Â “Back to the Grind”Â andÂ “Crossing Over The Bridge”Â Â
Two new singles droppingÂ April 29thÂ
Bay Area skate punk/thrash/crossover bandÂ BONELESS ONESÂ isÂ back.Â Â AfterÂ aÂ 35 year hiatusÂ theÂ guysÂ said,â Hey-whatÂ theÂ fuck!!!âÂ â¦Thatâs three-plus decades of sonic dominance and counter-culture benefaction. Now,Â The BonelessÂ OnesÂ find their contumacious voice again onÂ Back to the GrindÂ via their own label, Thunder & Lightning Records.
Troy TakakiÂ saysÂ “Lower Bobs is an amazing DIY skatepark in Oakland.Â When I first went there I said, ‘we have to shoot a video here’.Â Throw in a new song and some awesome skaters, the video shoots itself.Â Actually, thank you Adam and Donovan for shooting it.Â Our first video with an actually director and cameraman.”
Watch “Back to the Grind” here:Â https://youtu.be/5OMLkrwcYgs
“Back to the Grind” – Troy TakakiÂ saysÂ âThe name of the album wasÂ Chrisâ idea.Â MaxÂ wrote a song about skating with your friends after a long time off.Â The first lyric to the song is ‘Iâm back on board with my friends’.Â We named the songÂ ‘Back to the Grind’Â because it is just better than ‘Back on Board’.Â Well, we are back!Â After 36 years we are playing again!”
“Crossing Over the Bridge” – Chris KontosÂ saysÂ âThis song is about Crossover.Â Do you know what that is?Â This song is owed to the Ruthieâs Inn moment and what the Bay Area created blending punk rock, metal, thrash, Rock ân Roll.”
The Boneless OnesÂ reunite! And what a longÂ timeÂ coming â¦
“heavy, punk and trashy”– Craig Locicero (Forbidden, Dress The Dead))
“kick-ass metal/punk/crossover music”– Chris Kontos (Machine Head)
The Boneless Onescelebrate their much-anticipated return with new album,Back to the Grind.Featuring founding membersMax Fox(vocals) andTroy Takaki(bass) with erstwhile drummerChris Kontos(ex-Attitude Adjustment, ex-Machine Head) and new guitaristCraig Locicero(Dress the Dead, ex-Forbidden), andÂ after 35 years, still – the Bay Area quartet breathe present-day life into the sounds/customs that crucially bridged punk, hardcore, metal, and skateboarding. In fact, it was appearances on pivotal compilationsThem Boners Be Poppinâ(Boner) andSkate Rock Volume 3 – Wild Riders of Boards(Thrasher) that set up debut albumSkate for the Devilfor near-continuous reverence from the day of its release in 1986 to its most recent re-issue via Beer City Records in 2020.
photo by Timi Devlin
photo by Timi Devlin
About THE BONELESS ONES:
Formed in Berkeley, California, in 1984. Initially, they werenât even a musical groupâmore a cadre of Pro-Am aspiring punks aligned to a single skate-or-die goal. The genesis of the moniker goes back toÂ FoxÂ and cohortÂ TakakiÂ pilfering boneless stickers from grocery store meat departments. They plastered the âbonelessâ red decals everywhere. Then, still, without a band, they designed a logo. When a skate photo ofÂ Fox,Â Takaki, and ripperÂ Joel ChavezÂ appeared in East Bay fanzineÂ Cometbus, they were mistaken for a real-life band. Naturally, Chavezâs trickâcalled a âbonelessââcombined with youthful guerilla marketing tactics had paid off.Â The Boneless OnesÂ were officially born. Obligatory lineup changes eventually coalesced intoÂ FoxÂ andÂ TakakiÂ bringing in Joe Satriani-educated guitarist Luke Skeels and Fang drummer Tim Stilletto. Not long after, the quartet wrote and recordedÂ Skate for the DevilÂ with Kevin Army. The rest, the adage goes, is history.
Skate for the DevilÂ was constructed with spontaneous spirit, fresh-faced grit, and a middle-finger attitude. Whatever was to come after classics likeÂ âKeg Kept a Flowinâ,â âLove to Hate,â âMiss Fresno,âÂ andÂ âSkate for the DevilâÂ had to have the same impetus, a similar tongue-in-cheek constitution, and above all, continued adoration for all things skateboarding. Not for nothing butÂ Thrasher MagazineÂ calledÂ âSkate for the DevilâÂ one of the greatest skate rock songs of all time. So, high bars had been set. With heavy hearts from the passing ofÂ SkeelsÂ (R.I.P. October 26, 2020) and good friendÂ Eddie JenningsÂ and palpable nostalgia in their minds,Â The Boneless OnesÂ reconvened not as a reunion band but as an entity driven to create anew. Indeed,Â KontosÂ (originally in the band’s â86 and â87 configurations) andÂ LociceroÂ provided indispensable firepower and aptitude to the overall songwriting sessions.Â The Boneless OnesÂ pulled four unreleased tracks (âTied to a Stake,â âChurch of Violence,â âIn the Cold,âÂ andÂ âFaces of Deathâ) from a long-lost â87 demo while the band minted up-to-date songs inÂ âBack to the Grind,âÂ âWe Ride the Night,âÂ âBlood on the Streets,âÂ andÂ âI Wish You Were a Beer,âÂ the follow-up toÂ âMiss Fresno.âÂ Back to the GrindÂ is real, and it surpasses all expectations.
