Interview: Skiing

Skiing - Photo courtesy of Skiing

Skiing - Photo courtesy of Skiing

Skiing is a band with a purpose.

The indie pop band, which relies heavily on a C-86-inspired sound, made its debut in the Berlin scene at the start of the year as a band intent on stirring things up.

Formed as a response to what lead singer and guitarist Everett Darling perceived as a lack of interesting, local music, he and former member Dianna Mertz set out to make the kind of music they both felt was missing from a city known for its art.

The dissatisfaction with the scene then produced five songs, the result of which was a show scheduled at West Germany in January of this year. Yet in the week prior to the scheduled live debut, Mertz suddenly backed out, leaving Darling in a position to cancel the show.

Enter a friend from Estonia (guitarist Joel Alas) and that friend’s Italian roommate (drummer Francesco Rovere). The two quickly got together with Darling and, in a matter of days, learned the five songs necessary to play the show.

And although the initial thought was that it might just be a one-off show, the three discovered they fit well together and decided to continue as a trio of drums, electric guitar and acoustic guitar. The new members also found themselves agreeing with Darling’s lament.

“You can get more lost as a person here than as a band,” Rovere said, referring to what he considers a disproportionate amount of worthwhile bands for such a large city.

So they set out to change things, one pop song at a time.

In the 10 months since, the band has played half a dozen shows in and around Berlin, the most recent of which – tonight – will feature the release of its first EP.

The five-song recording, entitled “West Germany,” stands as a micro-retrospective, showcasing the origins of the band.

“We decided to record chronologically,” Alas said, explaining how the songs on the EP are the same five songs the band debuted at its first show.

The reasoning behind recording those songs – in spite of the birth of a plethora of new ones since – is namely because the band wants to have a record of the beginnings.

“[It’s] just a document of what we’ve done,” Darling explained. “And especially the early stages. And [it’s important] not to, like, leave that out of your band’s…mythology.”

And while those first five songs were written by Darling, they have naturally evolved alongside the band. Meanwhile, the sound of the group has grown to encompass songs written in part by all of the members. And this cooperative approach is something all three feel is noticeable in the sound of the band.

“It’s actually coming to be a band. Not just, like, some Billy Corgan jackoff [band],” Darling said, referencing the shift from Skiing being “his” project to becoming “their” project.

Alas and Rovere both agreed that they’re particularly fond of playing shows, with hopes of playing even more shows now that the EP is out. However, they don’t share the same reasoning of why.

“I like…watching our friends dance when we play,” Alas said.

Whereas with Rovere, it’s more about the reaction not from his peers, but from strangers.

“What I like about shows, actually, is when I have some feedback from people that I don’t know,” he shared.

Meanwhile, Darling said that his favourite part is the aspect of playing music in this particular constellation. While he would be playing music regardless, the fact that the three work together so well and that they all actually like the music is a major plus.

“It’s really just important for me to play music. Like, I need an outlet,” he said. “[But] we’re doing this because we like our music too.”

Skiing plays tonight at Naherholung Sternchen in Berlin with Yip Deceiver and D E N A. The show begins at 23.00.

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