Skye Edwards and Ross Godfrey have been making elegant trip-hop, on an off since forming Morcheeba with Ross’ brother Paul in the mid-1990s. With their former outfit now dissolved, the pair have forged forward with their new partnership, which they’ve simply titled Skye | Ross. We caught up with multi-instrumentalist Ross, on a break fresh from a successful tour of the U.S.A. Repaying the saviour: Eamon O’Neill.
Hi Ross, how are you today?
I’m splendid. It is a lovely day here in sunny south east London. I am in my garden listening to Dinosaur Jr’s new album.
How was the recent U.S. tour?
We just finished and flew home yesterday. It was super great. The crowds were really into the new stuff. We did some shows with a band called Earth Moon Earth, and they were really far out! We also played Afropunk Festival [in New York], which is quite an experience; kind of like a Funkadelic Glastonbury in Brooklyn.
A recent Facebook post saw you posing outside the Whitehouse; do you like to get out and about whilst on tour?
I must have been to Washington DC twenty times, and this was the first time I ever went sightseeing! We normally get out and about when we visit places, especially if there is a beach or lake. I used to trawl round all the vintage guitar shops, but they seemed to have disappeared along with record shops and book shops.
What sites have you seen on this run?
We got to swim in the Pacific near San Diego, it was great - the waves were just right!
Have you any advice for the incoming president, other than ‘buy our new album’?!
I would tell her to practice some peace, love and understanding, and to legalise pot.
The single 'Light Of Gold' has been very well received. Have you been pleased with reaction to it?
Yes, it is very pleasant. When we play it live people go nuts. The video is getting a lot of love too; we shot it in Croatia while playing a gig in a huge medieval fortress. It was very Game of Thrones.
What prompted you to release a Skye | Ross album, rather than a Morcheeba one?
Paul and I had not been getting on musically, or personally for a long time, and after the ‘Head Up High’ album in 2013, Paul told us he was leaving the band, and he wanted Skye and I to buy him out of his share of the name. We disagreed on how much it was worth so no deal was struck. Skye and I thought it best to just release the record we had made under our own names. There will be no more Morcheeba albums.
How does Skye | Ross differ from Morcheeba, other than the absence of Paul, obviously?
It still has the blunted beats and atmosphere, but it is less electronic and more organic. There are loud fuzz guitars. It was an enjoyable album to make.
Is it tough starting out without your third member, having been together for so long?
To be honest, Skye and I have been embracing the challenge - it feels fresh. There is always going to be some teething troubles with a transmutation like this, but it won't last long. We have lovely fans who have been very supportive.
Morcheeba has had a complex history in the later years. Do you ever worry that fans get confused about what is happening / not happening with the band?
Yeah I know - it's like a soap opera! The Skye and Ross name and album is hopefully pretty easy to grasp going forward though.
You've got some U.K. tour dates coming up. Are you looking forward to those?
Yeah we love touring the U.K. We are playing in Brixton, Brighton, Birmingham, Bristol and a lot of other towns only beginning with the letter B.
One of the more intimate venues you're playing is Manchester's Band On The Wall. Do you enjoy those smaller shows?
Oh yeah Manchester! Well, the venue starts with ‘B’. I love that place; I predict a crazy gig. The last gig we did in Manchester was wild. I think there is something in the water.
When doing your live shows, given the wealth of material you have, from Morcheeba and otherwise, is it difficult to pick set lists?
We pick the five or so favourite Morcheeba classics, and five more obscure tracks, mix in five new tracks, and throw in a couple of covers and jams. Easy!
Finally, what's next for Skye | Ross?
We tour Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, the U.K., then have Xmas off before heading out to Australia and New Zealand. Next year we'll make a new record and play some summer festivals. It is jolly exciting and we are really racking up the air miles.
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Skye | Ross's debut album is out now via Fly Agaric Records / Cooking Vinyl Records.