Behind The Scenes: Reaper In Sicily – Islands

One month ago today, Reaper In Sicily released their excellent debut album Islands, so we took this opportunity to ask singer Rhys Bernardo to talk us through each song on the album especially for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

The Prisoner
This is the opening track off the album, the reason we chose this as the opening track instead of 50 was simply because we loved the way the intro introduced the production of the track. The track was written musically by Jonny, hence the demo title name being “Jonny New” Haha which we actually still call it, we then changed the name, to “penny for the guy”, with some last minute complications with the name, we settled for The Prisoner, which is exactly what the song is about. Everyone from time to time, gets frustrated and feels stuck in a 9-5 job or being on a running machine and just not going forward, haha, but that’s what it is, it’s a song that kicks out at frustration and being trapped. It’s possibly one of my favourite lyrically.

50
A track named after our boy 50 cent or Curtis as he lets us call him. This song was the first song written for the album we wrote this at the very beginning of 2012, it’s the song that actually took the longest to write and get right. We made so many changes to the track over a period of around 3 months that it got to a stage we were just going to scrap it, really glad we didn’t now its possibly my favourite live track. Lyrically, I wrote this one based around events of everytime we release a song, you always get the idiots who have no interest musically in what you are doing, they just hear I have a different voice and automatically dislike it, or even worse the bitter idiots that you have known for years, that just purposely go out of their way to constantly criticise everything you do, everyone who knows me, knows I love a bit of criticism and a good bit of humour, but this was just my serious reply through the music, “so call this a hello, instead of a goodbye, the people want me dead, but I am still alive”

Down But Not Out
This track is wrote based around the last ever Rocky film and The Wrestler, the track actually carried the demo title “Mickey Rourke likes coke not Pepsi” throughout the recording, we then changed the name, to something a little more serious that represented what the song was actually about. Lyrically me and Matthew wrote this together, which is where he actually sings in the verses along with myself and Jonny. This is a bouncer live, again a track we love to play live and really looking forward to getting this into our set over the next few months.

Horizons
Horizons – aka Demo title FLAT “fucking look at this” Haha! This track was written  musically by Jonny, and as soon as we heard the demo to this, we were blown away, it had something different to what we were doing on the other tracks, this is definitely the more serious/grown up side to Reaper, it was the last track written for the album and just 3 weeks before going in we managed to get it onto the album. Lyrically inspired by The character Jack Sparrow from the films Pirates of the Caribbean – I love films and I love to get inside the characters in them and just try to put myself in their shows, it’s a strange one, I guess I’m a strange person ha.

Old Dogs
This track titled and named from the opening lyrics “These Old Dogs” again Old Dogs, fantastic comedy film with Travolta and Robin Williams, one of mine and Jonnys favourite films, which we quote alot, so when the opportunity came to title a track that, it was a no brainier. The song is about how you want to be remembered in 20 years, and the people that surround you now, will they still be there standing by you then.

Photo: Cristina Shuker

Islands
Islands, the title track. This is the love song off the album, as soon as the boys played it musically I said this is an out and out edgy pop track, fortunately I had the idea of the chorus there and then, I continued to write the song like that. Every one thinks its a basic simple love song, but there’s a twist in there, if you really listen to the lyrics, you will work it out. I’m not going to say what the twist is because I want it to be exclusive to the video, but anyone who can work it out from the lyrics, I would love to hear from 🙂

Sunny Dale Sucks
Demo Title ‘Vampires’ – ok this track is named after Buffy The Vampire Slayer, chosen by Matt and Jonny. One of our favourite tracks, but I can tell you it only had 3 votes to actually get on the album, again another one I’m so glad made it on here. My lyrics are very tongue in cheek with this, everyone is going through how cool vampires are stage and wanting to be vampires etc with the Twilight saga and various other vampire stuff, so I wanted to put my own stamp on it. I put myself in the shoes of actually being a vampire and the results in my head were actually not that good haha, so basically I wrote down the results I got, and how it feels from an actual vampires point of view, from my results they didnt really like being vampires and the reasons why are in the song, haha.

Boys will be Boys
This track is actually our next single (Released Monday July 15th). The demo title was called “stories” and it’s a song about growing up, and the band from when we first started, to where we are now. It’s a really fun track, got that pop punk feel to it, one we enjoy playing live, and for those who haven’t heard it yet, I think it’s one of the more catchier tracks from the album.

The Catalina Wine Mixer
Now this one is titled after Step Brothers, the bands favourite film, we watch it all the time during tours, quote it constantly and we had to get a title on here somewhere, the demo title was called “Angry Penguins” haha so glad we didn’t stick with that. This one was wrote by Matt, I think he wrote some of the lyrics as well. I’m going to be completely honest it’s probably my least favourite track from the album, but it has that punky-pop vibe to it, we tried to capture throughout.

Chuck Norris Got A Chainsaw
Now this track is proper fucked! Jonny said, I’m writing something where we will just scream all the way through, so I was like ok I’m game for this, he showed me the track and I was like I have lyrics wrote that I can fit in with this, we demo’d the track just the two of us, then when finished we sent it to the rest of the boys THEY HATED IT! Haha, that was good enough for us to make sure we pushed this all the way to get a place on the album. The lyrics are based on an insomniac Serial Killer, who while he thinks he’s sleeping, he is actually out committing the crimes, he realises half way through, he has the bodies of all the missing people. I have loads of strange dreams, ideas, that I haven’t put into songs, with this album I did, and I’m really glad I did, it’s encouraged me to start writing more of my dreams weird happenings down, maybe even start writing some books, pitching some sketches haha.

In conclusion, for our first album we are very pleased with Islands, we are so chuffed with the reaction from press, fans, family and friends, there is plenty more to come from us. “In these dreams, with this love, This is the beginning of everything”

If you haven’t picked up a copy of ‘Islands’, then you are seriously missing out, Reaper are one of the most exciting bands to emerge in some time and definitely one you should get behind.

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