Hailing from Annandale-on-Hudson NY the New York City based Dr. Skinnybones is a mix of pop and punk with slowed down beats and husky vocals. With the band's ever changing line-up its front man Jake Williams (skinnybones himself) who is the trailblazer for the band.
Currently made up of a total of four members the band released their second LP ‘A Last Hurrah for the Glory of Drinking Alone’ on Halloween 2013 following on from ‘Bad Education’ in the previous year.
Photographer Stef Mitchell caught up with the band in and around their rehearsal space in New York where she captured them off-guard and showed us an in-sight into the Skinnybones world. We talked to the boys about how things have been going and their hopes for the future.
Hey boys of Dr. Skinnybones, tell us about the inspiration behind the music.
That’s a difficult question. Some people say we sound like Titus Andronicus and I've heard the comparison to Stiff Little Fingers a few times. I'd like to think that we play Pop music, but on a first listen it's probably closer to Punk. Really, the idea was to write ballads with a heavy punk backbeat, so in my mind it's closest to bands like the Distillers and the Libertines. Just simple melodies over fast power chords, really.
Where did the name Dr. Skinnybones come from?
People have called me "Skinnybones" for a while… mostly mums, actually. When I started the band in 2010, I was playing with another New York City band called Chocolate Jesus, so "Dr. Skinnybones" was really just a side project. Since it was kinda my nickname, I thought it might make a good moniker for my own little project. The "Dr." bit was a reference to a band I used to be fanatically obsessed with, "Dr. Dog."
How did you guys meet?
Miles and I met in our Freshman year at Bard College and one day I played him some of the early demos I had written for Dr. Skinnybones. At the time I was trying to piece together a band so that the songs could be played for a live audience, and Miles was the first one to sign up. Strangely enough, he didn't really play drums, so we worked on that for a few weeks and then started gigging. We've pretty much had a rotating cast of characters since then, with Miles and I as the only constant members. At this point we have, in my opinion, the best lineup in the band's history.
How many of you are there at the moment?
There are actually four of us now: Me, Miles, Ben and Ethan. Which is exciting, since we sound a lot fuller with two guitars. For songwriting, I usually come up with a rough chord progression and melody, then Miles and I usually mess around with it for a few weeks. Then we sit down and try to write lyrics that make us laugh, and then we usually scrap most of those and write more serious shit. Finally, we show the demo to the other guys and we all flesh it out from there.
What are the bands plan for the future?
We just released a record ourselves, so at this point we are just focusing on setting up a tour in the Spring. Hopefully, we will be playing a few gigs in Paris this January as well. The third record is all demoed, so that's on the backburner for now while we figure our shit out. Right now we are really just trying to find the best people to start putting our music out on the long term, so hopefully it'll all work out soon!"
Photography by Stef Mitchell.
Interview by Nicole Vega.
Words by Cleo Glover.