Sound Check Skerik: Psychic Rushdie Saxophone
posted by January 31 at 12:56 PMon
Skerik is a bi-coastal man who plays the saxophone. He is a sax lord, a cyclone of skill and activity. His musings are flashpaper origami bulls. Skerik has many musical incarnations. He is Les Claypool’s sax player. He’s toured and played with Roger Waters, Ivan Neville, Medeski Martin & Wood, Mad Season, Stewart Copeland, Screaming Trees, R.E.M., Funky Meters, Bonnie Raitt, the Coup, Shock G, and Corrosion of Conformity.
On his sax, Skerik is a psychic Salman Rushdie. He plays things you knew he was going to play, but it boggles you just the same.
Four of Skerik’s more active Seattle creations are Critters Buggin, Crack Sabbath, Skerik’s Syncopated Taint Septet, and McTuff. McTuff plays tonight at Egan’s in Ballard and Crack Sabbath plays tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 1st at High Dive.
Skerik also has a band called the Dead Kenny G’s. We spoke:
What do the Dead Kenny G’s sound like?
Skerik: Like a free-jazz version of the Melvins.
Does Kenny G know about it?
I played the Carson Daly Show with Warren Haynes and wore a Dead Kenny G’s t-shirt designed by Les Claypool. It’s got a dead Kenny G with a soprano sax stuck up his ass. When I was introduced, I pointed to the shirt on camera. Carson was amused and mentioned the shirt, and my strange behavior. I later received the following letter:
After I saw your recorded performance on the Daly show, I contacted my lawyers. They embellished information that relinquished my thoughts of not punishing your possee(sp?) You are not Jewish. So as it would appear, consider your ass sued. You are not my friend.
P.S…. I am mean.
After reading this threat, I forwarded it to the other two band members. One of them became extremely concerned. I decided to take advantage of this and had an actor friend call this concerned band member and threaten him with a lawsuit to cease and desist. The band member became highly agitated and scared. The actor did a very good job. Maybe too good. We still receive emails from this person which are highly prized.
We want Kenny G to produce our first record. I don’t know if anyone would survive the first day though. I smell a reality show. The Making of the Dead Kenny G’s with Kenny G. It would be like Henry Rollins marrying Ann Coulter, live on TV.
Could you talk about your sax for me?
My saxophone is black, and made of metal, and I only play STRIBORG saxophones and reeds.
Where does all the saliva go?
It goes into a special de-humidifier that is attached to my soul, I rent it at the tool rental place in White Center. It needs to be emptied regularly.
Photo: Lisa Raimondi
What’s all this about mouth exercises and embouchure? Do you do mouth exercises?
My mouth is pink and is filled with ponies and a castle, the embouchure is connected to the moat in front of the castle, no exercises.
How did you first start playing the saxophone?
I was forced to play by parents seeking amusement, with a guilt-ridden self-deprecating agenda.
Talk about the mechanics of the sax, how do you play?
You blow as hard as you can and twitch your fingers fast as possible, that makes the metal heat up under the keys, causing a fissure of undulating magma.
Any special treats for the Crack Sabbath show?
We will be featuring a regular tirade against ANYTHING by our Jewish organist Ron Weinstein. Because there is right, and there is RON. He makes Rush Limbaugh sound like Martha Stewart. We will also play a cover of the new WEEDEATER song “God Luck and Good Speed”. Every show for us lately has also been a tribute to the MELVINS and CHARLES MINGUS.
You should come and break some shit.