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Skyharbor: ‘Deftones Made Us an Offer and We Took It’

Guitarist-producer Keshav Dhar on how his band clinched their biggest-ever tour

Anurag Tagat Mar 01, 2017
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Skyharbor. Photo: Courtesy of the band

Skyharbor. Photo: Courtesy of the band

New Delhi guitarist-producer Keshav Dhar’s Facebook notifications won’t stop sounding although it’s been a week since his band, prog metallers Skyharbor, announced that they’ll be supporting American alt metal giants Deftones in Europe in April. He says elatedly, “Ridiculous. It’s absurd. These sorts of things are not supposed to happen.”

Dhar is in disbelief, but overjoyed that his band have a chance to open for Deftones for 13 shows in 12 cities, starting in Vienna and closing with two nights in Paris. “We thought we were done with headline tours for a while, because we wanted to go out on support tours for bigger bands to grow our fanbase,” says Dhar. The band’s booking agent reached out to Deftones, who had already announced a Europe tour to promote the recent full-length Gore, and found that they were interested.  Dhar adds, “A few conversations later, they made us an offer and we took it.”

The Deftones’ decision to give their opening slot to Skyharbor isn’t entirely managerial, either. “I do know that Steph [Carpenter, Deftones guitarist] had namedropped us in an interview, so we knew they were aware of us,” says Dhar, and the incredulity in his voice is hard to ignore.”The first album [Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos] was out at the time. We knew one member was keen on us. It came through!”

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Skyharbor is looking to capitalize on what will be their most high-profile run of shows yet, where they’ll be playing much larger venues than they have before. That explains their decision to launch their third album, revealed to be titled Sunshine Dust, in the Summer.

The band feels they’ve heard Sunshine Dust way too many times already, perhaps because their nerves are bolstered by all the excitement. “We’re just sending it to mastering and going, ‘Yo, can you take a call on this?’ We’re just surrendering.” Thankfully, their songs are in the capable hands of New York-based Paul Logus, whose previous mastering credits include not only earlier Skyharbor singles such as “Chemical Hands” and “Blind Side” but also big names such as Anthrax, Pantera, and Public Enemy. Who knows: perhaps in a few years, Logus’ list of all-time greats will include Skyharbor, too.

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