INTERVIEW: Skindred – Redfest 2014

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I’m here at Redfest with Dan and Benji from Skindred. So, if your band had a motto what would it be?

Benji: We will make you dance by any means necessary!

Dan: Yeah and my own personal motto in life is live, rock and prosper.

What is the best and worst thing about living in Wales?

Benji: Fucking love it! There’s no bad things about it.

Dan: I don’t live in Wales.

Benji: I love Wales! I love living in Wales. Even if I had millions I’d still live in Wales.

You wouldn’t do the typical rockstar move to LA?

Benji: Well I’ve got a place in LA but I still live in Wales.

Okay, what about you Dan? Where do you live?

Dan: I sort of live all over really, like a gypsy. Well at the moment I’m in London. I’ll go from London to Devon to Brighton to Bristol, even a bit of Newport every now and again. Just where the music takes me.

Benji: Rock n roll!

Skindred played at Download Festival this year. How’d it go?

Dan: I thought it was our best ever download actually!

Benji: It was fucking huge! Energy was great.

Dan: It was sticky hot but I thought the crowd is usually all excited on the first day and by Sunday they go dry but they were all ready to rock, it was a really good atmosphere and I think props for putting us on Main Stage again, because I like the main stage, it’s my favourite out of all of them. We’ve done them all now haven’t we?

Benji: Glastonbury!

Dan: Glastonbury would be great, yeah.

Did you get any time to checkout any bands while you were at Download?

Benji: we just did interviews all day!

Dan: I watched some bands. I wish I’d seen Status Quo. I was watching Linkin Park doing hybrid theory, which I loved but I’d rather have seen Status Quo now. They clashed. I watched Royal Blood, Marmozets, yeah a few bands.

Benji: Oh I’ve seen one band! Nothing More.

Have you had any time today to checkout bands here at Redfest?

Dan: I think I’m gonna go checkout Hudson Taylor in a minute, he’s playing now. Wanna checkout him when we’ve finished here and then get vibed up for the show.

Are you looking forward to your set?

Dan: Yeah, totally. I think it’s gonna be great. First time we’ve headlined here, first time we’ve been here.

Have you ever been to Redfest before?

Dan: Yeah, I came last year to check it out. The promoters here were like “We love Skindred and we said “We’d love to play”. So it’s nice to be at the festival experiencing it and then you know here we are. Just came to check it out and the next year we play it. It’s great innit!

Do you guys remember playing small shows at Bucks SU in High Wycombe?

Dan: Yeah, I remember that. Of course!

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Do you prefer playing gigs to festivals?

Benji: We don’t care, we play as long as the people enjoy it.

Dan: Music is for enjoyment, so if people are there.

Do you not feel the smaller shows are more intimate?

Dan: I think it’s more for the crowd than us, there’s definitely a different vibe when you’re up close and personal. For us we treat it the same but I know as a crowd if you tend to go and see one of your favourite bands in a tiny little area, I saw the Foo Fighters do a secret show once.

Benji: I got you in there!

Dan: Yeah I know, you did get me in there and I felt really lucky to be there. It was at the Astoria. So, I can understand when you do those small gigs that it’s different for the fans.

You’ve been together as a band for a while, do you have any advice for up and coming bands?

Dan: Make sure you like the people you’re doing it with.

Benji: Master your shit before you start putting it all on YouTube. Make sure you’re excellent at what you do before you put it on YouTube.

Dan: You only get one chance to be new. Anything new is exciting, everyone wants the new thing, so really think about it,

Benji: Think about it before you start putting all your music out.

Dan: People judge you and I’d say its good and bad but get your shit together.

Benji: Get it together before you start!

For each of you what would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?

Benji: Well we’ve had a lot of good times but we’re still waiting for the highlight.

Still got high expectations?

Dan: Definitely. I think I don’t wanna be complacent and I don’t think the band deserves to be complacent. I think we should aim for the top and what we want. Your expectations change and whats important one year isn’t important the next year. Always new goals. Gotta tick Glastonbury off the box. We did Reading last year that was a tick off the box which is fantastic, I think its just about setting those goals and those goals change every year.

So, I have no more questions. What’re you guys up to now?

Benji: I’m gonna go to the west Indian store and get curry and rice. But I think I’m gonna get it for later.



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Interview by Kaori Manz.