Dan Tompkins Quits Skyharbor
The prog band announce American vocalist and producer Eric Emery, with plans for a new single and a North American tour
It’s been a week full of surprises over at theÂ SkyharborÂ camp. TheÂ progÂ rock/metal band announced last week that Mumbai-based drummer Aditya Ashok would be taking over American drummerÂ AnupÂ Sastry’sÂ role in the band. On June 29th, the band announced that they had parted ways with original vocalist Daniel Tompkins due to his prior engagements with UKÂ progÂ metal bandÂ TesseracT, whom he re-joined in 2014. Tompkins was previouslyÂ TesseracT’sÂ vocalis
Tompkins announced his departure with a statement on hisÂ websiteÂ saying, “My circumstances have changed dramatically over the past few years and the need to prioritise my time has become ever increasingly obvious. I felt that for a number of reasons that I was holdingÂ SkyharborÂ back from developing into a fully-fledged international touring band and after a long time discussing this through we concluded that this was the best for the band.”
With Ashok taking over as drummer,Â SkyharborÂ have roped in Cleveland-based singer and producer Eric Emery to join the band. GuitaristÂ KeshavÂ Dhar, who started the band as his solo project inÂ 2010, says the band has always believed in moving on amicably and quickly when it comes toÂ lineupÂ changes. SaysÂ Dhar, “If something new happens, you’ve got to move forward.” In March this year, when some ofÂ Skyharbor’s Europe shows wereÂ canceledÂ due to Tompkins’ conflicting schedule withÂ TesseracT,Â DharÂ and the band reached out toÂ Australian producer ForresterÂ SavellÂ [who mixed their 2014 albumÂ Guiding Lights] for recommendations.Â Savell suggestedÂ Emery, who is part of Cleveland alt rock/metal band Concordia. SaysÂ Dhar, “Within minutes, we’d mailed Eric and he wrote back and we asked him to do two covers ”“ ”˜Evolution’ and ”˜Patience.’”Â Emery says over email that he’s extremely honored and excited to be the new frontman. Â Adds Emery, “I was a fan long before they even asked me to join the band. Â It will be extremely difficult to fill Daniel’s shoes, but I am elated at the encouraging and welcoming comments thus far. Â Although we live thousands of miles apart, I am confident that with the many recent advances in recording technology the transition will be seamless. Â It is truly a pleasure to be a part of the amazing and ever-growing Indian music scene, and I can’t wait to get the opportunity to tour the world with my newÂ SkyharborÂ family.”
SkyharborÂ had already begun writing new material just asÂ Guiding LightsÂ released in November last year, andÂ Dhar saysÂ they are “more than halfway through writing” a third album, with plans to release a new single with Emery set for next month. SaysÂ Dhar, “WeÂ were so happy with him [Eric] and he’s been extremely proactive and made it his first priority.” Dhar heads to Mumbai next month to track drums with Ashok. HeÂ adds, “It’s going really fast, but it’s going really well. We’re looking to finish everything by the first quarter of 2016.” Sonically, Ashok’s influence as a drum and bass producer [Ox7gen] has definitely added more synth parts to songs, according toÂ Dhar.
After the single release,Â SkyharborÂ are also plotting to hit new shores, with their first-ever North American tour later this year. WhileÂ DharÂ is a bit put out because ofÂ not being able to playÂ Guiding LightsÂ for a longer tour cycle, he’s happy thatÂ SkyharborÂ are moving forward with a new sound that will soon be revealed to fans. SaysÂ Dhar, “Half the fun is in the change.”
Watch Eric Emery cover “Evolution” here