Feature Interview

Looking To Krank’d Up: Sikth

For alternatives in Joburg, Spring is synonymous with Krank’d Up and this year is no different as the event promises to dish up the best bands that our alternative scene, in SA and abroad, has to offer. One of those bands is British progressive metal act Sikth.

This will be the first time that the six-piece band will grace the African continent and vocalist Mikee Goodman is beyond ready. “We’ve obviously never been to South Africa so we’re really excited about it! I’ve been told we’re going on safari which I’m really looking forward to,” he says excitedly. “I’m also looking forward to meeting people – especially the festival goers. I’ve heard a few things about the South African festival audiences – I’ve heard that the crowd needs a bit of motivation so I’m ready to spread the positivity of Sikth.”

And to think, we almost never got to see Sikth especially since there were several questions around the band’s hiatus back in 2007.  Luckily for us, the band reunited in 2013 with the original line-up and never looked back as Goodman explains, “Touring again is kind of cool and a lot better than it used to be because there has been tension before. Now though, we’re in a much better position and we feed off the crowd energy. And when we’re not playing a gig, we’re generally playing Fifa on our ‘touring’ Xbox.”

While touring is a huge part of the band’s strategic plan, so is creating new music. “I enjoy creating new music and I enjoy pushing myself as a person,” says Goodman. “I think on the next thing we do, it has to be more experimental and further out even if we have to redo things again. We need to take things to the next level and that’s not a social pressure – that’s a pressure within ourselves.”

The band’s unique blend of tech metal brought them to the forefront in 2001 with the media labelling Sikth as key influencers of the progressive and djent scene. On Sikth’s latest offering titled The Future In Whose Eyes – the band stayed true to their signature style and feel. The lyrics throughout the album are used as social commentary about the age of technology.

“When we evolve, we have all this amazing new technology available,” Goodam states. “And then you have some humans who use that technology for fighter planes or other ways of destruction like nuclear missiles. So, what I mean when I say ‘as we evolve, we devolve’. There’s so much of money being put into research on how to destroy each other as opposed to uplift and support each other.”

Having such strong opinions can often cause controversy but neither Goodman nor Sikth have had to fight off internet trolls… yet. “I’ve put my thoughts out there into the world through the lyrics. It’s just how I feel about technology and where we’re at with the internet age – some will agree and some won’t,” he shrugs before continuing, “I haven’t seen or received major backlash for my views on internet trolling and internet narcissism so I might be making a fair point. You see, my agent told me something that stuck with me. She said that ‘you either go with it [social media] or you’re forgotten’. So, I went with it and that’s what I meant on the track ‘Philistine Philosophies’ when I wrote ‘hop on the wagon or be a mystical tree’ but at the same time I don’t indulge on social media.”

Other things that Goodman is putting out into the world includes a vocally-led poetic album as well as creating music with an aggressive folk rock band called Sad Season. “There should be something coming out for Sad Season early next year. Apart from that – I’m a voiceover casting director – so that’s been a big part of life,” Goddman reveals.

“In regards to Sikth, we just want to start writing new material right after the South African show.”

Well then I guess we better make it a good one.

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Get your Krank’d Up tickets here.