6/4/16: The Music Box = BIG SUCCESS
WOW, so like WOW, our show at The Music Box was a huge success. It was definitely a busy few weeks leading up to it and some stress on the technical side at first, but when things came together they did in a big way.
As a new band and venture, we look for benchmarks along the way to either encourage us to keep going, or make changes, or just evaluate where we’re at. After seeing how many people rallied for this show and came out to support us, I can absolutely say that we have easily surpassed my expectations. Just after only 11 shows and 3+ months as a band we were able to contribue a large portion of this crowd through pre-sales, and instantly right after the show our next house concert completely filled up. That’s response alright and exactly what we needed to see to push harder, smarter, and keep building this musical path that we feel so passionately about.
From the bottom of our hearts thank you so much for making this dream start to become a reality!!
It’s a great feeling to have especially as our debut recordings are due tomorrow for final mixes. There is certainly a lot of positivity that will be going into these last few notes, chords, harmonies and vocals.
One other quick note. We will be continuing our house concerts about every 2 weeks for the forseeable future, but our plan is to have each show be a new artistic experience with a new artist of some kind opening for us each time. Yes, that certainly means other musicians, but also might include painters, comedians, poets, wine makers, chefs. Together, let’s crete a new artistic revolution in town where art lives and flourishes the way it should.
4/15/16: Record Update
“We’ve written 30+ songs over the past year and have focused in on creating an incredibly tight, cohesive grouping of tracks.” - Chetan Sky
I hope your 2016 is rolling along nicely.
Just wanted to give you a quick update on the record.
After having battle tested quite a few songs live over the last few months, we have settled in and made our final cuts that we will be focusing on finishing up.
The record will be called - Rise: Part 1
We’ve written 30+ songs over the past year and have focused in on creating an incredibly tight, cohesive grouping of tracks. In fact, I think we have a real shot at creating a totally bomb little work of art, and I am more convinced than anything it is our best artistic output ever. I say that even after these songs have been written months ago, and we’re near sick of them. This batch really has stood the test of time, and I’m stoked!
Why part 1? Because we already have part 2 nearly written and mapped out as well, but we wanted to get some music out asap. We hope to be releasing part 1 in a few months and part 2 later this year.
We’re going to be going over our umpteenth passes at these songs, and I love that. Since we built a home studio, we can take our time and record vox every day and then record more vox to compete with the previous vox until we’re satisfied without a doubt. It’s truly a methodical process, but we have insane standards, and damnit I want to reach them.
For a limited time you can hear a sneak peak at the first song off the record, Like A River, on our here. While you’re on the website, you can also sign up for one of quite a few live shows we have lined up the next couple months.
An official first song release will be chosen after the full batch of songs is recorded. More info to come soon!
2/8/16: A Note from Chetan Sky
I’m writing to you late night after the super bowl as I have been excited to tell you about the upcoming events of our new musical project, Skyterra.
It has been a long year, a very long year, one in which we have grown, and grown up immensely in ways that I both hope everybody is lucky enough to experience and/or lucky enough to avoid. As most of you know, M4 went on an indefinite break about a year ago. We had spent about 4 years together and about 20 years prior working for our hopefully long lasting careers in music. Then it all came to an abrupt stop. We are still the best of friends, really, even closer in some ways, but it was what needed to happen to move all our lives forward.
While this was relieving in some ways, the pain from this break was difficult and also paralyzing, scary, and filled with a year of growth. Of course we thought we could get a project up and running a month or 2 later, but like most things, wounds just need time to heal, and we had to give it just that. We did write some music in that time and we like it, but also it was very dark like our moods were. While it was an interesting direction, and music we will still use, we also just needed time to develop as a band and grow into our new sound. It’s been an interesting learning curve. Sometimes songs can be written over night, but bands need to mature and grow together to be great, and we had to let this happen to strive for the standard we set for ourselves.
And even past that, while the 3 of us (Melissa, Jon and I) still wanted to work together, we didn’t have a singer. What could we do next?
We tried some rappers to pair with Melissa on vocals, and while it was an interesting contrast it wasn’t the right direction for the sound we wanted to build. We want to be edgy, forward thinking, big sounding, but most of all rely on our ongoing mission statement to spread awareness, self acceptance, and oneness through the power of music. We realized things needed to stay in house so we could continue to grow together, so, if we didn’t have a proven singer, Melissa and I decided that we would learn to sing ourselves. I don’t mean to say that flippantly as if we just learned to sing, and now please listen to us. I mean it as in, we trained daily for months and months, and because of our musical talent in other instruments we’ve been improving steadily and relatively quickly and still will be for some time.
About 25 songs later, and a bunch of tears and late nights wondering what on earth we’re doing, we’ve started to arise out of the other end of the tunnel. We’re only a couple weeks from our first show on Feb 19 and are starting to feel excited and confident as hell. We believe in our message and the music we’re making, and we are over the moon to get a chance to share it with you. It will not be M4(2), and that is ok. It is Skyterra, so we ask that all keep an open mind.
That being said, we will be starting shows again later this month, full details to come in a few days.
