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Skyline Drive: The sound of Orono

On Friday Oct. 14, Skyline Drive pulled together their members for a performance on the IMRC stage at the University of Maine. The performance was a part of UMaine’s monthly local music concert series. Alongside them were Milk St. and Gunshot Glitter. In an exclusive and entertaining interview with Skyline Drive the band expressed their goals as well as what the future looks like for them. 

Skyline Drive was first composed of bassist Jacob Wall,  guitarist Joe Leonard and drummer Adam Chenier. The three formed the band two years ago, toward the end of 2020 at a party in the Ave apartment complex. Chenier was playing his bass when Wall overheard him. Wall invited him to a jam session with Leonard where Chenier played the drums. Wall secretly held an audition not knowing that the other two shared the same idea he had about creating a band. It just worked out. Lead singer/lyricist Ben Daigneault joined last September, completing the band at four. 

What proved to be surprising was the ideology behind their conception. 

“Play what everyone wants to hear, not what we want to play,” Wall said. 

This may seem counter intuitive, since musicians usually play what they want to play regardless of what is popular. However, it’s important for the band to appeal to their audience the most.

 “Collective consciousness of the band [is] … something that fits us,” Wall said.

Skyline Drive has been writing their own songs for about a year now. They began by performing covers of songs, which was fun for a while, but now they feel that they want to make their own thing. They said that their lyrics are ambiguous on purpose because they want the music to invoke emotion in their audience. The songs are open to interpretation since they don’t intend for audience members to have one shared experience. 

“When you are playing a cover song people judge how it sounds. But when it is your original songs it’s a lot more pressure. It’s good pressure but it’s a lot. I like to spread the emotion of the song through the words,” Daigneault said. 

He also commented on the feeling that he gets when the audience is singing his lyrics back to him. He said that it is unreal to experience. 

Skyline Drive also commented on the struggles that came from writing and being in the band itself.

“Definitely writing and being creative is a tough part of it,” Wall said.

 Likewise, the band is spread out across multiple states, so they have had to pass up on some opportunities. The time that they can get together and work is sacred and calculated to be effective. A lot of sacrifices allowed them to be where they are now. The band credits their organization to their manager Aiden Leavitt.

“A very integral part of our operation is Aiden and how he manages us. When we first started he didn’t know how to do it; now he is managing multiple bands,” Wall said.

Currently the band is working on an EP that will be released sometime next year. The project is still in the making but they want to have some big Orono names join in on the fun. 

“We have the songs, [and we are] probably going to record them this weekend. [It is a] nice creative outlet to have,” Leonard said.

The band will be dropping teasers of the album throughout the year once they finish the mixing and mastering of their EP. They can be found primarily on Instagram at Skyline_Drive, where they release their performance dates. The troupe proved to be a warm hospitable bunch that together created a radiant chemistry. Be on the lookout for Skyline Drive.


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