Exeter’s Skeleton Frames are equal parts haunting and foreboding. The band’s sweet side is spearheaded by singer Emily Isherwood’s rapturous coo, that spirals in and out of focus, its her tormented yet delicate delivery that makes this band so irresistible. Rumbling outwards from the core of the five-piece is their self-contained cacophony – a rough-around-the-edges distorted ravage of grungy guitars, fuzzed-up bass and raging percussion.
We grabbed a few minutes with Emily and Jack from Skeleton Frames to talk about how they got into music, the bands that have soundtracked their lives and much more.
Where and when did you first discover your interest in music?
Emily: “We listened to a lot of music in my family home growing up. I liked that it was something we could all talk about together.”
Jack: “My Dad is a musician. When I was a teenager me and my brother used to make him teach us old Led Zeppelin and Clapton songs on his guitars. He got so sick of those songs. I can still play all of Crossroads.”
What was the first instrument you learned to play?
E: “The cornet in Smithy Bridge primary school brass band. Took me to London for the first time.”
J: “I started learning piano in primary school. I wasn’t very good and I gave it up after grade 1.”
When did you start writing your own songs/music?
E: “I was about thirteen and my dad said he had an acoustic guitar in the loft, but that it would be too big for me. He brought it down anyway and I started talking over two chords.”
J: “I joined a band with a bunch of guys from my town. We had one song and we must have recorded it to tape every time our line up changed. Which was pretty much every week. We were pretty convinced we were going to be the next Limp Biscuit.”
What would you say has been the highlight so far in your musical career?
E: “Bridgewater Labour Club, before the raffle, after the ham roll’s sold out.”
J: “Christ, Bridgewater fucking labour club. Three types of carpet. No door handles on account of them being punched out. In all seriousness I think right now is the highlight. I’ve never been in a band that anyone wanted to listen to. Ever. So it’s nice that people seem to be into it!”
What does music mean to you?
J: “Yeah community, working with and meeting so many talented people. It’s great.”
Where did you play your first gig?
E: “Harry’s Bar in Wakefield, with Hannah Trigwell and Jen Armstrong.”
J: “We had to put on our own gigs. We put one on in a school hall with another friends band and a bunch of people from our school came.”
What has been the definitive record that has made the most impact on your life?
E: “Passenger by Lisa Hannigan.”
J: “Hard question. Loveless by My Bloody Valentine.”
What is your earliest musical memory?
E: “Seeing my sister play the tenner horn in a brass band on a train from Manchester to Leeds. It was Christmas time, I would have been about six. We’d bought her a rabbit teddy which I was squeezing.”
J: “Mine and Edd’s older brother had a covers band. All sorts of britpop covers. Either that or my grandad playing his harmonica at ANY family event.”
Who is your favourite songwriter?
E: “RM Hubbert for his guitar pieces. Bristol’s RHAIN, for her lyrics. And at the moment, Grimes for her new album as a whole.”
J: “David Gilmour/Rodger Waters are an unbeatable combo. Sonic Youth. Anyone that pushes the sounds they can get out of their gear and use that as a song writing tool.”
A song lyric that means a lot to me is…
E: “I know when that hotline bling.”
J: “That can only mean one thing.”
A song that describes my current mood/frame of mind at this time is…
J: “Repeater by Fugazi.”
Skeleton Frames debut release ‘Leech’ is out now. Buy it on iTunes here.