Skull Drug Proving
Phoenix Punk Is Not Dead
Punk Music Is As Much About Attitude As It Is About Music And The Phoenix Metro Band — That Is Also An Impressive Bowling Team, BTW — Is Proving They Have Both
Lead vocalist of Skull Drug, Evan Williams. Image provided by Drug Skull.
By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine
March 27, 2013 — Punk’s not dead. It lives in Gilbert and goes bowling every Tuesday at Tempe Village Lanes, and is heading to Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas not as band, but as bowling team.
Phoenix metro punk band Skull Drug — besides being one bad ass bowling team — brings all the hard hitting thrash tunes of yester year’s punk rock to every stage they play.
“We started the band with the idea of no holds barred, said lead vocalist Evan Williams, “I like fast music, fast and in your face,” and that is exactly what he plays in Skull Drug, along with his brother, drummer Wyatt Clarke, Nephew, guitarist Justin ‘Junior’ Waldrop, and close friend bassist Butch Giles.
Even the name — Skull Drug — denotes a past act of violence.
“I was talking to a buddy of mine and he was in the army at the time over in Tennessee. We were just kind of talking back and forth and he was trying to say he could more or less kick my ass, and I was like, ‘what man you don’t remember that day that I skull drug your ass around Mike Fisher’s backyard.’ While I was telling these guys the story of how I was talking to him about it, I said it that way, and once I said, ‘skull drug your ass around the back yard,’ Butch said, ‘hey man that’s a great name for a band,’” said Clarke.
So the band set out as Skull Drug to carve their niche in the Phoenix punk scene, and considering they were opening for punk rock icons like The Dead Kennedy’s, it’s safe to say Phoenix punks are taking notice.
Giles has a simple answer for what kind of music Skull Drug makes and why it has been successful in the Phoenix scene.
“We write songs that I want to hear,” he said, “I like the music we play better than everybody else’s music. We got to fill in the blanks. If nobody else is playing the songs I want to hear we got to write it.”
Not only are the fans taking notice, other bands are feeling the heat Skull Drug is putting off as well, “one time we played a show and one of the bands turned the power off on us,” said Clarke, although that show was not as bad as when Williams turned the lights off on himself.
The spiky haired lead singer/guitarist showed up to a gig at The Rogue Bar black out drunk, and according to Giles only made it through 17-minutes of a 45-minute set.
“We had to turn his guitar down on stage,” said Giles.
“I was having a really rough couple of days,” said Williams.
Punk rock shenanigans aside, Skull Drug is definitely one of those bands that appreciates playing music.
“Playing music is the best, we are good at doing that and no good at doing a whole lot of other things,” said Giles.
“When fans leave our shows I want them to think, ‘wow what the hell was that? That was awesome!’ I want them to just have their minds blown,” said Clarke.
For a band that everybody told to “get a real job,” Skull Drug is not doing too bad as they prepare to release their first album in June.
They have shows regularly across the Phoenix metro, and according to them, the only thing keeping them from the big time is acquiring reliable transportation.
Jeff Moses is a senior contributor to Modern Times Magazine.
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