After recently re-recording their latest album 'Sunshine Dust' in Australia, Indo-American prog metal band Skyharbor return to our shores next year for Progfest 2019.
Founded as a solo project by guitarist and songwriter Keshav Dhar, Skyharbor has grown into a full-fledged prog unit with an intercontinental span from New Delhi, India to Cleveland, Ohio in the US where singer Eric Emery is based.
Since spending time on the Gold Coast reworking 'Sunshine Dust' with Forrester Savell, Keshav says anticipation among the band for their upcoming Australia shows is at an all-time high. “We haven't been this excited to play shows in a really long time,” Keshav says.
“Usually when it comes to doing a tour we start planning out the logistics and thinking about what we're going to play maybe a few weeks prior to the tour beginning. But when we got word of the Australian tour we immediately started talking about what we want to do for Progfest. We want to get into the catalogue and play some stuff we haven't played for a while, some deep cuts.”
Keshav goes on to speak about the profound influence Australian prog and the associated scene has had on Skyharbor as a band. “Every moment of our time there was awesome and it feels like, especially in terms of progressive music, there's this real camaraderie in the country,” he says.
“It's a territory where all these bands that are putting out prog music aren't making that self-indulgent, unnecessarily lifeless, technical prog that we've come to know in years past.”
"There's something about the Australian prog scene that ties it in with really, really tasteful songwriting, which is one of the reasons I'm so attracted to it.”
The release of 'Sunshine Dust' in September was the culmination of a process of writing, recording and re-recording that began as far back as 2015 when Skyharbor intended to self-release the album in mid-2017.
However, the band were unhappy with the first version and decided to enlist the help of producer Forrester Savell to craft the album into something that better reflected Skyharbor's deeply-rooted admiration for the characteristic sound of Australian prog.
“When Forrester was asking all of us what our vision was for the record... I told him the vision I have in mind is 'can you try and make this sound as Australian as possible, even though we're an Indo-American band?',” Keshav explains.
“The sounds and bands that influenced the making of this record are largely Australian – there's Karnivool, DLC [Dead Letter Circus], COG, The Butterfly Effect – The Butterfly Effect was a huge influence on Eric the singer, whereas Karnivool and DLC are huge influences for the rest of the band as musicians.
“It's these bands we've been trying to emulate but put our own spin on the writing. I asked Forrester if he could please capture this elusive quality that makes the Australian scene have that distinctive sound, because it does have a very, very distinctive sound.”
Sat 26 Jan - The Croxton Bandroom (Melbourne) Sun 27 Jan - The Factory Theatre (Sydney) Sun 28 Jan - The Valley Drive In/The Brightside (Brisbane)