Geschreven door Jessica Santiago Lopez op 2016-02-03 19:28:18

Interviews :: Interview met Skindred

De reggaerockers van Skindred hebben het er maar druk mee. Bijna oneindig touren en dan kwam er kort geleden ook nog eens een nieuw album uit, getiteld ‘Volume’. Toch wist gitarist Mikey Demus tijd vrij te maken in zijn drukke schema om ons bij te praten over het nieuwe album, touren en de leuke herinneringen die al die jaren in Skindred met zich mee brengen. Check het interview hieronder.

Interview door Jessica Santiago Lopez

Q. Hi there! Thanks for taking the time do this interview. How are you?
Mikey: No problem, thanks for your interest in the band. I’m doing well thanks! Getting prepped to take this new album around the world for a few spins. It's gonna be full on! 

Q ‘Volume’ was released worldwide a while ago. How do you guys live up to a record release these days? Has it changed in any way when you compare it to the release for the first records?
Mikey: It’s different these days, ten or fifteen years ago there was a lot more money being spent on promotion as well as recording, these days most bands have to be very hands on with social media and their fan base. It's good because you truly get to connect to the people who support you, it's a great thing. There's still a fairly busy media campaign around the release, but the channels for it are kinda different and things happen really fast due to the internet. We've created a fairly big buzz for ourselves over the years via the web so we do our best to make it work for us as best we can. 

Q: So ‘Volume’,  can you tell us a bit about the album? What can fans hear on it sound wise?
Mikey: We’ve tried to squeeze all the big, heavy bouncy riffs and grooves we could muster onto one record. Where we might have tried to branch out musically on previous albums, with ‘Volume’ we were really conscious of keeping the songs concise and cohesive. We didn’t want any tunes that stuck out, we were focused on making album that returned to our roots in big riffs. It’s still undeniably Skindred but we hope that our hardcore fan base will call this their new favourite Skindred record. 

Q. The tracks on the record seem to also include all the best elements of the previous Skindred albums, was this something you guys intended for ‘Volume’?
Mikey: Thanks! We’re always trying to better our last offering, whether its a show or a record. I think we’ve been refining the process for years now, and every album our identity becomes a little more sure of itself. It’s a tough thing to do because we’re all very different people musically and in our personalities, so getting that part right remains the tough part. The songs you do get to hear are when we feel we’ve got it right. We’ve tried to refine what we do well, and present more of that to our fans for this album. I’m hoping you guys really dig it.

Q. Were there any big differences during the creative process, compared to the creative process for ‘Kill The Power’?
Mikey: There was significantly less interference from the outside; less people involved with the music in general, which was a welcome change. It was just the band in a room carving out songs for a couple of months, with a good amount of time dedicated to pre-production before we recorded. We had a better idea of what we were doing before we went in, there was less stuff left unfinished so studio time was a lot quicker. We wrapped the album in the studio in just over 3 weeks, which is pretty good going for us.

Q: Did you guys encounter any particular challenge during the creative / recording process for this album this time around?
Mikey: There are always pitfalls and challenges with everything we do, be it recording, touring, writing; things rarely go to plan or run on rails. I think we’re kind of used to that unpredictability and we’re fairly prepared for the worst. We’ve had our fair share of problems over the years so we’ve learned to problem solve and just get on with it. We don’t dwell on that stuff we just keep pushing forward. We had a lot of fights during the writing of ‘Volume’, but I kind of expect that nowadays. That said, once the songs were written everybody was on the same page really. Recording went really smoothly.

Q. The Limited Edition of the record also includes the Rude Boys For Life documentary. What can we expect from it?
Mikey: I won’t tell you too much, but there’s a lot of good stuff in there. If you’re a fan of the band who wants to know a bit more of the story behind the music and us as people, it’s worth a watch. It was really challenging condensing 15 years of footage into an hour, I think we might be doing another one of these with all the unused footage one day. But considering how long its taken to release this, I wouldn’t hold your breath!

Q. Since you guys have been filming the stuff for the documentary for all these years now, why did you decide to finally release it now and add it to the Limited Edition?
Mikey: We always wanted to coincide the release with an album, as something to give back to the fans really. We weren't too fussed about making huge profit from the DVD, we thought it was a great thing to bolt to the CD to give our fans something cool to get their hands on. I have a feeling there will be more of this sort of stuff as time goes on, we are constantly amassing footage and always having new ideas of how to present it.

Q. The documentary has been long in the making, which also probably brings back a lot of memories. What would you say are some of your favorite moments, looking back on all these years?
Mikey: All of it really. The last 15 years has been a blur filled with extreme highs and a few lows. I met my wife through doing this, which I am eternally grateful for. There have been too many great festivals and tours to pick just one. We’ve been very fortunate to have such an illustrious career and I look back with nothing but fondness for all of it.

Q. While we’re looking back, what would you say has been the most valuable lesson you have learned as a musician?
Mikey: Get lots of sleep. Listen to your body and learn to lay off the hard stuff when it tells you it's time. Drink more water, eat less cheese. Trust me on that one. Be excellent to each another and party on dudes! 

Q: So what are the plans for the near future for the band?
Mikey: We'll head out further afield this year - probably Japan or Australia will be in the mix. We'll hopefully be heading out on a big USA too. I'm hoping there will be some big European festival appearances, we'll have to wait and see. We have to go exploring in other countries so that our Dutch, Belgian and fans in Luxembourg have a chance to miss us! Absence makes the heart grow fonder you know!

Q. And last, do you have any message for your fans and the readers of Metalkrant?
Mikey: Thanks for your continued support. Bedankt!

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