THE SKULL Recruits New Guitarists, Announces Festival Appearances

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, has recruited guitarists Lothar Keller and Michael Carpenter of the Chicago, Illinois-based progressive power metallers SACRED DAWN. Glen Drover (MEGADETH, TESTAMENT, KING DIAMOND), who was previously announced as a guest touring guitarist on THE SKULL's upcoming tour, will not be able to join the band on the road due to scheduling conflicts.

Commented Wagner, Olson, and Holzner in a statement: "We welcome the twin guitar attack of Lothar Keller and Michael Carpenter from SACRED DAWN. Both guitarist have been playing together for many years and that's a big plus. We are excited to begin rehearsing for our upcoming shows!"

The following festival dates have been confirmed so far. More shows will be announced soon.

June 16 - Days of The Doomed - Cudahy, WI
July 21 - Hells Pleasure - Pößneck, Germany
Sep. 01 - Stoner Hands Of Doom - New London, CT
Nov. 10 - Hammer Of Doom - Würzburg, Germany

When asked why they decided now was the right time for THE SKULL to come together, Ron told Metal Kaoz, "The 'TROUBLE jam' set at last year's Days Of The Doomed Fest [in Kenosha, Wisconsin] was the catalyst for this whole thing. Eric and Oly hadn't had the chance to talk much before [Days Of The Doomed Fest], and then when I got there the next day and we all got to hang out and talk... it was really nice! Playing 'End Of My Daze' with the whole fucking crowd singing... that's what it's all about! We all looked at each other on stage and simply went, 'Wow!'"

He added, "All of us have our [respective] bands that are doing well, but the fans really want to hear the old [TROUBLE] songs the way they're meant to be heard.

"After the [Days Of The Doomed] fest, Eric basically said to me, 'Let's start a band!', and after that night the three of us thought, 'That would be cool.' We want to give the fans to the best of our ability what they deserve. When people speak loud enough, you hear it. Well, we hear it! We're doing this because we want to, and because the fans want us to. It's all about the fans. The fans spoke out, and the fans have been heard.

"The thing is, we can't just sit back and not listen to the fans. We want to go out and have fun and play the old songs. We don't have to go out and do this because we all have our own bands that are doing well with records coming out. We're doing this because we want to, and because the fans want us to."

Olson was equally enthusastic about the formation of THE SKULL, telling Metal Kaos in an e-mail, "[I'm] excited to jam some TROUBLE again! [I] was a little worried there would be some drama with the fans, like with the two L.A. GUNS bands performing the same material, but there is nothing I want more than a reunion with all TROUBLE members. For now, this will do."

Wagner, Olson and original TROUBLE bassist Sean McAllister shared the stage for the first time since 1986 during Olson's RETRO GRAVE set on June 18, 2011 at the Days Of The Doomed Fest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Video footage of Wagner, Olson and McAllister performing the song "Victim Of The Insane", which was written by Olson for TROUBLE's full-length debut "Psalm 9" (1984), can be viewed below.

TROUBLE formed in 1979 and released several classic albums like "Trouble", "Manic Frustration" and "Plastic Green Head".

Eric was one of the guest singers on Dave Grohl's (NIRVANA, FOO FIGHTERS) heavy metal side project PROBOT, whose 2004 album featured heavy metal vocalists from the '80s and '90s. Wagner also makes a guest appearance in the forthcoming horror film "Jezebeth" (written and directed by Damien Dante of Satania 6 Films), to be released on Blu-ray in early 2012.

Eric Wagner left TROUBLE in April 2008, citing his disdain for the touring life as the main reason for his departure.

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