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We talked to Skell guitarist Mike Palone about their new EP, "Everything is Fine" and the tragic death of their drummer, Keith Kweder.
Skell went through a lot of heartbreak to produce their new EP.  Their drummer and dear friend, Keith Kweder, passed away due to a heart related medical condition. There was nothing glamorous about it. No rock star partying, no drugs or alcohol. He just went to bed one night and never woke up.

Mike explained the circumstances surrounding Keith's passing.   "Keith had an undiagnosed enlarged heart... probably from birth. One night he went to bed-- clean and sober, might I add-- and in the middle of the night he went into cardiac arrest. He was rushed to the hospital and they tried to save him, but he had gone too long without oxygen, unfortunately leaving him brain dead. His family had the horrible decision of eventually having to turn off the machines."
 
Keith was an integral part of Skell, and his passing had a major impact on the band members personally, as well as the recording of "Everything Is Fine".

mike palone"Even though it's only an EP, the project took three years to complete." said Mike.  "As you mentioned, Keith's passing put a hiatus in the middle of it... but just due to the nature of this particular recording..."  Mike hesitates when finding words to describe the pain and loss and also the frustration of moving forward. 

"We would get one night in the studio and then not another studio visit for 2 weeks" he said, choosing his words carefully while attempting to find some balance in all this. "From the beginning, we were trying to make the best recording that we could make, and that got multiplied with Keith's passing. We really had to do our best to get this one right... even more so. What started out as a regular recording turned into a labor of love-- even more than usual-- and it all took time in the end."

Mike is quick to point out the band had plenty of support to make this EP happen. "We would like mention our producer Rob Deaner of Contagious Music, who really went out of his way to help facilitate everything we needed to make this project happen. He did a great job and it couldn't have happened without him. We're happy with the results and all the efforts that everyone put into it.  It was worth the wait-- in our minds at least."

 
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Category: Main Stage