by Luke Arbuckle
Holding their own at the heavier side of the Island music scene, the Busted Skulls are a thrash-metal punk/hardcore band hailing from Charlottetown. Just four Island guys just living their lives from day-to-day. Although level-headed and soft-spoken by day, their music tells another story.
The Busted Skulls are Darrell Warren on lead/rhythm guitar and vox, Sean McKay on bass guitar and backing vox, Yannick Gagnon on the drums/leather, and John Ulvstal as rhythm and lead guitar.
Local musicians from across the spectrum, the band came together about two years ago and quickly found their niche performing an average of three shows a week last year. Lead guitar player, John Ulvstal said the heavy metal scene on the Island is going strong. “We had a really busy year in 2014 with as many as three gigs in one week,” says John.
“Rather tiresome for a group of guys who still have day jobs.”
Drawing their inspiration from a wide assortment of times and genres from The Beatles, to Pantera, The Misfits, Megadeth, and Cliff Burton, in addition to writing their own tunes, the band (in their own way) have perfected a small arsenal of cover material.
John says while they’re passionate about the music, it’s the fun they have using it as an outlet and a means of expression that keeps them rocking so hard. “We’ve written a few original songs, but haven't concentrated on that too much as we are doing this for fun. I have always been a fast, aggressive rhythm guitarist,” he said.
“I guess it’s always been a great outlet for any of life’s frustrations. I love my instrument most when I can pick it up, crank it up and disappear into that place in the universe we like to call the zone.”
Yannick’s been drumming since high school and joined the band shortly after they started up. “I’ve always played a lot of rock music,” said Yannick. “But not always a lot of metal, it definitely keeps be on top of my game.”
Sean says the band’s sound is about methodical licks and aggressive style. “I define myself as a musician by trying to focus on being both extremely tight and consistent, especially as a bassist holding down the backbone.”
John added although they’ve slowed things down a little in the new year, the band is happy with their direction and are hoping to release an EP in the summer.
Look for Busted Skulls in the live music section of The Buzz and visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSNZSxCwNPU for a special documentary on the band.