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Skinher interview (05/2023)

With: Kyle Skinher
Conducted by: nikarg (e-mail)
Published: 14.05.2023

Band profile:


I found out about Skinher completely by chance, when the band’s debut album, Heartstruck, popped up on my YouTube recommendations. When I first listened to it, I had no idea that Haris/Kyle Skinher from Hail Spirit Noir is the project’s mastermind, but the mix of heavy metal, hard rock, and glam ticked many of my favourite boxes. When I discovered that Haris and other HSN members were part of it, I had to know more.

Nik: Hello Haris, and thank you for doing this interview with Metal Storm. Tell us a bit about your new project, Skinher. Who is participating, and how did you decide to form it?

Kyle Skinher: It's actually the guitarist and the vocalist of Hail Spirit Noir, Theoharis and Cons, plus another drummer, one more vocalist and some extra lead guitarists. Since I was a kid I was always a fan of bands like Alice Cooper, Europe, King Diamond, Dokken, Malmsteen, you know, the '80s heavy metal, glam metal, with bits of darkness. I listen to this kind of music very often, I am a fan. So, I had a lot of melodies in my head that didn't fit Hail Spirit Noir and I just wanted to try writing some actual songs. I am really happy with what I created, it's an album that someone can listen and sing along loud.

Nik: Who has written the music and lyrics?

Kyle Skinher: I wrote everything myself, I also played most of the instruments, it's a solo project.

Nik: Looking at the album cover and the song titles, it feels like there is a concept or a theme behind Heartstruck. Can you tell us a bit more on that?

Kyle Skinher: The album is an anthology of horror-themed songs, every song is a different horror/slasher story, mainly inspired from VHS movies.

Nik: Is it a one-off project? Do you plan to do live shows with Skinher?

Kyle Skinher: I doubt I have the time to do live shows, but everything is dependent on the reception of the album. If it's successful, I will go for a second album, I loved the first one.

Nik: What’s the feedback you get from fans and the music press so far?

Kyle Skinher: The feedback is very positive, but I sense that most people of the underground scene will never bother to listen to glam heavy metal, so it's an album mainly directed to the masses. But I don't have the money, the label and the PR for the masses... But I knew this from the very beginning of the project.

Nik: Do you have any favourite songs from the album?

Kyle Skinher: I love "The Maniac Is Back" and "Josephine". The latter one is such an '80s melody! It reminds me heavily of Ozzy's ballads. I never thought I would write such a song, tbh.

Nik: It feels like with both Hail Spirit Noir and Skinher, you showcase a love for the '80s. Growing up around that time myself, I wonder whether it is an age thing, a trend, or something else? Nostalgia maybe?

Kyle Skinher: Yes, it is certainly this. But it is also love for the brilliant music and the brilliant synthesizers of the '70s-'80s era.

Nik: What are your influences in general? Favourite bands/musicians?

Kyle Skinher: I would mention Manos Hadjidakis, Radiohead, Death, old era Entombed, King Diamond, Jean Michelle Jarre, Air, Goldfrapp, Pink Floyd, Dissection, and many more.

Nik: The Greek metal scene seems to be thriving in the last few years, with quality bands popping up all the time in all styles of metal. Have you got any recommendations for new bands?

Kyle Skinher: Hmm, I recently listened to Stray Gods, an Iron Maiden sound-alike band, and I was amazed. I also liked the latest albums from Agnes Vein and Wardrum. Our synth player in Hail Spirit Noir, Sakis Bandis, is ready to release his new album with Horizon's End, they play '90s prog. It is one of the best albums I have ever listened to, honestly.

Nik: What kind of music do you prefer listening to in your free time, and what is the format of your choice (physical / digital)?

Kyle Skinher: I listen to extreme, experimental and prog music most of my time. But I also listen to electronica, jazz, orchestral and pop music, but it's hard to find new good bands in these genres.

Nik: Can you tell us which three albums you would want to have with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Kyle Skinher: Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon, Goldfrapp - Felt Mountain, Pestilence - Testimony Of The Ancients.

Nik: Can you name three musicians (living or dead) that you would dream of collaborating with, either with Skinher or with Hail Spirit Noir?

Kyle Skinher: Jean Michel Jarre for Hail Spirit Noir, Ozzy Osbourne as my singer for Skinher.

Nik: How do you like spending your free time? What are your interests besides music?

Kyle Skinher: I like reading, but I don't have much time to read, because I spend most of my spare time in the studio. I also like visiting nature, and I am also an amateur tennis athlete.

Nik: Do you have a favourite film / director?

Kyle Skinher: Stanley Kubrick is an inspiration for my music and my aesthetics in general. My favourite movie is The Fountain by Darren Aronofsky. This is such a wonderful film, ‘awe’ is the word for this one.

Nik: If you could have any director, living or dead, to do a video clip for Skinher, who would you choose and for which song?

Kyle Skinher: John Carpenter, who else?

Nik: Have you got any news to share about Hail Spirit Noir?

Kyle Skinher: Yes, I finished the Skinher album last summer, I had some rest from music for a year and I have started now composing music and exchanging ideas with Theoharis about the new Hail Spirit Noir album. Hopefully it will be out next year from Agonia Records.

Nik: Are you still involved in Katavasia? If yes, is there any news on that front?

Kyle Skinher: No, I only participated in the debut album, but didn't have the time to get involved later on.

Nik: Is there any chance of a Transcending Bizarre? revival, either for an album or a live show?

Kyle Skinher: Not a chance!

Nik: Thank you, Haris, that’s all from me. Anything you would like to say to Metal Storm readers?

Kyle Skinher: Thank you guys for the support. I really appreciate it.

Big thanks to Haris for this interview. Make sure you check out Heartstruck over here.

Posted on 14.05.2023 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments: 2   Visited by: 46 users
26.05.2023 - 16:08
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Good short interview I found that band when our beloved Jewish thrasher add it listen album few hours later, was amazed.
I stand whit Ukraine and Israel. They have right to defend own citizens.

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''
I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
14.06.2023 - 02:51
Thank you for this interview! Big fan here.

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