British rockers and sometime troublemakers Viking Skull returned to England earlier after a successful post-Christmas showcase tour alongside Clutch. The sold out performances put the band on US soil for their first major shows with seasonably happy audiences taking to the bandâ€™s gritty, hard rocking, drinking tunes. Their 30-minute set included material from their recently released third album Doom Gloom Heartache & Whiskey.
“What a fantastic opportunity it was to play with Clutch on their home turf,” says bassist Waldie. “The crowds were very cool and welcoming. We made a lot of new friends. Our new material went down great and there were even people singing along to the old stuff which was nice! There were a lot of parties but donâ€™t worry – no hairy babies!”
Viking Skull concluded the US trek with two headline shows just after New Yearâ€™s celebrations. The Note in West Chester, Pennsylvania served as the final stop and the location for the bandâ€™s video shoot for album track “Hair of the Dog.” The footage is currently being edited by Jackass creator/mastermind Bam Margera and is expected to be completed early February.
Released November 25, Doom Gloom Heartache & Whiskey is the bandâ€™s first album with proper US distribution and promotion. The album is set to impact college and commercial specialty radio on January 19. Over 300 stations across the country are planned to receive the disc that Kerrang! recently called “a genuinely fantastic rock ‘n roll album.” Getting an early jump on the impact, weekly radio tip sheet FMQB interviewed the band in late December. During the interview drummer Jess Margera said, “this record is the epitome of every good rock band smashed into one.”
As the lone American in the band, Margera remembers his initial introduction to the â€˜Skull. “I think five years ago was the first time I heard Viking Skull get played on the jukebox at the Crobar in London. The whole place went insane. It was kind of like when I was a kid hearing Back in Black for the first time. I bought everyone there a shot of Makers mark and a beer.”
With limited support and resources, Viking Skull have single-handedly created their own early opportunities. Independently recording their first release for a whopping $500, their 2003 mini-album titled Chapter One remains the only album to score 11 out of 10 in Englandâ€™s Metal Hammer. The bandâ€™s full length debut, Born in Hell, was released in 2005. While finding limited stateside exposure in Europe the band continued to build on a growing fanbase and profile. Tours with Clutch and cKy would see them through the year setting up the recording of their second album. Chapter Two would be released in early 2007 and featured guest appearances from members of Fireball Ministry. It would also feature the first contributions from Margera (also a member of cKy and stoner super-group The Company Band).
Already looking forward to their return to the states in the near future, vocalist Roddy Stone shares, “Ice cold beer actually exists when you tour the US unlike the lukewarm beer you get off promoters in the UK. So bring it on…”
Viking Skull is vocalist/founder Roddy Stone, bassist Waldie, guitarist Dom and drummer Jess Margera. Doom Gloom Heartache & Whiskey is available in stores now via Powerage/Candlelight Records.
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