Skin Yard

Skin Yard was an American grunge band from Seattle, Washington, who were active from 1985 to 1993. The group never gained a mainstream audience, but were an influence on several of their grunge contemporaries, including Soundgarden, Screaming Trees, and Green River.

Skin Yard
Skin Yard-1988
Publicity photo 1988, ft. Jack Endino, Ben McMillan, and Daniel House
Background information
OriginSeattle, Washington, U.S.
Years active1985–1993
LabelsCruz, Toxic Shock, C/Z, Sub Pop
Associated acts10 Minute Warning, Feedback, Gruntruck, Soundgarden
Past membersBen McMillan
Jack Endino
Daniel House
Matt Cameron
Steve Wied
Jason Finn
Greg Gilmore
Scott McCullum
Barrett Martin
Pat Pedersen



The band was formed in January 1985 by Daniel House and Jack Endino, who were subsequently joined by Ben McMillan and Matt Cameron. Skin Yard played its first official concert in June 1985, opening for the U-Men.[2] In 1986, Skin Yard contributed two songs to the now-legendary Deep Six compilation. This album, in addition to featuring the first commercial recordings of The Melvins, Soundgarden, Malfunkshun and Skin Yard, was the first to showcase the early grunge sound. That same year, Skin Yard released their self-titled debut album and their first single, Bleed.

Shortly after these releases, drummer Matt Cameron left the band to join Soundgarden, after which the band went through a series of drummers. He was initially replaced by Steve Wied, followed by Greg Gilmore; however both drummers lasted only two shows. In the fall, Jason Finn joined, but left after eight months for personal reasons. Scott McCullum filled the vacancy in May 1987 and he remained for two years, during which time the band recorded and released their second album, Hallowed Ground (1988). However, McCullum left and the band took a fourteen-month hiatus after a U.S. tour quoted as being "the tour from hell".

Skin Yard returned in 1990 with their third album, Fist Sized Chunks, and their final drummer, Barrett Martin. In 1991, as grunge was breaking into the mainstream, the band released their fourth album, 1,000 Smiling Knuckles. That same year, original bassist Daniel House left the band to spend more time with his family. He was replaced by Pat Pedersen, who stayed with the band for the recording of their final album, Inside the Eye, which featured the single "Undertow". After recording was completed, Skin Yard decided to disband, and the album was released shortly after.


Prior to the breakup, Ben McMillan and Scott McCullum had started the band Gruntruck as a side-project, and continued to perform with the band after Skin Yard's demise. By the time Gruntruck disbanded, they had released two albums and one EP. Ben McMillan died from diabetes in 2008.

Pat Pedersen and Barrett Martin worked with Jack Endino on his solo album Endino's Earthworm. Endino also released two other solo albums, Angle of Attack and Permanent Fatal Error. Endino has largely switched from working as a performer to working as a music producer. He produced several albums by the grunge bands Soundgarden (a band including original Skin Yard drummer Matt Cameron) and Mudhoney; more recently he has produced albums by artists such as Hot Hot Heat and ZEKE.

Daniel House, as owner and president of C/Z Records, continued to release records until 2001 when he released the Skin Yard rarities album, Start at the Top.

Barrett Martin joined Screaming Trees and drummed on their albums Sweet Oblivion and Dust. Screaming Trees went on hiatus and finally broke up in 2000. Martin has also toured with R.E.M.. During the late 1990s, Martin formed the grunge supergroup Mad Season with Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley, Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready, and bassist John Baker Saunders. Mad Season released one album before breaking up in 1999.

Jason Finn, who was replaced by McCullum in Skin Yard, went on to drum for the band Love Battery until 1995 and the band The Presidents of the United States of America until their breakup in 1998. The Presidents of the United States of America has since reunited, with Finn still drumming.

Band members

Original lineup
Later members
  • Steve Wied - drums (1986)
  • Greg Gilmore - drums (1986)
  • Jason Finn - drums (1986–1987)
  • Scott McCullum - drums (1987–1989)
  • Barrett Martin - drums (1990–1992)
  • Pat Pedersen - bass (1991–1992)


Studio albums

Title Year Label
Skin Yard 1987 C/Z Records
Hallowed Ground 1988 Toxic Shock Records
Fist Sized Chunks 1990 Cruz Records
1000 Smiling Knuckles 1991 Cruz Records
Inside the Eye 1993 Cruz Records
Start at the Top 2001 C/Z Records


