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Skeleton Key

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  • Formed: New York, NY
  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

The junk-rock quartet Skeleton Key began to take shape in 1994 when guitarist/vocalist Chris Maxwell and former Lounge Lizards bassist Erik Sanko met at the downtown New York Club the Knitting Factory, where Maxwell worked as a booking agent. After enlisting drummer Steve Calhoon, the trio announced they wanted to play "garbage; " they were soon directed to Rick Lee, a performer who already owned a "junk kit" consisting of an old table, propane tanks, chairs, film reels, a red wagon, and pots and pans. In mid-1996, Skeleton Key issued their self-titled debut EP on Motel Records; their full-length debut Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon followed on Capitol in 1997. They earned a Grammy nomination that same year thanks to the brilliant packaging of that album. By the new millennium, guitarist Colin Brooks was added to the group. Obtainium appeared in summer 2002.