On The Rise: Mystery Skulls

Mystery Skulls is an indie pop electronic project run by Luis Dubuc, formerly The Secret Handshake. Dubuc made his debut of the project in August of 2011 when he posted a video for the song "Amazing" on Tumblr.

Then, he released a five song EP which debuted in December of the same year. The release gained many positive reviews and popularity.

With this, Dubuc decided to take his backing group around the country to perform a number of shows in different college towns around the states - continuing his success. Mystery Skulls then signed to Warner Music Group in summer of 2013.

Empty Lighthouse recently had the chance to talk to Mystery Skulls about how he got in the industry, his upcoming plans - among many other things. Read further and get to know this new artist on the rise.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: How did you get your start in music, and then specifically electronic music?
MYSTERY SKULLS: When I was very young I lived in a village in Venezuela (that's where I was raised) and we didn't have cable television or anything like that so when I turned 8 and we moved to Toronto, I was instantly turned into a music junkie. The main thing on Canadian television at that time was Much Music. I loved every second of it. I had Wutang tapes and Boyz II Men tapes, and Black Box and Dee Lite. I was cool as fuck.

Somewhere along the way I learned to play drums like any good teenager and started a metal band with some friends. My main entrance to electronic music was brought on by a love of Daft Punk, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Dieselboy, Roni Size, Andy C. Basically anything I could get my hands on at that time. It took me a few more years to really get good enough to make the music that would eventually become what is Mystery Skulls today, but the songs were always in my head.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: Who do you consider your musical influences?
MYSTERY SKULLS: I love old soul vocalists like Shuggie Otis, Al Green, Joe Tex.

But as far as production side of things go, I'd say Aphex Twin played a huge part in my early influence to even want to make electronic music and also later on Mouse on Mars, specifically the album "Radical Connector"

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: Who do you listen to in your spare time?
MYSTERY SKULLS: Lately Ive been listening to the newest Killer Mike and also giving the Vangelis Blade Runner Soundtrack a few thorough listens on a nice pair of headphones.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: What has been your most memorable touring / performing experience?
MYSTERY SKULLS: Last year I opened for Chromeo and Chic in the Hamptons. To date that is the most insane lineup ive ever been on.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: If you could collaborate with anyone in the industry, who would it be?
MYSTERY SKULLS: I really love some of the sounds that James Blake has been making lately. A collaboration with him would be unreal.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: If you could invent anything in the world, what would it be?
MYSTERY SKULLS: I would invent a real life Babel Fish. (see hitchhikers guide)

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: You're stranded on an island: what three things would you want to have with you?
MYSTERY SKULLS: I would bring my crown VIC to drive around the island while blasting some old earth wind and fire tapes and eating ice cream sandwiches.

I don't think Id last too long.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: What advice would you give to others looking to succeed in the industry?
MYSTERY SKULLS: Work really hard. Nothing happens by accident. Be yourself. Learn patience and confiedence, as they will help you the most.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: When you hit a creativity block, what re-inspires you?
MYSTERY SKULLS: I like to watch old Japanese robot shows or sometimes maybe some cool comic books or something interesting that can get me thinking creatively again. Its hard to really keep that going all the time so its important to have a constant stream of cool shit surrounding you to keep you inspired.

Comics, movies, burgers whatever.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: What are your upcoming plans in regards to releases, touring and creating more music?
MYSTERY SKULLS: At the moment I'm working on a record and am releasing two singles coming up with videos for each. On the record I have a song with Nile Rodgers which is a pretty epic sounding track.

Very excited to finish and show off this album. It should be out by summer.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: How do you balance your time between music and your personal life?
MYSTERY SKULLS: There is no balance what so ever. Its all consuming for me at this point but I couldn't be happier.

I'm doing exactly what I love and have wanted to do ever since I saw a music video for the first time.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: Did you ever want to pursue any other career besides music?
MYSTERY SKULLS: Ha, no comment. no comment.

For more information on Mystery Skulls, be sure to pay him a visit to www.mysteryskulls.com, and be on the lookout for more to come from this talented indie electro-pop artist.