Tim Sköld (born Thim Sköld; December 14, 1966) is a Swedish multi-instrumentalist who, in addition to producing solo work, has also collaborated with multiple musical groups including Shotgun Messiah, KMFDM, Marilyn Manson and Motionless in White.
Tim Sköld was born on December 14, 1966 in Skövde, a small city in Västergötland, Sweden. He grew up in Timmersdala, 21 kilometres northwest of Skövde. He has a sister named Linda. Sköld grew up in a very liberal setting as the son of a 15-year-old mother named Åse and a father trying to get by as a semi-professional drummer.
At age 11, Sköld joined a playback band (where the band mimes over recorded material). Sköld’s band would play for people at school meetings with Kiss, Bowie and Sweet songs playing on a cassette player.
Sköld first rented a bass guitar at age 12, and by the time he was 13, he was playing and singing in his first real band. Sköld later met guitarist Harry Cody at a New Year’s Eve party, and they formed a creative partnership which would last for many years to come. Their dream was to go to the US to be rock stars. At age 17, after 2 years of studying Process Engineering at a boarding school, Sköld moved into his own apartment and took a factory job making military equipment. A half-year later, he was drafted into the army. He brought his bass to the base and sneaked into the shower stalls to practice after everyone went to sleep. Sköld also kept rehearsing with Cody on the weekends, and once out of the army he took on many odd jobs including library assistant, Volvo employee and as a gardener at a bathhouse.
At age 19, Sköld and Cody talked a Swedish record company into allowing them to make a record, which they could use as a demo to reach the American market. Starting off as Shylock, their determination soon paid off in the form of Kingpin.
During the early 80’s, bassist Sköld and guitarist Cody formed the glam metal band Kingpin in their native Skövde, Sweden. They were inspired by the flamboyant hard rock bands flowing out of Los Angeles at the time, as well as UK acts such as Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Zodiac Mindwarp.
The band kicked off their career with a 7″ single titled “Shout It Out” (which hit #1 in Sweden) in 1987. They then drafted vocalist Zinny J. Zan and drummer Stixx Galore a short time later. Kingpin released their only Swedish album, Welcome to Bop City, the following year, and then moved to Los Angeles.
Signed by Cliff Cultreri at Relativity Records, Kingpin changed their name to Shotgun Messiah (due to a San Francisco-based band holding the rights to the name Kingpin), remixed and re-packaged Welcome To Bop City as a self-titled album, and released it as their international debut in 1989.
After having MTV smash hits such as “Don’t Care ‘Bout Nothin'” and “Shout It Out”, whilst the band was in progress of making a follow up to their debut self-titled album, Zan was let go. They hired a new bassist, Bobby Lycon, from New York City, and on Cody’s suggestion Tim Tim switched to lead vocals. At this time, Tim Tim, whose role was now frontman, went by the name Tim Skold. They released Second Coming in 1991, which was enthusiastically received by the media, and was their most successful album to date. Two singles were released from that album, “Heartbreak Blvd.” and “Living Without You”.
Shortly after, the band followed up with an E.P. entitled I Want More, which contained some punk covers along with re-recorded songs from their previous album I Want More, “Babylon” and an acoustic version of “Nobody’s Home”. Soon after this release, Shotgun Messiah were down to two original members, Sköld and Cody, seeing the departure of Stixx and Lycon.
Still under contract with Relativity Records, Sköld and Cody decided to go back to Sweden for the recording of the third Shotgun Messiah album, Violent New Breed, which leaned towards the industrial end of heavy metal. The album was released in 1993 and is now considered a cult classic due to the “before its time” incorporation of industrial influences. However, at the time of release it received mixed reviews and continued public indifference, which eventually convinced the two to end the band, leading Sköld to embark on his solo project, Skold.
After the break-up of Shotgun Messiah, Sköld went on to pursue a solo career. Writing all songs and playing all instruments himself, his self-titled debut album, Skold, was released in 1996 by RCA. The album was co-produced with Scott Humphrey.
Promoting his debut album, Sköld and the rest of the live Skold band went on a short tour with Genitorturers. Some of the songs on the Skold album were used in movies like Disturbing Behavior (“Hail Mary”), Universal Soldier: The Return (“Chaos”) and the PlayStation game Twisted Metal 4 (“Chaos”). During his solo career, Sköld also provided remixes for several bands, such as Prong, Nature and Drown. He also met KMFDM front-man Sascha Konietzko during his time in the studio.