Next week we will be doing daily look ins on facebook to our rehearsals as we tell you about our story and music as we progress to the first show. Visit facebook.com/SkyterraMusic and like us, then come back often to see what we’re up to. More details on this special look in to come soon as well.
I sincerely hope everyone had a wonderful 2015 and are as excited about 2016 as I am!
ps… If you were kind enough to read all the way to the end of my indulgent story, here is a little performance of me playing an original piano composition called “Moon Shadow #1.” - My dearest friend Anthony Amato (and also guest guitarist) added some animation that goes perfectly to the meaning of the music. I recorded this in my living room where our first shows will take place. I hope you enjoy.
I remember just a year ago, when Skyterra was so new and we were trying out some different styles and sounds, that there were some elements that I felt could make this project really special. There was also a ton of growing to do and uncertainty to navigate that it was definitely a roller coaster of a year too, but all those trials and triumphs have lead to this week when we get to finally release our debut ep titled “King."
We will be celebrating the release at the Casbah tonight and hope that all of you can attend. The guest list is packed with some really amazing people so far, and it’s looking like it’s going to be an epic night. The EP is free for everyone who attends.
Hope to see you all there!
8/9/16: KING EP Release and Show, TODAY, August 9th
I’m writing to you with very exciting news!
Our first substantial release, a little record called “Rise,” is coming out on November 15th! We have worked all year on these songs and have played them for many of you who came to our shows. It represents a big step forward for us, and I’m very proud of how it turned out. Rise, to us, represents the rise of collective consciousness. It is all of us who create this world, and we have the power to shape it how we want.
Next, I want to say that we have planned our last show of the year for Friday October 28th. We are working like crazy to debut some new music for this event, and I can’t be more excited about that. Nearly every new tune is uptempo, and we intend to bring the party!
Now, for Halloween weekend, Friday, October 28th, we have teamed up with Sound the Groove and several other bands to put together a party to remember. It is a Superheroes vs Villains theme. Coming in your costume is encouraged but not necessary at all.
Follow the links below for tickets. We kindly ask that you purchase your tickets as much in advance as possible as it will boost our awareness with the promoters.
So excited to see you there and to share a bunch of our music with you soon!!!
-Purchase tickets here:
10/13/16: Last show of 2016 and some EXCITING NEWS!
What a positive success our last show was. When you work hard at something it’s nice to feel the overwhelming positive energy and feedback from your audience, especially when you are still experimenting and finding yourself as a band.
Some key things that have grown/changed recently for us:
1. We used acoustic drums instead of electric drums. We felt it gave the whole vibe much more energy. This was made more possible by the fact that we debuted 66% completely new material focusing on this new direction rhythmically and only used a few of our previously played songs that fit in this style.
2. We an uptempo band now! Literally, I have refused to write any songs that don’t fit this criteria, at least for the time being.
3. We’ve been practicing our asses off vocally. Well, we have been all year and steadily growing from total noobies to now; well, I think we at least are starting to sound like singers, and that is really exciting. My range has increased by 5 notes up comfortably, and it’s really cool to see the hard work finally paying off.
4. Our thematic material plays more heavily on the subject of love and positivity. My favorite kind of music uplifts, and we are heavily living in that space right now. I keep finding, over and over again, that some of life’s deepest poetry is about love. You could write love songs forever and never re-cover the same material. There is so much life and other meanings surrounding the subject of love that we are just immersing ourselves in it lyrically these days.
5. We’re a rock band now. We have been focusing on rock rhythms and further defining who and what we are in that direction. I used to write songs piecing together from many different styles of music, and it was creating this interesting hip-hop/electronica with some rock mixed in type of direction, but now we’re really filtering out our rock side.
6. No more heavy light show. We want to focus solely on our music for a while and the lights were just too much to bring around to every venue. It was difficult to scale and diverted our attention from where it should belong at this stage of our development, in the music.
I keep having this fantasy of being totally transparent with how we grow as a band, and it’s something I think I fail on tremendously. haha. I find that once something new or unique happens I’m already off onto the next thing honing in so it’s tough to look back and spill it all out for everyone. So I’m hoping this is a little nugget to give you all a behind the scenes peak at our thinking. It’s really an ever growing life as a musician, and you’re always discovering new things. That’s what I love about it. As a band it really takes time to mature and develop together, and we are firmly excited and working through this process.
That being said our debut record “Rise” is coming out in just 11 days!! It chronicles this first stage of our growth from this past year and has some really wonderful songs on it. These are songs that actually in my opinion show far better in recording than they do live. They are epic, huge, dreamy, heartfelt songs that I feel very deeply about. I can’t wait for you all to enjoy them soon!!
Ok, that should probably be enough from me for now.
11/04/16: 'Rise' and behind the scenes details
San Diego, California – November 15th, 2016 - The alternative piano-based dream rock trio, Skyterra, brings tour de force talent to the emerging San Diego music scene with the November 15th release of their powerful debut album, RISE.
