SKYWAY - Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life ! (Melodic Punk-Rock - Interview with Brandon, Andrew & John)

02 June 2024
SKYWAY -  Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life ! (Melodic Punk-Rock - Interview with Brandon, Andrew & John)
Express interview to help you discover as many of today's most interesting bands as possible - this time, SKYWAY, Melodic Punk-Rock from Buffalo, NY/USA - Interview with Brandon, Andrew & John).

Please introduce yourself and let me know how it all began with the band?
Brandon - Hi. I’m Brandon.
John - We’re Skyway from Buffalo, NY – John Mikulski (guitar and vocals), Andrew Burgess (bass and vocals), Brandon Kapral (drums and vocals). The band has been around since fall 2022, and honestly, it just kind of happened. The three of us didn’t even know each other before Skyway but as soon as we landed in the same room together everything just fit into place. We have common musical backgrounds and interests, but just as important, our lives are similar. We all have families and professions, which makes it easy to set common goals as a band.
Andrew - We had to start this band when we did because we’re all constantly driven to make music, and individually, we had all reached the right balance to have time to do that while also juggling family and work responsibilities. Pop-punk is a great outlet for exploring the themes we’re interested in (mostly what it feels like to be middle-aged and still going to shows). At one time, pop-punk was a pretty juvenile genre, but it’s really grown up right alongside us over the years.

Describe your sound and explain why I should listen to YOUR band at all costs?
John - Pop-punk is an interesting genre because it doesn’t age. Bands we identify with like New Found Glory, MxPx, Green Day, etc., still have wide appeal across generations. Our music is the same way. Like, our own kids (ages 6-16) love our music, but so do our old-ass 40-something friends. There’s no such thing as “oldies punk,” but maybe that’s what we are? We’re not old school or new school – more like original recipe punk rock.
Andrew - Why should you listen to Skyway? We’re right there with you. The concerns that you have — aging, parenthood, staying relevant, fighting off boredom, frustration with the system and the constant social media machine — that’s what we’re about. And we take all that and make it fun. We were there for Y2K and it was the best night of our lives. Every time we play together as a band, whether on stage, in the studio, or in our practice space, we’re always aiming to top that borderline apocalyptic experience. We came of age right at the time when the unbridled optimism of the 1990s gave way to the crushing, wild uncertainty of the 21st century. We had girlfriends who complained about us on Live Journal (well, I did, anyway). We booked shows through MySpace. We were the ones who showed our friends “Boom Goes the Dynamite.” And now we’re trying to figure out Instagram. And we’re bringing some of that optimism back. A live Skyway show is Y2K in a bottle.


Lyrical and musical inspirations/influences? How important are the lyrics for you? Are there any specific messages or thoughts you try to develop and share through your lyrics?
John - Our lyrics reflect our life experiences. There’s this juxtaposition between who we were when we were kids and who we are now as adults, and this shows up in our songs. Our lyrics end up being this unlikely mix that maybe can be described as forward-facing nostalgia? Andrew and I also co-write a lot of the songs, and this collaborative approach has really helped us develop as a band.
Andrew - I always joke that I write straightforward four-chord songs, and then John adds a bunch of extra chords to them and makes them better. Specifically, though, the songs on our new EP, Never Disappear, are all about resilience, authenticity, friendships made and lost, reflections on mortality, and the comfort of staying home while everyone else is out partying. We’re all inspired by the bands we’ve listened to over the years, and that goes beyond punk rock. There’s Green Day, New Found Glory, and MxPx, Ramones, sure. But there’s also Springsteen, The Plimsouls, and Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters.