Around 2002, Sköld recorded a follow up to his 1996 self-titled album. These songs have never been officially released. Sköld stated in an interview with The Sychophant that he had made a demo with 10 copies ever made. The demo had 10 songs on it. Six of the 10 were released on file sharing networks without Sköld’s permission: “Burn”, “Dead God”, “I Hate”, “Believe”, “The Point”, and “Don’t Pray”. The demo is known as the Dead God EP, although Sköld says that it was called Disrupting the Orderly Routine of the Institution. The original artwork was made with an inkjet printer and was the title written in drippy letters. This demo was given to several friends that Sköld considered trustworthy, but his songs appeared on the internet from one of them. Sköld said that “someone suggested to me that I should go back to them and finish it off and release it. And maybe I will one day, who knows?”
On November 3, 2009, “I Will Not Forget”, “A Dark Star”, and “Bullets Ricochet” were released on iTunes and Amazon as new Skold singles. Also that November, Sköld’s official website announced that he was to release his second solo album in early 2010. However, the album remained unreleased in 2010. In January 2011, Metropolis Records announced that they were releasing the new record and single in spring of 2011. On May 10, 2011, Sköld released Anomie.
Originally announced on March 17, 2014, the album, entitled The Undoing, was originally slated for self-release in April, 2014. Problems with that model arose and the album release was halted until 2016 when Sköld rejoined with Metropolis Records to release the work. In support of this album, Sköld began “The Undoing Tour 2016” in May, 2016 with the western United States; the live line up featured Tiffany Lowe on keyboards and Eli James on drums. This was followed by a cross-US North American tour in November and December, 2016.
KMFDM and MDFMK
After a short-lived solo career, Sköld joined KMFDM in 1997. His first involvement with KMFDM was on the album Symbols. He wrote and sang the song “Anarchy”, which became a hit in clubs, and spawned subsequent remixes of the track done by Sköld himself. His next album with KMFDM, Adios, was released in 1999. Sköld took a more prominent role in the band, not only as co-vocalist, co-writer, and bassist, but also as producer, engineer, and programmer, alongside KMFDM’s founder Sascha Konietzko.
Due to turmoil within the band, Konietzko and Sköld ended KMFDM in 1999, and restarted as MDFMK the following year. They released one album, MDFMK, released in 2000 by Universal Records. The band, including Lucia Cifarelli (formerly of Drill), took on a more “futuristic” sound, which contained less of the industrial rock KMFDM was known for, and added a mix of drum & bass, trance and europop, primarily in a production style leaning towards “electronica”. MDFMK featured all three members sharing vocal duties. Their song “Missing Time” was used in the animated movie Heavy Metal 2000.
In 2002, the trio reformed KMFDM along with Raymond Watts, and released Attak. Afterwards, Sköld departed the band. Due to a commitment to produce Marilyn Manson’s album The Golden Age of Grotesque, Sköld was unable to join KMFDM’s 2002 Sturm & Drang tour; he did, however, make two guest appearances at shows in June.
On December 16, 2008, the KMFDM website announced that Sköld and Konietzko would be releasing an album together, titled Skold vs. KMFDM. The album was released on February 24, 2009.
Sköld did production and instrumentation work on KMFDM’s album Blitz, released March 24, 2009. Later that same year he contributed a remix to Left Spine Down’s 2009 remix album entitled Voltage 2.3: Remixed and Revisited, as well as 16volt’s album American Porn Songs.
Newlydeads & Ohgr
Sköld performed a show as a fill-in guitarist with Taime Downe’s The Newlydeads on December 13, 2000 at the Pretty Ugly Club in Los Angeles. Sköld, on bass, joined Ohgr, a project of Skinny Puppy vocalist Nivek Ogre, for the tour in support of its first album, Welt, in 2001, although he does not appear on the album.
Sköld’s involvement with Marilyn Manson began as producer for the single “Tainted Love”, which is featured in the 2001 teen comedy/parody movie Not Another Teen Movie and appeared on the soundtrack. Manson and Sköld went on to score the movie Resident Evil, released in 2002. Several tracks are featured on the Resident Evil movie soundtrack.
Sköld officially joined Marilyn Manson in 2002 after the departure of bassist Twiggy Ramirez. At this time, not only was Sköld the bassist for the band, but he was also producing, editing, creating artwork, electronics, programming drums and beats, playing guitar, keyboards, accordion and synthesizer bass for the album The Golden Age of Grotesque.
He is described by Manson as, “the power that attitude brings to an album”. On the band’s 2004 release, Lest We Forget: The Best Of, Sköld produced, played lead guitar, and sang backup vocals on the cover version of “Personal Jesus”, which was also released as a single. Coinciding with the release of The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D in October 2006, Manson and Sköld contributed a cover of “This Is Halloween” to The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, with Sköld taking care of the music while Manson provided the vocals.