Year Title Album Label
1987 "Bleed" Skin Yard C/Z Records
1987 "Stranger" Hallowed Ground Toxic Shock Records
1989 "Start at the Top" Start at the Top Sub Pop
1991 "1,000 Smiling Knuckles" 1,000 Smiling Knuckles Cruz Records
1991 "Psychoriflepowerhypnotized" 1,000 Smiling Knuckles Rave Records
1993 "Undertow" Inside the Eye Cruz Records

Compilation appearances

  • 1986 - "Throb" and "The Birds" on Deep Six
  • 1991 - "Machine Gun Etiquette" on Another Damned Seattle Compilation (Dashboard Hula Girl Records)
  • 1991 - "Snowblind" on Hard to Believe: Kiss Covers Compilation


In 2017, Metal Injection ranked Skin Yard at number 8 on their list of "10 Heaviest Grunge Bands".[3]


  1. ^ Huey, Steve. "Skin Yard Biography". Allmusic. All Media Guide (Rovi). Retrieved 2011-10-01.
  2. ^ :: FAQ :: Frequently Asked Questions
  3. ^ "10 Heaviest Grunge Bands". Metal Injection. Retrieved 2017-06-16.

Further reading

External links

1000 Smiling Knuckles

1000 Smiling Knuckles is the fourth studio album by the grunge band Skin Yard.

Barrett Martin

Barrett Martin (born April 14, 1967) is an American writer, drummer, composer, and Grammy award-winning producer. He is best known for his work with Seattle rock bands Skin Yard, Screaming Trees, Mad Season, Tuatara, and Walking Papers. Martin has played on albums by R.E.M., the Stone Temple Pilots, and Queens Of The Stone Age.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) bestowed Martin the 2014 Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award for his liner notes in Above by Mad Season (Deluxe Edition). In 2017, Martin won a Latin Grammy for his production and percussion work on the album Jardim-Pomar by Nando Reis.

C/Z Records

C/Z Records is a Seattle-based record label that was established in early 1985 by Chris Hanzsek and Tina Casale with the release of Deep Six which collected the earliest recordings what later came to be known as grunge. The label was acquired by Daniel House, to whom Hanzsek and Casale sold it after Deep Six proved commercially unsuccessful.

Cat Butt

Cat Butt was a Seattle, Washington rock group formed in 1987. The band did a short west coast tour, and then went on to record their first full-length album, "Journey to the Center Of." It was produced by Jack Endino of Skin Yard. To promote the album the band did a large U.S. tour, before disbanding in late 1990. Although not achieving the success of other Sub Pop bands, they maintained a loyal cult following in the Pacific Northwest.

Chris Hanzsek

Chris Hanzsek is an American musical engineer and record producer currently living in Snohomish, Washington. He was co-founder, with then partner Tina Casale, of C/Z Records and their recording studio, Reciprocal Recording, in 1984. Many of the bands he produced in the mid-1980s are regarded as the foundation of Seattle’s “grunge” scene, such as, The Melvins, Soundgarden, The U-Men, Malfunkshun, Skin Yard, and Green River who can all be heard on C/Z’s landmark compilation album, “Deep Six”.

Although he is best known for his work with grunge bands, he has also recorded and produced for acts in numerous other styles (Robyn Hitchcock, Jeff Greinke, Sun City Girls, Bill Frisell, The Fastbacks, etc.) and he has recently turned much of his business focus to include video post-production endeavors.

Daniel House

Daniel House (born August 8, 1961) is a business owner/entrepreneur and musician best known for his contribution to the Seattle "grunge" music movement of the 1980s and ‘90s. He was a co-founder and bass-player for Skin Yard, a band that was active from 1985 to 1992, and was President and owner of C/Z Records, a Seattle-based independent record label that released music by many bands including 7 Year Bitch, Built to Spill, Coffin Break, Engine Kid, The Gits, Hammerbox, Love Battery, The Melvins, The Presidents of the United States of America, Silkworm, and Skin Yard. In 2003 he moved from Seattle to Los Angeles where he oversaw the development and creation of the now-defunct as well as the music-centric online dating website,

Fist Sized Chunks

Fist Sized Chunks is the third studio album by the grunge band Skin Yard. It was released in 1990 on Cruz Records.

Greg Gilmore

Greg Gilmore (born January 3, 1962) is a musician in Seattle, Washington, and co-founder of the recording label First World Music.


