Let me tell what I got to do on a recent Sunday evening. After a craptacular day at work (yes, King Rhino has a real job. The millions I’m paid here on SkullsnBones I donate to a charity and the Swedish Women’s Volleyball Team Relief Fund. What can I say … I’m a freakin’ giver.) Anyway, shitty day at the job get home, take a shower, crack a beer, and I get to call and speak to Eric Wagner and Ron Holzner of The Skull. Yes, my nipples were so hard I could have used them to dial the phone.
If you don’t know who The Skull are, you should die in a horrific razor blade and vinegar-involved fire. Why? Because The Skull should be a part of any metal heads musical library. Based out of the great city of Chicago,Illinois, they sprouted from three members of the seminal ‘murica stoner metal band Trouble. How “seminal” are we talking? They were freaking “stoner” 30 years before anyone had even come up with that hipster definition.
Somewhere in an alternate universe, Trouble were recognized as the American version of Black Sabbath. Bottom line is that Trouble were the titties. Every denim-jacketed metal head should have bought and worshipped everything they put out. They were that good, and stayed consistently good. Imagine if Sabbath had continued the quality of music from the Paranoid/Sabbath Bloody Sabbath era, well, Trouble maintained that all the while they were together. So, to have three members of a group that good form a new band and perform new material and classic Trouble tunes, it doesn’t get much better.
SkullsNBones: Gentlemen, I can’t tell you how much this means to myself and to SkullsnBones.com. Thank you for your time.
Ron Holzner : My pleasure, brother.
Eric Wagner: No, thank you. We appreciate it.
SkullsNBones: I have to start by saying, I had been a Trouble fan for years before the band more or less separated/went on hiatus, so for me it’s awesome that you still play Trouble songs in your live sets as well as The Skull songs.
Holzner: Thanks. The stuff we did in Trouble was obviously a big part of our lives so we figured there is no reason to ignore them or that part of our lives.
Wagner: Exactly. I think we all agree in the band that what we are doing now in The Skull, while brand new, still carries an influence from Trouble in everything from our songwriting to performing. So, to be able to combine the two is a win-win for us and our fans.
SkullsNBones: Speaking of writing, it’s been a few years since For Those Which Are Asleep, can we hope for a new album soon?
Wagner: For sure. We are in the process now of working on new material, so it’s simply a matter of finding the time.
Holzner: Yeah. Remember we’re not young bucks with nothing to do but sit around and write and jam all day and play all night. (Laughs) We’re old guys now with lives!
Wagner: We also have a pretty big tour starting up, so there is the time and energy needed to work out the logistics of being on the road that long. But, I hope to spend some time working on new songs while we’re all together during that time.
SkullsNBones: Speaking of the tour. You’re going to be on the road with the almighty Saint Vitus and Witch Mountain. That is one Hell of an evening of heavy metal entertainment!
Holzner: No shit, huh!
Wagner: It is a great triple bill. We are big fans of Saint Vitus ourselves, so the chance to see them play every night is as enjoyable for us as it is for the fans.
SkullsNBones: And, I’m pretty excited since I’ll get to see you when you’re here in New Orleans.
Holzner: Absolutely love that town. I could tell you stories that would curl your hair.
SkullsNBones: Long nights of loud music, conspicuous amounts of alcohol?
Holzner: And, that was just the starting off point!
Wagner: This tour is a pretty big one for us. We’ll be on the road here in the states for close to a month, then maybe a week and half off to head to Europe for a month.
SkullsNBones: They must love The Skull in Europe.
Wagner: Absolutely. Trouble always had a strong following over there so it’s nice to see the old fans still coming out to see The Skull as well as the new fans who may not have even been born when Trouble was together.
SkullsNBones: So, when you’re not on the road being heavy metal rock gods, what do you spend your time doing these days?
Holzner: Hell, man, just being with my family. None of us are spring chickens any longer so it’s nice just to be home, lay low and decompress.
Wagner: I have to agree. People don’t know that being on the road for this long is not just playing two hours of music a night and then just relaxing for the other 22. The travel, soundchecks, and then repeating the process day in and day out is wearing. Even when you’re doing nothing, the boredom can suck the energy out of you.
SkullsNBones: Well, thank you again. Like I said, I know I’m pretty excited for October 1st when I’ll get to see you.
Holzner: No, man thank you.
Wagner: And, we’re pretty excited to get out onstage and see all of you. Thank you.
The Skull are currently on tour with Saint Vitus and Witch Mountain and will be rolling like a sonic steamroller across America until October 23. And if they are playing anywhere near your ass? Go see them!
Saint Vitus, The Skull and Witch Mountain On Tour
September 30 Shreveport, LA Riverside Warehouse
October 1 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks
October 2 Atlanta, GA The Earl
October 3 Raleigh, NC King’s
October 5 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
October 6 Boston, MA Middle East
October 7 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus Bar
October 8 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
October 9 Indianapolis, IN 5th Quarter
October 10 Chicago, IL Reggie’s
October 11 Madison, WI High Noon
October 12 St Paul, MN Turf Club
October 14 Missoula, MT Stage 112 (as part of Erosion Festival)
October 15 Seattle, WA El Corazon
October 16 Portland, OR Star Theater
October 18 Sacramento, CA Starlite
October 19 Oakland, CA Metro
October 20 Costa Mesa, CA Wayfarer
October 21 Los Angeles, CA Viper Room
October 22 San Diego, CA Brick By Brick
October 23 Tucson, AZ Club Congress (as part of Southwest Terror Festival)
action pr carl schultz eric wagner ron holzner Saint Vitus scott reagers the skull Trouble witch mountain