Penny Arcade Aka Susana Ventura is a performance artist, author…
Band of Skulls are purveyors of a raucous sound that’s a rock and roll cocktail of electric blues, psychedelia and garage. The Southampton band released their debut album, ‘Baby Darling Doll Faced Honey’, in September ’09. Their third album ‘Himalayan’ was released in March 2014.
They are…. Russell Marsden (guitar, vocals), Emma Richardson (bass, vocals), and Matt Hayward (drums). Their track ‘Friends’ was selected for the soundtrack to the vampire-lite teen sensation, ‘The Twilight Saga: New Moon’.
The inclusion of ‘Friends’ in ‘The Twilight Saga: New Moon’ brought you to a much wider audience very quickly – where do you draw the line with regards to synchronisation?
Russell: Being on a film, it’s been a novel, it’s a story is one thing, but then selling loads of cars is another. Draw the line on selling something that’s having a direct adverse effect on the world and making loads of money out of it. That, we would be uncomfortable with. Like fast food or SUV’s. I really don’t think some teenage romance is going to end humanity (laughs). Don’t think it’s a big deal.
You’ve obviously pondered being a vampire since the Twilight film, what would you enjoy about being undead?
Matt: Can vampires fly?
Russell: Some can, they can jump pretty far. (Thinks for some time) I’d like to be earning as much as Robert Pattinson.
Matt: They seem to earn a lot of money.
Russell: Erm, looking pale and interesting.
Emma: Being a really fast runner.
If you could own any piece of art in the world, what would it be?
Russell: The Eiffel Tower.
Emma: Anything by Francis Bacon.
Matt: That God and Kate Moss, I think.
Russell: The museum of Montreal owns that now. Get over it, it’s not going to happen.
Who makes you go weak with desire?
Emma: The Jim Jones Revue.
Russell: That’s a whole band.
Emma: I know. A rock and roll band.
Russell: The thing that we desire most is that on the itinerary, the one that says “Day Off”. Or even travel day, I get excited about that now.
Do you think shows like the X-Factor are good or bad for music?
Matt: Terrible for music.
Russell: I don’t think it’s really about music though, it doesn’t affect music. It’s good for TV.
Matt: I think it’s amazing how they trick people.
When was the last time you embarrassed yourself?
Russell: Probably falling over isn’t it? Or something.
Matt: Oh yeah, you fell over on stage.
Russell: Did I?
Matt: Yeah. Remember after the gig and I was talking to some guy after the show…
Russell: Oh yeah, I did. It was in Belfast and I misjudged a little leap from the stage to somewhere else and completely took myself out on a monitor speaker.
When was the last time you told a lie?
Matt: At the weekend. My mum was like, “Did you go out last night?” and I was like “no, no I had a quiet one” (laughs).
Russell: When it comes down to it, we’re only lying to ourselves (laughs).
What’s your favourite item of clothing?
Emma: Cowboy Boots.
Russell: Socks? Matt’s can’t be socks because he leaves at least one in every hotel room we’ve ever been. I’ve stopped telling him now. I just say “off you go my friend”. Matt’s suitcase is always half the weight at the end of the tour as at the beginning. He gradually loses the clothes. You hate clothes don’t you Matt?
Cowboy boots? Why?
Emma: Because, if anyone ever messes with me or anything I can kick them in the balls.
Russell: Kick them in the baby maker.
Emma: They’re like a protection device.
You’ve been touring a lot- any tips for not going off the rails?
Matt: We just go off the rails don’t we? (laughs)
Emma: Not drinking always helps, pick your days off and having a quiet night every now and again. One of those a week.
Russell: And water, you just think, “I’m getting so healthy just drinking this”.
What album will you keep listening to and never get bored of?
Russell: Never get bored of …
Matt: ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ – Pink Floyd
Emma: Tom Waits ‘Real Gone’
Bands sometimes spend years, killing each other, harbouring drug habits and exhausting themselves by trying to break the US…but you’ve kind of done it!
Russell: Breaking Belgium we’re worried about the most. Breaking Brussels. That could be our tour DVD…
Emma: Russell’s Breaking Brussel’s.
What song will you have played at your funeral?
Emma: It has to be either hilarious to make people laugh or it needs to make people reflective.
Russell: I’ll choose Emma’s because she won’t be able to because she’ll be dead, it’s from Sesame Street. It’s not the theme tune its… the main hook line goes “I got two eyes and they’re both the same size” (laughs). Matt would have to be…
Matt: I’m planning to live forever.
Russell: Mine would be ‘Thank You For The Music’ by Abba (laughs).
Emma, you’re a vinyl junkie – aren’t they heavy and don’t they take up too much room?
Emma: The artwork is amazing, there is something special about a vinyl and putting it on a record player, will always be exciting. And records generally sound better on vinyl. A whole better listening experience. I don’t actually own 20,000 records though but I do love vinyl.
Where (if ever) have you experienced the most difficult crowd?
Matt: We played a gig in a rugby club once and Russell got bottled, we were doing it as a favour to a friend of yours.
Russell: Of Emma’s actually.
Emma: No, it wasn’t.
Russell: We supported an all girl punk band who wore pink PVC… Where are they now? (laughs). We learned our lesson – don’t go to rugby clubs.
You supported Spinnerette on tour. What did you learn from that experience?
Russell: Brody Dalle can drink as well as the British.
If you could be trapped in a lift with any three living people, who would they be?
Russell: My tour manager so I’d know if I was late for anything…Bruce Willis, he’d probably get us out of there up the lift shaft like in Die Hard.
Emma: Probably Cilla Black.
Russell: I’ve had that experience, I’ve met her in a lift- “lorra lorra love”.
First published: TheHospitalClub.com, October 2010