Skyler Watkins said his love of metal came from his parents. He said his mother bought him his first guitar when he was in eighth grade.
“I started learning early Metallica songs,” Watkins said, “I learned “Kill ‘Em All” and that’s what taught me the guitar.”
Skyler Watkins is the lead guitarist of local thrash metal band the Conjuring, a group that has been together for less than a year The quartet includes 33-year-old bassist/vocalist Nick Linke, 21-year-old lead guitarist Watkins, 21-year-old rhythm/lead guitarist Jerry Parras and his younger brother 16-year-old drummer John Parras.
All band members are influenced by old school thrash, death and traditional heavy metal bands such as Metallica, Kreator, Death and Pantera.
”That’s what made me want to play bass really was Cliff Burton,” Linke said, referring to Metallica’s late bassist, “I thought that shit was awesome.”
Jerry Parras said he got his start while playing in his middle school orchestra.
“One day I wanted to play guitar, so I bought a guitar and taught myself what I learned on the violin,” Parras said.
His younger brother, John, said he got his start in music at home.
“I think I got my first drum set when I was about 9 maybe,” John Parras said, “Ever since then I just self-taught myself how to play.”
Watkins said the group’s name comes from the fact that all band members are from different towns in states including New Mexico, Arizona and California.
The band is currently working on its first album, which Linke said should be out sometime in 2014. Linke said he hopes to get an EP out before that.
“Right now we’re trying to get our recording studio finished, up and running pretty much,” he said.
Linke also said after their debut album is done next year, the Conjuring will go on tour for the next couple of years and hopefully end up in California.
The band says that the best show in their time together was when they opened for Overkill at the Sunshine Theater in February of this year.
“We weren’t even a band for a year yet and then they called us for that show,” Watkins said.
Even though the members of the Conjuring haven’t been together for too long, they still have some advice for newer bands.
“Do it for the right reasons,” Watkins said, “because if you’re in it for … just to get laid or just to be cool or because you want to fit in or something like that, this isn’t your thing.”