Win tix to Skaters release show at The Bowery happening on the 2.24. With SHK’s fav opening acts So So Glos + Bad GirlfriendFor SHK readers exclusively. 

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x To enter find the pic above on our Instagram @SHKmagazine + @tag who you want to take. We’ll pick a winner at random on 2.20 x

interviewed by NICK STEWART

photography by KELSEY BENNETT

Skate or don’t, you won’t want to miss out on this band.  SKATERS is a Manhattan based trio that is about to put out their debut album late this February.  With some sick singles like “I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How)” and “Miss Teen Massachusetts” this band has been power-housing it’s way through the world and it’s time for them to be heard in full.  While we would highly recommend getting to see them live, this album is as close as you’re going to get to the real thing and damn is it worth the buy.  We were lucky enough to get a talk with the bands front man, Michael Ian Cummings, where he let us know what it takes to get a band out into the airwaves and how exciting this release is going to be…

SHK: SO AFTER BEING ACTIVE FOR ABOUT TWO YEARS, YOR FIRST FULL-LENGTH ALBUM IS COMING OUT.  HOW DOES THAT FEEL?

Michael Ian Cummings: Yeah man it’s exciting; we’ve got like 11 days or something until it comes out?  Crazy, it’s just been a long process you know?  And its kind of nerve wracking and exciting at the same time, I’m stoked to see what happens.  But were ready you know?  We’ve been waiting for the release.

ARE YOU DOING ANYTHING SPECIAL FOR THE RELEASE?

Yea we’re playing bowery ballroom the night it comes out in the U.K. and the U.S. so it comes out like in the U.K. the day we play and then at midnight it comes out in the U.S. so were going to sell it at the show.

AFTER YOU HAVE THE RELEASE, WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THIS ALBUM?

Idk I mean, I’m hoping to go all over the world in promoting this record.  I’d like people to buy it but were just happy that its coming out we just want people to finally hear it.  I know people that have wanted to hear it for long enough that well just be happy to play for those people and hopefully it’ll grow.  Hopefully well be able to go to all the other territories which will be really great for us.  Its good to travel.

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SPEAKING OF THE SONGS, IN A LOT OF THEM IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU’RE SINGING TO SOMEONE OR ARE THOSE GENERAL METAPHORS?

No you know, you learn to write songs and talk about yourself without thinking about yourself or sometimes you’ll write about someone else in your own perspective because it feels more impactful.  But, not necessarily every song has to be about a particular person or me.  It’s not like a record targeted at a girl, it’s a variety of people.

SO DID YOU PROMOTE A LOT YOURSELF?

We all were bartenders so we were out every night of the week until four in the morning and people would ask what’s going on and wed you know talk about the band ALL the time.  All day long we’d be working at making a video or fixing a song or writing songs.

FROM OTHER INTERVIEWS IT SOUNDED LIKE STARTING THE BAND WAS VERY SUDDEN AND YOU JUST KIND OF JUMPED ON THE WAGON.  DO YOU HAVE A MORE LONG TERM PLAN NOW?

Yeah, well once we figured out it was an actual band (which took a couple shows) then we set little immediate goals cause in the first year of the band josh was going back and forth from England to N.Y.

THAT MUST HAVE BEEN ROUGH…

Yeah, so wed only have josh for 3 months then he’d have to go back for a month.  So we would really pack those three months with band activities so wed have to make those goals and think ahead you know?  It kind of helped us.  We didn’t have the choice to just meander in a practice space and just get lost so we had to come up with some kind of plan. So we were like, all right lets book this club for this month and everyone will know about it and that will be our big show.  We’ll play a couple of parties before that and we won’t really announce them and push the big show.  That’s kind of how we operate.

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IN YOUR NEW VIDEO IT DEALS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS AND A FEW OTHER THINGS.  IS THAT SOMETHING ANY OF YOU HAVE DEALT WITH?

None of us have been committed to a mental institution.

GOOD, I’M GLAD!

Hahah but uh yeah, I think everyone can get a little bit of that.  But that video concept was come up with by the director Danilo Parra and it was his way of interpreting the song which we thought was interesting cause we just look for anything but the literal interpretation or what people think.  People want to be to be the most straight forward thing.  Danilo thinks really abstractly and so we went with his concept cause we thought it was awesome and visually it just reminded us of one flew over the cuckoos nest or something really familiar and romantic.

NOW THAT YOU’VE GOT THE ALBUM OUT THERE, WHAT OTHERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING COME OUT?

Well the thing is our record comes out when the St. Vincent record comes out I don’t know I’m a really big fan of hers I thought her last record was amazing so I’m pretty interested to see what that sounds like.  And yeah I haven’t really been awaiting too many other records.

WHO WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR CONTEMPORARIES, OR BAND WITH A CLOSE SOUND TO YOURS, IF YOU HAVE ANY?

Yeah, I don’t really know we really don’t have anyone that’s doing the same type of thing or that WE think is doing the same type of thing as us.  People like to lump us into other band categories but there’s not like a scene people have been categorically defining us by.  There’s a bunch of bands on the west coast like a lot of thrash punk bands stuff like that but we don’t really fit into any of those categories.  NY doesn’t really have a specific sound right now so it’s kind of all over the place.

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IF YOU HAD TO GIVE YOURSELF A NEW MADE UP NAME FOR THE GENRE OF NY, WHAT WOUOLD IT BE?

Oh we always joke with the band Drowners that were the only two bands in “New, New York.”

SPEAKING OF NY, ARE YOU LIVING IN MANHATTAN?

Yeah, were all in the city right now some of us are homeless, some of us are living in the east village.

OH BUMMER…  HOW HAS THAT INFLUENCED YOU?  I MEAN THE NAME OF THE ALBUM IS MANHATTAN.

It’s all good.  The band started in Manhattan, we all met up in Manhattan and the whole first record was written and experienced in the city so we ended up naming it Manhattan for a couple reasons.  I mean it was really obvious we’d done everything in the city and we were searching for album titles.  The other thing that happened is that sometimes when we go when people say your from N.Y. they assume your from Brooklyn and we don’t really know anything about Brooklyn bands or Brooklyn culture so that was another tongue and cheek.

LAST WORDS OR TIPS FOR FLEDGLING BANDS?

Set realistic goals for yourself. You know.  Its one thing to have a big goal and want to take over the world but its another thing to have a goal in three months I want to sell out mercury lounge and I think that’s what helped us.  Keeping yourself on a schedule and not getting lost in a practice space.  Its better to book as how and for it to not be 100% perfect then to not book a show and to wait for six months and until you think its perfect.  Then the energy will be gone.

I’M FEELING THAT RIGHT NOW.  GREAT TALKING TO YOU!  I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING Y’ALL PLAY IN NY AGAIN!

Hell yea, I’ll see you on the 24th! (Enter to win tix on our Instagram @SHKMagazine).

x For more on Skaters download our magazine with cover girl Atlanta De Cadenet here and So So Glos from an SHK Music Session below x

So So Glos from the Summer Issue from SHK on Vimeo.

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