Torn Sky, consisting of brothers Chris and Josh Haynes, who were formerly known as XD Out, are back with a new album, self-titled after their new name. LTTM spoke to the duo to find out more about the name change, the new album, and their thoughts on making music.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourselves, how you got involved in making music, and why the recent name change?
Josh - Chris and I are brothers and we started writing music back in 1999 under the name XD Out, which seems like a hundred years ago. Over the years we released three albums under the name XD Out, one of which had songs produced by Mr. Barry Blair of Audio Adrenaline.
This album was different than our XD Out albums in that we were developing it while we were on different coasts. I was living in LA and we worked out the basic idea of the songs out by sending demos back and forth, then when we were ready we would book recording time and lay them down. The fun thing for us was the creation of the songs and we gave ourselves the flexibility to make changes on the fly, improvise, and involve some new instruments. The batch of songs we came out with were different enough from our previous material, we felt it was time to start fresh with a new name.
Tell us about your new album and what the inspiration behind it was?
Josh - For me it's all about what it takes to move on after unexpected life events, and the over arching theme is Hope.
Chris - New beginnings in life, and the desire to create music that inspires and brings hope. Something to combat the negativity in the world.
Which is your favorite track on the album and why?
Josh - That is a tough one because they are all so very different, and I've really come to love them all. I would have to say that our first single "Hope" is near and dear to my heart because it's very autobiographical.
Chris - I'd have to say "The Fight" - I like the idea of people coming together to stand for what's right, it's the fight of life.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
Chris - It’s pretty simple actually. We think people should know they are loved and can move on in the face of difficult times.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
Chris - We truly just like to create well written songs, whether they be rock on not they generally have a driving rhythm. As for influences, we draw a lot of rock bands from the 60's, 70's, and 90's.
Josh - If we had to pick a genre it would be rock for certain, although there are as many sub-genres as snowflakes, but we really don’t want to be pigeonholed. One thing is for sure, we are a guitar driven band, a catchy riff, and rhythm, some driving drums, and a kicking vocal make us smile.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
Chris - That is an easy one for me, John Lennon would be my pick. He was one of the most influential song writers of our time.
Josh - I’d probably pick one of my favorite guitar players, Joe Satriani, although i’d just sit back and watch him play. In fact I’d love to hear what he would do on our song Believe, it’s an instrumental right up his alley!
How would you define success in your career as a band?
Josh - We would definitely like to grow our audience, and encourage more people. From a business side we’d love to be able to have a song in a show or movie, or land on a killer playlist!As a self-funded band that would amazing, but really it’s a vehicle to uplift those who are going through difficult times.
What is your favourite album of all time?
Chris - Well there are so many that I love, it’s really hard to pick. I actually just put together a playlist of my favorites on our Spotify Profile if you want to check that out. It’s ranges from classic rock to grunge.
Josh - I agree, I have so many albums that simply blew my mind over the years. I’m going to do a playlist too but it’s going to be pretty wide ranging from Sixpence to Spoken, and Cream to Tom Petty!
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
Chris - Under Pressure by Queen
Josh - Always with me, Always with you by Joe Satriani
What does the next year hold for you?
Josh - Well, we are gonna continue to promote this new name, new album, and see where that takes us. This album was a couple years in the making, so we are going to make the most of it.