So shortly after putting up bass traps and wall treatment I had this sort of realization like, "Well, this is good from a sonic perspective, but without any reflections in here, I've kind of lost that cavernous dungeon ambiance".
So I was thinking of ways to have my cake and eat it too. Have acoustic treatment and dungeon ambiance. And I was like, "you know what I need, skulls and chains. Skulls and chains all over the place."
Immediately after that I was like, "No, that's stupid I'm not going to put skulls and chains all over the place so you can't move around without the risk of bumping into a skull or chain..........I need something more elegant and understated, what I really need is skulls hanging from chains."
Which is partly because skulls are cool. But also because partly, to this day, it cracks me the fuck up that Black Metal bands are so into them. I grew up in wilderness areas so I was always just kind of like, "oh yeah, look, a skull, a spinal column". And then when I moved to more civilized areas all these kids pretending to be Lord of the Rings characters from the suburbs were like, "THIS IS A LUXURY GOOD, I SPENT $750 ON THIS SKULL ON ETSY". People are really passionate about it. Which is kind of dumb, because that shit is literally all over the fucking place, but whatever, it's funny as fuck.
But you know, since buying a skull is for posers. And buying a perfectly preserved delicate one that has been carefully cleaned and doesn't even look like natural decay is definitely for posers, I was just sort of stuck in this position where I would have to wait until I found a cool skull.
I wasn't willing to settle for just any skull either. I wanted a bear skull. Because they are the gnarliest predators in North America. Obviously, bear skulls are somewhat hard to find. Because bears are at the top of the good chain, it's illegal to hunt them, and most of the people who run into one and try to kill them in self defense end up dead themselves.
But the other day I was running by the river and I was like, "oh shit, what is that, buried in the sediment?". And it was this gross old bear skull that had probably been there forever. Busted as fuck. Orbitals broken off, all the good shit. A real gnarly skull. Not a poser skull. The skulls you see at like, black metal shows, are not natural at all. If they aren't reproductions, it's from a farmed animal, and it's been carefully preserved. Real skulls in the wild aren't like items you can pick up in an RPG, the jaw bone isn't even connected. People go through a ton of work to reconstruct them to sell them to your bitch ass. Obviously this one is missing cool shit like the jaws and teeth, but it probably died a while ago up in the highlands and its skull washed downstream with glacial runoff.
So anyways, yeah, most important piece of gear I have got in a while.
It serves an actual purpose too. It's not just for decoration. I can judge monitoring levels or amp cab levels by how much the skull is ominously swaying. If the skull isn't ominously swaying, levels are obviously too quiet. If I have a raging cab in the room and ear protection on, I can judge if I am at the right level of speaker excursion/pushing air by how much the skull is ominously swaying. It would probably be slightly more ominous hanging from a longer chain, but I already hit everything with guitar headstocks, so I stuck to a shorter one.