Interview – Red Skies Mourning

We recently featured Red Skies Mourning’s latest song Paralyzed in my Underground Indie Rock round-up review and I liked their style a lot, so decided it would be a good chance to have a chat. See how I got on below!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a new single titled Paralyzed. What can you tell us about the track and where can it be purchased?

It’s available on all platforms. This is the first of many for a more modern push, blending genres that I love. Paralyzed was based on an experience I had when I was a kid. During REM(Rapid Eye Motion) I sometimes had sleep paralysis, it felt as if I was in my dreams still yet wide awake, I would see something coming from the foot of my bed and on my chest but I couldn’t move, scream or anything. It was definitely a frightening experience. For pushing more visuals lyrically, I took a tour at the Trans-Alleghany Lunatic Asylum (pictures are on my @chris.aleshire personal IG Page). It was crazy and extremely haunted… though I went during the day so I didn’t experience anything… That tour was awesome and definitely helped more with inspiration.

Have you got any plans to release a full length album/EP anytime soon?

I’m not sure, this song is 1 of 5 that’s completed right now as I try to find my vibe with Ryan and Cesar’s help.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

I’m a sales engineer in the real world and also a US Marine veteran, so I understand workflows and efficiencies.

1. For each song, I typically come up with an idea and pitch it to Cesar Da Emperor and cowriter, Ryan Curtis. IE. Paralyzed was based on Castlevania and Hans Zimmer’s Pirate of the Caribbean with a good beat flow. My upcoming release Deep Moonlight was based on The Legend of Zelda meets The Weeknd/Post Malone, which was done a few months ago, fitting as they just released a collaborative song.

2. Cesar bounces a instrumental beat/vibe, we all talk about it but Cesar does such a great job on his own, Ryan and I typically don’t say much, if anything, and let Cesar do his own thing because he’s a genius.

3. After that, Ryan comes up with the melody, my melodies are dated and Ryan comes up with some pretty awesome melodies, so like Cesar, I tend to shut my mouth and let Ryan do his own thing. He’s a melodic genius! I’ve contributed maybe 1-2%! He also has an amazing work ethic and a huge boost of positivity.

4. Then it’s my turn, I write the lyrics and sing… this song was interesting though and we had to slow it down a tad. Ryan was also doing a lot of falsetto and myself coming from the hardcore/punk/rock scene, I tend to sway into full voice because I have a fairly decent vocal range though I’m slowly blending both falsetto and full for a more emotional vocal delivery. While all this is going on, I’m writing lyrics but also trying hard to nail the vocal melody down. I record all my vocals at home.

So once the lyrics are done, Ryan and I agree on them and my vocals are where they need to be, I record all my vocal tracks at home, do a comp, record the next day, do a comp, then maybe another day and then comp those vocal takes from all those days then.

5. I pass it off to Jeff Kanan who does the mixing. He also does a phenomenal job and gives great advise especially with his tenure and experience with working with artists/producers that recorded back in the day at Westlake Studios when he worked there. He has is own studio, The Keep in Denver.

This workflow works well for Red Skies Mourning, though my older stuff, I did all of the writing myself. It’s really good to work with great people like Cesar, Ryan and Jeff. I hope to do a collab soon.

Do you plan to release any more singles at any point in the near future?

Oh yes, Dec 11th is Deep Moonlight and one of my favorites! That is song 2 of 5 and that song really touched my heart deeply, so I definitely cried while writing that song, recording vocals for that song and sometimes when I listen back to it now.. I get really really deep within my feelings when I write and during those times I can turn into an emotional wreck… lol. My 5th upcoming song may knock Deep Moonlight down a bit but we’ll see. Song 5 is currently in the works as I’m literally running through the melody/lyrics and best vocal delivery at home now!

You’re based in Maryland. What is the music scene like there at the moment and are there any local band/artists you can recommend?

I pitch Red Skies Mourning as based out of Baltimore but I’m currently down in the southern part of Maryland. My old hardcore/punk bands were outta Baltimore so I stick to that. The scene down here is pretty big and lots of music daily though mostly are cover bands, karaoke, DJs etc so you can get your fix of what music you love within a 50 mile radius. I tend to go out and support the local artists but lately I’ve been focusing on my sound and couldn’t really say from an original band standpoint except maybe Any Given Sin, if you are into Shinedown, you’ll like them. Most other original artists down here are country, I’m not a country fan but if you are Jackson Dean, Brothers Osbourne are some local artists from down this way.

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

Past influences: Chris Cornell, Layne Staley/Jerry Cantrell, U2, Iron Maiden, 2Pac, Wu-tang, In Flames, George Michael, Jodeci, Boys II Men, Dream Theater – as I try to push more modern lately I’ve been listening to Post Malone, The Weeknd, Halsey, Marshmello. S with my past influences and listening to newer stuff, it’s definitely starting to blend a bit but I see it as positive growth as an artist.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

Not at all, I do everything at home, this song and the rest coming up have all been done remotely. Cesar at his studio, Ryan at his home studio, Me(Chris) at my home studio and Jeff at his studio, The Keep in Denver.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

I wish, the plan is to release these songs and push them (DIY) and possibly get invited to shows. Currently, I just do local acoustic gigs and play a mix of my covers and originals. I’ve done a little over 100 gigs this year, all acoustic, local gigs. I hope to get on something in the future and may be easier as a solo artist and not having a full band. Once more of these songs are released, I’ll start reaching out to promoters/artists, for now I’ll continue to hustle, record and self promote.

What can people expect from one of your gigs and why do you think people should come and see you perform live?

The acoustic gigs for me typically run 3-4 hours. I sing and play for 3 of those hours covering roughly 40+ songs. I play a TON of 90s from rock, rap, pop and throw in older stuff and also newer songs as well, I enjoy entertaining and talking to the crowd. I joke around a lot as well and it’s always good to be humble and down to earth, so I enjoy/appreciate every moment of it.

Any last words for the fans?

Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to interview. I really do appreciate it! For any future fans, thanks for listening and as I grow as an artist, I’d love to hear from fans on their thoughts/opinions. My sound will always be wrapped around emotions and real world experiences in the hope that my music may enlightening people or help them out as much as Chris Cornell, Alice In Chains, Metallica etc did for me when I was little…or just something to groove and singalong to!