Skindred bring their reggae-metal stylings to Brighton Show caption 0 comment REGGAE and metal aren’t two genres of music that you would naturally assume could mesh. But Welsh group Skindred have been making waves worldwide with exactly that mixture for 20 years. Ahead of dates in Brighton on their huge UK tour, Jamie Walker spoke to singer Benji Webb about what people can expect from the boys from Newport. Hi Benji, you released your latest album Big Tings in April, how have things been going since? It’s been such a successful time for the band. We’ve had the best summer, the best we could have asked for, we’ve played some great festivals like Reading and Leeds and others in Europe. Every since the album dropped the interest in the band has just been amazing. Off the back of it we decided we wanted to do a British club tour. And like you say, you must be delighted with the excitement that has followed the album? It’s an exciting time in the band, especially in a band like ours where we’ve been going around and playing for so long. We’re still just as excited as the first week we started playing. Another thing I bang on about is that we’ve had the same line-up we’ve always had. We had a DJ once, but we got rid of him. It’s just really good to be in the situation where Skindred are at, at the minute. Do you think Skindred having the same line-up has helped you? Being in a band is like being married and you’ve got to work on the things that could pull you apart. We’re just four idiots who believe in each other. We don’t live in each others’ pockets, we just keep it real with each other. I’m also the oldest in the band and I’ve seen these young kids turn into grown men. That must be a cool feeling for you as well? Yeah man, it’s beautiful. I think that’s part of it as well. Skindred isn’t just a band, we’ve grown together as humans, that’s been a good thing from the start. So we’re chatting because you’re playing Brighton, it’s somewhere you seem to enjoy coming to? Well funnily enough two of our band members were living in Brighton for five years, so we’ve become quite affiliated with the city, going back and forth, going down to the beach. We’ve written albums in Brighton, I think we did Kill The Power (2014) in Brighton. We spent two weeks recording in Hove, so we definitely have a connection with Brighton. What is it you love about the city? I love the freedom of Brighton. I love the fact that it doesn’t matter what you are, or who you are, people just get to live and be free and live the way they want to. I think that’s something beautiful about Brighton that the rest of the world can learn from, just mind your own business and let people be who they want to be. So what was the idea behind doing a club tour, because arguably you could have played some bigger venues. We could play the big shows but I’m a people person and hiding myself away in a backstage area is going to change my social life. Being that close to people you get a more intimate feel that playing a festival. The other thing is when you play big festivals your friends can’t get backstage. It’s nice to be in touch with people and that helps us, especially when it comes to writing the next record. Do you think that’s something some bands can be guilty of? People do that all the time, but there’s bands I’ve been playing with for 20 years like Disturbed or Papa Roach who have treated us the same as they always have. No matter how many albums they’ve sold they treat us with the same respect as they did when they were starting. Then there’s other bands who don’t even talk to you when they see you now, that’s just rock and roll. So what can people expect from your live show? There’s going to be a lot of dancing and a lot of movement, they call me the evil Mr Motivator (ITV daytime work out enthusiast), it’s definitely going to be one of those shows. We’re putting together a set that people have never seen before and it’s going to have stuff that no other band does. That energy you give shows that a gig is sometimes about more than just the music. If you want to listen to music go watch another band, when you watch Skindred you’re getting challenged, you’re getting pushed, you’re getting motivated. I don’t see it as coming to watch four people on stage, I look at it like a party and a party is not for guys in the corner, it’s for everyone. So for anyone who wants to snap up any of those final tickets for your show why are Skindred the band to see? If you want to be uplifted, encouraged, and feel love, come and see Skindred because that’s what we offer. We stand in front of people who don’t know each other and when they leave they feel like they’ve made friends and partied. We encourage people to live as one, and you don’t get that in many shows.