Blending alternative pop with striking punk intensity, Television Skies delivers a new single full of candy-coated energy and poignant lyricism, "Sticky Kisses."
The biggest inspirations can materialize simply from ideas that failed to launch on the first try. This could not be more true for alternative pop-punk band Television Skies. While the band had every intention of taking off in 2016, sometimes things lead down a somewhat different path.
“I think many people overestimate the depth and meaning behind a lot of art in the world. As an artist, I create simply because I must. I have to do it regularly, it’s almost like breathing. We all have to breathe, but we don’t necessarily notice every single breath.”
You then have to choose whether to start with what you have or make the tough choice of letting it all go and start something new elsewhere. Television Skies is a prime example of a repackaged opus. That you can go back, regain what was lost, and come back on top. Sometimes all it takes is going back to the basics and realizing why you loved doing it in the first place. With their latest single, "Sticky Kisses," their boundless energy, melodicism, and reflective lyricism combines everything we love about their sound but also shows audacious growth within their sound. Quite simply, Television Skies stands to be a very big deal, a unique gem within the genre that is constantly improving with every release. If "Sticky Kisses" is showing us what they can do with a different side of instrumentation, then we are in for an exciting ride for the rest of the year.
What inspired you to create Television Skies? What was going on at the time when you decided to make this band official?
We were in a band together for a few years before we started Television Skies in 2016. When that band broke up after the other two guys left, we took a year off. Eventually, we came back together to jam. We were pretty bored and just wanted to play. I guess we didn't really know anyone else. We instantly started writing songs again and playing as many open mics as we could. Eventually, we sort of naturally started taking it more seriously. It was only for a little while that we did this purely for fun. We knew pretty much right away that we wanted to work as hard as we possibly could at it.
What are your musical influences? I know you guys operate under an alternative-pop vehicle, but there is a myriad of things instrumentally that goes on, and it sort of takes on a life of its own, especially with your first album Welcome to Rat City.
We find inspiration in pretty much everything. We grew up listening to lots of older music like classic rock, punk rock, new wave, and blues. Music that our parents passed along. As we’ve grown, our listening horizons have expanded significantly. A lot more pop and hip hop, as well as jazz and things like that. We’ve learned to give everything a chance because there’s always something to learn. You never know what might inspire you. We used to make loud garage punk music because it was the easiest thing to play with two people and just guitar and drums but eventually, we figured out how to bring more into our sound. We realized we wanted people to actually enjoy listening to our music (unlike the first couple years haha) so we decided we wanted things to at least kinda fall under that pop label, even if there are real punk rock, and rock and roll vibes in there as well. The most important thing to us is authenticity.
How is "Sticky Kisses" different from your prior releases instrumentally? In what ways do you feel you stand out instrumentally compared to other acts within the scene or genre?
"Sticky Kisses" is actually quite a bit different for us because of the instrumentation and the feeling it’s got. It’s a pretty simple song, but it really rocks out. It’s very guitar-driven which is something we’ve moved away from in the last couple of years. It’s even got an acoustic guitar, which is something I don’t think we’ve ever done, aside from acoustic versions of things. I don’t necessarily think it’s anything new instrumentally, there aren’t any surprisingly unusual instruments in the track.
We try not to worry too much about a scene or how we fit into one. This one’s a bit of a step outside the bounds that we normally work in but other than that we try to just make the best music we possibly can and let inspiration flow however it does. It’s one of our favorite songs now and that’s what really matters. We’re excited to have created something that stands out to us in comparison to everything else we’ve done.
I want to dig into the lyrical value of this track for a minute. I know for the video you were not so keen on having sticky stuff being poured all over you, haha. But you faced that fear for the video. I feel that can be a metaphor for anything in your life that you fear in life that you are afraid of pursuing, I also like that there is this unique twist of forming this around special memories. Where were you at within your lives to write a track like this?
There are two ideas in this song that intertwine. There’s the pain of missing someone very far away, someone who you love dearly, and then there’s overcoming your biggest fears. We put them together within the same moment. We got this idea where kissing that person who you miss is also, in a metaphorical sense, a way to face your fears. It takes this very tender, intimate, and rather soft moment and covers it in honey or syrup.
If you want that kiss, you have to be okay with getting sticky (I shudder at the thought). And from another perspective, that kiss can metaphorically empower you to have the courage to face any challenge and to overcome anything in your way. It’s tough to tell how this song reflects where we are at in our lives as we’ve just recently written it, but I have a strong feeling it’s the kind of thing we’ll look back on in a couple of years and suddenly realize what it was really about. That seems to be how it usually works.
How was this recording process different from your prior releases?
I think every single song we do has its own story. They’re all pretty different from each other, this one included. Originally this was an idea we had about a year and a half prior. Same chords and everything but the arrangement was completely different. Different vocal parts as well. The only reason we kept the project on the table for so long was because of this one guitar hook that we had going that we both thought could be something good.
Sometimes those ideas that don't work the first time have to run their course before they can be anything good. When it was finally time, we came back around to it and re-tracked everything, and created something completely new. That original guitar hook is now the post-chorus hook in "Sticky Kisses," so we kept that part pretty much as is!
What has this creative process up to this point meant to you personally as an artist?
I think many people overestimate the depth and meaning behind a lot of art in the world. As an artist, I create simply because I must. I have to do it regularly, it’s almost like breathing. We all have to breathe, but we don’t necessarily notice every single breath. Sometimes my work has deep meaning and purpose, but sometimes I just make something because I liked it, or the process of creating it just made me happy.
My creative process is always evolving. I’m always learning how I create, and that’s not to say this creative process was meaningless, but as I mentioned above, it’s the kind of thing that I can’t exactly understand yet. I might soon, I might not, but the most important thing is that I’m immersed in the process of creating and not questioning every moment of it. If I did I probably wouldn’t be able to work because I’d be self-conscious and I’d overthink everything.
What is next for you guys?
We have a lot coming up at the moment, including songs and videos and things like that, but the most exciting thing right now is the prospect of touring. A lot of our fans have been waiting years for us to play live in their city, and we are getting closer to making that dream a reality. We can’t wait to meet every single Visionary Rat out there! We haven’t been this excited about something in a while! As of yet, we can’t say too much more about it but we’re dying to tell you all about it soon!