New York Rock Trio Skaters Are Ready for Their Big Break

New York-based trio Skaters are about to explode. With members from L.A. bands Dead Trees and Little Joy, and the guitarist of U.K. phenomenon The Paddingtons, the three chose to meet in the middle, geographically and stylistically, to record an EP in New York. They never left.

The result, Schemers, is available for free on their website, providing a refreshing contrast to the $1.29-per-track iTunes deathtrap or the virus-ridden MediaFire shot in the dark. They’ve been steadily gaining momentum, playing at least one show a month and premiering videos and promoting shows on places like Interview, Vice, and Nylon. This week’s New York Times profile and a headlining show tonight at Webster Hall Studio mark a new high for the band. 

I spoke with singer Michael Ian Cummings on living in the city, preparing for the show at Webster Hall, and what we can expect from Skaters in the coming months.

So Skaters is from New York. How do you feel the constant onslaught of stimulation affects your sound?
It’s probably the reason we can’t write slow songs. The energy of New York is totally inescapable—you can’t fight it. It’s better to roll with it. You go hard ‘til you crash in New York City. 

How would you describe your music?
I try not to as much as possible. In my slightly biased point of view, I’d say we are like a modern punk band with eclectic and somewhat esoteric influences ranging from ska to tropicallia.   

What are your influences, musical and otherwise?
I’m influenced a lot by the city and its people. Walking down the street here is like going to the theater. There’s never a dull moment, and I find myself constantly gaining new insight and inspiration from being around the people. Musically, I’m all over the place. I have my go-to records, of course, but I also keep up on modern pop and new rock acts. Sometimes it’s just as important to listen for what not to do.

You’re starting a zine. Can you talk a bit about that?
We are releasing our first zine called “YONKS” tonight at our show at Webster Hall. The zine will be a way to showcase our favorite artists and friends work to our fans. Many of the people in the zine have done a lot of work with the band already. We really wanted to recognize our community of super talented friends.

You guys gave away your first EP, Schemers, for free. Why?
We just wanted people to hear it. No one is getting rich here. It’s better for us to keep control and give it away openly then force people to download it illegally or through the iTunes middleman. More people will hear it this way, and that’s what really matters.

How is your headlining show at Webster Hall going to differ from your frequent monthly shows around the city?
It’s going to be our biggest show to date. We’re pulling out all the stops. I guess you will just have to show up and see for yourself!

What can we look forward to from you guys this year?
A new record, many music videos, our first tour, a few more zines, and a lot of partying.

Are you skaters?
Figure skaters, maybe. Nope, can’t do that either!

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