I’m Iron Skullet, the curator of The Ultimate Synthwave Playlist and the writer of What is Synthwave? and The History of Heavy Metal.

I’m an ‘80s baby who grew up with the sounds of heavy metal and new wave music in my ears. My first music love was metal, specifically thrash, death, and heavy metal. I began playing guitar when I was 12 and formed a punk and crossover thrash band with friends in high school. Over time, our sound evolved into darker territory with elements of death, speed, and progressive metal. I eventually hung up my guitar to focus on illustration and visual art — later earning a fine arts degree in painting — though music remains my true love in life.

Despite an early and earnest interest in metal, I always maintained an enthusiasm for ‘80s pop, and in my late teens rediscovered my full passion for the music while playing GTA: Vice City. My excitement for new wave, synthpop, and related genres like Euro disco hasn’t let up since then.

In the ‘00s, I delved into industrial music, particularly the sounds of aggrotech and electro-industrial. My love for synthpop also quickly connected me to futurepop, and I spent many years happily enjoying and exploring the symbiosis between EBM subgenres.

In the early 2010s, I was listening to nu disco artists when I came across Miami Nights 1984. I knew right away I’d found something special, and in the years since then, I’ve dedicated thousands of hours to building a comprehensive playlist of quality synthwave music: “Synthwave / Retro Electro

That commitment has been rewarded with steady and organic follower growth since 2012, making it the most popular independent playlist dedicated to the genre with tens of thousands of listeners. As synthwave has evolved and artists have begun incorporating stronger elements of EBM and metal into their music to form the darksynth and cybersynth styles, it’s become clear that my love for the genre and it’s evolutions will continue for years to come.

stretch satch 3
The “Synthwave / Retro Electro” playlist on Spotify

Throughout my life, I’ve strongly believed in seeking out independent and small label musicians to support. If there’s one truth in music, it’s that the most talented and exciting artists in a genre are often overlooked and underrepresented by the mainstream. There’s nothing in life I feel more strongly about than promoting deserving creators who are not getting the recognition they deserve. My goal as a music journalist and promoter is to snap the misguided and unhealthy cultural perception that all good music is popular and all popular music is good.

Although I love a broad range of music, I currently focus on playlists and album reviews for synthwave, including the popwave, darksynth, and cybersynth outgrowths of the genre, as well as the new wave of traditional heavy metal (NWOTHM). I’m always accepting submissions for playlists and reviews, and I work tirelessly to find the best music in the world, no matter how obscure it may be.

If you like the work I do, please consider supporting Iron Skullet on Patreon to help me continue promoting the best new and underground music.

Follow me on Spotify
View my listening stats on Last.fm

iron skullet new logo 2 white