Interview by Tarja Virmakari
London-based SKINDRED is totally unique and remain without peer in music today. The quintessentially British band is the only one to have combined elements of punk, rock, metal, reggae and electronic music with such success. 2012 has so far seen Skindred headline a Sold out Brixton academy show (5000 capacity) and at Download Festival and a number of other key festivals globally, the future looks red hot for Britains most exciting Live act. Recently Metalshock Finland‘s Tarja Virmakari had a chance to interview Dan Pugsley (bass), please join the conversation…
1. Hi Dan, I’m Tarja, welcome to Metalshock Finland! we had to do this interview at Myötätuulirock in Finland (in august), but only a couple of days before you had to cancel your show… what happened?
Hi Tarja! We were set to play a festival the day before in Czech called Sazavafest and sadly they cancelled us which left us unable to book flights from direct from the UK without it costing either Myötätuulirock or us to much money as flight costs had risen considerably. Sadly sometimes things happen that are beyond our control and we truly wanted to rock the festival and were really looking forwards to it.
2. Your genre can be considered quite unique, you yourself call it “Ragga Punk Metal”, it’s a mix of heavy metal, punk and reggae, with elements of dancehall, jungle, hardcore, ska, hip hop and what else… but how did you find it?
We see what we do as a decedent of the artist’s like the Clash and the Specials personally bands like the beastie boys and Massive attack growing up meant i was exposed to samples of reggae punk jazz and all manner of musical genres that would have other wise passed this metal kid by.
3. Lets talk about Union Black… it was released last year. Technically speaking, how it differs to your earlier 3 albums?
First and foremost it was the first record we had written and recorded in the UK , so the overall tone of the record was UK. Centric specifically the urban elements of the record. On previous albums these elements were more toned down for US radio .
4. What can you tell me about the lyric themes? From where you took the ideas? and what are your main influences for your music and energy?
Lyrics are drawn from social issues that are relevant to both where and how we live. Music is lifelong love affair and the energy is drawn from it.
5. What has been the reaction of your fans, audience and critics?
The fans have always been great as have our audiences, and we do not listen to critics .
6. And what the cd-coverart tells us about? what’s the story behind it?
We always had spoken about having a lion within our artwork and the and the lion is one symbol that represents both the vibe and the message of the band, it is one of three lions that charaterise the UK and of course Rastafari .
7. Kerrang has awarded Skindred with the “Devotion Award” and then you picked up “the best live band” award at this years Metal hammer Golden God awards. and yet, your album Union Black was voted in the Top 10 albums of the year in both Big Cheese Magazine and Metal Hammer Magazine. What does it mean to you to have these kinds of awards?
Awards are always nice to receive however it means more to connect with people who enjoy our music.
9. At this point, a fan-question from Italy, from Oscar: “Do we italians have a chance to see you playing here someday?”
We are currently looking at a show or two there maybe next April /May, but at this moment in time nothing is confirmed. We would love to come back to Italy soon.
10. Now that summer is finished, what will you do? some holidays or are you already working on new material?
We are currently in the rehersal studio writing our next album which we are all really excited about. Ideas are already flowing. We have a small UK tour and a Macedonian festival to do at the end of this year in between work on the next album.
11. Dan, thanks for this interview and hope to see you soon on stage! and now the last question… what would you like to say to your fans and to our readers?
We look forward to seeing you no matter where you live and we also look forward to practising standing up at the Tavastia club in Helsinki if you see us come and say hello. In the meantime come and say hello at www.facebook.com/skindredofficial