Interview: NYC Rockers, SKATERS

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Date: 11/4/14

“Our band name is more of a mentality than it has to do with skateboarding,”said Michael Ian Cummings, lead singer of SKATERS, via a phone call crossing from Glasgow to New York.

“When you were a kid, you just wanted to go out and skate after school. You had no expectations.”


This feel-good ethos is one that the group has worked to carry onwards throughout recording their upcoming debut album.

“We want the band to feel energetic and youthful, and without expecting anything more than having fun.”

Formed in Manhattan in early 2012, Michael, alongside guitarist Joshua Hubbard of Dirty Pretty Things and drummer Noah Rubin, began producing music that “evolved to a very New York centric sound.”

“It’s kind of late 70s New York post-punk meets early British new-age,” said Michael.

“The sound of our music is kind of all over the place, but it has the energy of bands like The Clash, The Ramones, with a little bit of New Order.”

Singles such as the upbeat ‘I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How)’ and the echoing vocals of the melodramatic ‘Miss Teen Massachusetts’ showcase the variety of SKATERS’ musical style.

Their debut album ‘Manhattan’ was recorded in the iconic Electric Lady Studios, the favourite spot of Jimi Hendrix in New York.

“There’s a lot of techniques that keep a very modern feeling to the record,” said Michael.

Under Warner Brothers Records, SKATERS recorded with producer John Hill, who has previously worked with feisty girl acts such as M.I.A and Santigold. Hill’s further connections to superstars Jay-Z and Kanye have resulted in a refreshing blend of rock and hip-hop in SKATERS’ sound.

The rockier sound of 70s punk resonates in the band’s music, and when considering past musical comparisons to hugely successfully NYC rockers, The Strokes, Michael replied: “That’s cool with me”.

Halfway through the call, Michael informs me that the drumming noise heard in the background resulted from the sound of The Strokes’ drummer, Fabrizio Moretti, practising.

With such comparisons, the Big Apple surroundings appear to infiltrate every musician’s creative process, resulting in a classic New York City sound shared by The Strokes and SKATERs alike.

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