Who: Band of Skulls, a British trio whose shit-kicking, bare-bones brand of gritty rock & roll earned them a spot on the hugely anticipated soundtrack to the next Twilight movie, New Moon.
Sounds Like: White Stripes fans will dig Band of Skulls — swampy, heavily blues-influenced jams, especially the psychedelic stomp of “Light of the Morning” and the hard-charging “I Know What I Am.” But these guys aren’t just blues-rock formalists: they occasionally veer into complex prog-rock territory on tracks like the sprawling, appropriately-titled “Impossible.” “That song was definitely a breakthrough for us,” says singer-guitarist Russell Marsden. “We realized we can make a wider, more epic version of our sound. [Drummer] Matt [Hayward] came up with the guitar hook, this lovely and complex finger-picking pattern. But I just dumbed it down.”
• Singer-bassist Emma Richardson is a obsessive record collector — she’s amassed thousands of albums over the years. “I have a big old wall full of them,” she says. “Even thought it’s not in any order, I know where everything is.” Favorite album? Tom Waits 2004 LP Real Gone. “I listen to it at least once a week,” she says. “It kicks ass.”
• Band of Skulls cut their debut, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, at Radiohead’s old studio in Oxfordshire, which was a huge thrill for the band — even if Radiohead only use it as a storage space nowadays. “They just keep their awards and gold records there,” says Marsden. “But it was still inspiring for us to be around the stuff of our favorite band from Britain.”
• Band of Skulls were shocked to hear that Twilight producers wanted to include the track “Friends” on the soundtrack to the movie, alongside heavy-hitters like Death Cab for Cutie, Thom Yorke and the Killers. And not because it would offer them huge exposure — the song that’s included is a rough-hewn cut they didn’t intend to send out. “When we sent out this CD, it had this extra song on it from our sessions, which we were unaware of,” says Marsden. “And they came back to use and asked for that track and we were like, ‘How the hell did they have it?'”
Get It Now: Baby Darling Doll Face Honey is out now. Check out the band’s “I Know What I Am” in the video above.