Skin Yard

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Skin Yard
The band standing side-by-side
Publicity photo 1988
Background information
OriginSeattle, Washington, U.S.
Years active1985–1992
LabelsCruz, Toxic Shock, C/Z, Sub Pop
Past membersBen McMillan
Jack Endino
Daniel House
Matt Cameron
Steve Wied
Jason Finn
Greg Gilmore
Scott McCullum
Barrett Martin
Pat Pedersen

Skin Yard was an American grunge band from Seattle, Washington, that was active from 1985 to 1992.[1] The group never gained a mainstream audience, but were an influence on several of their grunge contemporaries, including Soundgarden, Screaming Trees, and Green River.


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 on June 7, 1985, opening for the U-Men.[2] A few months later, Skin Yard contributed two songs to the now-renowned Deep Six compilation. This album, in addition to featuring the first commercial recordings of Malfunkshun, Melvins, Soundgarden and Skin Yard, was the first to showcase the early grunge sound. In 1987, Skin Yard released their self-titled debut album and their first single, "Gelatin Babies".

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, 1000 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 at the age of 46.

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[when?] 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.


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

Band members[edit]

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[edit]

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
1988 "Stranger" Hallowed Ground Toxic Shock Records
1989 "Start at the Top" Start at the Top Sub Pop
1991 "1000 Smiling Knuckles" 1000 Smiling Knuckles Cruz Records
1991 "Psychoriflepowerhypnotized" 1000 Smiling Knuckles Rave Records
1993 "Undertow" Inside the Eye Cruz Records

Compilation appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Skin Yard Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  2. ^ " :: FAQ :: Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  3. ^ "10 Heaviest Grunge Bands". June 14, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]