VIKRAM SHANKAR (SILENT SKIES): “If Our Music Can Open Some Eyes To A Larger World, This Is A Beautiful Thing For Us”

Silent Skies band photo

Silent Skies, the band featuring Tom Englund of Swedish Metal band Evergrey along with classical pianist Vikram Shankar, are set to release their third album entitled Dormant on September 1st via Napalm. Shankar himself took the time to talk with Metal Express Radio about Silent Skies upcoming album, covering song’s such as Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper”, Linkin Park’s “Numb”, opening the door for Metal fans to something different, and more. Check out the chat below!

Metal Express Radio: Your band, Silent Skies will release their third album entitled Dormant on September 1st, what can you tell fans about the upcoming release?

Shankar: Dormant is a development of what we do, in virtually every way. We feel that we have pushed ourselves to create an album with a wholly fresh mindset, incorporating a variety of new textures, stylistic elements, and compositional concepts, while still staying true to the melancholia that has characterized our music from the beginning.

MER: How was the writing and recording process having this being your third album with Silent Skies?

Shankar: We once again composed Dormant from our respective home studios, 7,000 km apart from each other. Working extensively over Zoom, we shaped and reshaped every miniscule detail of these songs in what was frankly a rather obsessive production process. The resulting process took a few months longer than the writing and recording process for Nectar, but as a consequence the album has greater depth, breadth, and rewards detailed listening at an even greater level.

MER: How would you compare Dormant to your previous two album’s?

Shankar: In some ways Dormant is similar to its predecessors, at least superficially speaking, but to us the album feels profoundly fresh and developed from our past. The stylistic palette has grown greatly, and we find ourselves using instruments that we never thought we would incorporate into our music, including Shakuhachi (the Japanese wind instrument), electric guitars, mandolin, extensive use of modular synths, and even alto and tenor recorders! The aim of doing so was to have a fresh perspective on what it means to make Silent Skies music, and the expansion of the palette corresponds to a greater level of ambition and experimentation, stylistically and compositionally, than our previous albums.

MER: How did you go about covering “The Trooper”, and “Numb”?

Shankar: At its most simple level, we took these original songs and examined the emotional narrative core at their center: what is the underlying core story behind these songs? Stripping away the layers of guitars, production, and otherwise rock/metal aesthetics, and leaving behind the core elements of the song – lyrics, melodies, and chords – we then rebuilt these songs in our own image, thinking about how we would write and produce these songs if they were our own compositions.

MER: What do you have planned for after the album release?

Shankar: We have a release event planned for August 31st in Stockholm, and after the release of Dormant we will continue to expand our universe in all possible ways, including future albums, live performances, and taking our musical inspiration to new forms of media (including film and video game scoring, the latter of which we have already been doing for two years, including scores for World War Z: Aftermath, Evil Dead: The Game, Dakar: Desert Rally, and the upcoming game Warhammer 40K: Space Marine II).

MER: What have been some of your favorite releases of 2023?

Shankar: Some of our favorite releases of 2023 include: – Hammock – Love in the Void, M83 – Fantasy, Sleep Token – Take Me Back to Eden, Susanne Sundfør – Blómi, GoGo Penguin – Everything is Going to be OK, Jakub Zytecki – Remind Me, John Lunn, Eivør, Danny Saul – The Last Kingdom: Destiny is All – Sigur Ros – Atta, Snorri Hallgrimson – I Am Weary, Don’t Let Me Rest.

MER: Who could you see Silent Skies touring with?

Shankar: Our dream is to tour Silent Skies with artists in the classical/neo-classical, electronic, and otherwise dynamic and expressive realms – artists such as Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, Ludovico Einaudi, as well as M83 and Sigur Ros.

MER: Do you feel like Silent Skies is a band that can open the door to Metal fans to explore something different?

Shankar: We would certainly love that! Metal fans, in our experience, are a diverse and open-minded listening group who enjoy hearing core emotions and qualities – darkness, brooding atmospheres, melancholy – even when they are in other genres. If our music can open some eyes to a larger world, this is a beautiful thing for us.

MER: Out of your three albums, what is one you would suggest to a new fan and why?

Shankar: We would suggest the new album Dormant, it is the best, most potent and dynamic expression of what we are all about, and is the culmination of the last years of musical and artistic growth for us.


  • Matt Zaniboni

    Matthew is an interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He started his passion for music journalism back in his college radio days serving as the Heavy Metal Director at WKKL out of Hyannis Massachusetts. During Matt’s tenure in radio, he has had time working for commercial stations in Boston Massachusetts such as WAAF, WZLX AND 98.5 The Sports Hub before landing with Metal Express Radio. Anytime you want to talk heavy Metal, hockey, Guiness, and dad life, Matt is your guy m/

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.