Take a deep dive into this modern post-hardcore masterstroke.
Skywalker have just released their brand new album 'Late Eternity' via Pale Chord.
A thoroughly modern and meticulously crafted piece of forward-thinking post-hardcore, the band delve into the mind, body and soul in an engaging and powerful way whilst also pummelling you into submission at every opportunity.
To find out how the record was built and what each song represents in the bigger picture, we jumped on the phone with vocalist Jay Kucera to talk us through it track by track.
“This is the first song that we wrote for the record that actually ended up on the record. We had a bunch of songs that we had written before which were a progression of our work at the time, but this is the first which made the album and it’s cool that it’s the first song on the album too.
“I think this song sounds almost atheist in a way, but that really isn’t the crux of it for me. I’m definitely talking about me not giving into any story they want to tell me, and of course that’s where the Christian story could come in which is most prevalent in Europe. You can hear that I’m refusing to accept it, because to me it’s not just impossible to believe but also extremely toxic. I know there are other sides to it and I’m sure there are versions of it that I would have no issue with, but generally I am not going to bow to this. It would be a betrayal of who I am.
“But through that, I also think I am talking about more. In the chorus, the first time around I say, ‘No leader, no saviour, but then in the next one I say, ‘I am no leader, I am no saviour’. I’m really trying to say that I refute all of this, but I’m not going to be a substitute for it. Just because we’re in this band and because you’re listening to us say, ‘Fuck this’ and ‘Fuck that’, that doesn’t mean that we’re going to step in. I’m not a saint. I’m not a role model for anybody. I’m just saying that I’m going to try and make things on my own. All you can do is try.”
“So we have misled people on purpose with this title. It kind of sounds like the Latin for fire, and we made the video with lots of orange colours. It’s actually the first word of Ignis Fatuus, which is Will-O’-The-Wisp. Where I come from, that’s a mythical creature that leads you astray. It’s like a light that leads towards something horrible. So this song is about mental health and depression, but the way I’m trying to look at it is from the other side to what everybody else is doing. People are singing about how they are trying to get through life but it’s dragging them down because the reality of things is that everything is horrible. I don’t think so.
“In many ways, mental health issues are negative filters that don’t allow you to see the world for what it is. It’s neither good or bad and this Will-O’-The-Wisp that is inside my head is dragging me towards something that’s really bad but the reality is that it’s an illusion. I can see my demons, but every time I try and reach out and touch them they disappear. It’s not a black and white thing. It’s more of a grey.”
“I remember writing the lyrics to this song and the word Styx kept on coming to mind, which is the mythological river that you cross into the underworld. I’ve always been familiar with this, as when we were kids my father used to tell us about all of these Greek myths. I don’t know why it came to me here though. Sonically it managed to fit within the chorus, so we ran along with it. I feel as though using metaphor is a really powerful thing because sometimes saying something at face value is just way too simple. To use figures of speech and images has always felt really awesome to me. So in this case, because of how personal these demons and gods are within these stories I was told, it’s easier to digest than some other spiritual imagery. It’s easier to digest. So having the image of Charon being this guy who literally takes me across this river, that links into what the song is about, and that’s those feelings of anxiety and terror.”
“I felt like I was on thin ice whilst writing this one and prepared myself to perhaps be called a hypocrite. It’s about me imagining what it must be like trying to find yourself when you know you’re different from other people. So the person talking in this song is almost talking to society as a whole and asking it why it can’t just let them be. Why do things have to be difficult when all a person wants to do is live their life? But they are waking up everyday feeling like a criminal and then falling into a circle of paranoia wondering, ‘What the fuck is wrong with me?’ It’s just this fight for love being love. I’m just trying to understand. I wanted to use the word justify here also, because there is nothing that anybody has to justify about themselves. There is nothing about yourself that you have to justify to anybody. And if they do, then fuck them.”
“This was the last song that we wrote for this record after a two-year period of writing. In that time you grow as a person and I think there are two readings to this song because of that. When I send the words over to the guys, they understood it to be a political song. I think that the easiest way for you to understand this song is me being sick of the political, neo-liberal, ultra-capitalist world. But I didn’t mean it like that, just because I’m not too great at writing political stuff. So what I really meant is being sick of influencer culture. When I see something that is fake, it makes me want to vomit. I don’t have a problem with the people, they can do what they want, but when it’s clear how blatantly fake they are it’s betraying the very essence of who they are as a person. You can be whatever you want to be, yet you smile and pretend and act as if everything is perfect even though everything is far from perfect. You just choose to invest your energy in staging every part of your life. So I’m saying that I’m sick of all of this fake bullshit that surrounds me, but my life, in reality, is right here and right now. It’s tangible.”
“I wrote this song for a friend of mine who is thankfully now in a much better place. He was the clown of the group of friends we are in and nobody ever took him seriously. He knew that his value was from being this funny dude, but he was never actually happy with the people around him or his life. I didn’t want to sound like this condescending older friend telling him what to do, but that’s when I wrote this song. I wanted to say that I knew he wanted more but I couldn’t do it for him. I wanted to let him know that this was his life and I would support him as much as I could, but he was the one who was going to have to take those steps. That’s where the fight of flight aspect of the song comes from. If he wanted to run away, then that was up to him. It had to be up to him if he wanted to take on the world.”
