehearsal space with our amplifiers on. We wanted to make a record that picked up where "curses" left off.

Q: How do you approach writing lyrics, does the music generally come first or do you bring in lyrical ideas and try fit musical ideas to them?

A: The writing process was one fluid effort where the music and lyrics informed each other.

Q: Patrick did the art for the EP, was this a piece he did
specifically for the record? It seems like it might be tied into the concept of the record, was it a collaborative effort or an image he came up with on his own?

A: The artwork was conceptualized after the record was complete. It was Pat's vision. He built a shadowbox inside of a suitcase, so what you are looking at on the cover is a photograph of the piece itself.

Q: When and where will people be able to get their hands on a
physical copy of 'This House is Old and Full of Ghosts'?
Also, are any physical copies of Curses available?

A:Physical copies of "Curses" and "This house is old and filled with ghosts" can be purchased at .

Q: In between Curses and This House you recorded some other stuff at, I think, SUMA, a Beatles cover and an acoustic version of Van Gogh that were both released as Youtube videos. The Beatles cover is also available on Bandcamp. Was anything else recorded during this time and if so will any of it be made available? .

A: We are constantly recording new material, a lot  of it wont be released, most of them are demos but the songs will eventually be re-recorded for our next record.

Q: I've seen the band described as anything from prog rock to
psychedelic to space rock to even post rock. Do you
think you guys fit in a any particular genre, do you even
want to fit in a particular genre?

A: We don't want to fit into any specific genre, we consider ourselves to be a rock band. Especially in a day and age when there are sub-genre's for every bullshit style of music out there.

Q: Last summer you guys played a show with Torche in front of
the Rock Hall. How how well are you guys received by a "metal" crowd?

A: We are usually received very well by fans of heavier music, but the Torche show had a very diverse crowd. Which is encouraging to see.

Q: What music/ artists do you find interesting at the moment?
What are you listening to?

A: Our band is comprised of very different styles and tastes that cover a vast amount of ground, too many to list.
Q: It seems like the internet has made it easier to
gain an audience, but it's also made it easier for
everyone and anyone to try to gain an audience. In a time
where pretty much anyone can release a record on their own
how hard is it to stand out and not get lost in the
seeming endless number of bands out there?

A: Sometimes it feels like your swimming through a sea of shit, but every once and a while great bands rise above the rest. All we can do is improve and make our presence known.

Q: Along those lines, how do you feel about digital music?
I'm still the kind of person that likes to hold a physical
album, look at the art and all of that stuff, but the
internet has made the distribution of music so much
easier. Do you prefer to have a physical copy of a record
or are you content with mp3s? Do you think there's a
difference in the experience?

A: There is something to be said about the ritual of going to a record store, filing through the bins and finding something because your hunting for it. You might just pick up a new record you have never heard of because you thought the artwork was rad. On the other hand you can  spread your music across the world for a price that just about anybody can afford with the internet, it has its pros and cons depending how you look at it.

Q: Do you guys have any plans to tour for the EP outside of

A: We are working on dates outside of Ohio as we speak and will be posting them as soon as they are confirmed.
Q: What would your dream tour be?

A: Any tour that would put us in front of people who truly love music.
Q: Any plans to go back into the studio?

A: We will begin recording a new full length in the fall of this year. We really want to release a body of work every year.

Favorite book? Atlas Shrugged
Favorite TV show? Mad Men
Favorite Album? Downward is Heavenward by: HUM  
(a note from Fanch: this album is awesome and should be heard by all)
Favorite food? All of it
favorite guitar?  The Thinline Telecaster
favorite amp? Anything with tubes
favorite band?  OHIO SKY

For all info on OHIO SKY go to

The band is also playing a couple of shows in Cleveland so if you are in the area check them out.


1 comment:

  1. Love this band - "Curses" was far and away one of my favorite albums last year. Can't wait to see 'em play here in Chicago.