The Swan Song of Sky Patrol

“The King is dead; long live the King.” It is a phrase that was uttered throughout the days of hereditary monarchy, as a means of illustrating the unbroken, never-ceasing temerity of rule. One king would die, the next stepped right into his place. So to with Sky Patrol.

The pop/psychedelic four piece have been plying their trade in town since 2014, but this week marks their final show under that name, However, instead of breaking up do to inner conflicts and going their separate ways, Sky Patrol's demise is almost the polar opposite. Frontman Tanner Buckley explained that, after adding bassist Andrew Schnicker to the mix, the group found themselves so caught up in their new sound, it did not seem fair to keep calling it the same thing.

“It first kind of started when we got our new bassist,” Buckley said. “Once we started jamming with him, that opened up all kinds of genres (to us).”

“It pretty much just came down to us having so many ideas that we just got overwhelmed,” he continued. “We just felt like we needed some way of marking the changes. We decided that the final show was going to be Jan 30 less than a month ago.”

The transition will not be quite as seamless as the kings of yore, however. The band's members (Buckley, Schnicker, guitarist David Lemons and drummer Jacob Higgins) have not even decided on a name for their new iteration yet. But Buckley said they have been working on new music, and hope to have the kinks worked out and be playing gigs by spring.

“We have an overwhelming amount of material that we initially wanted to throw on a Sky Patrol album,” he said. “I think it's going to be a couple months of writing and flirting with some old music that we canned away for a bit, but then I imagine that we'll be demo recording.”

Buckley said that the band's big goal for the summer is to try and get on one of the festival bills, which would give the band the widest possible audience to acquaint with the act's new direction.

“It's a much fuller sound,” he said of the new material. “It's going to still have the psychedelic feel, but a higher energy sound and a more professional product.”

“It is 100% bittersweet, to be ending Sky Patrol,” he continued. “There's a bunch of good, and some sad along the way. But we've got big plans for 2016.”

Originally appeared in Cityview January 27, 2016