Sky Valley Mistress are a band that should be on your radar in 2020. They’re gearing up for the release of their first album after years of live shows, several EP’s and singles. We caught them live in 2019 supporting Black Moth; do not miss this band if they appear in a town near you.
Max Newsome, the bands drummer, writes about his love for the kings of desert stoner rock…Kyuss.
When I was a lot younger there was one album in the CD collection at home I was obsessed with. Not to listen to, just to look at. It was called Welcome to Sky Valley. The cover had a purple tinted desert landscape with a sign that said, ‘Welcome to Sky Valley’ on a hill. I used to obsess over it and wonder where this weird place was and what was over that hill.
When I was around 15/16 I used to go to a jam session with some other kids and I used to talk to the guy who ran them about what music I wanted to play and what bands I was into. I’d complain a lot how there wasn’t the right kind of heavy music. I wasn’t into people screaming or playing really fast, I wanted guitar music that shook your bones y’know? He told me to check out a couple of bands and one of them was a band called Kyuss. The first album I listened to by them happened to be Welcome to Sky Valley. That record blew my mind. The guitars tuned so low, drums so thunderously loud, riffs so perversely heavy… I’d never heard anything like it and that’s what I loved about it.
I played that record over and over again but it didn’t click straight away why the record felt so familiar. But one night when I was listening to the record and looking at the sleeve, I realised where I recognised the album from. I started to think about what I used to imagine was over that hill again. The idea of a purple hell where only the most bad ass people could survive seemed to make perfect sense to me and that’s where the idea of a Sky Valley Mistress came from. Because a purple hell with men in it wouldn’t make any sense would it?
We obviously all take musical influences from all of their records but I wouldn’t think for a second we sound like them because one of the main things that Kyuss tried to do and why they had such an iconic distinctive sound was because they didn’t want to sound like anyone else. They also came from a small scene out in the middle of the desert created a whole genre and a legacy that now they’re not together, the fans have carried on and made their own. We’re not reinventing the wheel but we’re making sure our ride to get us where we want to be has a cooler soundtrack than anyone else’s.
Watch the video for the Sky Valley Mistress’ lead single, Skull & Pistons. It features Dave Catching of earthlings? and Eagles Of Death Metal, who produced the bands forthcoming LP which will be released via New Heavy Sounds.
Many thanks to Max and Sky Valley Mistress for taking the time to write about his love for Kyuss.
Sky Valley Mistress’ debut album is available to pre-order here.