Skunkmello
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Skunkmello

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

New York City, New York, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Blues Rock

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A refreshing blast of rock and blues, Skunkmello has been tearing it up since their debut EP, Whiskey and Oatmeal. The band just released their second EP, Lowlife Dreams.

Today, we’re talking to Jono Ori about their biggest influences, playing a gig with a bassist near death and working on their full-length album.

What are some of your biggest influences, music or otherwise?

We check everyone out and we try to keep learning from other people. Then Chicago Blues, Delta blues. ZZ Top is a big one. Tons of weird 60′s and 70′s rock and roll bands. Cliche as it may be, there’s also a ton of Rolling Stones, Beatles, Dylan, The Band and Hendrix love in this band too. If I play something too flashy in the studio, Ed might say something like “less Mitch, more Levon.” If something turns out too shiny or flawless sounding for our liking in the production process, someone might say something like “should feel a little more ‘Exile’.”

What has been one of your most memorable and/or strangest gigs?

We had a quick run of North East shows last winter, culminating in a sold-out Boston gig with our friends Banana Phonetic. Ed ate some questionable soup from a shithole bodega before we got on the road and got violently ill while we were doing 90 on the highway. Ed demanded that we pull over and Matt, knowing that the situation had become serious, swerved over three lanes to the shoulder. Ed jumped out and gloriously projectile vomited all over the snow that had been plowed onto the side of the road from the week before. I’ve never seen that much puke come out of a person. Ed did some serious work on that road. We’re talking gallons. People were slowing down to watch.

We got back on the road, made it to Boston and had our friend Jeff Wallace (promoter) re-arrange the bill in order to give Ed more time to get himself together. In the end, Ed stayed sick and continued puking his guts out every hour or so and spent the entire evening curled up in a ball in the back seat while the rest of us were inside the club trying to figure out if we were still going to play. Eventually, Ed materialized completely drenched in sweat, strapped his bass on and said something to the effect of “if we’re gonna do it, we gotta do it now.” He played flawlessly even though he looked completely awful and as soon as we were done, he went back to where we were staying and passed out for 13 hours. It ended up being one our best shows.

What was the songwriting process like for Lowlife Dreams?

Matt wrote all the songs, but the structural work and individual parts is a collaborative effort. That collaboration usually requires a lot of time in the rehearsal studio, a lot of beers and thick skin. We can get pretty brutal making fun of each other and it only gets worse as the hours roll by, we get drunk and the cabin fever sets in. Ed and I have been playing together for years and are used to writing parts together. Spence and Matt have been playing together for years, too, so they’re good at hashing out song structure and giving each other honest feedback if a certain portion isn’t working.

“The Way Down”, “Full Recline” and “Two Dudes on a Moped” have been a part of our live sets for over a year, so they’ve grown with us. “Two Dudes on a Moped” required a second verse to be written on the fly in the studio, which if I remember correctly we all worked on together. The initial draft that Matt brought to the session was a little wonky in terms of timing. “Bukowski Blues” and “Better Days” were new songs written for the EP and are pretty much in-studio creations, which were fun because it gave us the ability to experiment pretty heavily and play with the way we wanted them to sound.

What’s next?

We’re going to be releasing a bunch of live material for free on YouTube, as well as the full video (shot with multiple cameras) of a gig we recently did at Arlene’s Grocery here in New York. We have a couple one off gigs booked here and there but are mainly taking the remainder of 2013 to finish our first full-length album, which we don’t have a release date for just yet.

In late January, we’ll do another quick run of Northeast gigs and we’re discussing doing a handful of west coast shows after that. In March, we’re hoping to have the album in hand and make it down to Texas for SXSW and hit some other places that we haven’t been to in the South. During the spring film festival season, a feature film with one of our songs in the soundtrack comes out, and so I’m hoping we’re able to get involved in some of the promotional activities for that. Then we’ll do festivals again in the summer. - http://www.riffraf.net/


At a recent gig at Arlene’s Grocery, New Yorkers Skunkmello unveiled a brand new, unreleased song titled Half Windsor Blues. The song is taken from the band’s forthcoming album, and is so new, in fact, that lead vocalist/guitarist Matt even forgot the first couple of words. The band have also recorded the full audio of the entire show which is for free download here. So for the first time ever, feast your eyes and ears on Skunkmello’s Half Windsor Blues. - AMusicBlogYea.com


Review: If Peter Greene had a hand in their early days of Pink Floyd I truly believe Skunkmello would be a phenomenal tribute band, however, this is no recital and Skunkmello have tailored their own sound their own way. So is my introduction void... The only answer to that lies in your opinion of the examples of the more known artists. Skunkmello may have made a title for their psychedelic/prog - rock sound but that is by no means their limits. You can find strong Reggae vibes in their compositions as well as classical traces in their guitar work... Not to mention elements of folk in their lyricism.

These in mind (though only brief in example) Skunkmello are true to their sound and style, traits of genre may change but they have honed in and refined their own sound.I stress this fact as having individuality is a key to the media market, no matter your sound as long as it is yours rather than a "sound alike" you will forever hold a place within music history.If you are too young to recall the birth of prog-rock (Nazareth, Floyd, Zappa, Zeppelin) but are curious to see what the hype is all about, you can find nearly every reference to its development within Skunkmello.This look backward at the music that revolutionised the 70/80's is by no means a step in the same direction, but a salute and evolution to what was.So should you be browsing for that specific sound that changed the lives of thousands (if not millions) in a fresh new voicing, I shall give you a name and the name is Skunkmello.

On the other hand if you are a fan of the old sound in these new days Skunkmello are definitely a band to add to your collection.From delay and effects pedals to the Hendrix born evolution of the electric guitar, musically you can find it here as well as the raw "singin' 'coz I can" attitude of the vocals which blend with ease, suit and style to the acquired aspirations of the instrumentation. Their EP Lowlife Dreams is out now! - RevolutionThreeSixty.com


The Boston Bruins Stanley Cup debacle might have happened months ago, but for some of us, it’s still too soon to return anywhere near the TD Garden. Emotional and physical wounds, shouting and cursing, and too much time spent face down without scoring comes to mind as the division between your favorite sports team and last relationship completely fades away. But for me, Portland Street’s McGann’s Irish Pub is Full Scene Ahead’s sanctuary where I’ve enjoyed some of my favorite local performances.

So I obviously found myself there last Friday night to watch Dave Crespo’s After Party, The Shakers, The Few and some others.

Unfortunately for me, I arrived there fashionably late and missed Nicole Alexandra’s set. (Or more likely. I was running on gutter-punk trailer park time as I was trying to pass off a lace bra crop top as an actual shirt.) I’m really bummed that I missed her set (and not just because I wanted living proof that there’s such thing as a Berklee graduate). I don’t want to undermine Alexandra’s talent, but her sound brings me back to girl pop one hit wonders like M2M. Of course, her music also comes laced with r&b and soulful roots, and the effect is wonderful. For a moment, the previous decade pop sound helps me forget about growing up, however, the overall polished sound makes Alexandra more than just a guilty pleasure.

At least I got there on time to see Skunkmello. The lead singer is wearing a fedora, headgear that generally makes me want to run. But they start to play, and I stand-up and listen. If Alabama Shakes, Skunkmello grooves, moves, rhythms and blues. The sound is a proper breed of The Blasters, The Black Keys, and The Rolling Stones, yet it has a vintage-pressed authentic sound that transports the audience back to Venice Beach in the 1970s and makes them forget that they are watching some city slack youngsters. (Some of us are still waiting for the fret board to transform into a surfboard instead.) And for this reason, it doesn’t bother me that Skunkmello is semi-stiff on stage, because even between burning guitar solos, they live up to the second half of their name and the set is satisfyingly tranquil. And by the end of it, the lead singer jams on the harmonica and I’m totally hooked.

And if you don’t believe that New York band Skunkmello really got my attention, consider this: The next drink I order is a Long Island Ice Tea.

But I’m still in Boston and our own funk-jam band, The Few is next. While the female vocalist Jaime is often compared to Grace Potter, I’d rather cast her as one of the muses from Disney’s Hercules (and perhaps that has to do with the adorable one-shoulder piece she rocked.) Jaime is also in good company and accompanied by The Few’s other singer, Kevin: The soprano meets baritone effect is something everyone wants to indulge in. The band has a classic rock feel to them but I also pick-up some 90s rock vibes (and if you don’t believe me, you should have seen the skanking in the audience.) And seeing the Few that night could have been a proper pre-gamer for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones show the next day, disregarding of course, that the former might just be the better band.

