"They didn't like my appearance because I didn't dress in 1983 Metallica fashion," says guitarist Chris Knowles of his brief stint with Skeletor (named after the villain in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoons). "You know, denim vests with patches, tight jeans. They said I was 'false metal' because I play seven-string guitars and I like some bands that are frowned on by the true metal crowd."
In response, Knowles became the one-man band He-Mahn and recorded "A Nu-Metal Tribute to Skeletor." He posted the song on MySpace and at sdmetal.org.
"What I did was take a few of their riffs and change the drums to the more modern groove style instead of the '80s thrash, just kind of pokin' at them."
"He-Mahn is a complete joke," says Skeletor singer Jason Conde-Houston. "He thought our music was ridiculous and awesome, so he wanted to make something just as ridiculous as a joke. He only wrote four songs.... He takes riffs from two of our old songs, 'Nightstalker' and 'Riders of the Whermacht,' and turns them into Static-X style."
The odds of a He-Mahn-versus-Skeletor show are slim, given that Skeletor (extant for seven years) is relocating to Seattle and Knowles keeps busy playing around town with Under the Stone.
"I can't sing and play guitar at the same time," says Knowles, "though I have had a few offers from other nu-metal musicians to fill in."