Interview with Pat King of the Post Ska-Punk louisville band Skam Impaired on the Reunion show at Headliners Dec. 30th 15 years to the day after their last show in 2001 (following a 5 year career releasing 3 LPs)
37) it's been 15 years since your last show, what was the motivation for dusting off the ol' plaid pants and reuniting?
PK- So the idea spawned back in March. It had been one year since my niece had passed away and I was having one of those nights of reflection. For whatever reason, the idea of playing a reunion show popped into my head. I really didn’t expect the idea to manifest into anything real, but suddenly I started writing to the members of Skam Impaired, Left Out, Five Hours (members of the Kodiaks) and the Lynnwoods. I knew it couldn’t just be a Skam show. If it was going to happen, it was going to be with our friends.
Skam, Left Out and The Lynnwoods played so many shows together throughout the 90s that it wouldn’t have felt right not doing this with at least one of them. Left Out was the first to confirm. They were great friends and also played their last show in 2001. That was enough for me to make this thing real. Five Hours agreed to play at first, but not all the core members could commit in the end. A few of the members went on to start the Kodiaks around 2001 or 2002, and confirmed that they would be able to play. Ultimately, the Lynnwoods couldn’t commit to the date.
To answer the question, if it weren’t for Left Out and The Kodiaks joining in, then this show wouldn’t be happening. The most important aspect of Skam Impaired for me was the community. I’m excited to play again, but I'm even more excited that I’ll have a chance to stand in the audience and hang out with old friends watching my favorite bands from that era.
37) the reunion show falls on the 20th anniversary of your first full length album 'If It Ain’t Too Broke' was this planned or a coincidence?
PK- Not planned! The stranger coincidence is that it is exactly 15 years since we played our last show on Dec. 30th of 2001. When we booked the show, the date was more about finding a time that worked for everyone. It wasn’t until after we nailed down the date that I realized the milestone significance to the last time we played together.
37) who from the original line up will be in the reunited band, and what new faces will we see?
PK- The biggest unknown has been whether or not Nick Dixon will be joining us on the drums in some capacity. We adore Nick. He’s been a dear friend and was a solid drummer, but wasn’t able to commit to the show. So we reached out to a few other drummers to see who could fill in and found Sean Johnson. It’s our first time playing with Sean, but he was a regular face at Skam shows...that familiar connection feels right. He’s also a talented drummer and just a great person. We’re completely looking forward to adding his energy to the band.
Otherwise, we’ve got the remaining core members joining in. We’ve also added Melanie Dillman on trumpet to help round out the horn section.
37) from 1994 to 2001 Skam-Impaired released 3 full length albums as well as 7"s and cassettes, how much of your catalogue will you be covering, and will any of it be available at the show?
PK- Our set will span through our entire catalogue, but we’re definitely focused on the historical crowd favorites. We’re not trying to pull any surprises musically. Largely our efforts are going to be just making sure we can actually pull this off! Whatever happens, it will be fun. Apart from the music, we will be telling many anecdotes of the past and will have a nice collage of old photos, flyers and video shots projected behind us throughout the show. If we can recreate at least ⅕ of the feeling of when we were active, I’ll be over the moon.
We're going to have new t-shirts, a very limited supply of old t-shirts and patches (from us and other bands from the time), a limited supply of the 'Monster Themes For J' CD, and thumb drives for sale which include our discography, digital photos and flyers and complete footage from our last show in 2001.
37) what have you been doing musically and otherwise over the last 15 years, and what have the other members been up to?
PK- Nick Dixon (drums) is married and living in Louisville. He has a beautiful daughter and is making a great life for himself. As far as I know, Nick stopped playing drums after Skam.
Carlos Ramos (bass) has two adorable children and is currently living in Louisville. He’s played in a few projects over the years and was planning on putting out a solo album at one point, but I’m still waiting!
Will Spiro (saxophone) is married with 2 kiddos and living outside of Washington, D.C. He was jamming with some people in the D.C. area, but currently is focused on family and work.
Dennis Sheridan is married with 2 kids and currently living in California. After Skam, Dennis focused on guitar and songwriting and had pretty decent success the bands The Blue Goat War and then Follow The Train. Dennis has continued to make music in different capacities and has continued exploring music out on the West Coast.
After Skam, I played in a band called Tastyface with Carlos Ramos (Skam’s bass player) and Jason Hester on drums. Carlos left the band early on to travel the country with his wife. We ended up releasing one album on Little Heart Records and wrapped up our career in 2005 with Jesse Spiro on bass. That same year, I graduated from IUS with a BA in Music Business and decided it was time to try something outside of Louisville. I moved to Limerick, Ireland to work as the tour manager for the Irish Chamber Orchestra. After meeting my (now) wife, I moved to Northampton, MA in 2006 where I currently live. I still play music, but haven’t been actively playing with bands for some time. I started working with a video game studio in the area as an audio engineer and composer in 2007 and have been largely focused on game development since.
Even from Massachusetts, my connection to the Louisville music community has remained strong and I’ve continued to work hard to incorporate Louisville music into my projects. In one project I negotiated a few Louisville bands, including Wax Fang, to contribute music to one of our games. I started my own game studio in 2014 called Woodpenny. This past year we partnered with Kentucky native Ben Sollee to crowdfund a Virtual Reality animated music video app for him called the Vanishing Point. It was released earlier this year on iOS and Android mobile devices. While I’m not writing as much music, I still play guitar nearly every day and am largely enjoying being a father of two girls (4 and 6). I still love performing live and am very much looking forward to this show!
The Skam-Impaired Reunion show will be at Headliners Music Hall Dec. 30th with Left out and The Kodiaks ($12)