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Interview von: arne mit Benji, am: 26.02.2010 ]

Mit „Shark Bites and Dog Fights“ scheinen es SKINDRED nun richtig wissen zu wollen. Die Waliser präsentieren sich so eingängig und verträglich wie niemals zuvor. Sänger Benji Webbe (ex- Dub War) ist nach wie vor das charakteristische Moment im Band-Sound, denn mit seinem Ragga-artigen Gesang prägt er die Stücke nachhaltig. Sein Stil passt perfekt zum Groove-betonten Crossover von SKINDRED, der sich traditionell zwischen NuMetal und Reggae-Ragga-Dancehall entwickelt.


Musicscan: You guys have been around for some time now. What is behind bands longevity? What fuels the fire and keeps you guys interested in the music you create?

Skindred: We love music and feel that Skindred sound will outlive a lot of fads and have done over the last 11 years we have been around it's the passion that keeps our fire alive and keeps us on the road rocking…

Musicscan: Do you still remember when you wrote your first song with Skindred and what it felt like and how it feels like now when you finish a song? How has your relationship to music changed over time?

Skindred: I do of course remember my first song, how could I forget it? It was a song called Ruffneck, which we wrote all together. It’s not secret that I’d had a hard time in Dub War, and starting again was never going to be easy. But as soon as we nailed that song I knew we were onto something special, something original. The sound we made together as a band was to me so powerful that I just knew it was something fresh to take to the world. Over the years my relationship to the music hasn’t really changed, we’re still searching for that feeling we get when we know we’ve written something special. Once the songs are recorded we then have to live with them, not just on record but live through tours that can last months and even years. It’s worth taking the time and effort to get what we do to the point where it is as good as it can possibly be.

Musicscan: It seems that your sound is continually changing, while other bands are stagnant. Is it just me, or is there any truth to this? What are you looking for in a song?

Skindred: I don’t know about other bands being stagnant, I’m sure those bands can defend themselves, but we’re always looking to be fresh-sounding and are searching out things that are new both for us and for the audience. It’s very nice of you to notice that as well. It’s nice when people do.

Musicscan: Do you think modern information technology will inevitably change not only the way music is listened to but also how it is written?

Skindred: To a degree, but a good song is a good song, whether it’s written using the latest state of the art technology or whether it’s written using a beat up piece of shit guitar from before the second world world war. People who can write songs will do so using whatever technology they want to use. But new technology will not help people who can’t write songs, I’m afraid.

Musicscan: And do you think it is reasonable to assume that the concept of an album will soon be a thing of the past and people will solely listen to certain songs?

Skindred: I hope not. I wish shops still sold tapes that were not so easy for people to skip tracks after the first 5 seconds coz they didn't like the intro of a particular song on a album, the listener was forced to hear the whole album then..

Musicscan: Where do you guys see the line drawn between progressing on what you do well, and completely offering a new direction or sound? Especially in the context of Skindred?

Skindred: We don’t see lines, to be honest, because lines just cage your own creativity. But we do know as a group what works for us and what doesn’t. But that has nothing to do with a specific sound but rather how we feel about certain ideas. We just know what works for us. But we never worry about how other people will react to something. We need to please ourselves before we worry about anyone else.

Musicscan: Do you think there are still genuinely new sounds to be discovered or can modern music basically be said to be a recombination of already existing forms and elements?

Skindred: There’s nothing new under the sun, on the one hand, but by placing elements together it is always possible to reinvent the wheel when it comes to music. That mixture of both the old and the new is what keeps music both exciting and familiar.

Musicscan: How do you feel about the place for Skindred within the worldwide metal-scene?

Skindred: Without meaning to sound rude, it’s not our place to wonder what space the band occupies in the global metal scene. It’s our job to do what we do to the very best of our abilities and the rest will hopefully take care of itself. If we build it, people will come. That’s what we have always believed and what we still believe and see happing year after year.

Musicscan: Musically, and especially lyrically, Skindred seems like a band fueled by raw emotion which is at the same time tempered by a reflected vibe. What are the motives behind writing in this style, what reactions are you seeking to evoke in your audience?

Skindred: Life and all that we seen and been through is the motivation behind the lyrics in Skindred.

Musicscan: Have you been surprised by the fact, that listeners from different musical tastes are getting Skindred? And is this something that matters to you?

Skindred: No, I’m not surprised. I’m pleased but not surprised. The music we make is heavy and all that but it’s still good music, and people who like good music will like us, if they hear us. I think there are more open minded people out there than are giving credit for.

Musicscan: With the direction of Skindred heading a certain way and fans growing with you over the years and releases, do you feel the fans can now relate to what you are feeling or at least understand what you are trying to tell them with your music?

Skindred: Some people like music just for the way it sounds and some people like music for the way it sounds and what it is we’re saying in our lyrics. Both of these people are welcome members of our audience and to be honest I think both schools of thought are equally valid. If they wanna think, fine; if they just wanna rock, that’s fine too.

Musicscan: What makes Skindred special to you? How would you describe the essence of the band?

Skindred: Skindred is special to me because it is me, the sound made by me and my friends. We write good songs and take them all over the world playing them for people who like what we do. And that’s our job. How can that not feel special? It’s a great way to earn a living and I still love what it is we do.