Meet the band
The Vaulted Skies as we know it, was formed in 2013. The phoenix rising from the ashes of frontman James AJ Scott's previous projects - Sunflies and Rorschach's Journal - the band was put together to realise fully a vision that had become distorted over years as a three-piece. Heavily influenced by mid-to-late '80's era Cure, Scott's intention for the material had always been that it would be performed by a five-piece, but it proved difficult to find and retain the right balance of talent and camaraderie to establish a sustainable proposition.
But that was then...
Today the band is made up of kindred spirits, dedicated to delivering music that challenges and entertains in equal measure, nourishing the mind, tugging at the heart strings and making people dance. Sometimes all at once. Meet the people behind the instruments and see what they have to say about each other...
James AJ Scott
Vocals and Guitar
The band's founder has a penchant for obscure Fender guitars and a collection of pedals that aim to disguise the fact that they're guitars at all.
"I'm interested in the symbiosis of opposites... Hard and soft, reality and fantasy, heaven and hell, angels and demons. It's a yin-yang thang."
'Doktor' Ben Singleton
In his iconic lab coat and knitted shades, the Zappa-obsessed synth player brings epic and eccentric vibes to The Vaulted Skies in equal measure...
JAMES ON BEN
Ben is one of those archetypal genius-madmen. He's not so much riding the fine line, but straddling the divide.
His capacity for understanding technology and applying it in the most artistic ways is second to none, so whereas his capabilities as a multi-instrumentalist were always going to be a great asset to the band, what we actually have is also a producer, engineer renaissance man extraordinaire.
In rehearsals he's a bit like Silent Bob in that he won't say anything for pretty much the entire evening, and then suddenly come out with the most profound and conclusive statement you've heard all week!
JOHN ON BEN
Ben is one of the most interesting people I know. I love the constant look of pain on his face when the volumes get loud in rehearsals, and I am in awe at the sheer number of cables he uses and the number of LEDs he has in arsenal. If I’m not sure why something isn’t working musically, or if I’m after advice on anything sonic, Ben is the Oracle. Awesomeness
Low end. Rhythm. Groove. Melody.
BEN ON JOHN
I think if I was going to sum up in one word John’s contribution to the band it would be ‘Hungware’. His bass line to this song is bouncy yet sophisticated a great carrier for the rest of the music to gel to. John is also the self professed “miserable git” of the band, but leaving his sledge hammer bedside manner aside, he can often be seen grooving and gyrating to the music often entreating us to do the same under the auspices of ‘stage presence’. Smelling a rat however, I think this ruse of musical professionalism is just a trick to get us all involved in a carefully orchestrated hippy love in!
JAMES ON ROO
Whatever Roo wears, he exudes psychedelia. I always imagine him in tie dye, though I've never actually seen him wear it. A rockabilly-hippy-Goth, Roo is an original thinker, a dreamer, unblinkered and unfettered by constructs of "the man". He and I share a great interest in the idea of delivering something that transcends the typical gig experience by combining and cross-pollinating lots of different art forms to express ideas as holistically as possible. Roo's versatility as a guitarist is also important in a band like The Vaulted Skies, where the arrangements are quite busy; switching from ambient soundscapes and simple melody lines to complex chords and Johnny Marr-alike hybrids.
BEN ON ROO
Constantly in search of the new sound Roo can usually be seen standing next to gigantic 60's throw back instruments (often towering over him) that look like they have been caught in a time warp with a tortoiseshell medieval lute, holding in all event the guitar he will actually use! At his feet lies a pedal board that reads a little bit like the menu at a rural beer festival, including as it does, the “titter ye not” ‘Big Muff’. Roo brings the chorused 80’s-esque arpegiation and melodic smatterings that excite the ear in the Vaulted Skies music, not to mention the haunting sustained E-bow that often leads me to wonder if we need a keyboard player at all!
JOHN ON ROO
When Roo and I were introduced to each other, all I remember was the line “Roo plays Bass too”. This struck fear into me as I immediately felt a fraud and that I wouldn’t be able to blag my bass skills in front of a seasoned Pro. My fears were unfounded. Roo is such a top bloke, he’s supportive, has the ability to offer advice without sounding patronising or pedantic. He’s a great person to bounce ideas off, and although I usually have no idea what he’s doing with his own guitars, he’s always positive with feedback and ideas. I love the fact he would, given half a chance, quite happily Skype his family WHILST we are doing a sound check at a gig.
BEN ON SCOTT
Scott is the newest member of the band, and in many ways our saviour, freeing us as he did from a drummer-less Hell of drum machines and fruitless auditions. Scott’s presence has been very much felt from the first day in the form of the near deadly decibel ratings his drum whacking achieves, in fact he seems to have created a greater dynamic range not by playing soft to loud, but by increasing loud beyond the realms of drum possibility. Ever looking to be inventive watch his space for the two stick high hat trick that one day will be likely be taught on one of those cheesy drum technique videos!
JOHN ON SCOTT
I’ve known Scott the longest out of all of the members of The Vaulted Skies, we used to play in a ropey covers band together. The banter between us started then and will likely go on until the end of time. I really like Scott as he’s very down to earth, his drive to get things sounding right is inspiring, and although there’s lots of silliness, it never detracts from his ability to progress whatever song he’s working on.
JAMES ON SCOTT
Scott's rare combination of huge talent, no ego and great communication skills makes him one of the very best drummers I've ever worked with. Probably the very best. He is patient and completely unflappable. He never makes me feel stupid or annoying when I'm crappily beatboxing ideas at him or jumping behind the kit when my beatboxing reaches its limits and a slo-mo tub-thump is the only vocabulary I have left. He will try anything; he listens, adapts, evolves and of course comes up with his own thunderous patterns and fills to give great groove and establish a solid platform on which the rest of us can do our, erm, stuff.
I refuse to say "thang".