If you haven’t heard Skell…you will. This is a band that has made a name for themselves through dedication, perseverance, and an unrelenting will to continue. They understand that this business is difficult but they have passed through tragedy and came out stronger on many levels. Their blend of classic metal with a modern twist sets them apart from some other bands with a sound that is distinct but familiar. Mike Palone (Guitar), Mike Ekis (Bass), Wally Wright (Vocals) are three pieces of Skell. Currently doing shows with fill in drummers, they have launched the Find A Drummer 2017 campaign to find someone with the type of top talent they need. That doesn’t stop them from doing shows, though. Mike Palone’s brother Rich will fill in for a show close to their hearts – Kwederfest 3, this February 25th. This is a charity concert done in honor of their late drummer, Keith Kweder, whom they lost in the earliest part of 2015. In bands as remarkable as this one, the members become family and Kwederfest honors their fallen brother, and this year not only through this show. The long awaited EP release “Everythinhs Fine” from Skell is timed to happen for Kwederfest 3! In loving memory, they have used tracks featuring Keith. He is so much a part of this band, even two years later, that when asked about the most memorable moment of his band’s career Mike P. said,
“ I would have to say it was our final show we played with our late drummer Keith Kweder at the Altar Bar. we didn’t know it at the time but that was going to be our last show together and it may not have been the biggest gig we ever did in our lives but it’s certainly seems to be the most significant in hindsight”
As a brilliant man once said, “The show must go on”, and it has! Skell came back from the darkness with a fight to keep doing what they do best – make metal! Almost everyone knows their name and most consider them a top metal band in the Pittsburgh area. Though I was jokingly told they’ve been in the scene long enough to be considered dinosaurs, these guys aren’t getting wiped out. Wally is a premier dominant rock metal vocalist who happens to be on top of his game. Along with vocals, the man can SCREAM…oh, and his outstanding stage presence doesn’t hurt anything either! The rest of the band backs him up with sophistication, high intensity, and a little brutality to make it fun! Of course, they are full on metal so off stage – don’t be afraid to approach, they love their fan’s and are some really nice guys. I seriously love that about the really metal bands – hard kicking shows that make you scream, then some of the sweetest people EVER once they get all that out of their system.
If this sounds like a band you want to follow, I have great news! KwederFest 3 happens on the 25th of this month, with guests After The Fall and KGB, at The Blue Haven in Cheswick. You don’t need to worry, you can keep up with that and future shows through the free Skell app through Android, Find them as Skellmetal on Twitter and Reverbnation or, for any of you that still use that ‘internet’ thing to look bands up, check out Skellrocks!!! This is a band that loves Pittsburgh and it’s music scene, even if they do play a genre that doesn’t get as much love as it should. They embrace the diversity of the music our little ‘burgh has to offer and have been a strong music influence on it! Check out their Facebook page, give it a like, and let’s get out to see them!!
Jana Lee Macheca (aka Lady Jaye) is the owner and editor of First Angel Media as well as professional photographer and writer. Having worked in national and local levels of music media her goal is to provide professional coverage for bands of all levels.