Interview: Skindred – Volume, Volume, VOLUME!!!

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 4:53 AM (PST)


I think a lot of people are lazy & happy to sit back. There wasn’t such a
thing as a Laissez-faire attitude when we were cavemen. We have to be more
proactive as a society. – Mikey Demus

Skindred have always had their own thing goin’ on, an unstoppable mash of reggae, punk, metal, dancehall and anarchy. The band slay almost every band I an think of live. You can literally throw them on almost any bill and even if someone wasn’t a fan of the style they would be hard pressed to not admit the band kicked their ass and gave 100%.

Volume is the latest from the hard working group, via Napalm Records, and Mikey Demus (guitars) fills us in on the latest Skindred molotov cocktail lobbed into the ears of the complacent BELOW.



How does it feel to have the new album here? Man, you guys have been on
a writing spree. I feel like you just put one out. But the quality is
always there with Skindred.

Thanks! It feels pretty surreal, we recorded it in a blur at the beginning
of the year and have been prepping for its release ever since. This year
has gone quickly man. We started writing for ‘Volume’ last October, much
less than a year after Kill The Power’s release. It¹s difficult to get
straight back into writing mode when you’re still on cycle with an album.
But if we didn¹t get a head start, things would start unwinding pretty
quickly. we all live far apart so writing doesn’t really happen casually,
it has to be an organised event.

Skindred are one of the more irresistible live bands. There are few
bands that I think put out as energy live as you guys. It’s cool because
even heavier bands or snobs often get blown off the stage by you guys.

That¹s a big compliment thanks. Our live show is kind of our currency
really, we¹ve created a good rep for what we do, without any smoke or
mirrors really. It¹s just dudes onstage singing, playing guitars, drums,
samples and so on. There¹s no fireworks or pyro so all we have is
ourselves to get the crowd pumping.

I saw the band only once years ago at Warped Tour, but I’ll never
forget it. Super fun show and was great as you stood out from ALL the
other bands. Where does the band’s confidence come from? I feel like half
the time bands are worried about their image you guys are not wasting time
and just are out killing it.

That was back in 2005 – ten years ago, wow. I think we felt pretty cocky
at that stage, we were one of the only British bands on the bill, and we
were the only band doing the whole tour in a van, who got invited to play
the main stage several times. Eight weeks of the Warped Tour with no tour
bus, just us and a couple of guys in a van. None of the stage crew or
other bands could get their heads around it. That was one of the more
gruelling outings of our career.


“No Justice” has very similar lyrics to a classic Agnostic Front tune,
but they both work and it certainly is a message that needs to be spread.
Why do you think people are so complacent even as the world burns and
problems are right in front of us?

I think a lot of people are lazy & happy to sit back. There wasn¹t such a
thing as a Laissez-faire attitude when we were cavemen. We have to be more
proactive as a society.

How was the production process for this record? “The Healing” and some
of the other songs or like the “Hit The Ground” intro and cool stuff in
the beat, there are a lot of layers. How’s it feel working with Napalm

The production was quick, we wrapped in just over 3 weeks. Writing took a
couple of months on & off beforehand, plus we put more time into pre
production, which really speeds things up in the studio. It helped that
this time we really knew what we were doing before pressing record. We
changed up a lot of gear we were used to using to change the sound a bit,
there was a conscious effort to make it sound more like a band sweating it
out in a room. So far so good with the label, they¹ve supported us every
step of the way with little interference, which is a positive change
compared to previous albums we¹ve made.

‘saying It now’ is probably my favorite tune on here. It’s just got a
very positive message and cool drum pattern. I lost my father this year
and it makes me think of how much I’ve been wishing i’d had more time.
what prompted this song being written?

I¹m sorry to hear that; it is a song about mourning and regret, but in an
uplifting way. This was an idea we were hashing out in the first chunk of
writing, but couldn¹t really put to bed. the riffs were kind of floating
around. During the second chunk of writing, a longtime friend of the band
called Smiler died after battling severe health problems. He was a
childhood friend of Benji, so it hit him pretty hard. Benji came to the
room with the lyrics and it just slotted straight into place, and Saying
It Now¹ became a song.

What are you most looking forward to that you’ve got coming up for 2016?

Hopefully some big European and UK festival appearances, as well as
revisiting some of our favourite countries like Japan and Australia. We¹re
also planning a return to the USA next year so keep your eyes peeled for
that! We¹re just cooking up our touring schedule so it will be announced

DO you believe music is the best path to unity or opening conversations?
Any songs you’re excited to do a video for? I feel like “Three Words”
would be a good choice. Was it fun making the “Volume” video?

Music has the power to unite for sure, I see it every night throughout the
Skindred crowd. I¹m not sure what the next single will be, but I hope the
next video will be as much fun as filming Volume¹. We met a ton of great
fans that day, got bruised and sweaty in a gnarly little warehouse in
London, all in the name of rock and roll! It was a fun video that really
captures the feel of a small punk rock gig.

“Straight Jacket”. That song is fire. I love the long intro of just
drums before the hyper, rapid-fire Skindred vocal hits. I think I am going
to end up doing a lot of working out to this album, haha. Do you find that
you guys work out a lot of tension in your lives through the band, “bombs
goin’ off…”, etc.

We experience different stresses as a band, in the studio there¹s the
pressure of deadlines and making a great record, on tour it¹s the physical
stress of performance combined with little sleep, being away from family
and so on. But I think writing for us is the most stressful time, that¹s
usually when all the gloves come off and shit goes down. There are a lot
of fiery exchanges about songs and general bullshit, it all comes out.
Generally once the album is wrapped we all breathe a big sigh of relief
and get to touring

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