Brian Kang, a junior majoring in telecommunications, just transferred to the University Park campus last fall after spending two years at Penn State Harrisburg. He is the lead guitarist of visual hard rock band SKIVER, which recently released an EP of six songs called “Gloss.” The EP’s lead single, “Goddess,” has a corresponding music video.
SKIVER is a four-person band, located in New Jersey. It has played a handful of shows, such as opening for solo artist Andy Black in Howell, NJ. The band includes singer Felix Skiver, bass player Jay, drummer Lock Driver, and guitarist BK. “BK” is also Penn State student Brian Kang, who attributes his initial interest in the band because of the way its image stuck out to him.
Kang, a self-taught guitarist since age 13, got into rock as a kid, enjoying what he calls the “new wave of rock,” such as bands Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, and Escape the Fate. He added that the “shreddy guitar solos” drew him into the music. While a serious musician, Kang also understands the other side of the growing and evolving music industry. He has maintained a focus on social media and marketing, specifically “knowing your brand, aesthetics, appeal, image, how to self-produce, and how to be self-sufficient.”
He balances being a student and trying to make it big as a musician by playing with a band but also studying telecommunications, with an interest in getting into the advertising and marketing field of the music industry.
He says, “I do want to perform. My main goal is to be a touring musician. The longevity of a career in music is just harder now because of streaming services.”
Kang’s take on the evolution of the music industry is that it’s getting increasingly tougher for musicians to monetize a career in music. He says, “It is a lot easier to get yourself out there, today. Fame is easier, but making a career out of it is harder.”
Hoping to stay in the New Jersey/New York area, Kang is pursuing his personal goals for the future by increasing his following, securing a management deal, and eventually attaining a record deal. As for SKIVER, Kang wants to focus on getting their EP spread as much as possible, looking to play more shows, open for larger acts, and start touring.
The band has a very cohesive visual style that Kang describes as a “modern twist to 80’s rock.” This can be seen in the music video for “Goddess,” which they worked with Blackwolf Imaging to create. The band road tripped all the way to Michigan to be produced by the reputable Nick Scott, who has worked with bands such as Asking Alexandria, I See Stars, Attila, and more. The band wanted to ensure that, like its style, the music would be a “cohesive and quality product.”
The sound of SKIVER’s music is what Kang describes as a “mix of hard rock and EDM; think Krewella meets Black Veil Brides.” The band also draws influence from many Japanese bands with EDM sound, VAMPS, Dir en grey, and The 1975. He names the last band as a major personal influence saying, “I bump to The 1975 everyday.” SKIVER is considering covering one of their songs soon.
You can watch SKIVER’s new single, “Goddess,” below, on their YouTube channel:
You can find everything you need to know about SKIVER on their following social media profiles: