Scott Arnold-Eyers has played in a diversity of bands going back two decades, most notably in Hard MarshMellow and Jesus Sandals. While he remained musical, the way that life grows meant that he hadn’t gone the hard-slog band route for some time.
Staccato, its members and the work towards their debut album, Searching For Sky Blue, is what brought him back.
“I never really stopped playing but nowhere near as much as I had in the ‘90s,” the trio’s guitarist/vocalist explains. “I kind of lost my mojo after The Jesus Sandals, but my wife convinced me to keep playing, even if just for fun. I put out a couple compilation CDs for cafes and restaurants in 2011 and 2016. The first one in 2011 is where I learnt an old tennis friend of mine, Ricky Willsmore (vocals/beats), was also recording some music. At the time I was keeping myself busy playing drums for a jazz band, doing some solo stuff and playing the odd show in a group called Cappuccino Orchestra.”
Arnold- Eyers says that the true desire for a committed band scenario returned six years ago when he met Peter Twiby (bass/vocals, ex-Mystic Twist/Effigy) at a Cappuccino Orchestra gig. The two got talking and found they were in a similar musical headspace, however something different was needed.
“I suggested that maybe we needed to do something out of our comfort zone,” he recalls. “I knew Ricky wanted to do something and what he was doing was definitely out of my comfort zone. He was a hip-hop artist, but I thought this was what I may need to freshen up. Our first jam was pretty exciting, with a fresh and really interesting sound.”
With their various musical histories, Arnold- Eyers recognises and is intrigued by what each of the members brings to Staccato.
“I think we are all very different people,” he notes. “Our brains operate very differently, we have very different ideas on how to get things done and our musical influences are also very different. As a result, we have all learnt to understand and appreciate music that in the past we may never have considered.
“Pete pretty much cruises through the process so when he says something, we all take an interest. Ricky is continually working and re-working songs and I usually try and perfect what we have before I go and make any changes. It means that we look into each song much deeper. Every note and every vocal means something in this band.
“Ricky was very raw when we started, whereas Pete and I had been playing for years. We have been relying on Ricky’s energy and very original ideas most of all. He programs most of the backing beats and because he does not have the same musical background as us they are very unique. It is mine and Pete’s job to make them work. We may have a song that has a seven-bar verse followed up with a five-bar chorus. In the past I would not have done this, but it makes it interesting, to say the least. Having no drummer has been weird, but we have tried a few and it doesn’t capture the unique style we have created. Having said that we do have a guest drummer playing a few songs with us on Wednesday.”
Wednesday’s show is to launch a new single, We Wait, and its accompanying video.
“We decided that we would put out one video each and individually be in control of it,” Arnold- Eyers explains. “The only rule we made was that we, as a band, would not be recognisable in any of them. Peter thought the writing process of the song, We Wait, was really old school, so when he found some old footage from his sailing club he thought he could embrace that. Ultimately it was a retro approach with no frills and captured that really chilled out vibe.”
Also being given the launch treatment is Staccato’s debut LP, Searching For Sky Blue, which is released via Drop Card (a physical release is to follow). The band are pleased with how the album recording evokes the light and shade of the group.
“For sure,” Arnold- Eyers says. “We spent a lot of time to make sure it flowed. There were about seven songs that didn’t make it. I think in the past I had always put everything onto a CD and some songs should not have seen the light of day. I don’t think this album is like that.
“We believe that the strong elements of the group are funky bass lines, melodic guitar, edgy vocals, smooth beats and the backing vocals seem to tie it all together. That is all on the album.”
Staccato’s video/album launch is at Mojo’s on Wednesday, May 16, with Selekt Few, Stone Cold Super Friends and Tashi in support. Full details via www.facebook.com/events/555616094820568/