These Raven Skies
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These Raven Skies

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Southern Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Meet These Raven Skies!"

Meet These Raven Skies! Watch out for this outstanding Canadian band on tour with the Rockstar UPROAR Festival this summer. - Nikki Sixx (Sixx Sense Radio)

"Calgary band These Raven Skies ready to launch with rocket fuel from Tea Party’s Jeff Martin"

For the members of Calgary rock band These Raven Skies, time and history can pretty much now be marked by B.M. and A.M.

As in Before Martin and After Martin.

Jeff Martin, that is, and the band’s relationship with the veteran Canadian rocker and frontman for The Tea Party, who took them under his wing and produced their self-titled debut which hits stores and digital shops July 29.

“It’s changed everything,” says guitarist-songwriter Alex Whitcombe from the local quartet.

That it has.

For starters, Before Martin, they were actually called Dreams of Reason — yes, also the name of a Tea Party tune — a straight-up hard rock act that, while a consistent draw in this part of the world, also found themselves spinning their wheels or, as Whitcombe says, constantly “hitting mediocrity.” There were lineup changes, there was a somewhat resigned if not defeated attitude.

Then came Martin. During one of his solo stops in town for a show at the Republik, Whitcombe managed to get a Dreams of Reason disc to him via the opening act. For a year, nothing. Then arrived an e-mail from Martin saying he loved their music and wanted to work with them, perhaps record them in his studio in Perth, Australia, where he now lives.

Seeing as how the crew considers him “a hero of ours,” the decision was an easy one.

And the result, the after, is a nine-song band with a new name, new attitude and new musical direction — one that very much has Martin’s fingerprints on, but one that also refines and builds naturally from the before.

“It’s sort of a combination of both, to be honest with you,” says Whitcombe of the change, while sitting on the patio of Wild Rose Brewery, an official sponsor of These Raven Skies. “Once we knew that we were going to be working with Jeff Martin we began to focus our music in a certain way. But we wanted to change directions from where Dreams of Reason was at the time and really go into a more organic type of music that we appreciate listening to as well.”

Vocalist Chris Perkins agrees. “We were headed in this direction at a very conscious level before even the notion of working with Jeff. We switched gears ... We had a direction in mind and Jeff Martin he was the rocket fuel.”

And he propels them into the big leagues. The album is a big, slick, classic rock record in every sense of the term, one that recalls everyone from Led Zeppelin and The Allman Brothers to Canadian acts such as Junkhouse and, yes, The Tea Party.

It came as the result of two, three-week trips Down Under last year that the four-piece — rounded out with bassist Trevor Landmark and drummer Shand Munro — took at great expense but with greater faith that they would get something that would get them to that next level.

To do that, they were willing to put their sound and songs completely in the hands of Martin, someone who’s been there, done that, topped the charts and toured the world.

“The first question he asked was, ‘Well, how involved can I be?’ ”says Whitcombe. “And it was, ‘Well, as involved as you’d like to be. We trust you 110 per cent so let’s make this happen, let’s make the best record possible.’ ”

The entire process, both the singer and guitarist admits, was a truly collaborative one, with Whitcombe and Martin working together to build the songs into something grander, and Perkins and the producer finding the best performances and lyrical tone to fit the sonics.

In fact, the singer credits Martin, with “open(ing) my eyes to writing about things I would never even think about,” including mystical themes and esoterics and even Aleister Crowley (see opening cut Magick Waters). He also says that the experience was like “being born again,” being allowed to experiment and take the time he needed to reinvent himself as an assured and steady vocalist rather than the somewhat crazier and out-of-control singer of Dreams of Reason days.

Of course, all baptisms require some form of liquid, and in the case of Perkins he says that his producer insisted on a steady diet of whiskey to make his “vocal edge smokey.”

“He caught me watering down my whiskey and took my glass away, hid all the water,” laughs Perkins. “And I had to drink out of the bottle.”

That said, both Perkins and Whitcombe insist that, after a brief period during the initial sessions when the entire band needed to get over its awe of Martin, they were able to work from a point of “common ground.” He gets songwriting credits and even sings and plays on the record, but they’re comfortable he didn’t dominate the album, merely helped them realize their vision, make a definitive These Rave Skies statement.

“I think we achieved that, actually,” the guitarist says before pointing to some of the world music elements Martin is known for. “You can feel his touch over the record ... but I don’t think we lost ourselves.”

In fact, they’re now more than ready for everyone else to discover them.

That shouldn’t be too difficult as the album release is already gaining a great deal of attention, and not just because of the Martin affiliation. The album, released on the band’s own Blackstream Records, will get wide release, thanks to a distribution deal with Universal Music. Radio interest south of the border — not a traditionally strong Tea Party (band, not political movement) market — has also been encouraging, with adds and promises of adds aplenty. And they’ve also scored a mainstage slot on the Uproar Festival, which kicks off in Detroit in August before working its way across the States until mid-September.

They’re looking at the high-profile, hard-rock tour, which also features Godsmack, Seether and Buckcherry, as a “launching pad” for the album and for the true beginning of their A.M. musical life, the true beginning of These Raven Skies.

