Interview: Skindred

Ahead of their  Corp date in November, Exposed rock blogger Chris Lord caught up with Benji Webbe of reggae-metal amalgamators Skindred. 

The new record certainly leans more towards alternative-rock at times – especially since Union Black (2011) – was this a conscious experiment, or a natural progression?
The beauty of Skindred is that we can do anything we want musically. We have not painted ourselves into a corner, or become stuck in any time warp. We will use whatever we want to make the crowd move, by any means necessary! People should stop trying to analyse music and just pissing dance to it.

The new single Sound The Siren seems to embody the signature Skindred sound more than the rest of the album. As it will maintain the band’s identity to those unfamiliar with Skindred, does this make the song an ideal single choice?
People who know us know we like to use dancehall and rock elements, no matter what time they’re from. What’s a single?

By some band’s standards, there was a quick turnaround between Kill The Power (2014) and Volume (2015). Are you always working on new material?
We are the sort of guys who can write when called upon to do so. We don’t need a time or place, it’s something that’s happening constantly whether we are together or apart – we always write.

Being a hybrid of such diverse influences, how do you find that translates to the build-up of the audience at a Skindred show? Is there more of a jungle-reggae contingent of fans, or is it still predominantly a rock-metal audience?
It’s music lovers who dig us and what we do. The people who like Skindred are open-minded when it comes to music, whether they’re wearing a Slipknot t-shirt or a Tinie Tempah t-shirt.

Where in the world are audiences most receptive to Skindred?
We get a super response from most people we play for, but at the moment I’m pretty happy with our Spanish shows. They’ve been leaving me with a smile on the inside of my soul for real.

If you could form a supergroup to record one album, who would you choose?
Personally, I’m not interested in supergroups. Why get a burger when you already have a steak? But I’d like Skindred to support System of a Down or Rage Against the Machine on a tour – two great bands right there.

You’ve previously collaborated with Jacoby from Papa Roach. Are there any other collaborations in the pipeline?
There’s a few, but we like to surprise you…

Are you all healed up after the assault earlier in the year?
It hurts and itches like fuck sometimes, and the scars are still pouring blood. The flesh may heal, but it’s gonna take some time to get beyond that attack.

What are your memories of playing Sheffield previously?
Sexy women, pints of beer, always feeling great after the show. Sheff’s got it big time – I love the place!

Skindred come to Corporation on the 4th of November.


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