Skaters Talk Music, Pizza and Influences
"The guy who makes the pizza is 90 years old and the style is just unique," singer Michael Ian Cummings told Radio.com over the phone a few days later. "He grows his own basil, cuts it up and puts it on the pizza. He uses two different kinds of cheese. It's very oily, and I'm not into oily, but it's amazing. It's top notch. It's just so classic."
The same can be said of SKATERS, who are putting their own twist on New York City's rock and roll standard. Barring all the grease, of course. They were so loyal to the post punk Bowery sound that after releasing their first song "I Wanna Dance (But I Don't Know How)" in 2012, NME christened them the "version of the Strokes which we all wish the Strokes were." And this is coming from a publication that named the Strokes' 2001 debut, Is This It, No. 1 on their list of Best Albums of the Decade.
But six months ago, when SKATERS played Lollapalooza-a festival they played on the merits of that same one song-they jokingly dismissed the comparison. "I love the Strokes, but f*** the Strokes," Cummings said. "I mean, they're my best friends, but f*** 'em."
Of course, that expletive-filled comment could have been all the booze talking. During that sit-down in Chicago, the guys rather drunkenly claimed that they were developing a new game that would mix Candy Crush and chess and that their debut, Manhattan (out now) would draw comparisons to Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Hall & Oates. They actually predicted people would be calling their sound "Hall and Oates meets Alice in Chains." Which people are definitely not.
But it would be unfair to cite SKATERS as a cheap knockoff of Julian Casablancas and co. even if there are similarities: the I-don't-care attitude, drunken warbling, wearing sunglasses at night, to name just a few. Cummings claims most of these similarities though have more to do with living in New York City than having a particular sound. "Whatever you do has an immediate consequence in New York," Cummings said. "Everything that this band has done is super word of mouth and it kind of developed its own thing."
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