Skindred performing at Elbriot 2018
Martyn "Ginge" Ford
Skindred are a metal band formed in Newport, Wales, in 1998. Their musical style mixes heavy metal, alternative rock, and reggae. The band also integrate elements of hardcore punk, dancehall, jungle, ska, hip hop, drum and bass, dubstep, and various other influences into their music. They are well known for their energetic and involving live performances, and have won several awards including "Best Live Band" at the 2011 UK Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards and the "Devotion Award" at the 2011 Kerrang! Awards.
Dub War was formed in Newport in 1993, and eventually signed with Earache Records. According to lead vocalist Benji Webbe, "They would not let us record and just wouldn't give us money to live on, this made us fight internally till we had no option other than to go our separate ways or kill someone or each other." Originally, Benji Webbe started his career in song with a group of friends that filmed a music video to go along with a song named 'Point Of No Return' that was sung on location in Greece in 1990. Benji tried to form a band out of the people featured in the video (that was going to be called Bancall) however the name was changed to Dub War which disbanded in 1999. Webbe later formed Skindred with bassist Daniel Pugsley, guitarist Mikey Demus, and drummer Arya Goggin after Webbe was unable to put together a new project featuring other members of Dub War. In 2002, Skindred released its debut album, Babylon. After being reissued in 2003 by RCA Records, the album was re-released by Lava Records on 14 August 2004. Allmusic writer Johnny Loftus wrote that "Skindred doesn't seem to consciously want the reinvention tag; it has simply tapped into the same lack of pretension that fueled Korn and Living Colour's Vivid - records that were made visionary by an unadulterated honesty in both delivery and craft. [...] highly recommended for fans of literate genre jumpers like Soulfly and System of a Down, or any heshers looking for some heavy-hitting firepower that hasn't fallen victim to the anvil of corporate assimilation."
In the United States, Babylon charted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart, No. 5 on the Top Heatseekers chart and at No. 189 on the Billboard 200, and the single "Nobody" peaked at No. 14 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and at No. 23 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in 2004. In 2005, the single "Pressure" peaked at No. 30 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. In 2006, Babylon once again charted at No. 1 on the Top Reggae Albums chart. On 23 October 2007, Skindred released its second album, Roots Rock Riot on Bieler Bros. Records. In the United States, the album peaked at No. 6 on the Top Heatseekers chart and at No. 22 on the Top Independent Albums chart. The album Shark Bites and Dog Fights was released in September 2009.
In 2011, Dan Sturgess was added to Skindred's live lineup. The band's fourth studio album, Union Black, was released 25 April 2011 exclusively to the UK & Europe. On 1 July, it was released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The band promoted this with a UK tour, supported by American post-hardcore group Chiodos and Blackpool band Me Vs Hero. The London show was filmed for Scuzz TV in the UK. Skindred also played at several major European festivals including Download Festival on the Acoustic Stage (Friday) and Main Stage (Saturday), Boardmasters Festival, Wacken Open Air, Przystanek Woodstock, and Sonisphere Festival in Spain and Switzerland, the Swiss leg of Sonisphere being notable for the first live performance of Warning with Jacoby Shaddix, whose band Papa Roach was also performing at Sonisphere in Switzerland.
In April 2013, the band officially announced the title for their new album to be Kill The Power. The album was then released on 24 January 2014. It debuted on the iTunes chart at #37 and then climbed to #32 where it peaked.
Between their 5th and 6th albums, Skindred left their label BMG and signed with Napalm Records. On 30 October 2015 the band released the album Volume, marking the shortest amount of time between albums. Alongside the standard release, a deluxe edition of the album that contained a documentary called 'Rude Boys For Life' was available for pre-order through PledgeMusic. The documentary looks at life on the road, its ups and downs, celebrations, festival appearances and headline shows, studio access, and their Polish Woodstock headline show where the band played to over 1 million people. The album debuted on the iTunes chart at #55 where it peaked.
Their 7th album, Big Tings, followed in 2018 and was released on April 27th.
Skindred has appeared at a multitude of international music festivals. Notable appearances include the band's 2011 appearance at Download Festival, where the 'Newport Helicopter' was born. Skindred also made headlines at the same festival in 2006 when Benji Webbe took part performing Korn's track A.D.I.D.A.S. onstage at Download Festival with the band, after vocalist Jonathan Davis was unexpectedly rushed to hospital.
Skindred's festival appearances have included:
This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (November 2015)
Skindred fuse heavy metal, punk rock, hip hop, electronica and reggae influences to create a unique style and sound. The band has previously referred to this style as "Ragga metal". Benji Webbe has also jokingly referred to the band's musical style as "nu-reggae", in reference to the term nu metal. Although Skindred has sometimes been compared to Bad Brains, Webbe states that "To someone who doesn't know anything about reggae music, of course we're going to sound like Bad Brains. It's like someone who doesn't know anything about opera might say that Pavarotti sounds just like Mario Lanza. But when your ears are trained and you know what you're looking for, you're going to say, 'Shit no, Mario Lanza don't sound nothing like Pavarotti.'"
|2010||Skindred||Best Live Band||Nominated|
|2011||Skindred||Best Live Band||Won|