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Page last updated at 09:32 GMT, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 10:32 UK
Band of Skulls on South:Live

Band of Skulls

Southampton's Band Of Skulls consist of Russell Marsden, Emma Richardson and Matt Hayward.

They met at college and quickly discovered that having two lead singers and three songwriters in a band was always going to present "unlimited possibilities".

They started by putting on parties once a month in Southampton, playing their own music and inviting other bands and DJs.

This arrangement went so well they started them in London too.

Russell explains why that all had to stop: "These parties were taking up all our time after two years of running them.

"It was great but we ended up feeling like promoters more than a band, so we knocked it on the head to concentrate on writing and making a record."

Debut album

Their debut album, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, is now released. It was produced, recorded and mixed by Ian Davenport, who has worked with Supergrass and Badly Drawn Boy.

Their current single, Death by Diamonds and Pearls, is taken from this album.

The band's previous single, I Know What I Am, was chosen as an iTunes 'Single Of The Week', meaning people can download it for free for that period.

It was great meeting the people who had found us online and chatting to them face-to-face
Emma Richardson
Bass and vocals for Band of Skulls

Over 400,000 music fans from around the world downloaded it earlier this year, which Russell says was a great promotional tool: "It was a great medium to get our music to lots of people.

"Letting one of our singles go for free accelerated the time in which people found us. Everyone's into online music now so it was an opportunity we couldn't miss out on."

Sweet smell of success

Emma admits this fast-track to success took them by surprise, especially when they started getting requests overseas: "We had such a steep rise in popularity after the single was made available for download. We were asked to go out to America and launch the album there with a tour.

"It was great to play a gig every night and meet the people who'd found us online and chat to them face-to-face and see what word of mouth had done for us.

"We were used to having 10 - 20 people at our gigs so we were really surprised at the size of the audiences."

Back at home Band of Skulls have been getting glowing reviews for their live show, most notably at Suffolk's Latitude Festival, where they were the pick of the Guardian's 'must see' new bands.

You can see the Band of Skulls perform at the Joiners in Southampton on 15 October. Go to The Joiners website for more details.

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