The Skull Preview Friday's Manchester Show
For one night only, the ballsy blues rock of RavenEye, having toured and been admired by the likes of Slash and Deep Purple, play a co-headline show with The Skull in Manchester. A band featuring original Trouble members in vocalist Eric Wagner, bassist Ron Holzner and drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson, The Skull arrive in Manchester with their new record, For Those Which Are Asleep in tow. Former Cathedral drummer, Brian Dixon will be stepping in to play behind the kit for the tour.
Ahead of the show, Eric Wagner and Ron Holzner opened up to Manchester Rocks about their music's legacy, memories of Manchester and more.
First off, it's been a while since you came to the UK, so what can people expect from your set?
RON: Yep, its the first time playing in the UK since our debut record For Those Which Are Asleep came out. We played in London in October 2014 doing an all Trouble set featuring the whole Psalm 9 record. Now it's a mixture of both Trouble stuff and The Skull material that's always changing.
ERIC: We have a lot of material to choose from and at first we tried to please everyone but as we found that's impossible. so now we just do a little bit of everything and as long as the band is having fun it seems that everyone there is too and there's never any complaints.
What are your memories of playing in the UK and in particular Manchester?
ERIC: It's always been great coming to the UK and i'll never forget it even though I can't remember.
RON: Ha, yeah what he says! The UK has always been great to us.We played many headline shows with Trouble in the UK and here in Manchester and also supported Dio on a big production tour. All were good times.
You've mentioned before that you are working on new material, how far down the line are you with that and can we expect to hear on November 4th?
ERIC: We've been touring a lot this year and at least for me it's hard to write on the road so right now there's a bunch of riffs and ideas and when we get home we're taking a little break and in the new year start putting it all together.
RON: We're halfway there with the new songs, Lothar and I will be putting together a handful of songs with all the riffs and parts we have written in December to hand off to Eric for the lyric process. January starts the full blown record putting together process. The addition of Rob Wrong on guitar adds another element to the process.
You've often been described as doom metal pioneers, how do you think the genre has developed since you guys first started making music, both in terms of musical approach and its popularity?
ERIC: I'm not really sure how to answer that, i don't really pay that much attention I'm always writing and in my own world, and when i do listen to music it's always different, to get me away from what I'm doing with my own band. I do know one thing though is that for some reason I still get to do this and you have no idea how much I appreciate it .
RON: We just do what we do and have always done. We never really pay attention to everyone else.I guess we are doing something right.
Eric, you've been been quoted in the past as saying "you have to get through the past to get to the future", with your song Sometime Yesterday Mourning exemplifying that. With that in mind, how important is it for you guys to both play The Skull songs and honour your own musical past by playing Trouble songs as well?
ERIC: Between trouble and my ex wife I went through two messy divorces at the same time and at first i had no desire to ever play those songs again. It just brought back too many good and bad memories. Still to this day I haven't been able to processes all of them so I had to come to terms with it all so i could move on. I'm so glad I decided to take that road because I really am proud of those songs and all that we accomplished and now, to listen to them again in the light that they were intended.
Is there anything else you'd like to add ahead of the Manchester show?
ERIC: Just that I'm really looking forward to being there and jamming with everyone especially with Brian Dixon behind the kit, ya know i'm just a fan just like you.
Advanced tickets are £8 and can be purchased from www.manchester.rocks/tickets