As Whitcombe says, “It’s the perfect storm for us.”

And as for the B.M. phase of things, well, of that, they’re somewhat philosophical.

“I wish it would have been sooner,” laughs Perkins. “It’s played itself out in the chronological order that was necessary. The chips that have fallen into place couldn’t have happened in any other way. We’re very fortunate. We have a lot of talent and a lot of drive, but there was a fistful of luck thrown in there. I can hope for the best but I tell you what I’m having the time of my life right now.

“Make or break — I guess I’m good.”

These Raven Skies open for Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts Sunday at Cowboys. They release their new album July 29. - Mike Bell - Calgary Herald

"5 out 7 - Perfect for a Hung-Over Sunday Morning!"

“5 out of 7. Perfect for a hung-over Sunday morning! Relaxed describes these nine songs the best. Outstanding atmosphere and feel is favored over a brutal guitar assault, putting them in the same company as The Tea Party. Album stand-outs include the Indian tinged ‘The Garden’ and ‘Emily & Alick’ which rocks with Led Zeppelin flair” - Metal Hammer Magazine (Germany)

"4.5 out of 5"

4.5 out of 5. A fun album that recalls Pump era Aerosmith and Jane’s Addiction at times. The slightly psychedelic classic rock album rocks with southern flair and is punctuated by the charming ‘Emily & Alick’ – a Led Zeppelin meets Kings of Leon affair - (Germany)

"...Like Delving Back Into Your 90's Record Collection"

These Raven Skies
THESE RAVEN SKIES (Blackstream Records)

Listening to the new cut from Canada's These Raven Skies is like delving back into your '90s record collection, such is the mish-mash of grunge-inflected sounds on their debut under the TRS moniker. Vocalist Chris Perkins sounds eerily like Monster Magnet's Dave Wyndorf, while the pounding riffage throughout the album evokes sonic images of Soundgarden, Audioslave and the Tea Party. The latter is easy to explain, as the TP's Jeff Martin helms production here, as well as contributing to three tracks, and his mark is subsequently all over the record – particularly on the shimmery East-meets-West The Garden and the bluesy Come Sit Next to Me. These Raven Skies is nothing new, but its driving groove and the fact it's not trying to be anything other than what it is, makes it a good, solid, thrashy listen.

SAMUEL J. FELL - Samuel J. Fell - Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

"8 out of 10"

“8.0 out of 10. Punchy and groovy – an appealing classic rock album with elements of southern rock and oriental touches” - Crossfire Magazine (Germany)

"4.0 out of 5.0"

“4.0 out of 5.0!

THESE RAVEN SKIES is a solid rock album with a strong penchant for Southern Rock that quickly draws parallels to Black Stone Cherry and genre-mates. The rhythms on this album go straight down to the legs – be careful when driving!” – Stormbringer Magazine (Austria) - Stormbringer Magazine (Austria)

"These Raven Skies Rebranding Rock on Debut Album"

Hailing from Calgary, These Raven Skies came across the opportunity of a lifetime, and they took full advantage of it.

With their debut album released on July 29, it’s hard to believe that this is the work of a breakthrough band. If you took some of the traits of today’s greatest rock bands, everything from Pearl Jam to Monster Truck, and mashed them together, you’d start to get a taste of what These Raven Skies bring to the rock realm.

“The album represents a progression in our sound,” said Alex Whitcombe, guitarist from the band. “It’s a true representation of what we wanted to hear on record. It wasn’t about catering to a certain genre.”

The only thing more unique than their style, is how they came to be more than just your average garage and bar band. It’s a storyline and series of events that people only envision happening in movies, yet it happened to these guys.

Once upon a time, Jeff Martin, best known as the lead singer of Canada’s iconic rock band The Tea Party, was playing a solo gig in Whitcombe’s backyard, best known as the guitarist and main songwriter of These Raven Skies.

“It was a surreal experience, you hear these stories, and you just say ‘yeah right.'” It’s an obvious case of fate calling, and Whitcombe and the guys definitely decided to accept the charges, and give it their all. “He really wanted to see how far we were willing to go with it too, so we just threw everything we had into the kitchen sink, and into the project. We had no creative boundaries.”

After enjoying the set, the aspiring musician stepped up to the opening band, handed them his demo disc, and somehow that disc found itself in the hands of Martin. The next thing that happened was the dawn of a new day for Whitcombe and the guys of These Raven Skies.

They heard Martin was stoked on their music and wanted to get together with them. Then came the call “Hello Gentlemen, so we’re going to make some music, ya?” said Martin when he called. The rest as they say, is history.

“For us it was a really interesting project to work on,” said Whitcombe. “Martin is a big influence of ours, and to be involved with him on a creative level was just totally mind blowing.”

After they received the call, they flew to Australia where Martin has his studio setup, and they got right down to business. Long story short, the product was the debut release These Raven Skies, and the production value on the album is going to be responsible for their quick ascension.

