More Than Skies is the singer-songwriter project of Long Island native, Adam James. His musical style has been best described as honest, orchestrated folk-rock with a healthy helping of angst. Each live performance brings something unique to the listener; whether performing as a band or as a solo artist, the passion and vigor remains in tact. He will make his triumphant return on March 24th, 2015, with a self-titled double LP that is as intricate and dynamic, as it is personal.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
More Than Skies is comprised of myself, and guest musicians for shows. I performed and composed the primary guitar, bass, piano, and auxiliary instruments on the upcoming album. I have been in my music scene long enough to have established a great bond with the musicians in my community. I appreciate the creative freedom that comes with not having a set line up, and the use of guests really keeps things interesting. For this album, I had my great friend Phil Corso from The Vigilance Committee, record drums. My friend Jiliane Russo played cello and wrote the string arrangements, Dylan Ebrahimian from Gabriel The Marine recorded violin. Aside from them, I had Derek Smith from Rice Cultivation Society play guest lead guitar on some tracks, as well as my old guitarist Darrell Cheng on lap steel. Original drummer Chris Polzella recorded percussion. Album also features background vocals from long time member Emily Lazio and guest vocals from Stephanie Tolino from Motion Ocean.
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to More Than Skies? How long has the band been around?
I also play in the band Sleep Bellum Sonno which dates back to 2004. More Than Skies started in 2006. I spent 2012-2014 in the band The Vigilance Committee as well. Finally, I was the drummer in the folk band, Wake Up O Sleeper 2006-2008.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
The name stems from letters that were written to me in a relationship that meant a lot to me years ago. She would sign them, "I love you more than skies".
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
I write all the songs. The topics are all reflective as to what is going on in my life. The latest album is essentially a break up album that takes the listeners through the emotional trauma that comes along with losing somebody.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, Delta Spirit, and Sharon Van Etten have been particularly inspiring as of late.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
I got into music after my dad introduced me to the Beatles as a kid. Likeminded friends sparked the idea to be in a band.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
I try to prepare by organizing my equipment and running through my songs acoustically. Day of a show I will warm up my vocals in the car through out the day.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Each album has been a big leap sonically and has left me with the experience needed to keep evolving over time. Being able to travel and make new friends really makes it worthwhile.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
I would love to tour with Tim Kasher, Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, and Rice Cultivation Society, great dudes whose music and creative process really inspire me.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Be sure to check out the new double album dropping everywhere online, March 24th, 2015. Thanks!