*The Skraps 1985-1991, 1998-2000*
If you were going to punk rock/hardcore shows between 1986-89 and you didn't see the Skraps, then you probably only thought you were underground.
During the mid to late 80's, The Skraps opened up for every notable national punk rock act passing through Detroit, from the Exploited and G.B.H. to the Day Glo Abortions and Danzig. Although never touring much in the States, the Skraps toured twice in three years and became an American sensation in Japan. The original Skraps packed bassist Pistol Pete (now in Twistin' Tarantulas), drummer Bill Riot (now a national jazz performer), guitarist Mike Sparks, current guitarist Hanz Pozzo (now known as Dresden Wulf), and current vocalist Bretton Wolfgang (now known as Bretton Brettonia).
In 1989, the Skraps took a break to write new material. That break ended up lasting ten years. In that time, vocalist Bretton Wolfgang left with Pistol Pete to join up with Johnny Spek (Paw and Hoarse) on guitar and drummer Wiz Arney (late of Trauma and Seduce) to form hard rock band Thunderchief. Hanz Pozzo and Mike Sparks, in that ten year break, formed the national punk powerhouse The Skoundrels. In 1998, the Skraps resumed performances, playing a "warm up show" at The Shelter in Detroit, and then their official comeback, opening up for The Damned at St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit.
Wulf and Brettonia took their places with Wiz Arney (now known as Dexter) on drums, and after countless auditions found the Skraps bassist, Bunny. Bunny toured nationally and sat through three records in the Australian/New Zealand national act Bad Touch. "I was sick of playing watered down modern punk rock," explains Bunny. "When I heard punk rock originals The Skraps were auditioning, I went to court, burned my contract with Bad Touch and here I am. The Skraps appealed to me because they were playing genuine original 80's punk/hardcore." And genuine it was. The Skraps often played much of the same set list they played 13 years prior. Dresden Wulf said at the time "If we come off sounding like the Misfits, Black Flag and The Damned, then that just shows what bands we were listening to and seeing when we wrote our music." The Skraps were a "punk rock time capsule" band. Vocalist Bretton Brettonia says, "We didn't pretend to be something we were not. We were a garage band that happened to have a professional drummer. We were loud, we hated musicians and record labels, and we were damn proud of it!" Drummer, Dexter, "When I signed a contract for the Skraps, I had no idea what I was getting into. I wanted out…I was desperately searching for a lawyer to get me out."
In 2000, unknowingly to everyone (including the band) The Skraps entered their final chapter by adding to their family yet again. Deciding to go back to a 5 man attack, they found current guitarist Chris Hollywood while scouring the underground no-holds-barred fighting circuits in Thailand. Hollywood added a lot to the overall power of the Skraps sound, and although he's over 9 feet tall and weighs only 120 pounds, he has the commanding stage presence the band is famous for. Only in his early 20s, industry insiders claim he may be the one to carry the band into the future. "Please, call me Fruitpie The Magician," Chris was once heard to say. Through all of this, the band remained a well-kept secret in the U.S. You couldn't say their music wasn't hardcore because it was the legitimate sound of 1980's Detroit garage rock. "A lot of bands today proclaim themselves punk or punk influenced and I laugh my ass off! I'm not saying they aren't…I just can't figure out where their influence comes from, unless Fleetwood Mac is punky," explained Brettonia.
And so, The Skraps continued to deliver power-chord hardcore to small crowds in Metro Detroit. They also continued to remain a well kept secret and, for a while, preferred it that way. Bretton Brettonia said at the time, "We could have toured Japan and China year round, but we could only commit to two months a year. We were really big over there again, and I would rather have been musically anonymous." The Skraps simply refused to sign a contract and release a "company" album. In 1986, they pressed 1,000 copies of a 7" vinyl entitled "Bleeding Wounds." Good luck finding one. Last year this vinyl sold for $1,450.00 on EBay. Work on a new album with all new songs entitled "Dog-Gone Delicious" was about halfway done when everything was suddenly put on hold for unknown (again, even to the band) reasons. Late 2001. After the much delayed album was nearing completion, the band realized that this was a new sound, and with it should come a new approach. Still, the band held fast to the Skraps name realizing the history behind it. Eventually so many offers came in (and with it, money) that the band decided to retire the classic Skraps name rather than taint it. The band eventually decided to change their name to Sex Machine, which was much more marketable. The band that was never going to ever sell out was not only going to sell out…but they were going to sell out BIG. Just keep your eyes open and you will eventually see the music & merchandising juggernaut that is….Sex Machine. In the end, the music is still loud, original, and entertaining, the showmanship is still outstanding, and the feel is still there….it's just that now the band is making a ton of money by shilling out products that they hardly ever use. So if you are in the mood for a 45 minute lightning bolt set of chainsaw music, often vocalized in a surprising Elvis format…then submit to the Sex Machine and check them out for yourself next time they are in your area.
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