The first single from the album “No Need To Worry,” features Martin himself, as well as a few of the other tracks on the album, and is poised to be one of the hottest rock tracks of the summer.

“It seemed like a natural choice for the first single. It was the first tune we all really jived on in terms of style. It has that upbeat vibe, it has lyrics that are party rock, and it’s one of the lighter-hearted tracks on the album. It had a good vibe from day one.”

Rock n roll has been around for decades, and it’s impressive to see new bands still coming out that exemplify the core values of rock without ever copying their predecessors. These Raven Skies are one of the bands that fall under this category. When Martin called these guys up, he said that he wanted to tune them up, and make their sound a little less mainstream.

“It was about depth and structure, also layering, stuff that you don’t get a lot of in your typical radio rock or commercial rock music. He helped make multiple guitar parts, so that every time you listen to it, you’re hearing something different.”

These Raven Skies debut album was released under Blackstream Records, an independent music label owned and operated by Whitcombe himself. This effort not only allows Whitcombe to fun his efforts and push his own music out, but it also provides opportunity for other indie bands as well.

“The record label is owned by me and a partner out of Vancouver. We developed it over the last four years, and we now have ten active acts on the roster. It’s a pretty active label and we’re a sponsor of the UPROAR Festival this year. The way we look at it, this is how the modern music industry works – we do it ourselves, but we get by with a little help from our friends.”

These Raven Skies are currently on tour with the Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival. - Devin Size - Martyr Magazine

"These Raven Skies Release Self Titled Album and Gear Up for Tour with UPROAR Festival"

For those of you who are unfamiliar with These Raven Skies, the band is a rock quartet from Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and has performed with the likes of Korn and Buckcherry.

The band released its first self-titled album via Blackstream Records and it does not disappoint. The band, formally known as Dreams of Reason, met The Tea Party’s Canadian rocker Jeff Martin, who took These Raven Skies under his wing and produced its album, which was released July 29, 2014.

Alex Whitcombe told the Calgary Herald, “Once we knew that we were going to be working with Jeff Martin, we began to focus our music in a certain way. But we wanted to change directions from where Dreams of Reason was at the time and really go into a more organic type of music that we appreciate listening to as well.”

The new direction paid off and resulted in a sound that old school rock loving veterans would enjoy. Listeners can tell that the band is influenced by not only The Tea Party, but also Led Zeppelin, Stone Temple Pilots and The Allman Brothers undertones are apparent as well. Before making the entire album available, the band released single “No Need to Worry.”

According to the band’s press release, its “inspiration for the track actually came from a bar fight where the band had to defend two female fans from some aggressive male regulars. In typical rock ‘n’ roll style, chairs were thrown, knives were brandished, but fortunately the band triumphed!”

Highlights from nine-song album include “The Garden” and “Are We Having Fun?” both featuring Martin. My personal favorite is “Magick Waters.” With the heavy Zeppelin-esk intro and lyrics that directly reference Aleister Crowley, it sounds like a hit that would get a crowd moving on any Friday or Saturday night in Atlanta.

The band is performing on the high-profile hard rock tour UPROAR with the likes of Godsmack, Seether and Buckcherry, which starts in Detroit on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014.

From the fantastic new album, I believe These Raven Skies have the potential to sell out arena tours throughout the U.S. You heard that here first. - Mary Ritch - Target Audience Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



“Meet These Raven Skies! Check them out in my Sixx Pick as one of the hottest bands to watch for in 2014!” – Nikki Sixx (Sixx Sense Radio / Motely Crue)

“5 out of 7” – Metal Hammer Magazine Germany

According to Gene Simmons, “rock and roll is dead”, but These Raven Skies beg to differ.

Following in the light and shade tradition established by Led Zeppelin, These Raven Skies’ self-titled debut serves up dynamic hard rock soundscapes, punctuated with elements of southern rock, folk and world music. Reaction to the Jeff Martin produced album has been nothing short of phenomenal within North America, Germany and the United Kingdom. “The album is a big, slick, classic rock record in every sense of the term, one that recalls everyone from Led Zeppelin and The Allman Brothers to Canadian acts such as Junkhouse and, yes, The Tea Party.” – Mike Bell, the Calgary Herald.

Debuting in the USA with main stage appearances on the twenty-five date Rockstar UPROAR Festival, These Raven Skies caught the attention of Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx, who featured the band on his Sixx Sense radio show, fuelling the rapid ascent of their debut single “No Need to Worry (feat. Jeff Martin) on the Mediabase Active Rock charts. 

The band’s recent run of success is a testament to the level of musical depth that Martin instilled in the 2013 Australian song-writing sessions. “We built an immediate rapport through shared musical influences. Jeff took on the role of a mentor, taking us on a journey of spiritual and musical exploration that has shaped how we’ll approach our music for years to come!” exclaims guitarist, Alex Whitcombe. 

2015 saw These Raven Skies return to the stage as direct support for The Darkness on their Blast of a Kind tour. 

These Raven Skies is endorsed by Gibson Guitars USA and Wild Rose Brewery 


Band Members