Slovenia's got Hard Rock
There's nothing Sinful when it comes to Slovenia's solid Hard Rock band, XSKULL8. Formerly known as Captain Morgan’s Revenge, the band features heavy Post-Grunge riffs with a Modern Rock edge.
Originally formed as a Rock trio, a few months after their first song was released, bassist Nejc Godec joined the band and the band officially went public with their first show in 2015. With different band member changes, by 2019 their new shredder on guitar was Johnny. "My Worst Enemy" was released in 2019 and not long after that, they welcomed hard core drummer, Klemen Krajnc to the band. The new band name became XSkull8.
As XSkull8 their first single was, “Engine of Doom” in 2020. Other singles include, “Little Miss Perfect,” "Your Final Act,” and in “Leaves Are Falling”. Their first album is called “From Sin To Sinners”
By: Kreig Marks, July, 2021
KM: What happened with the name Captain Morgan’s Revenge? Copyright issues around some Rum?
ROKK: Haha. Not yet. But it was just a matter of time. There were just too many things showing up, and confusing people about it, when you put in that name. We all agreed we needed to change it, and shutting down a company just wasn’t an option.
KM: First off, I have to thank you guys for putting out some serious, guitar driven hard rock. I’ve had enough with the group choruses and the overproduced studio albums that so many bands are putting out. I’ve listened to “Same Fools” about a dozen times and the guitars, vocals, rhythm section, all of it were put together perfectly. When you guys first got together, did you all share the same likes and dislikes with what was being given so much air-time these days? How did your sound come about?
ROKK: Thank you. Well, that’s kind of one of our “old” songs from 2017 I think. We got together in 2015 and released a first song to a couple of local radios, even before we had a band. In December we got our first warm-up gig, so we had to find a bass player. Now we have our bass player. About the likes and dislikes, we listen to about 70% of the same music, but there’s that 30 % that makes everything beautiful, haha. When we were testing out amps, guitars and sound, we just knew that we wanted our sound to be kind of a hybrid between old school rawness and modern “not shitty” sound. I think our producer Matej hit the spot.
KM: I think Matej hit it, too. Being a “European” band, where Goth Metal seems to be very popular, what do you think has attracted your fans to you guys, since your sound is really more of a throw-back to 90’s rock but with a very modern approach? Do you think fans were looking for something new?
ROKK: I think it’s like something new but still something you kind of know, are familiar with. And that was exactly what we were trying to do.
KM: You guys really created that. I read a bit about all of you, the changes the band went through, how you all got together as the band you are now. When you released “Same Fools” in 2017 and then put out the promo video for it, a short while later, Alex left the band. Did that take the wind out of your sails or was the thought, “Shit happens, time to find another player and keep forging ahead.”
ROKK: Even though everybody thought that without Alex, we’re gonna quit and “kill the band,” as you can see, that didn't happen. It took some time, but we nailed it by a couple of shows and on the CMR album.
KM: Moving ahead, after you released “Say You’ll Be Mine” Sigi left the band. (By the way, that’s a great rock ballad). Did you ever think, “Here we go again?”
ROKK: Well... Yes... But it was not as fast so it was not really a shocker. We had time to prepare. We had no big shows scheduled in the next couple of months, so we had some time to get Johnny [lead guitar] in. The first show we did with him was actually after just 2 rehearsals, but I think was it for the summer.
KM: Looks like you didn't lose a step. Johnny is excellent. The current lineup, hopefully, no more changes, because this is a solid group, very solid. Do you guys believe in fate, that the loss of Alex and Sigi was meant to happen so that you guys would be the group you are today?
ROKK: I don’t want another lineup and yes! I think everything happens for a reason, and we all learned a lot from those days, and I think that is why now things run as they run.
KM: What do you think Johnny brings to the band that was maybe lacking previously?
ROKK: A lot! I mean, he had been in other bands and it was funny, the first song ideas he had shown me were already awesome songs, but his other band didn’t want to play them, because they felt they were too “simple” Ha. Well, I’m grateful for that. Johnny is a mastermind behind our demos, guitars melodies. I mean, we really work well together and it’s a privilege to have him in our crew. He’s like Tremonti to my Myles LOL.
KM: That's a pretty solid comparison. I'll tell you though, you both work extremely well together. Now, June of 2021, you guys released your first full album as XSKULL8, "From Sin to Sinners". Did it feel like a lifetime when it was finally released?
ROKK: Of course. The album was actually finished in October but we said we’ll wait to see if COVID crap goes away so we could do a proper release party. Well., COVID is still here, no release party, but we’re glad we’ve waited because just before the release, we got signed by Curtain Call Records.
KM: How did you guys hook up with Curtain Call Records? We’re big fans of Gigi and Cel.
ROKK: We got to CCR through Ginni from Rock Rage Radio. There’s this friend, Boštjan, who is our biggest fan, and when we released "Little Miss Perfect," he sent that song and video EVERYWHERE! I don’t even know where he finds all of the contacts, LOL. One of those was Ginni. So, yea, Ginni loved our music, started talking, became friends, and she introduced us to CCR.
KM: Ha! I knew I recognized that name. Boštjan has messaged us a few times about you guys. That's a great friend to have. What’s on the schedule for the band for the rest of 2021?
ROKK: We’ll be touring Europe... NOT! Since we’re waiting for yet another lockdown, we’ll be focusing on making new music, new songs. We’re hoping we could release a new song by this time next year.
KM: When can we expect a US tour?
ROKK: If it was up to me, we’d be there right now :D We hope we can do it in 22 or 23. But... We’ll see.
KM: Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give a shout out to?
ROKK: Well, you’ll probably run out of space if I start saying thank you to everyone who helped us Ha. We have such a lovely crew and friends that have been with us since the beginning, believing in us and helping us along the way. From producer, sound guy, driver, video production, family, friends, Boštjan, fans. Just so many of great and lovely people and every day this XSKULL8 family gets bigger.
SXKULL8 is signed with Curtain Call Records
Kreig Marks, Founder/Publisher, TRR
Kreig Marks is the Founder/Publisher of Tru Rock Revival Magazine.
Rock music has always been his passion, and promoting musicians. In is spare time he is an internationally recognized neuro-fitness trainer/ kinesiologist.