Page last updated at 09:59 GMT, Monday, 5 October 2009 10:59 UK
Skindred set off on world tour

By Kate Protheroe
BBC Local

Skindred
The band are preparing to take on another tour around the world

Ahead of their show at Cardiff Student Union on the 11 October, Kate Protheoe caught up with Newport ragga-punk band Skindred.

With the recent release of their third album 'Shark bites and Dog Fights', Skindred's UK tour has near on sold out in every major venue all over the country.

And the tour will stop in at several continents including India and the US.

They comprise front man and vocalist Benji Webbe, guitar player Mikey Demus, bass player Dan Pugsley and drummer Arya Goggin.

Their sound effortlessly blends many styles of music - rock, punk, drum and bass and reggae.

I caught up with Benji and Mikey and asked them how the new album differs from previous albums.

"I hope that this one is different. I think that it's important for a band like us to be new and fresh," said Benji.

"We draw on inspiration from so many different styles of music."

The reality of being on the road is not what most people would expect.
Mikey

Mikey added: "The music has evolved, it still sounds like us, but there are definitely new sounds in there."

"It was put together quite quickly for us, we wrote and recorded it in less than two months," Benji continued.

"Lyrically, it was quite a tough one to write, I feel that it's important to give people a sense of awareness, encouragement and hope, for those people that may be going through dark times or difficulties, it's really important to give out something positive."

Over the last few years, the record industry has changed quite a lot with sales at an all time low. So are the band worried?

Benji replied: "Not at all. As long as people are listening to the music, record sales are not important.

Skindred on stage
The band enjoy performing live

"Skindred is about the live show. A CD is great, but it's more of a window into what we are like live, as long as they come along and see us, buy a ticket, buy a t-shirt or a sticker for 50p, just support the band in some way.

"A gold disk on the wall isn't what we are about. Ultimately the bands that will win, are the ones that can deliver live."

Over the last couple of years, Skindred have been almost permanently on tour, whether it's in front of 20 people in Kentucky or 40,000 people at Sonisphere. With a lot of their friends and family still back in Newport, I wondered how hard it was to cope away from home for such long periods of time.

"Most of our significant others, family and friends are pretty understanding," said Mikey.

"They know that this is what we do, it's what we know. The reality of being on the road is not what most people would expect.

"It is hard work, and can be exhausting, it's a job at the end of the day.

"We wouldn't wish any of it away though, if you do something that you love, you'll never do a day's work in your life."

It's important for us to be able to bridge musical gaps
Benji

Skindred's fans comprise of those who enjoy hip hop to those who prefer heavy metal, so how hard is it for them to cross the musical gap?

"It's important for us to be able to bridge musical gaps," said Benji.

"People that get into Skindred often get into other styles of music.

"Someone that may be a hardened heavy metal fan, quite often come up and say 'Have you heard that new Bounty Killer album, he sounds a bit like you'.

"That's great! It means we are doing something right. That's what we want, if we can be a lead way into getting people into all kinds of music and broadening peoples minds in that way.

"If we can do that, which we think we do, that makes all this worthwhile"

In order to maintain a career in the industry, it is clearly important to have the live show and strong songs to back it up, both of which Skindred have in a bucket loads.

Live, there is nothing like them, it's not just a gig, it's an experience that you will always remember, not only for their catchy, chorus driven music but also for the electric and unifying atmosphere they create.




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