Live Skull

Formed in 1982, Live Skull is considered to be the quintessential New York noise band. Together with Sonic Youth and Swans, Live Skull defined the term "noise rock" in the 1980s, spearheading the post-No Wave underground music scene in NYC with a series of legendary live performances and eight groundbreaking records released over the course of that decade. Often brutal and yet strangely seductive, each of these classic records creates hooks out of the most unlikely, seemingly disruptive elements, subverting traditional rock forms in previously unheard ways that became an undeniable influence on many of their contemporaries. After a 30-year break, Live Skull will be releasing a new album on November 8th 2019, "Saturday Night Massacre", via Bronson Recordings, featuring current members Mark C, Rich Hutchins, and Kent Heine, as well as former members Thalia Zadek and Marnie Greenholz.

Live Skull are back with a new brood of cheerful tunes and corrosive sonic assaults, sure to make your blood boil again: the new album Saturday Night Massacre will be out November 8th 2019 on Bronson Recordings

Live Skull’s music – a high-wire act played for keeps, without a net – is as challenging, as spiritually corrosive, and ultimately as transcendent as Albert Ayler’s mid-60’s free jazz or the implacable drone-dance of the early Velvet Underground. It’s one of the essential sounds of our time”  – Robert Palmer, “The New York Times”

Icon of 1980s New York, Live Skull has reformed and completed work on its first new album in 30 years. Titled Saturday Night Massacre, the new album is set for release on November 8th 2019 on Bronson Recordings.

Together with Sonic Youth and Swans, Live Skull defined the term “noise rock” in the ’80s, spearheading the post-No Wave underground music scene in NYC with a series of legendary live performances and eight groundbreaking records (recorded mostly by Martin Bisi) released over the course of that decade.

Live Skull’s sound was influenced by British post-punk – Joy Division and Public Image Limited, in particular — but was located squarely in the depths of Downtown Manhattan. The band’s ’80s recordings buzz with the danger, depravity, and creative freedom that defined NYC in those years.

On songs with titles like Mr. Evil, The Corpse Also Rises and I’ll Break You, Live Skull chiseled out its style and its worldview. Dual guitars chimed and slashed; basslines drove; drums pounded and hypnotized; male and female vocals intertwined to conjure serial-killer imagery to match the intensity of real life in ’80s Gotham.

Live Skull put its stamp on the NYC scene, playing venues like CBGB and Danceteria, but also toured the country with the likes of Jane’s Addiction. Its 1989 album, Positraction, would be its last until the reformation in 2019 and the upcoming Saturday Night Massacre.

Saturday Night Massacre is an astounding comeback. Three decades have passed, yet here is a band sounding as fresh and real as ever. The tension and dread of Live Skull’s ’80s output is intact, balanced by something strangely seductive. Founder/frontman Mark C’s unmistakable vocals are as urgent now as in 1989, but they have warmed with age – gentle and ominous, all at once. Songs like the title track, Up Against The Wall, Details Of The Madness and Identical Skies are passionate rock songs, among the most memorable songs Live Skull has ever laid down.

The Saturday Night Massacre lineup consists of Mark C, drummer Rich Hutchins (a member from 1987-1989) and new bassist Kent Heine (a bandmate of Mark C’s in the electronic-based project, o13). The album also features guest appearances by former members Thalia Zedek and Marnie Greenholz.

Saturday Night Massacre was recorded and mixed by Mark C and Live Skull at Deepsea in Hoboken, NJ, and mastered by Fred Kevorkian (Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Peter Murphy).

The cover artwork was created by acclaimed artist and cartoonist (and Emmy Award-winning set designer for Pee Wee’s PlayhouseGary Panter.

Saturday Night Massacre is also a political record. Mark C gives this statement about the band’s return: “Live Skull formed during the Reagan administration, whose right wing, anti-progressive agenda ushered in what Mark E. Smith dubbed ‘the new dark ages’. It’s only fitting that we reunite thirty years later in the midst of a new era of burgeoning anti-enlightenment forces; motivated more than ever to amplify our concerns for the preservation of social and artistic freedoms. Back in the day, Live Skull exploited the imagery of gore movies to express our disillusion with society’s turn toward darkness; now the facts are gory enough on their own. We are not simply continuing where we left off; the world has changed and so have we. But our core values and interest in the enlightening possibilities of raw self-expression have remained intact. Live Skull is still committed to breaking down sonic and social barriers, to seek release and aesthetic bliss in the darkened corners of the music underworld“.

The reanimated crypt of Live Skull spawns a new brood of cheerful tunes sure to make your blood boil! The latest in Live Skull’s continuing saga of depravity and redemption: Saturday Night Massacre.

Live Skull | Bronson Recordings | Paperclip Agency


Tour dates
Nov. 17 – NLD – Groningen, Vera (with Joh Spencer & the HITmakers)
Nov. 18 – NLD – Rotterdam, Rotown (with Jon Spencer & the HITmakers)
Nov. 21 – ITA – Ravenna, Transmissions Festival
Nov. 22 – ITA – Ravenna, Transmissions Festival
Nov. 26 – DEU – Berlin, Urban Spree (with White Hills and Martin Bisi)