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ABOUT RIVETSKULL
 

In the fog-choked streets of Seattle, 2009, a molten riff echoed - a thunderous ode to the fallen king, Ronnie James Dio. United by their reverence for the metal legend, four souls – Mark Plog, the riff-slinging guitarist, Chad McMurray, the voice that could shatter the sky, and Michael Robson, the drummer whose beats hammered like a foundry's heart, locked into a sonic exorcism they called Rising. This wasn't just a tribute, it was a baptism by fire.

Rising tore through the Pacific Northwest, a force of nature fueled by pure metal fury. Soon, the flames licked international shores, igniting audiences across the globe. Five years later, on a red-eye flight back from a triumphant Irish tour, a new hunger gnawed at them. They weren't just disciples, they were creators. Over endless cups of lukewarm airplane coffee, the dream solidified – to leave their own mark on the metal pantheon.

Fueled by this shared vision, RivetSkull was born. It wasn't just a name, it was a declaration. Here were no pretenders, but architects of a soul-stirring revolution. With the addition of low-end titan, Mark Hopkins on bass, the quartet embarked on an odyssey of sonic exploration. Melding the raw power of their heavy metal roots with a kaleidoscope of eclectic influences, they forged a fusion of tradition and innovation.

In the dawn of 2023, RivetSkull took a bold step forward, unveiling their debut album Trail of Souls: Samsara. And as the world bore witness, a new chapter was written in the annals of metal history. 

With their upcoming sophomore release, "Absence of Time," RivetSkull boldly asserts their place in the (traditional heavy) metal scene. This latest offering represents the culmination of the band's collective journey, showcasing a sound that is unmistakably their own. 

RivetSkull delivers a powerful, thought-provoking, and emotionally charged listening experience, exploring themes of inner conflict and resilience. This album isn’t just music; it's a testament to the band's unity and a beacon for those seeking solace and community. Welcome to the world of "heady metal."

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Chad MCMURRAY
(VOX/KEYS)

Over the years Chad has been a singer, bass player, producer, engineer, and composer. From rock to opera, his solid technique and versatile style can be attributed to years of studying with the great Maestro David Kyle who trained many powerhouse rock singers, including Ann Wilson, Geoff Tate, and Layne Staley.

 

Because of this training, Chad can pay tribute to some of the best singers in rock and roll and heavy metal with ease. Past tributes include Ronnie James Dio (Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio), Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden), and Geddy Lee (Rush). In addition to several other original projects.

 

Chad has toured the world with Led Zeppelin tribute No Quarter as “John Paul Jones” for the past 20 years.

 

Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2017, he owned and operated Khaos Studios and has produced hundreds of Seattle bands.  Chad was also owner of the live music venue "The Mix" in Seattle, WA.

MARK X. PLOG
(GUITAR)

Mark always wanted to be a drummer.  His parents thought drums would disturb the neighbors so they purchased a Fender Mustang guitar and a Fender Twin amp for him.  Well, that was a mistake. There were lots of broken broomsticks from his mom beating on the floor above as he literally wore out the grooves on vinyl albums while learning to play Sabbath, Priest, and Thin Lizzy riffs.

Fast forward to Houston, Texas in the mid-1980s and his band Guardian that was deep in the music scene at the time.  Having graduated to a Carvin half-stack, a classic white Gibson Les Paul Custom, and a Jackson Custom Soloist, he was a frequenter of venues like Cardi’s and Rockers where he cut his teeth doing shows with local bands like King’s X, Pantera, and Hellstar.

 

Then life happened and he left Houston and the music scene only later to emerge in Seattle hungry for more. In Seattle, he found himself a place as lead guitar for Rising – a tribute to Ronnie James Dio. After close to a decade of big shows and international tours covering the guitar work of Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi, and Vivian Campbell it was finally time to bring RivetSkull to life. 

 

Mark still plays that same classic San Dimas Jackson Custom Soloist but has become seriously infatuated with his ENGL EL-670 Special Edition head and Mesa Boogie oversized cabinets.  Never used anything but Ernie Ball strings from day one.

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MARK HOPKINS
(BASS)

Born in Spokane, WA, Mark moved to Bellevue, WA with his family when he was a small boy. He came of age in the town that spawned Heart and Queensrÿche. When he first heard KISS at the age of 12, he became hooked on hard rock and heavy metal. He started playing guitar at age 15. There was a great heavy metal scene in his neighborhood that was centered around a roller rink that became an "arena" called Lake Hills. Queensrÿche came out of that Lake Hills scene. Heart came and spoke to his high school music class about life as a professional musician. This made a big impression.

 

After high school and a few years working in plastics factories, Mark got his degree in computer science and went to work at Microsoft. He also built a recording studio which he operated commercially for several years.

 

He played guitar in several bands and released three albums throughout the 1990s and 2000s. After many years and many bands as a guitarist, a long-time friend asked if he would be interested in playing bass in his band. They'd been friends for about 20 years and had written and recorded many songs, but had never been in a band together. It sounded like a great way for them to play together so Mark said, "Sure!" That was in 2012. It turns out that Mark ADORES playing bass and should have switched years earlier.

 

Now that he's found his instrument, Mark could not be more excited about playing bass in RivetSkull. Heavy metal is the music that made him want to be a musician. He proudly plays custom basses made by the late, great luthier extraordinaire, Mike Lull.

MICHAEL ROBSON
(DRUMS)

Michael is a veteran of the Seattle music scene.  His feel and groove are the result of years of playing all styles of music but his roots are 100% metal.  

Michael is an avid hiker, a phenomenal artist with pen and paint and all sorts of other media. There's not much Michael cannot do.

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