Cambridge Junction, 20/12/18

Interview with Benji Webbe (vocalist) by Ryan Bird

Skindred's intelligent mix of alternative rock, hip hop, metal and reggae has long delighted, intrigued and inspired us here at R*E*P*E*A*T Towers. We are not alone amongst Manics fans - previous incarnation Dub War toured with them - and Skindred's energetic, no holds barred live performances have wowed fans and critics alike for 20 years now. With the release of their 7th studio album Big Tings winning them yet more enthusiastic reviews, we thought it was more than time to catch up with them to find out what has kept them Killing the Power for all these years.

Read Ryan's review of this gig here


Lucy: Your band have been quite quiet for the last few months. Are you looking forward to playing gigs again?
Katie Jane Garside: I think I give very obtuse ans

How’s the tour going so far?
Brilliant…when I was little and wanted to be in a band this is the tour I wanted to be doing so I’m
very happy.

You’ve come to Cambridge before, what keeps you coming back?
Money! And it’s a good crowd…about two years ago we played here. We find it interesting to keep
coming back, see how the band builds.

That was then: Benji in previous band Dub War, pictured in Edinburgh The Venue sometime around the mid 90s by Phil Rose esq

You’ve had quite a few support acts on this tour
32 or something like that, I can’t remember any of them. Sonic Boom Six, I know them, they’re
playing tonight.

What’s it been like with them?
Sonic Boom Six have been around us for the last ten years…we’ve played with them a few times
all over the world…they seem like cool cats…they deserve to be bigger than they are.

What have the other support acts you’ve had on this tour been like?
Lots of tattoos on people’s necks, a lot of screaming out of tune but I guess that’s it. What do I know, I’m an old man!

This is now: Skindred.
Pic Steve Johnson

I saw you had Astroid Boys for one show, what were they like?
Yeah we did, they played Swansea with us, they’re cool. They’re doing that sonic grime ting, they
seem to be on the rise.

You’re playing Download Festival again, are you excited for that?
Yeah I think it’s our sixth time or seventh…we did like three years in a row I think but we’ve had two years away so I’m pretty excited to go back with the magic which is Skindred and unleash that
beast on the people.

Who are you excited to see there?
Die Antwoord and Slipknot…Saturday at Download is gonna be a good day. Just pray for rain…say
that to God cos he’s a little p*ss taker.

How did your TV show come about?
BBC Wales called me…and for weeks later we’re in the middle of a field cleaning dog s**t.
I haven’t actually watched one of them yet…when I finish this tour on the 23rd, so Christmas Eve,
I’m gonna go up stairs, on the 70inch, big surround sound, big bowl of popcorn and do the give the home a bone marathon and sit there and laugh at myself.

What advice would you give to younger band starting now?
Keep playing in your bedroom, don’t worry about youtube and trying to get on instagram and all
that s**t. Perfect your art and when you know that you know that you know, start playing some
shows and tell people not to film you.
Being a singer in a band is no different from being a brick layer or a carpenter…it's a profession you need to craft and if I was a brick layer and made my first wall, I’m sure I wouldn’t want to put up the first f***ing wall I did on youtube. So I'd get my s**t together and when it was tight, strong and hardcore and I knew that wall was the s**t, then I’d take videos of it. Too many people are putting attempts at making a wall up and expecting to get a f***ing record deal from it.
The way you treat people on the road as the headline act is important cos some people we’ve
been on the road with, it's definitely been an us and them situation. Too many people get to a
position of power and instead of pushing the ladder down, they pull the f***ing ladder up.

How have the songs on your new album been going down live?
Beautiful, the songs we’ve chosen for live off the new album definitely fits in to all the other
stuff…the live set for me is a journey…we’re opening up with Big Tings which seems to be going
well…its not just another rock n roll show, its a celebration of life.

What are some of your favourite songs to play live?
I enjoy Big Tings, it gives me a chance to express my vocal tings and I enjoy Nobody cos it’s the
last one and then I’m f***ing out of there. Nobody is always a good one, it’s one of the old
We have a lot of black eyes in rehearsal, people crying cos they wanna play this and they wanna
play that. I think the set we’re doing now is getting people wanting to come back.

Pic Ryan Bird

Thanks to Benji for his time and Clare Lloyd from Central Press for sorting things out.

wers to questions...It's never about looking forward to it. Actually maybe I should change the
script, maybe we are looeir musicm the 3rd album?