This melodic Southern California quintet will blow you away with furiously charged riffs and anthem style vocals. Skipjack is not your typical SoCal band.
Surprising diversity and sophistication is shown throughout their set which contains amazing music and powerful autobiographical lyrics. Where other bands may retreat to the safety of "mainstream" topics, Skipjack stands out with intelligent content and unique perspectives.
Skipjack was formed in 1996 in San Diego, CA and began practicing in the infamous garage on Severin St. that Third Rale played in. Founding members included Chad Ruiz on drums, Corey Taft on bass, Brian Taft on guitar and Stuart Gardner on vocals. Stuart Gardner was also the owner of San Diego's now defunct Yell-O records that helped bands such as Spazboy, Dodge ball, Carter Peace Mission, Swindle, Openfast and Third Rale get started. We didn't play there very long because of some friendship issues and the fact that we never had a P.A. for Stuart so his voice was probably dying trying to keep up with us by screaming along as loud as he could.
Next we gave our good friend Josh Westfall a shot at being the singer of this garage band from hell. Moving to the garage of the Taft's we embarked on an alcohol induced slugfest of small amps, broken drums and a neighborhood that was not happy we were taking over. Our choice of singers was not based on the theory that one day we might be popular, it was mostly based on having fun and seeing how fast we could possibly play the crap that we were playing at the time. After discussing the fact we were all developing without our singer we moved on again with a guy named Roozy. We played for about a year together recording our demo CD (no way to lose). This is a recording we would all like to forget about.
That year we got a beautiful opportunity to play Street Scene 97 opening up for Social Distortion, Rocket From The Crypt, Buck Oí Nine and Less Than Jake. To make a long story short we were scared shitless but were able to pull it off without to many embarrassments. The scariest part was still to come. We had to share a trailer with Less Than Jake. After both bands were done playing we decided to go back to the trailer only to find that we had been locked out. Less Than Jake would not let us in. Oh, by the way it was like 100 plus degrees outside that day. So, after about an hour they finally let us in. To our surprise there was a strong shit smell inside. We were concerned because the staff told us not to use the toilet because the septic tanks weren't connected to an outlet.
While searching for the source of the smell we opened the toilet seat only to find dark brown water. That convinced us that this was the source of the smell. So, handling it like kids naturally would, we all lit up cigarettes. After a good two hours of smoking away we were alerted by someone outside that they could smell gas. To our surprise we found out that the shit smell was coming from 4 propane burners left on for us by Less Than Jake (not the soda that was in the toilet). How we didn't blow up Iíll never know, but thanks Less Than Jake!
After packing up to leave we ran across Mike Ness out back. I approached him to tell him what an honor it was to have played the show with them. He gave me a "yeah take it easy" in a "yeah, what ever, fuck you" kind of sense. So, by this time we weren't ready to meet very many rock stars because we didn't know if they were gonna try to blow us up or tell us to go fuck ourselves.
At around this time we tried doing the 5-piece thing with rhythm guitarist Dave Younger. After playing a while we started talking about what it would take to make our music something people would really like. The answer was obvious; Dave and Roozy must be the next to go. Bringing out the "hit man" Ian Bulger on drums and moving Chad on to vocals a new Skipjack would try again. From the get go it wasn't easy to start this new line up. It took some convincing for Ian because the only Skipjack he knew of was the old stuff that sounded like shit and believe me Ian expects the best. It took some time to adjust to a new drummer that could actually play and a singer who had really never done it before, but after adjustments were made it felt really good, really comfortable.
A short time later Brian Taft decided that his girlfriend was more important than showing up to shows and practice. He was the next to get the boot. It was really hard to do because Brian was such an important person to us. A lot of people didn't think that we could do it without him. His replacement would be one of the most important people to ever have anything to do with Skipjack, Jeremy Frasca. Jeremy, then playing for Just Because, decided to join the team and help push full force. Our next step was to thicken the sound with a second guitar and our one and only choice for guitarist was Travis Gorney of Neverfall. After learning and writing new materials we were now able to provide a live double guitar sound that we were formerly only able to capture in a studio. And speaking of studios, thatís exactly where we were headed.
Armed with our new material we impressed the hell out of longtime friend and owner of Crooked Records, Brian Robinson. With the financial support of a label we packed up our equipment and headed for Double-time Studios and a reunion with Jeff Forrest. We were able to stop laughing long enough (anyone who has ever worked with Jeff will know what we are talking about) to record 14 of the best punk rock songs that youíll probably ever hear. These songs can all be found on our CD "Foundations".