About your latest release?
John - Our most recent EP is called "Never Disappear" and it’s available to stream wherever your ears hear music. We recorded with venerable sound engineer, Jay Zubricky (Taking Back Sunday, Every Time I Die, The Menzingers) at GCR Studios right here in Buffalo, New York. Before heading into the studio, we weren’t sure which songs to record, so we made a bunch of demos in our practice space and shared these with friends and family. They voted on their favorite songs, and this became the track list for Never Disappear. Making these demos also helped us be super prepared in the studio and this comes through on the recordings for sure. The cover was designed by our bass player, Andrew, using a photograph that I took while walking through a cemetery one afternoon. There was this cherub monument on a grave, and someone put a forgotten pair of sunglasses on it. It was found art that’s unsettling, weird, and a little bit goofy. It felt right for the album cover.

Future plans?
John - We don’t have some road map of next steps or what we want to accomplish as a band. Serendipity seems to be a driving force in Skyway – part of the fun of this band is that things tend to happen spontaneously and authentically. Or maybe that’s just a creative way of saying we don’t have any long-term goals. In the short term, we’re excited to plan a few road trips and play in some new towns. We’ve made our mark on the local scene but haven’t ventured beyond the Western New York area yet and this is something we’re excited to try.
Andrew - We’re friends with a lot of bands who are touring — some regionally, some nationally, and some internationally — and we’d like to try our hand at that. But, of course, we’re also dads first, and that factors into our plans.

Your most insane dream with the band would be?
Andrew - Time travel. Playing our music for Hemingway and Fitzgerald. It would blow their minds. There goes your precious jazz age, baby! The Great Gatsby would be a very different book if the 1920s had been the age of pop-punk.

Your BEST & WORST concert - as a band - and why?
John - Best: Most of our shows are more good than they are bad, so it’s kind of a tough question to answer. Probably one of the more memorable shows was last summer when we opened for Catch 22 in Buffalo. There’s something exciting about playing in front of a large crowd that just makes everything feel and sound better.
Worst: We played a show once and got paid $9. That’s not even enough for the three of us to share a value meal after the show!
Andrew - It was one of those shows where the audience is just the other bands waiting around to play. Pretty lame, but we still did our job.

Next live appearance(s)?
Andrew - Your mom’s house. You wake up in the morning and there we are in our boxer shorts in your kitchen, drinking orange juice from the carton in front of the open refrigerator, and we’re calling you “sport.”


Some words on your local scene - bands you're friends with and you'd like to name?
Andrew - The Buffalo scene is huge right now! Too many good bands to list, but a few of our favorites are Skamagotchi, Robbery Club, Pilot Field, Spaced, Personal Style, Autoignition, Deluxxe, Violent Way, Big School… the list goes on and on. We’ve been lucky enough to share the stage with some incredible bands here in Buffalo. And the cool thing about Buffalo’s scene (especially the hardcore scene) is that it’s not competitive. Everyone supports everyone else, and shows feel like gatherings.

Last word is yours…
John - Axolotl.
Brandon - Pneumonoultramicroscopicvolcanoconiosis
Andrew - Boink.
(No doubt, you're crazy ha ! Ed.)

Follow the Band



Born 1969, grew up with the NWOBHM sounds, musically educated with cult french magazines that were ENFER and METAL ATTACK, definitely nailed to the style when "The Number Of The Beast" by IRON MAIDEN was released... From 1982, it was clear life would never be the same ! Young & getting wild to the HEAVY sounds of SAXON, VENOM, BLACK SABBATH, MOTORHEAD, Young Fab also discovered thanks to school mates the NOISE, FILTH & FURY of Hard-Core/Punk bands like G.B.H, DISCHARGE, BROKEN BONES but also CRO-MAGS, BAD BRAINS, FUGAZI... and later on, through the 90's, everything that was ALTERNATIVE, EXPERIMENTAL, GRUNGE, INDUSTRIAL (SONIC YOUTH, NINE INCH NAILS, SOUDGARDEN, ALICE IN CHAINS)... Passion & curiosity grew up as years went by ... Fate was SEALED... no turning back ! No Music = No Life !

  • Home
  • Interviews
  • SKYWAY - Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life ! (Melodic Punk-Rock - Interview with Brandon, Andrew & John)
© ROUGH TIMES 'zine. All Rights Reserved.
Rough Times