It has been a time of transformation for everyone's favorite Homestead young'uns, Above the Skyline. Since our last conversation, the band's infrastructure has shifted with a change of lineup following the release of the group's latest EP, A Different Breed. A mutual parting with bassist Elisha Ewing left originals Zach Wood (vocals), Eric Green (guitar), and Chloe Santiago (drums) looking for a replacement earlier in the year.
The band found more than what they bargained for with the addition of Alec Enriquez on bass and Peach Martine as colead vocalist. The two new members are still in high school.
The new quintet’s combined efforts have now led to Above the Skyline's first full-length album, Go for Broke, which the group debuted during a gig at Homestead's Seminole Theater. If you didn't make it to the show to grab one of the physical hard copies or tie-dye band shirts, you can download the album's digital release when it goes live October 7.
We sat down with the group to talk about the lineup change, the new album, and how their sound has evolved.
New Times: How are things going now that Peach and Alec have joined the band?
Zach Wood: Alec has only been playing bass for a year, but you wouldn’t be able to tell. He’s been super dedicated. And then Peach, we’ve always been looking for a girl to come in and share lead vocals with me and add that new dynamic. So, she came in after Alec did, and it’s been completely awesome. She adds a whole new stage presence and also [adds to our] songwriting.
Peach Martine: I’ve been singing and writing songs my whole life and performing since I was eight or nine. But I really love being in a band because it’s so great — so much fun. We’ve adapted some of my old songs for this band, and they sound so amazing now. I love the way that I give my creative ideas and then together we make them great songs.
How would you say your sound has evolved with the new additions?
Chloe Santiago: From someone who has been through the band and seen the entire thing develop, we really came from doing bits and pieces of different ideas to more of a fuller idea. We have more of a sound. We’re kind of turning into our own genre. I still can’t compare us to anything else, but we are our own sound.
Eric Green: Whereas our EP was a bunch of different sounds and different songs and you couldn’t really tell, this album sounds like just one band wrote it as a unit the entire time. There wasn’t a bunch of influences from different styles. This sounds like the same group of people worked together on every song.
What is the thematic concept behind Go for Broke?
Wood: One of our songs is called “Go for Broke,” and we were kind of toying around with that. We took a step back, looking at everything, and we thought, when you’re doing this — when you try to make a career out of music — you really have to push 100 percent in order to make a career out of it. It can relate to your music or whatever you’re doing in life. When you reach that point where you have to decide what you want to do, whether you want to stop or go, if you decide to go, you go all in. That’s what I hope people take away from this album. The genuine overall message that if you want something, go get it.
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What else do you hope listeners take away from the album?
Alec Enriquez: I just hope they get the same feeling I get when I listen to music; it gives that emotion that not everything else can give. It’s internal.
Martine: We put our hearts and souls and blood and sweat and money [in] this. And these songs are about our life. We hope that people relate to them; we hope that people jam out to them. I just really hope they like it as much as we liked making it.
Green: With this album, I just want people to see that we’ve really moved forward a lot as a band. Touching on what we’ve said before about making this a scene again, I want to be a band that puts our scene on the map. When we’re going for broke, I want to do this not just for us; I want to be a band that comes from here, makes it out of here, and then gives back to the scene here to help the scene grow.