The album, co-produced by Jamie Hill of L.A.-based Secret Agent Audio Services, marks the next stage of music evolution for the band’s founders, Chetan Sky and Melissa Evans, whose first band, M4, amassed a dedicated following and produced two critically-acclaimed albums before dissolving in 2015. Undeterred from their musical ambitions, Chetan and Melissa formed Skyterra after finding their rhythmic lynchpin in drummer Jon Stone. RISE is the culmination of over a year’s worth of musical exploration, collaboration, and personal growth.
“This album is very autobiographical,” says Melissa. “It’s about growing out of the depression after M4 fell apart, and then putting our lives back together while trying to grow this project and earn a living at the same time. It’s been an incredible journey.”
Bringing with them a depth of talent rarely seen on the popular music stage, Chetan and Melissa began their musical careers as professional classical pianists, touring the world and performing in prestigious competitions. Chetan, a Yamaha artist since 2013, participated in the 2009 Van Cliburn piano competition, an international invite-only gathering of the world’s most talented concert pianists.
With Melissa and Chetan’s full range of talent on display, RISE is a skillful blend of pop, ambient synth, and indie electronic styles, exploring a range of moods and musical expression. Chetan, arguably the band’s centerpiece, showcases his gifts as a virtuoso pianist and captivating performer throughout the album. The band’s primary songwriter, he also tests the waters as lead vocalist on several tracks - a first for the musician known almost exclusively for his prowess on the piano. Melissa, a multi-instrumentalist and Skyterra’s “sound painter,” weaves together keyboard, synths, bass and vocals to create the atmosphere for each song. Acting as the trio’s grounding force, Stone artfully blends both synth and acoustic drums to balance and cohere Chetan and Melissa’s ethereal sound creations.
The album’s title, RISE, is “about a rise of consciousness for us, collectively, and a recognition that we need to grow as one and rise together.” Starting November 15th, the album will be available for download on the band’s website, www.skyterramusic.com. RISE will be available on iTunes in December, as well as on all major streaming platforms.
11/15/16: Dream Rock Trio, Skyterra, Unleashes their Powerful Debut Album, RISE.
Coming from San Diego, California and lead by both a female and a male singer they arrive with a silence bringing sounds so unique, so refreshing and simply so enticing and mesmerizing. Melissa’s and Chetan’s voices have a way of reaching deep down your heart and soul and connecting them with the world that surrounds you. The tracks are beautiful and invite the listeners to unite and to travel through it’s soundscapes with positive thoughts to make something special of this world we live in. As they blend pop, rock, folk and even electronic sounds creating their own unique alternative melodies they provide us with mature and heartfelt verses.
Rise is a uplifting short album (it’s 8 tracks, but so worth it) that I honestly recommend and it’s a first step that will lead to a growth in body, mind and music from Skyterra in the near future. Enjoy, listen and let’s see what the future holds for this talented band.
Hailing from San Diego, California Skyterra is a three-piece group consisting of Chetan, Melissa and Jon. The band didn’t form too long ago and were working for about a year on their album RISE. All things considered the fact that they got an album out so quickly is pretty impressive. More impressive is how good they sound.
The band has a sound that I enjoyed right off that bat. There are clear elements of synth pop on this album not too far off from a band like The Chromatics of Chvrches. That being said I would argue their sound is a wee bit darker on certain songs than those bands. Not quite as dark as a band like Portishead but similarities could be drawn. There are also elements of shoegaze along with straight up indie pop depending on what song you are listening to.
There are two singers; one female and one male. To be blunt I thought the female vocalist tone, style and delivery fit better with the music. I also enjoyed the male singer but it was more selective. As far as the music goes it combines piano, synths, bass and more. It wasn’t breaking any barriers but was quite enjoyable.
The first track “Raindrop” is a lead in to the first song “Like A River.” I thought “Like A River” was one of the highlights on the album and most single-worthy. Those two things don’t always go together but it did in this case. The female singer is dynamic and at times sounds like Alice Glass from Crystal Castles and then other times her vocals are treated with vocoder like effects. I liked the music especially the synth but her vocals carry the song. The other song that really got my attention was the very next song “Special.” It’s arguably even catchier than the first song and I thought the music was fantastic. Ethereal, funky and pretty inventive at points. Great song
Up next is “Pray” which is where the band's recent formation starts to show. The song is pretty catchy but it has a distinctly different vibe and tone in a number of ways. It feels buoyantly optimistic but lacked the dark synth pop style funk that you heard previously. “I Wanted It All” is mostly an atmospheric song that builds up momentum with my favorite male vocal performance. At his best he sounds similar to Elliott Smith combined with Ben Gibbard.
They close with “Heart” which splits lead vocal duties. I thought they did a good job overall but I could have done without the spoken word parts. It’s a very uplifting song and quite contrasting from the dark elements they have earlier on.
This is a group that is immensely talented in a number of ways. The songwriting is good, sometimes great, and the production is competitive with some of the aforementioned bands.
In theory having two lead singers sounds good but they have such different styles it almost feels like another band. I’d like to see if they can bridge this gap somehow in the future. I predict that if they remain together some of the incongruent aspects I pointed out will iron themselves out because they just formed so recently.
At any rate I wouldn’t miss RISE and would make sure to check up on this band . Some of the songs like “Special” are repeat worthy ear candy that you won't want to miss.