by: Peter Mondria

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Wayne Findlay.
In this brief interview, we talk about the recording process of No Sky Today's debut album, song-writing and lyrics,
future touring plans, the possibility of European dates, and much more.

Check out the interview below.

1 Hi Wayne, thanks for taking time for this interview. So First, congratulations on your incredible new album with No Sky Today! How’s the reaction been so far?
The reaction has been great so far! Everone has been very positive with their comments. It makes me extremely happy to know that the music we create has had such a positive impact.

2 With the new album, you have started to write music and produce for the first time. How is that process for you? Did you have a musical vision before you started or did everything come naturally?
The process was very natural for me. I've been a composer/musical director/producer my whole life. I'm just getting more credit for it now. I've always had a musical vision since I was a kid. Seeing or hearing the music in my head. I have tons of music I've written in many different styles over the years, and still continue to. I have tons of ideas and I just love to write. But...This is my first official album as 100% producer, and it feels amazing to see and hear what I actually envision... become real... Paul Jones is a huge part of making that a reality...

3 Can you tell me more about the recording and production process?
How was it to work with Paul, Scotty and kelly.
I wrote all the music and Paul Jones wrote all the lyrics and vocal melodies. We are the core of the NST sound... For this album, I would show both Scotty and Kelly ideas that I would hear in my head...and they would do their own thing with it, for the most part.
So basically, I'd direct, record them and myself, and arrange the entire song, without vocals. Paul Jones and Joe Viers (engineer/Sonic Lounge) would help in the arranging as well. Then Paul would lay the vocals down and add harmonies. Guitar solos and overdubs last. Then we start the mixing process. We mixed each song at least 3 - 4 times to get it where it needed to be...and finally the mastering, Rodney Mills (Masterhouse) did a fabulous job there.

4 Where did the name of the band come from?
NO SKY TODAY was the 1st track that Paul Jones wrote for the album.
And I said it in passing at dinner, what are we gonna call the band...NO SKY TODAY?
And we kinda looked at each other and went..YES!

As I mention on my No Sky Today review, I'm really impressed with your guitar playing. You defintely have a unique style and easily throw out the most technical solo parts and powerful riffs. So, it must have been a great experience for you to express your creativity by primarily playing the leads and melodies in your own band.
I've always done that in all of my bands, since I was a 11. Written all the music and solos... and producing as well. It's in my blood... It does feel great to be completely in the drivers seat with Paul Jones. I think we make a great team...

6 At most of the concerts I've seen you play a Dean Razorback 7. What kind of equipment did you use on the new album, and what about effects?
Here's some of the equipment I used for this record: Dean 7 string Razorbacks, Digitech Whammy II and Expresion Factory effect pedals, Vox wah, MXR Phase 90, Ernie Ball strings(.009's titaniums), EMG pickups, Steinberg software for recording...and a big part of the entire album, Marshall JMP 100w Amphead, Bogner Ecstasy 100w Amplifier head. Fender Telecaster(Escape), Gibson Flying 'V, Takamine acoustic 6 string.

7 Could you please tell me more about the lyrics of the album? I noticed that the title track 'No Sky Today' and 'Final Hour' for example are still depressed and sad songs with some religious references. Is there any concept on the album?
I thought Paul Jones could better answer this one...:)
pic by: coolworldphotography.com
My response if asked directly...... " I was going through a pretty rough patch in my life @ the time the record was being written. Some heavy shit came out in my writing, ie. no sky today, into the sun, heavy is the debt, etc . these songs were direct experiences I was dealing with when writing the lyrics. If anything, the songs may be too honest? I've always written that way, as most writers do i guess? It is very difficult for me to sit down and write on an issue or subject that does not relate to me or my surroundings. Although, I would not consider Final Hour a sad song per-say. I think that song in particularly questions peoples faith..but not in a bad way. The song speaks directly to those that have none? Faith that is...
I guess at first glance you could look @ the record and see some of the titles and say, this is a heavy,sad record. It is very personal and honest to write about dying, faith, spirituality. The record deals with alot of these issues on a very personal level for people. Really, it's an emotional progression ending positivley with the song "pieces" with the song is being about healing, and then of course a fun one with Gear Grinder!!!"
 -Paul Jones

Thanks for your detailed answer, Paul!

8 You guys are doing your first gig at "The Futbol Rocks Spring Fest 2011" in Columbus, Ohio last month… How was that experience for the band, and is there a chance to see No Sky Today in Europe in the future?
It was killer!! It was very busy that day with the photo and video shoot... But we had fun with it... Right now we are working on 2 seperate tours for NST in Aug and Sept. in the midwest again. And we are definitely working on plans for NST in Europe and beyond...

9 How do you feel about the current metal scene in the US. Do you listen to the newer generation of bands and what’s the most recent metal album you’ve listened to?
I do try to stay connected what's going on musically at the time. I listen to lots of different music...so my influences are pretty diverse...even though metal/hard rock is where my heart is. Hmmm. I'm not sure if you can call all of these metal, but this is what I've listened to recently...Dillinger Escape Plan, Latest Foo Fighters, Shinedown, Black Country Communion, Latest Alice in Chains, Clutch, Messuggah (that's definitely metal!) Wayne

10 Besides your solo projects, you also are in MSG for many years now. Is it hard to combine your solo-activities with being in MSG?
Yes and no...There are plenty of down times and in-betweens...but things are starting to pick up with the scheduling. That's a great feeling for me. Staying busy with both bands!!

Thanks a lot for your time Wayne!, I wish you continued success and hope you will have a great time on tour with MSG this summer. I'm really looking forward to the shows. I got one final question. Do you have any message to your fans out there?
I/We would like to thank all our fans for their continued support!! we couldn't push forward without your help and sharing NO SKY TODAY on the web...and WE CAN'T WAIT TO CRANK UP NST LIVE IN PERSON!!

Make sure to check out our worldwide video release of "FINAL HOUR" by NO SKY TODAY on Wed. June 15th.

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©2011 PM 
Photos used in the interview are the property of the following parties:
                 Paul Cunningham/ coolworldphotography.com, headbangers.ru