One of the most epic movies I have seen was called ‘Pearl Harbour’, a war story about when the Japanese bombed and destroyed most of the American naval fleet in the space of a morning. It’s got heroism, romance, action – pretty much everything. It reminded me of a book I read when I was younger called ‘Good Night Mr. Tom’ which was also based around wartime when London was being bombed.
All of the imagery and lyrical content was based these two stories and the dogfights that became glorified throughout the English and American air force. More than anything I wrote the words of this song with the colour blue in my head. I don’t usually base my lyrics around colours but when something is in your head…
The words were written to inspire thoughts of epic battles in the clouds above the remnants of cities, but not meant to be dark – rather catching the beauty of being in the air with the power of a plane in your hands. Haha, I don’t know if it actually is like this, but it’s what I think of.
It was an interesting way that the song came around. I was just jamming on the guitar, making up chords and figuring out progressions that kind of built tension, and came across a scale in A that seemed to just appeal to my ear. And with it quickly came the synth riff, which at that stage I was just singing in falsetto.
We jammed the song for a bit but were already starting to record some things so whacked it down on Tracktion (the recording software we used at the time). By then we were well familiar with using the synth to crank into a huge sound and so figured out the riff I had been singing with the guitar pattern. It worked instantly, so well in fact that it became the chorus of the song, no words, just the hugeness of an instrumental.
With the drums I had already envisioned something that was pounding and really driving the whole song and so came the punk/bass slammed drum beat which hardly ever faltered. The change in the dynamics of the song came when a friend of ours who was listening to our demo recording said he thought the chorus should have words. So I put words in. Later the idea to add a second vocal track to the chorus came along. Skyward has proved to be one of our most epic songs to date.
One of the reasons we added a double vocal in the chorus was because of a track I had heard by MUSE. Muse had always inspired me by the endless and near flawless backing vocals by the bass player and after hearing ‘Super Massive Blackhole’ where the band layers vocals so well I was inspired to try it more often. Skyward’s chorus proved a great circumstance for this. Thank you MUSE.
Check out the lyrics to this song if you like.