This time also saw the start of work on Marilyn Manson’s sixth studio album entitled Eat Me, Drink Me. The album was released worldwide on June 5, 2007.
Sköld played guitar on the band’s 2007 world tour, Rape of the World, with Rob Holliday (formerly guitarist/bassist for Curve, Gary Numan, The Mission and The Prodigy) taking over bass duties.
On January 9, 2008 Marilyn Manson posted a bulletin on MySpace which reported that Sköld had left the band and former bassist Twiggy Ramirez had returned to take his place.
Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult
In 2009, Sköld formed the Scandinavian supergroup Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult with Hank von Helvete. They released their debut album, I Declare: Treason, on June 6, 2011.
Motionless in White
Sköld, along with Jason Suecof, produced Motionless in White’s 2012 studio album Infamous. Sköld also contributed songwriting on 5 songs. Skold was also announced as a featured artist on the song “Final Dictvm” from the album Reincarnate.
Skold has performed many different music genres ranging from glam metal to heavy metal to industrial rock to electro-industrial. With Kingpin and Shotgun Messiah he performed hard rock, glam metal, and ended up playing industrial rock in their later material; With KMFDM he performed industrial rock, industrial metal, electro-industrial, and techno; With MDFMK he performed straight up industrial rock; With ohGr he performed electronic music, with industrial-based genres like IDM and electro-industrial; With The Newlydeads he again performed straight up industrial rock; and with Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult he performed heavy metal and hard rock, with a Gothic rock feel to it.
Throughout his career Sköld has played several different instruments and used equipment from different manufacturers, here is a list of notable equipment.
Guitars and basses
- Gibson Les Paul – Black finish
- Gibson Firebird V – Cream white finish
- Gibson Firebird V – Black finish
- Gibson Firebird VII – Red finish
- Roland G-707 Guitar Synthesizer
- Gretsch Broadkaster G6119B Bass – Orange
- Gretsch Broadkaster G6119B Bass – Walnut Stain
- Gretsch Broadkaster G6119B Bass – Red finish
- Gretsch Broadkaster G6119B Bass – Bamboo finish
- Gretsch Broadkaster G6119B Bass – Black finish
- King doublebass – White with black flames
- King doublebass – Wood
- D’Addario XL Strings
- Dunlop Tortex Picks
- Dunlop Cry Baby Bass Wah Wah
- Dunlop MXR M-103 Blue Box
- BOSS GT-6
- BOSS GT-6B Multi-Effects Units
- Dunlop MXR Smart Gate Pedal
- Dunlop MXR 10 Band EQ
- Dunlop MXR GT-OD Overdrive
- Dunlop MXR Distortion III
- Ampeg SVT-4PRO head
- Ampeg SVT-810E cabinet
- Blankenship Variplex (2)
- Marshall Amps
- “Shout It Out” (1987)
- Welcome to Bop City (1988)
- Shotgun Messiah (September 12, 1989)
- “Shout It Out” (1989)
- “Don’t Care ‘Bout Nothin'” (1990)
- Second Coming (October 22, 1991)
- “Heartbreak Blvd.” (1991)
- “Red Hot” (1991)
- “Living Without You” (1992)
- I Want More (November 17, 1992)
- Violent New Breed (September 28, 1993)
- “Enemy in Me” (1993)
- “Violent New Breed” (1993)
- Skold (July 30, 1996)
- Neverland (1996) (EP)
- Dead God (2002) (Unreleased demo)
- I Will Not Forget (2009) (Single)
- A Dark Star (2009) (Single)
- Bullets Ricochet (2009) (Single)
- Suck (2011) (Single)
- Anomie (May 10, 2011)
- Tonight (2011) (Single)
- The Undoing (April 22, 2016)
- Symbols (September 23, 1997)
- “Megalomaniac” (January 20, 1998)
- Adios (April 20, 1999)
- “Boots” (February 5, 2002)
- Attak (March 19, 2002)
- Blitz (March 24, 2009)
- MDFMK (March 28, 2000)
- “Tainted Love” (2001)
- Resident Evil Soundtrack (2002)
- The Golden Age of Grotesque (May 13, 2003)
- Lest We Forget: The Best of (September 28, 2004)
- Eat Me, Drink Me (June 4, 2007)
Skold vs. KMFDM
- Skold vs. KMFDM (February 24, 2009)
Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult
- “(Don’t) Waste It” (May 9, 2011)
- I Declare: Treason (June 6, 2011)
Motionless in White
- “Mallevs Maleficarvm” (Tim Skold Remix) (2012)
- “Infamous” (Production) (2012)
- “Final Dictvm” (Feat. Tim Skold) (2014)