Progressive metal outfit Skyharbor is made up of musicians from New Delhi, Mumbai, and Cleveland, Ohio. Front man Eric Emery resides in Cleveland, while the rest of the band lives in India.
Skyharbor’s latest album, Sunshine Dust, dropped in September. Prior to the album’s release, Skyharbor went through transformations, including two lineup changes and a do-over of the entire album. The modifications paid off handsomely, as the new album is lean, mean, and assertive.
Emery’s towering melodic voice infuses Skyharbor’s music with sparkling textures, elevating the harmonics to celestial heights.
Tattoo sat down with Emery to find out more about his musical influences and his journey to prominence as Skyharbor’s vocalist.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m definitely a bit of a nerdy introvert. I spend most of my time when not on tour, either working in the studio or watching movies. Obsessed with anything Quentin Tarantino.
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
None really. I was always pretty well behaved. The worst thing I’ve done is walk out of a store after forgetting to pay for an item……and then quickly turned around to return it after being riddled with guilt.
What’s your favorite song to belt out in the car or the shower?
A lot of them. But I probably jam out to Incubus or Tool the most.
Who is your favorite music artist?
Karnivool or Incubus.
How did you get started in music? What’s the backstory there?
I spontaneously decided to approach my mom one day and ask for guitar lessons. I don’t have any other musicians in my family and I’m not even sure why I had the sudden urge to play guitar. After playing for a few years, I started to record myself and build out my studio to record friends and other bands. I didn’t even start singing until much later on. Ultimately I posted a few YouTube videos which got the ball rolling for my whole career.
What musicians influenced you the most?
Maynard, Brandon Boyd, Jared Leto, Chris Cornell, Chino, Korn, early Lamb of God, Alanis Morissette, Rush, Styx, Imogen Heap, many others.
How, if at all, do your musical influences shape and impact your music?
They just opened my mind up to the possibilities of what can be done. Especially artists as unique as Imogen Heap.
How does a vocalist in Cleveland hook up with a band from India?
I was recommended to them by the amazing producer Forrester Savell (Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus, Twelve Foot Ninja). I definitely owe him quite a bit for that one.
Prior to hooking up with Skyharbor, what were you doing?
I was in an alt rock band called Concordia as well as a band called Meytal, which featured the YouTube drummer Meytal Cohen.
What inspired “Sunshine Dust,” the title track of the new album?
I’m not sure of all the particulars, but Keshav named one of his demos ‘Sunshine Dust’ and I thought it sounded really cool so I suggested we make that the album title.
Do you travel back and forth from Cleveland to India, or is the band now based in the U.S.?
The band still mostly lives in India. We usually go once a year.
You’re heavily tatted. What significance do tattoos have for you?
No emotional significance or deep meaning behind them. I travel specifically to well-known artists that I love and let them do whatever they want. I just think of myself as an art collector.
What’s next for Skyharbor musically? An EP, or possibly an album?
Definitely a full length album. We might explore a bit more of the electronic ambient space. That seems to be where all of our collective heads are at the current moment.