Voodoo Glow Skulls
Deep in the heart of California's Inland Empire, the Hispanic-tinged ska-punk band Voodoo Glow Skulls formed in the late '80s. Originally a hardcore group, the quartet was comprised of the brothers Casillas (Frank on vocals, Eddie on guitar, Jorge on bass) plus drummer Jerry O'Neill. After several years of playing in a garage, the band decided to expand both its lineup (not to mention its sound) with a horn section -- saxophone player Joey Hernandez, trumpeter Joe McNally, and trombone player Brodie Johnson. By the early '90s, Voodoo Glow Skulls were one of the most interesting ska-punk bands on the West Coast.
After debuting with two 7" singles, the band released the LP Who Is? This Is? in 1993 on Dr. Strange Records. They toured America several times (alone and with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones) and signed to Epitaph Records in 1995. Their second album, 1995's Firme, was available in both Spanish- and English-language versions, a unique feature that distinguished the band from the growing number of local ska-punk groups. Baile de los Locos followed two years later, and The Band Geek Mafia appeared in 1998. After enjoying a spot on the main stage at Warped Tour, Voodoo Glow Skulls returned in 1999 with Exitos al Cabron. Symbolic was issued a year later. The band jumped from local label Epitaph to the Chicago-based Victory Records for 2002's Steady as She Goes, but the album's murky production (executed by the bandmates themselves) drew criticism from critics and fans alike. Adicción, Tradición, Revolución followed in October 2004; although also self-produced, the album's crisp sound and skacore stylings were viewed as a refreshing return to form. With their early lineup still in place (with the exception of Joe McNally, who left the group to pursue a day job in 1999), Voodoo Glow Skulls issued their eighth album, Southern California Street Music, in September 2007. ~ John Bush & Andrew Leahey