By Clorisa Simpson
Band of Skulls is a true rock band, packed to the brim with heavy-hitting guitar riffs and lyrics that get any audience chanting along.
The UK band consists of Matthew Hayward (drums) Russel Marsden (guitar and vocals) and Emma Richardson (bass and vocals). Before trhe band’s performance at Rifflandia, the bandmates were genuinely excited to be back in Victoria.
“The first time we came over here, the crowd went insane, we’d never had a crowd go as crazy. It’s always been a great time back here and now we’ve got some friends.” says Hayward.
And those friends packed the Royal Athletic Park main stage last Friday night, with phones in the air to capture shaky videos of their favourite songs.
Chatting with the band, I wanted to know if there was a difference between playing large festivals compared to more intimate concerts. Marsden explains, “fundamentally it’s just two guitar amps and a drum kit and two microphones. We try not to think of it as a bigger show or more important, cause that gets a bit too scary.”
From the way the band performs, you would never imagine fear enters the picture.
“I was shit scared,” says Richardson, who was asked to join the band first and learned to play bass second, as she recalls her first show. “Really nervous. It was great though, once it was over and I realized it had happened, and then you get the buzz and you want to do it again.”
The band opened the show with its most recent album’s title track “Sweet Sour” and stayed consistently excellent the whole way through.
Perfectionism was engrained into Hayward and Marsden at a young age. When they started playing music together, it was Hayward’s father, a musician himself, who judged when they would be ready to perform.
“He would watch us rehearse and say ‘no, you’re not playing a gig yet,’” explains Hayward, “so we’ve always had that mentality with everything we do…. We try to make everything as good as we possibly can.”