"This is a pretty abstract song and it’s a topic that I want to revisit in the future as well. So, you have a history with someone and in the past, you ended up on really bad terms at one point. These people throughout the years enjoys having this black and white view of the world and view of you as a person, and you start to see just how much they want to be able to hate you forever. It’s mainly just a crutch for them to feel better about themselves. If they want to choke themselves to death with all of this hatred, then be my guest. It’s only going to hurt them in the long run. Despite there being a moment where I apologise if I’ve done something to hurt them, I’m not going to repent. This isn’t a confession."
"This as a title for the album came about a year into the whole creative process. Originally I wanted to call the album ‘Alienation’ which is a lot of what it’s about, but that felt a little bit too cheesy for what it is. I remember one day listening to a podcast and I misheard something that was said where I thought they had said late eternity. In that moment it hit me that it was exactly what I had had in mind. I rewound but they didn’t actually say that, because it doesn’t actually mean anything.
"Yet in my eyes, eternity is something that for humans is scary. It has a beginning but it simply has no end. Yet we feel as though everything has already happened, and we are in the late stages of whatever all of this is. So this scary feeling that I keep on talking about on this record is very much like an eternity, but the late part of it. Because it’s so paradoxical, it felt like the perfect explanation for this weird feeling that I’m having. The end days of forever, if you will. I know that I only have a certain amount of time on this planet, so I need to use it well. I don’t want to fuck up everything for those that are coming after me, but it’s always so scary to think that one day I will die and never know if I did right or wrong. This is by no means a negative song though. Things might be weird and depressing, but we simply keep ongoing."
FOR YOU THROUGH YOU
“I’m very careful to use the word spiritual. I try to think of myself as not a very spiritual person. However, if that spirituality is opposed to the religious sort, then yes I am a bit. You could say this song is the finale of the quest in terms of finding some sort of essence in life, and I do tap into that in some way with the lyrics. I see it as this psychological inward-looking journey and this is the point where it comes to a head.”
“This is definitely the most introspective song on the record. I just wanted to use this contrast of the song being called ‘Soundtrack’ but the main word in the chorus is silence. Where there is feeling of insecurity deep inside of you, that’s where the music dies off. Though as a musician, I’m almost allergic to silence. I can’t stand it, which probably tells you a lot about me. I’m not very happy just being with myself.
“Then also there’s the process within this song of using words and language, which are extremely important for me as a person, as metaphors for this inner dialogue, which is more of a monologue. Someone told me that they understood this song to almost be a response to ‘Ignis’, which is also very inward looking, and I found that interesting. It’s looking at the same things, but much later within the story.”
“We did consider not having this song on the record just because it’s such a straight up metalcore one compared to the rest. The idea behind it is a girl that I know who is from a country that I’m not going to say just because they take this concept super seriously. Her story is that she ended up living in England, found a boyfriend and really wanted to live a normal life in a western country. But then she got torn out of that new reality and forced back into her home country because all of her family and friends were just such insane believers in something that is as toxic and destructive as religion.
“Seeing that, I was angry as hell. It was insane that in this day and age that you can’t choose who to love, who to be with and what to do on your own. I don’t think she is every now going to be able to pursue the dreams that she once had. If there was going to be a really heavy tune on this record, it was going to be this. It’s not an anti-religious song at all, it’s just the story of this person I knew that made me so angry. I feel like I’m never going to see that person again in real life.”
"This is one of the tracks that I wrote during the pandemic, and I feel like you can hear this different vibe to it. It’s one of the darkest songs on the record. It’s basically about your head talking back to you and your fear talking back to you. I was trying to personify fear. Imagine what that thing that’s sitting in your head and whispering to you looks like. In a lot of ways, fear is something that is much easier to process than facing the world. You can choose to be afraid of this or that. But it’s another misleading concept in a lot of ways.
"The reason that I chose to write this song in this way was because I wanted the song to feel exactly like I did whilst I was writing it. I wanted it to feel uncanny. In the studio we considered what bands were able to present music in this unsettling way, and we went back to nu-metal and bands like Korn. They could write super heavy songs yet whisper on top of them and make some so raw and emotional. That’s what we wanted to create."
"When we were writing the music for the album, we knew that this was going to be the last song. I don’t know why, but it felt like this curtain closing moment with these guitars that were really slow and really deep and really low. Also, sometimes when you set out on a quest to find some answers and you don’t find them? That’s what this song felt like. You go through a process and sometimes don’t learn anything. I made it through the process, I breathed in and then breathed out again and then let go of the things that I can’t change. I then move on. So lyrically, this felt like the perfect way to wrap up the album. Thank you for walking with me on this path. Maybe we didn’t learn anything, but that’s life. Maybe that is ultimately what the lesson is. We just followed through with an aim."