Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 2:36PM
Mark Kadzielawa of 69 Faces of Rock recently conducted an interview with THE SKULL, the new band formed by two original members of Chicago doom legends TROUBLE — vocalist Eric Wagner and drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson — alongside the band's longtime bassist, Ron Holzner. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
69 Faces of Rock: What will the main purpose of this project be?
Ron Holzner: Basically, we’ve answered the call of the fans. They really wanted to hear old TROUBLE songs, with Eric singing them, and they are tired of waiting for the other guys to do it, so they talked us into it. We’re doing it for the fans that don’t want to wait anymore, and they want to hear the old doomy TROUBLE songs from the first two records. We’re here to deliver.
Jeff Olson: We’ve just heard from a guy from England today. And he’s hoping that THE SKULL does some of the older material because we didn’t tour a lot when those songs were originally released. But, they also want to hear songs with the three of us as a tighter group.
Eric Wagner: I‘m just doing it for the fun of it. I just want to. I think it’s a lot of fun for me personally. My expectations are already exceeded. I mean, it almost started out as a joke a little bit, at first, as a tribute. But, we’ve been getting a great response from the fans, and it’s been a lot of fun. The project is getting a lot of attention, so it’s cool, let’s do it.
Ron: Most people know us for playing TROUBLE songs. So why the hell not? Why can’t we play TROUBLE songs?
69 Faces of Rock: Guitars were always very important in TROUBLE, and they had a very specific role and sound. Who will handle the guitars?
Wagner: Well, we got Lothar Keller and Michael Carpenter from the Chicago band SACRED DAWN. You know, we were gonna just used guests and stuff like that at first. But we were all saying that it would be nice to have a steady band. And with Lothar, we all know him. And when he said he was interested in doing it with his other guitar player, we were into it. They’ve been playing together for 20 years, and we just felt like it was a good team. They already knew each other well. And when Michael told me, “we answer each other’s sentences with our solos,” I just thought it was perfect. So we got this nice twin guitar duo to join us. I think it’s gonna be great.
69 Faces of Rock: You’ve mentioned THE SKULL would be doing some early TROUBLE tracks, what about the rest of the catalog? Which by the way was very impressive.
Wagner: We were going back and forth at first. No, let’s just do the old stuff. Well, maybe everyone wants to hear a little bit of everything. But then, it kind of came to the point where maybe THE SKULL should establish its own identity. You know, separate from TROUBLE, even though we’re playing these songs. But, everybody was talking about playing those old songs, and we never did those, and some guys didn’t want to do that stuff anymore. And with TROUBLE, we’ve had 7 records, so there is a lot of material we could choose from. So, it was kind of tough sometimes, but I think as THE SKULL, we should just concentrate on the first few records, and maybe a couple things from “Plastic Green Head,” which was the only record where all three of us played together. So, we’re definitely gonna do a couple of songs from that record too. And that will kind of establish our sound, and who we are. We’ve been talking about doing a new record too, so it will kind of fit everything. Everything kind of fits together.