In the spotlight – Sky Diving Penguins

In the spotlight – Sky Diving Penguins

Sky Diving Penguins are an indie band from Tbilisi (Georgia). The band is the brainchild of Gia Iashvili. He is influenced by acts as The Beatles, Beck, Elliott Smith & Nirvana.

“I formed Sky Diving Penguins after leaving the band I played with. I realised that I want to do my own thing. I prefer being a one man band, life is easier this way.”

Is there a story behind the band name?

“My friend told me a story about the British army in the Falklands war having a team picking up penguins after they watched planes fly overhead, then falling over. We carried on chatting and then discussed the idea of a penguins parachute regiment, and it grew from there.”

Who or what inspired you to take up singing and pursue a career in music? 

“The Beatles, Nirvana and a Georgian Beatles tribute band called the Blitz Beatles. After seeing them when I was a kid, I said to myself If they can do it, then I can do it!”

You are heavily influenced by the Beatles. What’s your favourite Beatles’ song?

“You can’t ask a Beatlemaniac that question….”

Is there a song you wish you’d written yourself? 

“Yeah, Blur’s ‘Beetlebum’ and ‘Song 2’.”

What can you tell me about ‘I Don’t Want, I don’t care’?

“The song is about the indifference you see around the world. I wrote it a long time ago, probably after another disappointment with mankind. Sometimes, you see negative things can be turned into something nice.”

In ‘I Don’t Want, I Don’t Care’ you sing: “Watching my hero from the picture with no frame.” Who’s your (musical) hero?

“I remember I had Kurt Cobain’s poster on my wall at that time, him wearing red shades and a Christmas tree decoration around his neck. So yeah, I meant Kurt.”

You’ll be releasing a new single before the end of the year. What can you tell me about the new single?

“The new single is called ‘About one hermit’. This is the only song on the album that is not about me. The song is about my childhood friend who had depression and went to a monastery for a while. I also borrowed my favourite Japanese writer Haruki Murakami’s line from my favourite book ‘Hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world’ – “All of us dig at our own pure holes” on the choruses, that really fitted in, I think.”

What can we expect from the album that is scheduled for release December 1st?

“The new album is a bunch of personal, mostly melancholic songs, with a few happy ones. Recorded and produced with my friends Mark Tolle and Kote Kalandadze.”

“The album will be available to stream on our website, for those signed up to it, from 17 November, and will be available to stream/buy/download from 1 December. It will also be available to stream/buy/download on our Bandcamp page on 1 December. The album will not be available to stream elsewhere.”

“The next album, which I am in the process of writing and recording, is going to be a lot rockier.”

Can you share some stories about the new album and the making of it?

“No particular stories to tell. Just the usual tales of love and loss during the making of it.”

Will you be performing the songs from the upcoming album live?

“I would love to perform, but I need a bigger band for that. There’s a lot of instruments I used during the recording, and when I perform I want them to be heard live as well.”

What can you tell me about your creative process?

“Inspiration is the main thing. Inspiration comes from things that surround us: movies, people, books, anything really and it’s about MOJO too. Got one? Write a song! No? Wait until it comes! Simple as that.”

What part do you prefer: writing, performing or producing?

“I enjoy writing, producing and performing. I guess I prefer producing the most. It’s the most creative process and it’s fun as well.”

You are from Tbilisi, Georgia. As I understood, the Georgian mortality rate due to Covid was among the highest in the world. How has the past year (with lockdowns etc.) affected you?

“It affected all of us, but we try to move on and do our own thing little by little.”

What’s the music scene like in Georgia?

“We have some very talented musicians here and we participate on each others recordings, make musical projects or live performances. Its a really good community, good friends, cool dudes, including Young Georgian Lolitaz, Lady Heroine, The Black Marrows….”

What would the world be like without music?

“Even shittier place than it is now for sure.”

What’s your favourite song from the Cool 20?

“Not easy for me to say. You have lots of cool songs. But I will say the new one, ‘Target’, from our friend, Sean Buckley & Chris James Willows.”

What song would you like to add as a bonus track and why?

“This is tough, because lots of artists have produced amazing music this year. OK. I have picked the new single by Blokeacola, ‘Bullets & Condoms’. He is a very talented artist, sonically and visually – his music is like psychedelic pop, with lyrics that are unlike others.”