Hailing us from Detroit, MI., is the rocker, founding member, and principal songwriter of The Romantics, Mike Skill.
Skill is here to deliver his brand new single “My Bad Pretty,” with him on guitar, bass, and vocals, Kevin Rankin on drums, and Rick Bain on slide guitar.
“My Bad Pretty” is one of those tunes that will make you want to go back to Woodstock ’69. It is full of energy as soon as the record begins and instantly hits you like a truck.
When Skill’s edgy vocals begin in the verse, they cut through twangy guitars to perfectly tell us about falling in love but with a twist of having a disastrous ending. Further keeping momentum in “My Bad Pretty” is Skill’s master-crafted songwriting and musicianship that allows him to create dynamic bass riffs that perfectly transition from one section to the next.
At his core, Skill’s is a Raucous Rocker and it is clearly shown in “My Bad Pretty.” With the pumping drums, screaming guitar solos that feel like another voice singing, and all-round ear candy, “My Bad Pretty” is a record that you would regret to be missing out on.
Welcome to BuzzMusicMikeSkill! Your latest release “My Bad Pretty” is full of edgy rock vibes! How do you find yourself relating to the lyrics? Was there a particular story in your life that inspired the songwriting?
Everything in life inspires my songwriting. First, it was more of an imagery thing. The groove of the guitar, the way it “hip shakes” with an attitude. Like those cheap 50 cent drugstore risqué paperback stories that were popular in the ’50s and ’60s. It starts from a stream of consciousness, whatever fills the mind fills the notebook. No matter what’s written down, you keep it. Edit, move around, restructure. It’s kind of a magic thing and you have to just let it flow.
It’s amazing to hear that you play guitar, bass, and sing on this record. How do you find yourself coming up with parts for each instrument? Is there a process you have that you usually follow?
I’ve been doing both all along in my career, guitar, and bass. I was 13 when I first learned guitar for a band then played bass in high school. There are a certain key, groove, and beat and with the bass, I follow the guitar and kick drum. I try to make it melodic and percussive at the same time. With guitar, it’s a rhythmic thing and those chords direct how the bass will be written. You put the feel altogether with the drums. It has become second-nature to me.
With having such an elite team behind the record, there’s no doubt it was destined to punch us in the gut! How did you come to choosing who would co-produce, engineer, and perform on the record? What was the whole recording process like?
Most of the work was done in my own studio on the campus of my son’s elementary school here in Portland in a double-wide trailer. We liked to call it the Carver Studios because it was in the town of Carver at Carver School. I recorded most of it a couple of years ago and recently took it to Pearl Sound Studios with Chuck Alkazian for remixing and some overdubbing. I brought Chuck in to remix my first release, 67 Riot, and had him work on My Bad Pretty, too.
Looking at your time with The Romantics, how do you feel you have grown as a songwriter and musician since founding the group?
I’ve grown in songwriting and playing immensely. Writing for the band is great fun with the energy of the group. My songwriting process now is more freeing, I’m producing and making my own endeavors. I’m confident and enthusiastic. The Romantics still tour, but this is something every player envisions, to play things their way, make their own style, and create their own path. It helps to have a few good people with you.