“More or less a story about survival and what the soldiers had to do just to stay alive. Just keep shooting until there is no one left to shoot. This is the start of the hardening of his psyche after witnessing the carnage and seeing death all around him.” Mick Bryan – Four Skulls @FourSkulls
World of Hurt…
The Four Skulls debut concept album “World of Hurt” is a story of a young man’s journey through the hell of warfare. From the perils of leaving home, to being thrust into all-out war thousands of miles away in a foreign land, to having his mind forever changed from all he has witnessed and endured. Each song is a chapter in this excursion, and takes you inside his psyche from innocence, to brutality, to paranoia.
“Not Dead Yet” …
is song number four, or chapter four if you will, of the album. It draws inspiration from the episode “Bastogne” in the mini-series Band of Brothers. Here our subject is sitting in a snow covered foxhole, freezing, hungry, and extremely fatigued. All he hears is the wind whipping about, patiently waiting for the onslaught that could happen at any time. It’s more or less a story about survival and what the soldiers had to do just to stay alive. Just keep shooting until there is no one left to shoot. This is the start of the hardening of his psyche after witnessing the carnage and seeing death all around him. This was also the first song written for the album and it heavily influenced what went on before and after this section. It really put us in the mindset of what needed written to make our story compelling.
Each song on the album has an intro to it and we duplicate it on stage by playing the snippets to introduce the songs. It kind of puts you in the mood of what the next song is about and our performance and demeanor really show what they are about. Our singer Aaron Miller is a great front man and really entertains throughout the show and gets into the character whole heartedly. He has a great range and his voice is crystal clear but also has great presence. The rhythm section of Chip McGlone (bass), Tony Pack (drums) and I (guitar) have played together for so long that we are really tight and have developed our own sound on stage. We have those special moments on stage when things are just clicking and I get goose bumps every time it happens. We also have a ton of backing vocals that I have to handle but that only adds to the live quality in reproducing the songs as they were recorded.
I had a vision for this whole album from a short story I came up with. We came up with a chapter list like a book after the first song “Not Dead Yet” was written. I would tell Tony what I wanted a particular song to be about, he would sit down and write pages and pages of lyrical content. Then we would cut and trim all that down to fit the songs. Some words are harder to sing than others so we had to adjust words here and there but not lose the message of the line. How the songs were written varied, sometimes it would be a line of a lyric, a guitar riff, just Tony and I jamming, and the song “Why” was when I was messing around on the bass. Tony is very good at picking out things that I play that may be useful. He would hear something and say “play that again”. Of course my reply would be “play what?” He always made me record the riff right away because he knows I would forget it within 10 minutes if I didn’t! He and I arranged and produced the songs to make them what they are. I wrote all of the music for the album and Tony wrote 80 percent of the lyrics. I mainly came up with choruses to fit a hook that I had in my head. Aaron came up with the lyrics for the last song on the album “1000 Souls”.
We live in Catlettsburg KY which is next to the much larger town of Ashland and borders the states of Ohio and West Virginia. In the surrounding area, there is a cover band scene in Ironton OH which is where we all got most of our live experience. We are also only 15 minutes from the college town of Huntington WV and have played several shows there as of late. Chip and Aaron have played in Nashville a bunch and we will probably venture to that area as well. We will be playing the Charleston WV area this summer and will expand to Louisville KY and Indianapolis IN for starters.
One thing the band has outside of music is our love of Harley Davidson motorcycles. We like to ride together when we can and Chip and I plan on taking a tour of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail this summer on our bikes.
Doing what you love to do and living comfortably. That doesn’t necessarily mean to be rich. Happiness is the key. Be it music, accounting, engineering, emptying garbage, etc. If it is your passion and you can make a living at it and feel satisfied, then I would consider that to being successful.
If heaven exists what’s the first thing you would like to hear god say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“You don’t seem to be on the list, but I guess I’ll let you in any way!”
Artist Bio and social media info: Formed in 2012, the Four Skulls are a hard rock band based in eastern Kentucky in the USA playing their own meticulously written original material. Their music has been described by some as “when Alice In Chains meets Rush”. Their love for lush vocal arrangements, heavy rock, and time signature changes are somewhat indicative of their style. The band prides themselves on bringing everything they have to deliver a powerful show with a driving rhythm section, soaring guitar work, and over-the-top vocals. The combined gigging experience of the members will ensure they ensnare each and every audience member into their own brand of the hard rock experience.
The recently released Four Skulls debut concept album “World Of Hurt” is a story of a young man’s journey through the hell of warfare. From the perils of leaving home, to being thrust into all-out war thousands of miles away in a foreign land, to having his mind forever changed from all he has witnessed and endured. Each song is a chapter in this excursion, and takes you inside his psyche from innocence, to brutality, to paranoia.
Aaron Miller – Lead Vocals
Mick Bryan – Guitar & Backing Vocals
Tony Pack – Drums & Percussion
Chip McGlone – Bass