Brash and in your face, meet SkiMMeD – the post-punk band that brings a touch of surreal to the Maltese scene. The energetic quartet  made up of Alexandra Aquilina, Daniel Borg, Federico Cilia and Christoffer  Mercieca were the brains behind the highly infectious single Napoleon, which has become something of an indie anthem in Malta (if such an oxymoron is possible). The band traces its origins back to “dark bars with weak drinks and odd smells”. The four recently launched their debut EP Your Head Is Too Big For your Crown (recorded and produced by David Vella at Temple Studios).

How do you describe your music?

Our music is ultimately guitar based. The live element is very important for us and so our songs are often very energetic and upbeat and influenced by the roots and developments of guitar based music, from rock and roll to post punk with touches of funk (especially in the bass lines). It’s a mix of many different genres and elements.

Which bands/musicians influence you?

There are always those bands which we listen to and never seem to get tired of. In our case it’d have to be bands like Pixies, B52s, The Fall and Beangrowers. Then there are those bands which we are continuously discovering. This week we’ve been listening to Clinic, Eels, The Black Angels.

What was the first CD/cassette tape you ever bought?

Alex: Tough one. My first EVER cassettes were Fivelandia, followed by Michael Jackson and the Titanic soundtrack – bought between the ages of eight and ten.

Daniel: In my case it was probably Californication by Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Your top three albums ever and why?

Three is way too little, there are so many! These are not necessarily the best albums ever but they land somewhere in our top forty: Sea Change by Beck, Different Class by Pulp and 13 by Blur.

 A song you hate and why?

At the moment we both have a huge aversion to Time Of My Life by Black Eyed Peas, an irritating song made into an even worse cover full of mindless droning beats.

Butterflies before performing?

Alex: Not butterflies, but I can get into a bad mood if I’ve had a rushed sound check. By the time I get to the venue though, the nerves go away and I’m really excited to perform!

Daniel: Not really.

A singer you’d like to duet with and why?

Alison Mosshart or Jarvis Cocker. Their appeal is not only in their voices and songwriting, but also in their attitude and charisma.

Your go-to music when you’re happy?

Alex: Anything I can sing along to while driving!

Daniel: Beat Happening and Comet Gain.

 And sad?

Alex: High Violet by The National. It makes you want to cry while listening to it when you’re sad, but it’s also very cathartic at the same time.

Daniel: Anything by Leonard Cohen.

Last good concert/gig you attended was…

The launch of the Areola Treat‘s album Pleasure Machines.

 Which particular band would you like to see live and why?

Arcade Fire. We’re both fascinated by large bands and the whole orchestration created in the context of a band performance. Also, everyone seems to agree they’re the best live band at the moment.

 What inspires you?

Everyday life, films, music, books.

 What do we find on your MP3 player?

About 100GB of tunes. Thank God for Apple!

The music industry destroyed real music. True or false and why?

The majority of the population does not want real music and the music industry is just making money off that. If you want to hear real music, it’s out there, it’s just a matter of looking for it.

 A life without music would be…

Very quiet.

What do your family think about your music?

They all find it a bit too loud and noisy!

 Did you ever get the “music is not a real career” talk when younger?

I think it goes without saying because it’s so difficult to make music a career in Malta, especially when you’re writing your own music which is not targeted for the masses or for wedding receptions, however I think they’d all give us a pat on the back if we tried to go for it abroad.

Which of your own compositions is your favourite and why?

I enjoy our new material much more than those on our EP but when performing our favourite is probably Dance Don’t Worry.

 This interview appeared on The TV Guide (Times of Malta) in July.



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