Back to the GrindÂ is an album steeped in Bay Area rootsâthe vibrant Berkeley scene, Ruthieâs Inn, et al.âbut itâs not a retread musically. Yes, old songs have been retooled. Yet, itâs the new songs whereÂ The Boneless OnesÂ overwhelmingly shine rebellious, wax dynamic (fast and slow), and hit harder than metal to concrete. The guitar hero antics ofÂ SkeelÂ are still imbued inÂ Lociceroâs contributions, and the tongue-in-cheek humor of the groupâs formative years remains intact. Thereâs no confusion in direction, however. This is skate rock/cross-over music, as poignant today as it was in the mid-â80s. Thatâs evident from the old-school gallop ofÂ âChurch of ViolenceâÂ and the shout-out grind ofÂ âCrossing OverâÂ to the launch-ramp pulse ofÂ âGood FriendsâÂ and theÂ Vanishing Point-informedÂ âBlood on the Streets.âÂ For a bunch of guys with miles on their backs and stories to tell,Â Back to the GrindÂ illustrates that itâs never too late to resurrect and persist once more that which matters most.
“We wrote the whole record in the spare bedroom at my house,” says drummerÂ Chris Kontos. “I was on electric drums. I kept it caveman. I didn’t want a Machine Head or Gojira-level drumming style on this record. The record needed to be played on a steering wheelâlike air drums.Â CraigÂ was really hitting on some Rikk Agnew [Christian Death, Adolescents] moments on this record. He also understood the skate theme that we were going for. The modern [recording] tech going straight into my computer really helped our playbacks. We finally had a quality pre-production from that. We all had our parts down by the time we were ready to go in and record.“
The Boneless OnesÂ are, if anything, chroniclers. Musically, thatâs tangible throughoutÂ Back to the Grind.Â Lyrically,Â FoxÂ has lived a life, and all that comes with it. Themes of brotherhood, lost love, reflection, and skateboardingâa scene in which the vocalist remains very activeâare woven throughout the lyrical outlay. Indeed,Â âBack to the GrindâÂ hits on never letting go, whileÂ âBones of RockâÂ pays homage to rock ânâ roll; heartbreak is tackled onÂ âIn the Cold,“Â andÂ âGood FriendsâÂ honors the unfortunate passing of a friend;Â âCrossing OverâÂ takes on the tenets of Bay Area cross-over music, and the bands that inspired it.Â Back to the GrindÂ is a testament to the last 35 years ofÂ Foxâs life.
âThereâs two different styles I write in,âÂ FoxÂ says. âThereâs storytelling songs and songs that tell a story. I wrote a lot of the new songs from the heartâthings that have happened in my life. Theyâre âlife songs.â Iâve lived my life, and I have stories to tell. Iâm conscious that not every song needs to be a long and drawn-out novella. Some of the songs are playful, fun, and joyful. But thereâs a very serious side to us, too. Both sides are important to us, and I think they define whatÂ The Boneless OnesÂ were and are now.â
Kevin ArmyÂ and his trusty 8-track recorder did the job onÂ Skate for the DevilÂ in â86.Â The Boneless OnesÂ (and technology) have moved on, however. The group enlisted producerÂ Zack âThe Wizardâ OhrenÂ (Machine Head, Fallujah) and Oakland-based Sharkbite Studios to properly captureÂ Back to the Grind. The sessions were rigorous yet productive. On the first day,Â KontosÂ got through 10 of the 13 songs, whileÂ FoxÂ nailed the vocals in two days.Â The Boneless OnesÂ then brought on Grammy Award-winning mixing engineerÂ Matt WinegarÂ (Fantastic Negrito, Primus) and mastering guruÂ Ed LittmanÂ for Ed Littman Mastering to ensureÂ Back to the GrindÂ would boom and grind from loudspeakers at skateparks to streaming playback.
âZackÂ was good,â says Takaki. âHe was there with us from the get-go. You always know where you stand withÂ Zackâhe speaks his thoughts. So, he helped us clean up our act.Â ChrisÂ was incredible. His playing is so physical. After the drums, we did bass and rhythm guitar. Now, we record everything individually. I work in movies, so I understand the theory, but this is the first time I recorded the bass by myself. The recording was so much different from the first album. We definitely pulled favors to get the music recorded 1,000 times better than it shouldâve been.â
WhereÂ The Boneless OnesÂ go from here is determined by fun and feels. That’s how they started, and that’s how they’ll continue on. Certainly, the years of covert marketing via Hollywood movies (Diary of a Wimpy KidÂ [as LÃ¶ded Diper],Â The Bounty Hunter), skate videos (Monster Energy Drink and Thrasher Magazine âMagic Maka Busâ with pro Grant Taylor), and appearances in other mediums have helpedÂ The Boneless OnesÂ stay front and center. The tradition carries on with music spots in downhill skater documentaryÂ Nick Broms: Whatâs the Rush?Â and HBO Max seriesÂ Dead Boy Detectives. Renowned artist Mark DeVito (Metallica, MotÃ¶rhead) completes the Bay Area circle with a raging cover piece and a cool new slime-green logo design. The kegs keep flowinâ, the partyâs never dull, and most importantly, the grinds are always gnarly withÂ The Boneless OnesâsÂ Back to the Grind.
BONELESS ONES online: