Skeleton Key is a rock band based in New York City. The band is the brainchild of bassist and singer Erik Sanko, who is the only constant member of the band. His vision was to create a sound "luxurious, yet affordable," using antique microphones, primitive guitars, and unconventional percussion.
the band released an eponymous EP
on Motel Records that Rolling Stone
said "shows how pop culture and high culture can bring everyone to the same place. Soon after, they inked a deal with Capitol Records
and put out the critically acclaimed Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon
in 1997, which was nominated for a Grammy
for its artwork, that featured a booklet with holes punched through it in a grid pattern. The band then toured the US and Europe with a diverse assortment of acts including The Melvins
, Girls Against Boys
, Cibo Matto
, The Jesus Lizard
, They Might Be Giants
, and Primus
before headlining their own US tour. After 2 grueling years on the road and a half-finished album recorded, original members Chris Maxwell and Rick Lee departed, leaving the future of Skeleton Key in jeopardy.
The band, which had been reduced to a lone Sanko, signed with Mike Patton's Ipecac Recordings to release Obtainium in 2002. With a revamped lineup including drummer Matthias Bossi and percussionist Tim Keiper, the band hit the road again, playing several successful tours with bands such as Tomahawk, The Melvins, Alien Ant Farm, Cessation Bustle and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. After touring in support of Obtanium, Bossi left the group to join Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Keiper departed as well. Sanko and LeBlang recruited members Benjamin Clapp and Sean Sankey and the band released a five song EP, titled The Lyons Quintette on Do Tell Records. In fall 2007, Skeleton Key had yet another member change and premiered new drummer Bob Vaccarelli on tour in support of U.S.S.A. and Chemlab.
- Chris Maxwell – Guitar
- Steve Calhoon - Drums
- Rick Lee – "Junk" percussion
- Matthias Bossi – Drum kit
- Sean Sankey – Drum kit
- Tim Keiper – "Junk" percussion
- Steve Calhoon - Drum kit/Junk percussion