By: Matt Warnock
At an age when most people are hanging around at the swing-set, or I guess these day’s it’s an X-Box, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Skyler was working on developing his craft, a smart move that has now paid off only a few short years down the road. With a new EP out, Skyler is just hitting his stride at an age when most folks don’t even know what they want to do with their lives yet. If his past is any indication, this talented young musician has an extremely bright future ahead of him.
Guitar International recently caught up with Skyler to talk about his new EP, influences and gear.
Matt Warnock: Your music has a country vibe to it, as well as pop and rock feels. Do you define yourself as a pop/rock musician who has country influences, or a country musician that has pop/rock influences?
Skyler: I grew up listening to the Beatles. As I got older I became greatly influenced by Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and John Mellencamp. More recently I’ve become a big fan of Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, and Sugarland. So, it’s a little bit of everything.
Matt: Adam Scharff plays lead guitar on the album, what is it about Adam’s playing that you like and inspired you to bring him on board for the EP?
Skyler: Adam is the one who taught me how to play guitar. I’ve always been blown away by his style. He grew up trying to imitate his idol, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, and ended up developing a completely unique sound. When he’s improvising onstage is when he really shines. He’s also one of my songwriting partners, so it was a no-brainer to have him join the band.
Matt: What guitars do you play and do you prefer to play one guitar for a long stretch or pick and choose from a large collection of instruments?
Skyler: My favorite electric guitar is my Hagstrom Viking II. I’ve found that I really like boutique instruments. My acoustic is a Guild D-40 from the early ’90s. It was passed down to me from my dad.
Adam uses a variety of Godin guitars and a Gibson acoustic. One of his electrics is a telecaster body with a Godin neck and headstock. It’s his “Frankentele.” He also has a Gold Godin with P-90s that he loves to play.
Matt: What amps and effects do you like to run through in the studio and does this differ from your stage rig?
Skyler: Onstage, Adam and I both play through Fender Bassman amps. My pedals include a Fulltone OCD, a ModTone Clean Boost, and a Line 6 G-50 Wireless unit. Adam uses a Boss GT-8 pedal board.
In the studio, we use a combination of our own equipment and whatever awesome gear there is in the studio. We often use the producer’s Mesa Boogie amp and array of boutique pedals. Michael uses his Fender Jazz Bass whenever he plays. When I play bass on a track, I use my Hofner 500/1.
Matt: With the EP out now do you have plans to follow it up with a full length record?
Skyler: We have a follow-up EP coming out in April. We’re very excited. Hopefully, a full-length with all unreleased material won’t be far behind.