Friday, August 5, 2022

LIVE SKULL - US Tour 2022

LIVE SKULL: reanimated NYC noise-rock legends announce US fall tour

Iconic New York City band Live Skull will bring its singular sound on the road for a US tour in September.

Pioneers of the Downtown Manhattan scene of the 1980s, alongside bands like Sonic Youth and Swans, and amidst artists and filmmakers like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Richard Kern, Live Skull resurfaced and reformed in 2019 after a 30-year hiatus, releasing two albums: Saturday Night Massacre (2019) and Dangerous Visions (2020). 

The new lineup, led by founding guitarist/vocalist Mark C and the last drummer to occupy the Live Skull drum throne in the '80s, Rich Hutchins, will deliver the band's violent hymns to the people, this fall, via a two-week run across the East Coast and Midwest. Flanking C and Hutchins are Kent Heine on bass and dAve Hollinghurst on guitar and vocals. It is the band's first US tour since the onset of the pandemic. 

The official tour poster was created by longtime friend and collaborator Gary Panter, also responsible for the cover art for Live Skull's newest albums, and known to many as an avant-garde cartoonist and the Emmy Award-winning set designer behind Pee Wee's Playhouse.

The tour dates are as follows:

Sept 20 - Pittsburgh, PA @ The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls
Sept 21 - Chicago, IL @ The Hideout
Sept 22 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry
Sept 23 - Lincoln, NE @ Lincoln Calling Music Festival
Sept 24 - Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
Sept 25 - Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR
Sept 26 - Detroit, MI @ Small's
Sept 27 - Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
Sept 28 - Kingston, NY @ Tubby's
Sept 29 - Baltimore, MD @ Metro
Sept 30 - Brooklyn, NY @ No Aloha

Stream an official teaser video, here:

Mark C states: "On the heels of an exotic tour of Norway and the pandemic release of Dangerous Visions, I have to say, Live Skull is revved up and ready to roll. The new band features an explosive lineup. Rich has taken his drumming beyond the next level and grooves seamlessly with Kent’s driving bass lines. dAve – whom Bob Bert calls “our secret weapon” – and I just take off from there. We're all inspired to push harder, the energy in the performances is just so high. And though the sound is tweaked and updated, we can still rip through a classic song or two with confidence... Since re-forming the band a few years back with Rich, I have been protesting the same decadent forces that continue to haunt our politics and culture. Deja vu, all over again! But I’ll be cranking up the volume, to drown out the noise machines with my heavy racket, while Live Skull rocks to make some sense of it all. Watch out, our original motto from 1983 still stands: 'Harnessing Chaos for their own Beliefs!'"

Live Skull defined the term "noise-rock" in the '80s, spearheading the post-No Wave underground music scene in NYC with a series of legendary live performances and eight groundbreaking records (recorded mostly by Martin Bisi at B.C Studio) released over the course of that decade. Live Skull's sound was influenced by British post-punk – Joy Division and Public Image Limited, in particular – but was located squarely in the depths of Downtown Manhattan. The band's '80s recordings buzz with the danger, depravity, and creative freedom that defined NYC in those years.

On songs with titles like "Mr. Evil," "The Corpse Also Rises," and "I'll Break You," Live Skull chiseled out its style and its worldview. Dual guitars chimed and slashed; basslines drove; drums pounded and hypnotized; male and female vocals intertwined to conjure serial-killer imagery to match the intensity of real life in '80s Gotham. Live Skull put its stamp on the NYC scene, playing venues like CBGB and Danceteria, but also toured the country with the likes of Jane's Addiction. 

A review in The New York Times declared Live Skull's importance in no uncertain terms: "Live Skull's music – a high-wire act played for keeps, without a net – is as challenging, as spiritually corrosive, and ultimately as transcendent as Albert Ayler's mid-60's free jazz or the implacable drone-dance of the early Velvet Underground. It's one of the essential sounds of our time."

Its 1989 album, Positraction, was its last, until 30 years later in 2019 when founder Mark C made moves to reform the band. Stream Live Skull's newest album, 2020's Dangerous Visions, here:

Live Skull EP (1984, Massive Records)
Bringing Home the Bait (1985, Homestead Records)
Pusherman EP (1986, Homestead Records)
Cloud One (1986, Homestead Records)
Don't Get Any On You (live) (1987, Homestead Records)
Dusted (1987, Homestead Records)
Snuffer EP (1988, Caroline Records)
Positraction (1989, Caroline Records)
Saturday Night Massacre (2019, Bronson Recordings)
Dangerous Visions (2020, Bronson Recordings)

Band photo by Michael Jung

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