Synthwave Sunday: Skeleton Beach / Victim of Night + Interview

Skeleton Beach dropped an album out of nowhere last week and I’m thrilled to say that not only do we take a look at it here today, we also have an interview with the super amazing artist himself! Victim of Night was released on the 17th of February and it is a self described album written and born out of insomnia. Some people watch infomercials, others lie in bed looking at the clock, and some tinker around and write music. Thankfully, Skeleton Beach has used this extra time creatively because Victim of Night is one of the best things to hit my ears this year.

When people are promoting their music or trying to get their name out they often say things like “If you like the soundtracks of John Carpenter you’re going to love this!” I typically roll my eyes at this because there’s no real substance behind it. It’s a hollow attention grabber that doesn’t deliver once you decide to investigate. On the flip side of that coin you have artists like Skeleton Beach who doesn’t pummel you with “Hey check out my record…it’s the best thing since Carpenter’s soundtrack for The Fog” or other such nonsense. He just quietly released it and lets the music do the talking. Do you know what the real irony here is? Victim of Night is the closest thing I’ve ever heard to a Carpenter film score.


I’ve mentioned Carpenter’s work before when I covered the Skeleton Beach Last Night Alive EP, but that was just a taste. Victim of Night is so much more ethereal…immersive. It “feels” like the score of a long lost film with a beautiful, melancholic score that’s just now being heard. I also don’t want you to think that Skeleton Beach has gone out of his way to rip-off or mimic the Carpenter sound. In fact, I know that he hasn’t, and that’s what makes it all the more special. Why? Because Carpenter’s scores carry an aesthetic with them…set a tone…but Skeleton Beach conveys more emotion. His songs tell more of a story, transporting you into the space they inhabit. Carpenter’s music doesn’t do this because his scores are meant to compliment a visual. Victim of Night conveys the visual through music and that’s where the real magic lies.

You can find Victim of Night right now over at Bandcamp, and I strongly urge you to check it out (along with the other Skeleton Beach releases). But wait, don’t go yet! We’ve got a full Skeleton Beach interview below! Enjoy!

Skeleton Beach, in the house! Welcome, good sir! How are you?

Thank you, sir! I am wonderful and thanks for asking!

Your new album just released.  What do you think of the finished project?

Man, I am stoked at how this record turned out. It’s a bit manic as far as a track to track album goes. Some songs are very minimal on drums, a few have no drums at all, and then I got really experimental on a few others. Over the past few months I’ve been acquiring more analog and modular stuff and it’s really been a whole process of experimentation, which is generally how I create and thrive the best.

I am as happy with it as I am able to be with ANY music that I create. I have this weird tendency to not want to “pre-promote” my music and literally just kind of release it either the day I finish it or just feel like it’s run its course with my creativity. I work better that way. When I give myself deadlines and specific dates for my music or any other creative endeavor, it tends to stress me out and kill all creativity. It just has to happen when it happens without a timeline.

You’ve been a busy man. When do you have time to write a whole album?!?

Basically it all boils down to insomnia. I’ve always gone through bouts of insomnia and I use to absolutely hate it, but then I finally learned I could use that time and channel it into some creativity. It’s hard for me sometimes to just sit still. When it hits me I have to do something to make my brain relax and sound exploration always puts me into a good place. Every single track on this album was done after finding just one sound and then building upon that. Some songs were finished in nearly one evening and others were worked on in multiple sessions, but MOST of the tracks on this album were finished up in a single session.

Can you tell us a little about your Skeleton Spacey side project?

Absolutely! We have some really exciting stuff coming up with that. One important thing to note is it STARTED as “Skeleton Spacey” and has now become “Cemetery Gates.” It really started as an idea for Derek (Jonwayne Spacey) and I to collaborate with our two projects on just a few tracks together. It quickly escalated to “Let’s make this a REAL project and do something substantial with it.” So we changed the name and continued writing songs. Right now we have around 5 or 6 finished, with about 3 or 4 more we are still finessing and finishing up. We have some super exciting things coming, but we are keeping our lips tight for the moment.

The reception for Connected has been through the roof! Did you expect such a warm reception?

It’s really been unbelievable. We set out to film the festival as a sort of fun project to keep ourselves busy and doing something creative for the artists while we were there, but the amount of support we’ve seen from people quite literally worldwide has been amazing. We were very lucky to have it hit Amazon Prime worldwide, that opened up the ability for everyone to see it and not just those who were either at the festival, or wanted to come and missed it. We just love to see that people that knew nothing about the festival or film have stumbled on it and found enjoyment, it’s pretty rad.

Do you have any upcoming film projects you could tease us with?

We’ve been discussing some things, because we are always scheming on new creative ideas to explore and to challenge ourselves. We are super focused on Cemetery Gates at the moment, so on the film side, we’re just waiting for the next film to present itself to us!

What were some of your favorite albums of 2017?

Man, there were so many AMAZING records that came out in 2017. Usually I have no issue at all with narrowing my list down to a Top 10, but this year I had to go with the full Top 20. A few things I loved that really stuck out were Grand Lord High Master’s release on Kill All Music which is about as epic as metal can get. 10th Letter, who I heard for the first time at Echosynthetic Fest has quickly become one of my favorite artists… period. His last record “Prism Scale” is a mind blowing experience. Also, one of the best sounding records of the year for me was Maine’s album “V.” He is all analog and it comes through with warmth and feeling on every single track. It was released by Burning Witches Records, which put out a tremendous amount of amazing music throughout last year.

Anything you’d like to say before we go?

I just want to say thanks so much for taking the time to chat! I am excited about all of my current endeavors (follow Cemetery Gates at Twitter and Instagram for updates on this side project!) and keep a lookout for the next Skeleton Beach record that will drop at any given unknown time in the middle of the night over the next few months!

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