Stepping Into the Scene with Michael Ian Cummings of SKATERS

Words by Nick Hodgins
Photo by Shane McCauley

Make room for SKATERS because these guys are coming up quick and they’re not slowing down for anyone. The NYC based garage-rock punks have been rapidly gaining traction on the scene as they continue to win over fans with their killer live shows, catchy songs and city-inspired lyrics.

The band wasn’t simply thrown together though; these guys were on a mission. The story goes, frontman Michael Ian Cummings met English guitarist Josh Hubbard at a party in L.A. where they played with the idea of forming a band together, making an album, touring… the works.

“I didn’t put much weight to it,” said Cummings, chalking it up to just casual bs’ing at a party. But months later, back in NY with drummer Noah Rubin, they heard from Josh who mentioned possibly coming out to NY (mind you they had only ever met once and Noah hadn’t met him at all). “We didn’t hear from him for a few weeks and then one day he called and told us his flight was getting in tomorrow. I was like, ‘this dude just got off a plane, let’s play with him’.”

The foursome wasted no time getting started, immediately booking shows, getting out an EP (Schemers), and promoting themselves like crazy. “Every show we played we’d try to make sure it sold out,” explained Cummings. With day jobs bartending and DJing they were able to encourage people to check out their shows, all the while living the city life that would inspire Manhattan.

Cummings said, “Our focus was on just making sure those shows were as good as possible and building a fanbase.” Not soon after, SKATERS were picked up by the Warner Music Group.

Now, SKATERS is scheduled to release their debut album Manhattan next week before hopping on a tour that begins on their home turf, shoots out to the UK and ends back in NY at Randall’s Island Park for the Governors Ball music festival in June.

Manhattan, set to release February 25th, is a full-blown night out in the city crammed into 11 tracks and 33 minutes. Tales of partying, dancing, cab rides, subway terminals, getting stoned and running from the cops, this record is everything there is to love about the city it’s titled after.

SKATERS begin their tour next week, February 24th at the Bowery Ballroom, so pick up tickets and give yourself something to actually look forward to after work this Monday. | New York City