Veteran Guitarist, Bassist, Songwriter and Vocalist Mike Skill has made his mark as a co-founding member of The Romantics for the past four decades. Skill recently released his debut solo album, entitled Skill on Friday, October 8, 2021.
Skill’s new album consists of 11 original songs penned by Skill as well as the rocker’s recent remake of “What I Like About You,” the classic party anthem that Skill co-wrote with Romantics bandmate Jimmy Marinos in 1979. The album features Skill on lead and backup vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar and bass along with Brad Elvis (current member of The Romantics) and Kevin Rankin (A Flock of Seagulls) on drums , Mc5’s Wayne Kramer on “67 Riot, Ricky Rat, Guitar, Chloe F. Orwell guest vocals and Patrick Harwood on harmonica.
With The Romantics touring halted during the pandemic, Skill turned to songwriting in his home studio in Portland, Oregon. While sheltering at home, Skill recalls that he “was bursting at the seams with that Detroit energy,” invoking the signature rock sound of his hometown which compelled him to write incessantly. Says the artist,”As I was writing, I couldn’t help reflecting on the Music that came before me, that I grew up with.”
As a result, Skill created several songs about his days as a young, struggling musician in Detroit. On the new Skill…Mike Skill album, “We Got Your Rock ‘n’ Roll” is Skill’s homage to his early years as a rebellious rocker in his hometown.
Also included on the album is Skill’s 2020 single, “‘67 Riot,” that he wrote about the infamous Detroit riots in the 60s. The track features Skill’s idol and fellow Detroit native, guitarist Wayne Kramer, from the legendary Detroit rock band, MC5.
American Songwriter describes “‘67 Riot,” as “on-the-spot reportage of the racial unrest that gripped Detroit in 1967 with the blistering garage rock that inspired the music he has made throughout his career.”
Skill’s reboot of his original 1979 song, “What I Like About You” also marks the rocker’s early songwriting days as a teen in Detroit. He came up with the famous three-chord guitar rhythm in his parents’ backyard before bringing it to his bandmate, drummer Jimmy Marinos, at rehearsal.
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