Katie sat down for a chat with Skindred’s DJ, Dan before their headlining set at Hit The Deck in Bristol.
Hi Dan, how is Bristol treating you?
“I love Bristol. I used to live in Bristol, actually… for about three years I think! I had a studio here! Bristol feels like home to me!”
When you were here did you get involved with any of the music colleges i.e BIMM/dBS?
“No I didn’t. I was afraid none would take me seriously, but Skindred do now! Bristol is a very creative city!”
And what subjects do you touch on?
“Well I’m the DJ so I teach all of that, but we all go in together and show students how we incorporate our sounds together. The whole mashup sound is really important to us, and people are more interested in that than they ever have been! So….. what would you call that? Technology meeting classic?!”
Yeah why not! How was your tour with Steel Panther?
“It was incredible, it really was. It wasn’t really our crowd as its all ‘hair metal’, but we have it in our ethos that we just want to party, and that’s the same with Steel Panther, so people liked that! And every night was incredible. And the Lounge Kittens were a perfect opening act!”
Do Skindred have a ritual before you go on stage?
“This is when we look boring! I want to say we rip someone’s head off, or get a new tattoo but we just all do a fist pump, and that’s about it!”
And whats the technique for writing material for Skindred?
“To be blunt, we just get in a room, we battle it out, and when we have ideas, we say them. We do it like every other rock band because firstly, we are a rock band, we incorporate the reggae and dance after. A lot of our songs have been written from just jamming out together.”
Although Skindred have played with thousands of bands, is there a band you haven’t yet played with that you’d love to?
“This bands been going for 13/14 years, we have played with a lot of bands! I think we are very fortunate! I’d love to play with Queen or Led Zeppelin reforming!”
Having such a strong reputation, do you feel the pressure?
“I don’t think you’d be human if you didn’t have at least some consciousness to how big some of the shows we play are. We are a unit, and are very loyal to what we do. Personally, when I look around the stage at big festivals I do think it is incredible the thousands of people responding to Benji. But we don’t feel pressure, we are always gonna put on an epic show whether its to 3 people (which has happened!) or 750,000 people.”
Is there a Skindred show that you wish you could re-live?
“Probably my first Download in 2011. I’ve grown up looking at the bill for it. It was my first major UK festival. I remember feeling, talk about nerves, pretty faint and sick, it was a big rush with our gear. Then we went on stage and the whole thing was just a whirlwind! We did the set, and everything went so perfect, the gig carried itself because we were all on top form. I remember looking at the crowd thinking ‘this is insane!’ so for me that’s a personal highlight.”
And do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
“Do it. Just do it! Do it till your fingers bleed. Do it when people are telling you not to. Do it when you’re broke, which happens to the best of us. You just need to stick at it and keep going. Its what you’ve gotta do!”
If Skindred was a cocktail, what would be the ingredients?
“Okay! Um, it would be one of those cocktails you’d see on the menu and think ‘that is gonna blow my head off!’ It’d be a bit of rum, vodka, whiskey, gin… I’m talking like the dirty pint you have at the end of the night because that’s the band. It’s this mix of things, and we want to be the highlight of the night. So when someone says ‘do you remember that cocktail you had last night’ they can say ‘Yes I do, it was delicious!”
Interview By Katie Dansie
Catch Skindred live all over Europe this summer.
|May 15||Hard Rock Hell Road Trip||Ibiza, Spain|
|May 29||Ursynalia – Warsaw Student Festival||Warsaw, Poland|
|May 30||Camden Rocks Festival||London, United Kingdom|
|Jun 04||Jam Rock||Zamberk, Czech Republic|
|Jun 05||Rock AM Ring||Mendig, Germany|
|Jun 06||Rock IM Park||Nuremberg, Germany|
|Jun 12||Greenfield Festival||Interlaken, Switzerland|
|Jun 25||Bråvalla Festival||Norrkoping, Sweden|
|Jul 05||I Am The Rocker Festival||Bucharest, Romania|
|Jul 16||Deichbrand||Cuxhaven, Germany|
|Jul 17||2DaysAWeek Festival||Wiesen, Austria|
|Jul 18||Resurrection Fest||Viveiro, Spain|
|Jul 19||Budapest Park||Budapest, Hungary|
|Jul 23||Metal Days||Tolmin, Slovenia|
|Jul 29||Effenaarw/ Rob Zombie||Eindhoven, Netherlands|