Gruntruck is an American rock band formed in 1989 in Seattle, Washington by vocalist Ben McMillan and drummer Norman Scott, both previously from early Grunge pioneers Skin Yard. While in Skin Yard, Norman also briefly joined Soundgarden, and collaborated with Chris Cornell on a lesser-known band, the low frequency power trio Bass Truck. Lead guitarist Tommy Niemeyer from metal thrashers The Accüsed and bassist Tim Paul, previously of PDX hardcore punks Final Warning, rounded out the initial, classic line-up. Their sound is described as grunge, and the band focuses more on the metal side of the genre.

Hallowed Ground (Skin Yard album)

Hallowed Ground is the second studio album by grunge rock band, Skin Yard.

Inside the Eye

Inside the Eye is the fifth and final album released by Skin Yard in 1993.

Jack Endino

Jack Endino (born 1964) is an American producer and musician based in Seattle, United States. Long associated with Seattle label Sub Pop and the grunge movement, Endino worked on seminal albums from bands such as Mudhoney, Soundgarden, and Nirvana. Endino was also the guitarist for the Seattle band Skin Yard which was active between 1985 and 1992. Endino currently manages a studio in Seattle called Soundhouse Recording.

Jason Finn

Jason Finn (born October 27, 1967) is the former drummer and singer for The Presidents of the United States of America. He was previously the drummer of Love Battery until 1995 (and also played drums for the Seattle-based band Skin Yard as well as The Fastbacks), when he joined Chris Ballew and Dave Dederer to form The Presidents of the United States of America, who were together for 23 years, until their split in 2016. He plays with an open-handed technique on a right-handed drum kit. He and Dave Dederer collaborated with Sir Mix-a-Lot, to form Subset in 1998, but later disbanded. He is also a close personal friend of Paul and Storm, and regularly performs with them at W00tstock.

List of grunge albums

This article is a list of grunge albums and EPs with articles on English Wikipedia. They appear on at least one cited album list and are described as "grunge" by AllMusic ([1]). Although citations could be found describing each of these as "grunge", in some cases the designation would be controversial, particularly for those bands that are considered Post-grunge.

Mark Arm

Mark Arm (born Mark Thomas McLaughlin; February 21, 1962) is an American singer and songwriter, best known as the vocalist for the grunge band Mudhoney. His former group, Green River, is one of the first grunge bands, along with Malfunkshun, Soundgarden, Skin Yard, the U-Men, and others. He is also the manager of the Sub Pop warehouse and previously worked at Fantagraphics Books.

Matt Cameron

Matthew David Cameron (born November 28, 1962) is an American musician who currently serves as the drummer for Pearl Jam. After getting his start with the Seattle, Washington-based bands Bam Bam and Skin Yard, he first gained fame as the drummer for Soundgarden, which he joined in 1986, appeared on every studio album, and remained in until the band's break-up in 1997. In 1998, Cameron was invited to play on Pearl Jam's U.S. Yield Tour. He soon became a permanent member and has remained in the band ever since. In 2010, Soundgarden reunited, and Cameron remained with them until the death of Soundgarden's lead singer Chris Cornell on May 18, 2017.

Additionally, Cameron was a member of Temple of the Dog (with fellow Soundgarden and Pearl Jam bandmates) and has served as the drummer for the side project bands Hater and Wellwater Conspiracy, also acting as the lead singer for the latter.

Cameron was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Pearl Jam on April 7, 2017.

Screaming Trees

Screaming Trees were an American rock band formed in Ellensburg, Washington in 1985 by vocalist Mark Lanegan, guitarist Gary Lee Conner, bass player Van Conner and drummer Mark Pickerel. Pickerel had been replaced by Barrett Martin by the time the band reached its most successful period. Although widely associated with grunge, the band's sound incorporated hard rock and psychedelic elements. During Screaming Trees' existence the band released seven studio albums, five EPs, and three compilations.

Screaming Trees is known as one of the pioneers of grunge along with the Melvins, Mudhoney, U-Men, Skin Yard, Soundgarden, Green River, and Malfunkshun. Screaming Trees rose to fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s, along with bands such as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Soundgarden and was one of the most successful underground music acts of the 1990s. The band achieved one top ten single on the Modern Rock Tracks charts. Screaming Trees were plagued by extended inactivity due to their problems with making a follow up to Dust. This led to their official breakup in 2000.

Skin Yard (album)

Skin Yard is the first studio album released by the band Skin Yard in January, 1987. 1400 vinyl copies were released on translucent skin-tone vinyl.

Start at the Top

Released in 2001 by C/Z Records, Start at the Top was the final release by the band Skin Yard.

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