Dave Crespo’s After Party was the climax of the show and the reason most of us found ourselves there. For me, Crespo resembles Blake from Workaholics and vocalist, Nicole D’Amico sports a hippy-chic style similar to Janis Joplin—and that visual aesthetic alone draws me in. And while their sound draws me in (especially DCAP’s song “Sallie” that suggests a pop-punk Beatles song), the presence is what really does it for me. Not only is everyone on the floor dancing, but there is total hyperactivity on stage. In fact, at one point, Crespo is essentially moshing with the guitarist. There is no divergence between audience, stage, and performance, it all seems to become one. If Full Scene Ahead’s mission is for everyone to participate in local music, DCAP certainly symbolizes that philosophy.

And with that being said, L.A. band, The Shakers had some competition to follow up on; especially because it was the end of the night, and we could all expect a whole lot of rolling and tumbling. Regardless, The Shakers nail it and put on a great performance. Lead singer, Jodie Schell hits all the high notes and with all the raspy-ness and attitude that even the chainsmokers outside of McGann’s couldn’t replicate. And with all due respect, I want to characterize her sound as a princess with a dirty conscience. Even this late in the night, The Shakers are fueled with high-energy, it’s loud, and it’s fast as fuck. And while that can be intimidating, it doesn’t matter because I know I will be stalking their Facebook page in hopes that they’ll be coming back here. Best Coast, you can have your MP3’s back, I’ve found a better California rock band.

Full Scene Ahead shows never disappoint me. Next time you find yourself in Faneuil Hall on a Friday, walk a few blocks over to McGann’s to pay a cover charge that’s actually worth it.

Special thanks to guest contributor Nicole Anzuoni - TMRZoo.com


Hey! We’re Skunkmello! We are a four piece rock and blues band from New York City. We’ve been playing together for about a year and in that time have recorded two EPs, one called “Whiskey & Oatmeal” (released November 16th, 2012) and another called “Lowlife Dreams”, which is about to be released on June 15th, 2013. Our first EP was recorded almost completely live in one night in the studio and, though it was very rushed in terms of production, was really well received. It drew us some really surprising and flattering comparisons to bands like The Black Keys and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and we ended up getting a ton of great opportunities to play in new places all over the east coast of the United States because of it. We even had a couple radio stations play our songs, which was pretty wild.

Our new EP is called “Lowlife Dreams” and will be available on CD, iTunes, Spotify, BandCamp and other online stores on June 15th. It took about four months to record and mix, and represents a fuller, more meticulously produced side of our band. It’s also our first release as a four piece with our new synthesizer, piano and organ player. The EP was mastered by the brilliant Grammy award winning mastering engineer Brian Lucey of Magic Garden Mastering, who’s done some incredible work before us (Google him!) and did not disappoint this time.

We think it turned out great and hope you do, too.

Be sure to check out our links below to stay in touch. - AMusicBlogYea.com


They don’t mind sharing their space with you. In fact, they prefer it.

While it’s true that some bands can carry a sense of snobbery along with their instrument cases and backpacks, Toy Soldiers is not one of those bands.

More often than not, you’ll find at least one of the band’s members beyond the stage barrier, playing alongside a fan. They’re fun, their sound has spunk. It’s from another time, yet it’s fittingly familiar.

The five-piece blues-rockabilly-roots-and-more group takes stage at Triumph Brewing Co. tomorrow night.

Expect the energy to be high, and for bodies to be moving. Toy Soldiers is not for those looking for a chill night. There’s nothing mellow about this band.

Even their more somber tunes, such as “Midweek Mountain Getaway,” still have power behind them.

Members include Ron Gallo on vocals, guitar and harmonica; Bill McCloskey on bass and vocals; Luke Leidy on keyboards; Matt Kelly on guitar; and Dominic Billett on drums and vocals.

Toy Soldiers will likely focus on performing songs off their second full-length album, “The Maybe Boys,” to be released in the spring.

If this is your first time hearing about Toy Soldiers, then it’s worth taking note that USA Today has listed them as a “Top Band to Watch in 2013.”

They’ve become booked more and more at popular music festivals nationwide. People are talking, and it won’t be long before this crew costs more than $5 to see up close and personal.

Check them out online at ohnotoysoldiers.com.

While there, be sure to sample “Love Ya Like I Love Ya” and “Tell the Taller.” Both are prime examples of their “from another time” quality that makes their appeal inviting and entertaining.

Opening for Toy Soldiers is Skunk Mello. Based in New York, Skunk Mello is rougher around the edges.

The band has also got the blues, but the electric guitar wails throughout its repertoire, giving it a hard rock element.

Matt Bartlett is on guitar, vocals and harmonica; Ed Cuervo is on bass; Jonn Ori is on the drums; and Dan Spencer is on the keyboards and synthesizer.

Check the band out online at facebook.com/skunkmello. - NJ.com


This week’s featured band is very new to the station, but skunkmello made quite an impression from the very start. This bluesy NY band debuted just a few weeks ago, and instantly shot to the top of the Top 10 Countdown, receiving 100% “thumbs up” form our listeners.

The music is a very refreshing take on rock, or as they describe it, a groove-based gutter flow of street-swing and sewer blues for the barefooted and absent minded. You can head to skunkmello.com and pick up their EP Whiskey & Oatmeal on a name your price basis (even though you can get it for free, throw this band a few bucks for support!).

Skunkmello will be in the Philly area on March 3rd at The Raven Lounge with Andrew Winter & The Reckless Dodgers. They’ve also got shows form NY to Baltimore so check out their Facebook page for tour dates. They’ll be in heavy rotation all week, and you can hear a track at the beginning of every Gashouse Live. So tune in, and mark your calendars for March 3rd! - GashouseRadio.com


Review: If Peter Greene had a hand in their early days of Pink Floyd I truly believe Skunkmello would be a phenomenal tribute band, however, this is no recital and Skunkmello have tailored their own sound their own way. So is my introduction void... The only answer to that lies in your opinion of the examples of the more known artists. Skunkmello may have made a title for their psychedelic/prog - rock sound but that is by no means their limits. You can find strong Reggae vibes in their compositions as well as classical traces in their guitar work... Not to mention elements of folk in their lyricism.

These in mind (though only brief in example) Skunkmello are true to their sound and style, traits of genre may change but they have honed in and refined their own sound.I stress this fact as having individuality is a key to the media market, no matter your sound as long as it is yours rather than a "sound alike" you will forever hold a place within music history.If you are too young to recall the birth of prog-rock (Nazareth, Floyd, Zappa, Zeppelin) but are curious to see what the hype is all about, you can find nearly every reference to its development within Skunkmello.This look backward at the music that revolutionised the 70/80's is by no means a step in the same direction, but a salute and evolution to what was.So should you be browsing for that specific sound that changed the lives of thousands (if not millions) in a fresh new voicing, I shall give you a name and the name is Skunkmello.

On the other hand if you are a fan of the old sound in these new days Skunkmello are definitely a band to add to your collection.From delay and effects pedals to the Hendrix born evolution of the electric guitar, musically you can find it here as well as the raw "singin' 'coz I can" attitude of the vocals which blend with ease, suit and style to the acquired aspirations of the instrumentation. Their EP Lowlife Dreams is out now! - www.RevolutionThreeSixty.com


At a recent gig at Arlene’s Grocery, New Yorkers Skunkmello unveiled a brand new, unreleased song titled Half Windsor Blues. The song is taken from the band’s forthcoming album, and is so new, in fact, that lead vocalist/guitarist Matt even forgot the first couple of words. The band have also recorded the full audio of the entire show which is for free download here. So for the first time ever, feast your eyes and ears on Skunkmello’s Half Windsor Blues.
- http://amusicblogyea.com/


At least I got there on time to see Skunkmello. The lead singer is wearing a fedora, headgear that generally makes me want to run. But they start to play, and I stand-up and listen. If Alabama Shakes, Skunkmello grooves, moves, rhythms and blues. The sound is a proper breed of The Blasters, The Black Keys, and The Rolling Stones, yet it has a vintage-pressed authentic sound that transports the audience back to Venice Beach in the 1970s and makes them forget that they are watching some city slack youngsters. (Some of us are still waiting for the fret board to transform into a surfboard instead.) And for this reason, it doesn’t bother me that Skunkmello is semi-stiff on stage, because even between burning guitar solos, they live up to the second half of their name and the set is satisfyingly tranquil. And by the end of it, the lead singer jams on the harmonica and I’m totally hooked.

And if you don’t believe that New York band Skunkmello really got my attention, consider this: The next drink I order is a Long Island Ice Tea. - www.tmrzoo.com/


Hey! We’re Skunkmello! We are a four piece rock and blues band from New York City. We’ve been playing together for about a year and in that time have recorded two EPs, one called “Whiskey & Oatmeal” (released November 16th, 2012) and another called “Lowlife Dreams”, which is about to be released on June 15th, 2013. Our first EP was recorded almost completely live in one night in the studio and, though it was very rushed in terms of production, was really well received. It drew us some really surprising and flattering comparisons to bands like The Black Keys and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and we ended up getting a ton of great opportunities to play in new places all over the east coast of the United States because of it. We even had a couple radio stations play our songs, which was pretty wild.

