• PressureCast
  • Teach These Devils

“Monday is D & D night. After this I’m going to DM a campaign with Billy,” Barrett Cuda says as I sit with him and Billy Crooked, the founding members of the band Skitter.

“We like all the same shit: nerding out, punk rock, and good beer,” Crooked adds as we share our most epic adventures in the fantasy role playing realm. Skitter’s name even comes from a sound a fellow Warhammer player would make when advancing his rat army when playing against Crooked. “Skitter, skitter, skitter,” we say as we all make the same motion miming moving a small pewter figurine across a game table.

One of the best ways to deal with the impending shit storm that is life in general is to hold true to the details that actually make you happy. Not learned behaviors like saving money or being promoted to lower tier middle management, but what actually makes you happy. That’s what members of Skitter do. They play Dungeons and Dragons and they play rock and roll.

At its core Skitter is a simple adrenaline-run punk band. The perfect band to play a beer drenched basement show or to listen to while you skate. Their debut album, Through the Dirt, features short songs featuring absolutely no bullshit. It’s awesome. If you don’t believe me, you can talk to Joan Jett and ask her why she decided to sign them to her own Blackheart Records.

Good buds Cuda, previously of the Zapguns, and Crooked, formerly of the Vacancies formed Skitter in 2015. Crooked, the band’s primary writer, had taken a few years off of music to focus on his family and regain sanity after years of constant touring. After the hiatus he decided to ask Cuda to play on a few songs he had written over the years. Crooked was shooting for, and totally nailed, a stripped down version of pure rock and roll.

Crooked pulls his hair  back from his forehead very tightly and sighs, “I’m really fucking glad I’m getting back into this.”

Barrett adds, “It’s really nice to be in a band that’s just fun to be in.”

When talking about the evolution of Skitter after Through the Dirt, they light up like a holographic Charizard. They gush like new parents about their full length album currently being recorded at, where else but, Golden Ox Studios. The album will still capture Skitter’s raw energy due to it’s being recorded all live and within three takes. Let’s face it, that’s really the only way to make and honest rock and roll record.

The boys have also concocted an evil marketing plan of making a music video for every song they record with help from Blackheart Records and local directors such as Leland James. “The point is to get the music out to as many people as possible,” Crooked says as he’s carrying out another round of drinks. What a guy. These young men are obviously having fun and re-exploring their roots as musicians. Just a few good-hearted kids setting aside time to do what they love, and I love that.

You can listen to Through the Dirt on Spotify or blackheart.com. I however suggest getting an intimate look at these hunks in person or by watching one or all of their many videos on YouTube. Put it on, and go be that old guy at the skatepark in full pads doing bonelesses and talking about the first time you saw the Circle Jerks or listen as you play some Magic the Gathering and chug Mountain Dew. However you get rad, get rad to this album.

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