Short conversation with Skyway Avenue and their version of ‘What It Is’

Short conversation with Skyway Avenue and their version of ‘What It Is’

Skyway Avenue

Before 3 days ago we get an email from one band from The Netherlands, their name is Skyway Avenue. The band have five members: Rita Naus – vocals, Niels de Goeij on guitar, Thomas Atsma – keys and whistles, Bart Hoeben on bass guitar and Frank van Montfort on drums.

Big greeting to all five members from Dire Straits Blog, in this post we can say that we listened their music and they are amazing. Because of that, we want to shared what the members of Skyway Avenue told us.

Firstly, they are rock band from Netherlands and they make covers but primarily they make their own music and songs. Recently they released a new EP titled Awaken’ which includes cover version of song ‘What It Is’ by Mark Knopfler. And for that song one of the band members – Thomas Atsma told us this:

“We have played this song live for quite some time and it always gives a good response from the audience and we love to play it! We loved the feel of the song so much that we thought: let’s record our own version! Of course we did not try to make a carbon copy, but we wanted to give the song our own sound. We think we managed to do so, and are really curious what you think!”

The recording process of Skyway Avenue’s EP started early in 2017 and they firstly, record click-track demos with the full band in their rehearsal room and after that, in the following months, they continued with the separate parts in the rehearsal room and their bedrooms.

Rita Naus is the lead singer of Skyway Avenue. She told us interesting things about herself and the music love which she has. Rita is one beautiful girl with amazing voice which we listened from the songs that she sung.

“I am Rita and I always walking around with a melody in my head. My love for music, listening to it, dancing to it and making it, started long time ago when I was a little kid. I grow up with a lot of music around me and I danced in my house, which is I think that is the way how everybody should grow up.”

“In my house they were many vinyls and CD’s of several big artists, including of course albums of Dire Straits which resulted in my dad twirling around the house dragging us with him.”

Rita also told us interesting opinion for music, and what she said, will touch every music lover!

“I think that the power of music is something almost magical. It brings people together worldwide, makes people happy, causing us to forget any troubles that were running through our mind or it just creates epic unforgettable moments.

Rita started with making music when she was 9 years old and in the same time she picked up her first guitar.

I really didn’t have the patience to practice as much as I should have, annoying my teacher in the process. But, instead I started playing some songs which I could sing along with. First just for myself and then I realized that I should be heard by others. And 15 years after that, slightly forced by one of my teachers I step out on the stage for the first time. It was so nerve wrecking, but in the same time amazing…and I continued making music with friends ever since”, added Rita.

Four years ago, Rita was lucky to enter into the band Skyway Avenue and since then she is lead singer of the band. Before every show, she told us that she is slightly nervous and afraid. But those things are normal. Rita also added:

“In the moment when guys started to play, beautifully as always, all these nerves just disappear and I find myself in the extremely happy place, hypnotized by the music. The song ‘What It Is’ by Mark Knopfler, is a song that has this effect. The song is a beautiful piece of work, which when you listened to on full sound just gives you goose bumps. The separate instrument melodies harmonize perfectly and the song in general just keeps surprising you with amazing guitar riffs, keyboard and violin sounds and way more. That raw deep voice, telling you a story very calmly with clever, beautiful words and sentences that make you think about the message in it. It takes amazing talent to write a song like this and it still inspires me.”

Every song has their own story, and when we listen to some song, that song reminds us about something in our life. Something beautiful. Rita told us that, every time when she listened to ‘What It Is’ song, it reminds her of the time when she and the band had a gig in their little town.

On that gig they played for 2 hours, and Rita enjoyed in every minute of it. When they started to play ‘What It Is’, Rita saw her father, mother, brother and sister standing together and holding each other proudly. At that moment she could not be more than blessed.

Her family was there, and the guys of the band played the song so much good that her mother was started to moving her hips, legs and arms…that image and feeling from them, comes back in Rita every time when she listen this song and this song will be always she’s favorite.

We also have the personal story of Skyway Avenue’s guitarist – Niels de Goeij. He started to play on guitar at the age of 13, mostly because of following footsteps of his father. From the very of beginning, Niels sitting on his room for hours and trying to imitate guitar riffs and solos of bands such as Metallica and Iron Maiden.

Over the years he learned to appreciate a wider variety of musical styles and to bring that together in his own style of playing.

Niels de Goeij

“Guitarists such as Steve Lukather, Mark Knopfler, Eddie van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Bonamassa and Hendrix inspired me the most. To me the most important thing about playing the guitar is to be creative and musical: a few well chosen notes can say much more than a fast lick”, he said.

Can you tell us something about your guitars?

I’ve been using many different guitars since I started, varying from strats to Gibsons to Music Mans. The never ending journey for the perfect guitar brought me to a collection containing a R7 Les Paul, a tele and a strat. The last two guitars were built by the German guitar builder Tommy Metz located in Viersen. His guitars are amazing and in my opinion outperform the Fender Costum Shop ones. Ampwise, I have a Bogner Shiva and Bogner Atma. Both super versatile and musical. Good gear definitely motivates you to play. However, one should never forget that the sound is in the fingers!

And something for the end?

Skyway Avenue is band united because of our deeply rooted love for music. Inspired by the sound of artists like Toto, Fleetwood Mac and John Mayer, Skyway Avenue’s style is best to be described as Classic Rock with a modern touch. Variety is our motto.

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