This Tuesday, Northern California-based father-and-son duo, Nyte Skye, released their debut album Vanishing. Nyles Lannon and his son Skye — with contributions from Zach Rogue, Nichole Kreglow, Neil Rodenmeyer, and Ian McDonald — got together during the COVID-19 lockdown to create the record. After many experiments with sounds, the duo created a cohesive album that incorporates elements from Nyles’ experience as a musician in Film School as well as inspiration from bands both of them love.
While creating the album, Nyles and Skye, who was only 12 years old when they recorded Vanishing, formed an even stronger bond as father and son. Of course, the process wasn’t always easy. However, their shared love for music and creating kept them going until they reached their goal. Influenced by shoegaze, synth-pop, and rock sounds, Nyte Skye poured their hearts and souls into this album.
Soundigest chatted with the Lannons about Vanishing, future Nyte Skye projects, and their musical influences. Check out the interview as well as their latest single “Take Me Up Again” below. Happy listening!
How did this project come to life? Had you talked about it before the pandemic, or did it just happen organically?
Skye: We always played music together of some sort for as long as I can remember, but we had never really recorded any of the songs that we practiced/wrote until we started recording for Nyte Skye during the early COVID lockdown.
Nyles: Skye first started showing interest in music around 6 and started playing piano on his own. I have a really cool recording of our first real song; it’s called “Music of Space” — you can find it on my SoundCloud page for Nyles Lannon —. It’s a crappy phone recording, but I just think it’s the best; just me on guitar and him on synth. He has always had a music thing, and I had always just assumed we would record an album someday. Once he found drums, it wasn’t long before we had a lot of ideas lying around from jams. We plucked a few of those from over the years for this project — the core of “I’m a Drag” and “Doing Time” were from old jams. When the pandemic hit, the timing was kind of perfect; his playing had reached a high level, and he was confident in the studio. He was ready. And, suddenly, we had all this time and a desire to put our hearts into something. The feeling was just in the air that this recording needed to happen.
Which song on Vanishing was the most fun to record?
Nyles: “Take Me Up Again.” We had fun recording a vintage 1930s Ludwig marching drum Skye had revamped. It has a deep, long decay, and it’s very unwieldy but sounds perfect on this track. The song has an electronic backdrop of sorts; the high hat is programmed, so this big nasty snare gave it awesome depth. As the song progresses, the “real” drums get more and more prevalent. We also used a trashy China cymbal on the choruses, which I’d never used on any of my music before! We are big fans of Terry Bozzio from Missing Persons, and he used a similar sound in the song “Destination Unknown.” I guess we kinda stole that one 😉
Should we expect more albums from Nyte Skye?
Skye: I think there may be more Nyte Skye albums because we are always playing and writing music together anyway. We have some ideas for the next album, rough song ideas, and whatnot, but we haven’t truly started on it quite yet. After writing our first album, we have been working on the production side of it and not writing new material yet.
Nyles: I do think we will be working on another album this summer; we already have a few ideas brewing. We also have another project called Lupa Rosa coming out this summer — it’s a bit more in the folk indie realm.
“Take Me Up Again” is heavily influenced by The Cure. What are some other bands that you both enjoy?
Skye: Gary Numan, Rush, Missing Persons, Van Halen, Kraftwerk, The Kinks, Boards of Canada, and the mighty Zeppelin!
Besides creating Vanishing, what is one of your fondest memories together music-wise?
Nyles: When he was 9 or so, Skye was already playing gigs regularly with me in a cover band called Moonwalkers — we do Kinks, Bowie, Cure, etc. as a duo —. He got a cymbal endorsement at our first gig, kind of out of nowhere. Such a cool moment. Another great moment was on his 10th birthday; I had a last-minute solo gig and Skye filled in for my drummer who couldn’t make it. It was a pretty raucous, packed gig. He rocked it!
What’s your favorite song on the album and why?
Nyles: I think my favorite is either “Doing Time” or “Take Your Love.” “Doing Time” because of the way it came together; we had the song but then decided to play it more banging and with a reverbed-out 12 string, and wham! Love that sound. And “Take Your Love” just for all its vibe, and I think it captures our live sound. That one is fun to play.
What did the rest of the family think about this project?
Nyles: I think they like it, but, honestly, sometimes I’m not sure. It has always been my and Skye’s thing, our world. My wife is supportive and likes to see us rocking out on stage. My daughter doesn’t seem to like it, she is 10.
Could you give a piece of advice to father-son duos who are struggling to spend time together or build a healthy relationship?
Nyles: The relationship always needs nurturing; it’s a continuous challenge. Finding something to do that you both love, while you are secretly trying at the same time to create an independent, confident, compassionate human, is not an easy thing to do. There are bumps, bad days, and bad moods. Sometimes having your dad in your band kind of sucks! Music has given me a bond with my son that I am so grateful for, but it also has brought its own dynamics, some of which are not great for our relationship. I think, in those moments, I find myself just taking a step back and trying to get back to having fun with him. That joy is what it’s all about. When “teachable moments” come up when gigging, interviewing, etc., and they do constantly, I take advantage of that 🙂