INTERVIEW BY JAMES BOOTON
"We're always evolving"
As this year's 'Fireball Tour' kicks off, we thought we'd catch up with one of our favourite UK bands, The Skints. The London-based Reggae collective have just been added to an ever improving Fireball project that showcases the best Modern reggae and Ska from around the UK. We spoke to Josh from the band to see how they were feeling ahead of the show.
Fueling The Music
Now 3 albums into their career, and numerous tracks with 1 million streams under their belt, the London group have firmly cemented themselves into the public eye. Described by Clash Magazine as the 'Torchbearers for Modern British Reggae' The Skints have been fighting hard for years now trying to keep Reggae and Ska alive. Josh ,agreed"In the UK , with the Reggae/Ska crossover thing, we are definitely the biggest current band in that realm, but I think that also says a lot about how small that whole thing is. We the biggest band and we're broke". This does highlight how neglected the UK reggae scene is right now. With pretty much all major festivals featuring , pop , grime or guitar music it is hard for a band like this to really set itself into the mainstream. But the best way to express the beauty of the genre is to get out their and show as many people as possible what it can offer.
They certainly have become well accustomed to life on the road , having spent the time since releasing FM touring religiously (having only just finished their 'Nice Time' Tour ). True to character, the four of them have taken this as a blessing, "We are lucky enough that getting the gigs isn't the problem. We are full time musicians - we're touring 150 days plus, out of the year". As a band built on the energy and atmosphere a song can create, they naturally thrive in live events."Every experience is influencing the writing in some way - The places we've been and things we've seen have inspired us to keep moving forward." You can clearly feel the cultural influences in their music coming through in their last album , but it wasn't just this that gave birth to the concept of FM.
Fueling The Growth
"There was a few influences, not necessarily from our world...One of the big influences was Queens Of The Stone Age with their 'Songs for the deaf' album (which you can listen to the intro of here). And the movie 'Do The Right Thing' , so we wanted to kind of do our own version, which was a pirate radio station. We've always rehearsed next to this one station, we'd forever be hearing jungle coming through the walls or hearing the mic man read out a number and all that sort of stuff." This blend of cultural influence from abroad and from their hometown is openly apparent on FM especially and comes across in the music, helping to create their unique sound. With elements of classic reggae, punk and Josh's London grime influence they bring together the best of their musical heritage as they testify too on the Single , 'This Town' , singing 'Fly from the mountain tops to an eastern block, or a tropical island to catch a nice vibe'.
Although all albums have had some great music on, FM was a significant step up in artistic maturity. Showing a growing development both in their music and in the creative process. "I think everyone is probably most happy with FM... We've really grown up within this band. The first [album] was done in like five days... and then with the second, the recording process was pretty stressful to be honest, whereas the third one was a lot more relaxed."
With their continued maturity, and time off gigging fans have been greatly anticipating a new release. "I'm looking forward to making this next one man , and really getting into it and allowing ourselves some creative space" We've been touring non-stop so haven't had more than a month at home in like 3 years, so we've creatively starved ourselves of a studio and everyone's really ready to get busy on new music. After this tour we're gonna go and have a bit of writing, getting everyone's ideas together and have a little creative time just before we start recording". Josh assured us that the creative growth that has occurred over the last 8 years will continue into the next record. "We're always evolving man, I think people are gonna be surprised at this next one. Don't be surprised if you hear some Punk Skints cutting in!"
Fueling the Fire
The Fireball Tour , starting in London 2nd Decemeber and ending in Bournemouth 14th December. A concoction of mosh-worthy reminiscence and some of the freshest new talent from around the country. Book your tickets here - or follow The Skints on Facebook to keep up to date with future gigs and developments on the new album.