Skerik stands outside San Francisco’s famous blues club, the Boom Boom Room. A saxophone player from Seattle, Washington, he’s playing here tonight with one of the dozen or more independent, underground or alternative bands he either fronts or is a key member of. He kicks ass on his instrument, and he is the horn player in demand among the new school of young, jazz-influenced improvisational bands. The place is packed.
Friends on the sidewalk call out inside jokes to him while fans look on. His black, unzipped hoodie covers a black Southern Lords death metal T-shirt. A thin, vertical strip of dark facial hair lines his chin. His piercing eyes glance at his phone to see who the last missed call was.
“I’m a big fan of doom rock,” Skerik says with a shit-eating grin as he fidgets with his cell phone. “I use distortion to help create a similar feeling, but I don’t segregate music by genre. It’s all the same to me. It’s like Thelonius Monk said, he ‘listened to ALL music’ and people wanted him to clarify, and he would repeat, ALL music.”
There is no other horn player as prolific as he is in this music scene. He has performed with Buckethead, the enigmatic thrash metal, funk and electronica musician who wears a white plastic mask and a KFC bucket on his head. He’s played with Primus’ Les Claypool in his Frog Brigade band and New Orleans drummer Stanton Moore and his new school funk band Galactic.
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