Our new EP is called “Lowlife Dreams” and will be available on CD, iTunes, Spotify, BandCamp and other online stores on June 15th. It took about four months to record and mix, and represents a fuller, more meticulously produced side of our band. It’s also our first release as a four piece with our new synthesizer, piano and organ player. The EP was mastered by the brilliant Grammy award winning mastering engineer Brian Lucey of Magic Garden Mastering, who’s done some incredible work before us (Google him!) and did not disappoint this time.

We think it turned out great and hope you do, too.

Be sure to check out our links below to stay in touch. - http://amusicblogyea.com/


Opening for Toy Soldiers is Skunk Mello. Based in New York, Skunk Mello is rougher around the edges.

The band has also got the blues, but the electric guitar wails throughout its repertoire, giving it a hard rock element.

Matt Bartlett is on guitar, vocals and harmonica; Ed Cuervo is on bass; Jonn Ori is on the drums; and Dan Spencer is on the keyboards and synthesizer.

Check the band out online at facebook.com/skunkmello. - NJ.com


This week’s featured band is very new to the station, but skunkmello made quite an impression from the very start. This bluesy NY band debuted just a few weeks ago, and instantly shot to the top of the Top 10 Countdown, receiving 100% “thumbs up” form our listeners.

The music is a very refreshing take on rock, or as they describe it, a groove-based gutter flow of street-swing and sewer blues for the barefooted and absent minded. You can head to skunkmello.com and pick up their EP Whiskey & Oatmeal on a name your price basis (even though you can get it for free, throw this band a few bucks for support!).

Skunkmello will be in the Philly area on March 3rd at The Raven Lounge with Andrew Winter & The Reckless Dodgers. They’ve also got shows form NY to Baltimore so check out their Facebook page for tour dates. They’ll be in heavy rotation all week, and you can hear a track at the beginning of every Gashouse Live. So tune in, and mark your calendars for March 3rd! - GashouseRadio.com


Discography

Discography

Whiskey & Oatmeal EP (2012)

Lowlife Dreams EP (2013)

Stars & Stripes LP (2014)

Hot Chicken LP (2016)

Photos

Bio

Sewer blues and gutter grooves for the barefooted and absent minded.

It’s difficult to ascertain exactly when it happened, but what is now referred to as Skunkmello initially coalesced from primal street-slop into a potent brew of high-octane rock and roll in the typical manner: via a prolonged slog of sordid circumstances, brutal affairs, and high-proof late-night frenzies in the acrid warehouses that line the East River. Now, several soggy years down the road, the particular details are no longer important. It’s vibrantly clear that after more than four years of late nights, lost shoes, and last calls, Skunkmello has become one New York City’s hardest hitting and rowdy rock and roll bands – not from concentrate, and not for the faint of heart. 

The band blends the raw urgency of Creedence Clearwater Revival with the singer-songwriter storytelling of counter-folk troubadour Towns Van Zandt and the sticky swagger of the Rolling Stones, celebrating the traditions of rock and roll with brazen irreverence. A Skunkmello live show is pure run and gun rocket-fire from the hip – a whiskey-addled sonic evolution of blues and folk heritage, deep on improvisation and flow. The studio catalogue is more eclectic in its influences but refined in its taste and decor, revealing a covert literary awareness while simultaneously reflecting a focus on craft and musicianship, achieved quite impressively despite the crazed depravity of the scene from which it emerges.

Itinerant drifters and zig-zag wanderers by nature, there is a certain vagrant appeal to the band’s sound that is especially apparent when they take the circus on the road. Careening on the edge of certain doom is when the Skunkmello sound truly rumbles to life in all its dynamic complexity, and it’s often through sheer determination and white-knuckled grit that they’re able to scoot that double yellow line and avoid those ambulances night after night.  From the burning sun in Barstow to the cold in Somerville, the band are routine outlaws at music festivals such as SXSW, CMJ, and Musikfest while gracing countless and far-flung stages, barrooms, farmhouses, street-corners, garages, rooftops, back-alleys and basements with their villainous virtuosity along the way. Look for them out on the road burning across the interstates of asphalt Americana, peddling their tonic of rowdy rockers in surf stereo, blazed in big city lights.

Discography

Whiskey & Oatmeal EP (2012)

Lowlife Dreams EP (2013)

Stars & Stripes LP (2014)

Hot Chicken LP (2016)

Band Members