It would be easy to call RivetSkull a traditional heavy metal band. But they are so much more than that. RivetSkull has taken the very roots of heavy metal and forged it into something new and fresh.
Spawned from the same DNA that created the beasts that roamed the dark valleys of Birmingham, the foothills of the Cascades, and the plains of Texas, there’s no denying RivetSkull’s heavy metal heritage. This is hard-hitting music blasted over record store chatter, the buzzing of a tattoo gun, or the revving of a motorcycle engine. But, as any metalhead will tell you, heavy metal is more than just a genre: it’s therapy, it’s community, it’s a style – and it’s a movement. And it’s always evolving.
RivetSkull has created a modern sound that’s as unique as each member’s influences, from punk to country, from alternative to funk. Listening to RivetSkull, it’s easy to envision the band’s live show: Chad McMurray’s clean vocals soaring over a sea of bobbing bodies in black band t-shirts, Mark X. Plog’s boundary-defying guitar ascending over raised beers and outstretched metal horns, Michael Robson’s emphatic drums and Mark Hopkins' booming bass rattling the bones beneath black jeans and denim vests.
Like good metal – you’ll feel it in your core as much as you’ll hear it in your ears. All of this is brought to you by a dedicated and hard-working band of brothers. They are RivetSkull and they're bringing the past into the future.
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
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.
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 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.