On the radar: Shattered Skies

Getting people to your shows isn't always easy, especially when you're out of step with your local scene. Prog-metallers Shattered Skies refused to be cowed.

"We got a good reaction internationally via the internet," explains guitarist Ian Rockett. "We'd play festivals around Europe and have great reactions, then we'd come back to Ireland and still play to 10 people."

Eventually, the band solved the problem: by bailing on it. Now based in the UK, they've recruited Chimp Spanner's Jim Hughes on bass and conjure up melody-heavy metal, threaded throughout with some clever interplay from Ian and Jim. Meanwhile, Sean Murphy, a clean singer in the Mercury/Bellamy-mould, who got his start in musicals, plays frontman.

"It's a different type of training," says Ian. "It gave him the opportunity to experiment with his voice and get a little bit more flamboyant, and that's what we liked. He's not rooted in metal and it gives him a unique approach."

Eight-string quizzicallity

Also rating high on the unique scale is Ian's Strandberg Boden eight-string - a brand favoured by the likes of Periphery and Animals As Leaders.

"I get a lot of quizzical looks," he says. "It's headless, it's an odd shape, it's got a fanned fretboard - but I like that. If I walk onstage with it, people stick around. They think, 'He'd better be able to play it!'"

Debut album The World We Used To Know proves he can.

  • For fans of: Animals As Leaders, Muse
  • Hear: 15 Minutes
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