The pair will also be joined by Giant drummer David Huff and Electric Mob vocalist Renan Zonta, with the four-piece announcing their debut studio album Different Worlds.
Set to arrive via Frontiers Music Srl on May 13, the quartet have previewed their upcoming offering with Different Worlds’ lead single, Stop the World.
It’s everything you’d expect from a project describing itself as a vehicle that “brings together the worlds of old and new in hard rock” – the guitar immediately dominates proceedings, introducing an upper-fret melody that tinkers away under some oversized, genre-appropriate power chords.
There’s also a classically Gillis – albeit fairly brief – guitar solo that crops up at around the 3:10 mark, with some whammy-tinged bends and gain-drenched descending scale lines that throw you back into the chorus’s deep-end.
The project itself is the brainchild of Frontiers president and A&R director Serafino Perugino, who had been “blown away” by Zonta’s vocal abilities upon first hearing him. Knowing him to be a fan of ‘80s classic rock, Perugino endeavored to pair Zonta with “monster players” from that era.
Gillis, Sheehan and Huff, as well as keyboardist/backing vocalist Alessandro Del Vecchio, joined the fray after Perugino presented them with clips of Zonta performing. Del Vecchio was also enlisted for production duties.
Of course, with a statement band name like “Skills”, you’d expect the group’s musical chops to live up to such lofty expectations. On paper – and, indeed, from the first single – the musical pedigree of the members certainly delivers on the premise.
Gillis, as previously mentioned, is currently part of Night Ranger – who last year announced their first album in four years, ATBPO – though also has a prolific history performing with Ozzy Osbourne and Rubicon.
Sheehan, meanwhile, is currently playing with Mr. Big alongside Paul Gilbert, as well as The Winery Dogs and Sons of Apollo with Mike Portnoy. His resume also boasts stints with Talas, UFO and David Lee Roth.
The tracklist for Different Worlds can be found below.
- Escape Machine
- Blame It On The Night
- Different Worlds
- Losing The Track
- Writings On The Wall
- Show Me The Way
- Just When I Needed You
- Need To Fall
- Stop The World
- Hearts Of Stone
- Don't Break My Heart
- Different Worlds is available to preorder now via Frontiers Music Srl.