Your real name is Josh, where does the name SKELLY SKÜLL come from?
Skelly Sküll: I’ve been Skelly for as long as I’ve been pursuing rap seriously, so six years. This guy Jon Bagube and I would chop up lines of Vicodin and talk rap in the back of some class we had in high school. He would insist that I was going to end up rapping and started calling me Skeletor because I’ve always been real thin. It was shortened to Skelly when Apex formed in 08. Sküll was added this year with the release of CRISIS. The “ü” makes Sküll pronounced as “school”, as to imply I’m representing a school of idea and practice. A “movement”. That’s what all the rappers are doing now, right? Movements?
You’re also in the bands Apex Realm and Sound Lupus – what made you decide to put out solo music? and how does playing a solo show differ from a band peformance?
Skelly Sküll: This solo project is about creating a real syncretic type of sound. In Apex Realm we keep it really boom-bap and in Sound Lupus we play what my man BobV coined as dance-punx. CRISIS is the melding of the sounds that defined me growing up. I’m really in to breaking the “rules” in music so with the solo project I like to say I’m creating punk-minded pop music. As far as live, you never play a solo show. The live show is a group experience and every member of the crowd is part of the conversation.
What was the process like making the music video for Hot N Cold?
Skelly Sküll: I’ve followed Jo Kami photography for a few years. Me and Jo had been bouncing around the idea of working on a project for a while. I came to him with HOT N COLD and he picked up the philosophical and mystic undertones right away so the theme was set from the jump. The visuals represent a sort of bipolar and dualistic existence that gives way to a pain and pleasure that perhaps can only exist alongside the other.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations for making music?
Skelly Sküll: I can’t say the inspirations are any more a who than a what, when, where and maybe even why. In creating the songs I never have an end goal and sometimes feel as though I’m channeling energies, moods and spaces. Often the depth of the lyrics become more clear to me over time, and perhaps this is reflection but what isn’t? With this album I think I’ve recreated the feeling I would get from hardcore and punk music when I was at a tender age. Those genres helped me through some tough shit and let me know I wasn’t alone.
What are some of your favorite venues to play in San Diego?
Skelly Sküll: I’ll start by saying that Bancroft Bar in Spring Valley has really opened its arms and shown a lot of hospitality to a large group of artists and my friends, really giving us a space to do our thing the way we want. That’s the shit! The best settings for any event in my opinion are DIY, volunteer and all-ages spaces. Spaces like these are often rare and short lived but are key to fostering and cultivating alternative culture and independent idea.
If you could go on tour with any artist right now who would it be and why?
Skelly Sküll: Let’s say Prayers, the SD Killwave crew. This group manages to be really innovative and feel contemporary, throwback and timeless all at once. David’s instrumentals bleed energy and Rafa is able to say a whole lot with a little and I admire that. I think we’d sound cool back to back.
What can we expect next from SKELLY SKÜLL?
Skelly Sküll: Hopefully we’ll see kids losing their minds, jumping off of things and singing along at the shows. I have a full length studio album already underway and visual concepts for each song on CRISIS. Expect the unexpected.