Founding Romantics guitarist Mike Skill has just released his debut solo album, Skill…Mike Skill, which is available now via digital formats, with a vinyl version due out later in 2021.
The 12-track collection features Mike’s recently issued version of The Romantics’ 1980 power-pop classic “What I Like About You,” as well as several other songs he released as digital singles over the last few years and some new tunes recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Skill, who has co-written all of his band’s best-known songs, tells ABC Audio that one of the reasons he decided to put together the solo album was that The Romantics weren’t enthusiastic about working on new music during the pandemic.
“So I’m just kind of living in Mike Skill world, and…showing [what] my sound…is, and my voice and my name,” he explains.
One of the album’s tracks, “’67 Riot,” which was first released as a single, features contributions by one of Mike’s guitar heroes, The MC5‘s Wayne Kramer.
Skill says he was initially hesitant to ask Kramer to play on the song, but after Wayne heard it, “he loved it, loved the lyrics, he loved the whole attitude,” noting that the tune “had that throwback sound to late-’60s, ’70s kind of Detroit sound, that…high-energy rock.”
Skill worked on a number of the tracks with longtime Romantics drummer Brad Elvis, while Brad’s wife, singer/musician Chloe F. Orwell, also contributed her talents to some tunes.
Mike says Chloe wrote the lyrics for “Carrie Got Married,” a power-pop anthem that was penned as a sequel to the 1980 Romantics song “Tell It to Carrie.” Chloe also sang and played sax on the soul-flavored track “So Soul Alone.”
For more about the album, visit MikeSkill.com.
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