Any truncated history of SKIPTRACE must start with the rough four-track versions of songs recorded at Sellwood's Oakland apartment. The tracks consisted only of stripped down vocals and clean guitars; nothing more. Yet the strength of these recordings enticed Bill Janovitz, singer-guitarist of Buffalo Tom, as well as indie-icon producer, John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Son Volt, Come), to produce the SKIPTRACE demo / EP. The sprawling "Open Hands" and "The Family Cratered" were recorded at the legendary Ft. Apache Studios in Cambridge, MA, under Bill Janovitz's production guidance (Bill also sings back-up). Agnello lent his talents to the two "mainstream" tracks on the demo, "Don't Support the Band" and "Test Life," at the esteemed Water Music Recorders in Hoboken, NJ. While the demo concentrates on the band's songwriting strengths and gift for melody, the musical edges of "The Family Cratered" and "Where You're Thrown" offer a glimpse at what Pribble and Sellwood might expand and explore live.
In a relatively short period of time, SKIPTRACE and their debut EP has been met with an overwhelming response. In February 2001, the band was invited to perform at a marquee San Francisco show at Noise Pop 2001 with Creeper Lagoon and Jimmy Eat World. SKIPTRACE has also appeared at NXNE and SXSW. The self-titled, self-released CD prompted 'Devil in the Woods' to remark, "armed only with a demo EP, you can be sure that SKIPTRACE won't be looking for a label much longer". 'Indie-music.com' also raved, "the pure energy of this band comes pouring out from the first track to the last." Another indie music site, 'Splendidezine.com' claimed, "the harmonizing vocals and choruses of backup vocals suit the modern-day short-attention-span listener, while a deeper dig into the music reveals a complex interchange between guitars and syncopating rhythms, separating it from most freshman offerings".
Although SKIPTRACE is a new act, Pribble and Sellwood are 10-year veterans of the Los Angeles and San Francisco music scenes. SKIPTRACE was created exactly one day after the demise of their last band, Burke, when the two songwriters decided that they could no longer afford to share the creative decision-making process. And while Pribble and Sellwood used a revolving cast of musicians to record the SKIPTRACE CD, they have recently closed the band's ranks with Dan Roorda, formerly of the New Jersey pop/punk outfit, Buzzkill (Alternative Tentacles), and Dustin Hanson, previously of the Atlanta-based straight edge stalwarts, Downpour (Jawk Records). This pop/punk-influenced rhythm section focuses Pribble and Sellwood's often grand and spiraling arrangements and spearheads the band's all-out-attack philosophy live.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Open Hands
2. Don't Support the Band
3. Test Life
4. Family Cratered (with Bill Janovitz of Buffalo Tom)
5. Where You're Thrown
6. I'm Not Here