SKINDRED INTERVIEW MIKEY DEMUS


Like many UK bands before them, Skindred are pioneers in sound. Led by charismatic vocalist Benji Webbe the band have fused together rock, reggae, punk and dub to create a musical experience like no other.

The band's latest release, Volume was recorded in just three and a half weeks, which is pretty quick for these guys and marks a different writing approach. As the band prepare to release album number six, Photogroupie caught up with guitarist Mikey Demus to get the low-down on this remarkable album.

PHOTOGROUPIE (PG): WHAT WERE YOU SETTING OUT TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS RELEASE?

MIKEY DEMUS (MD): With the previous album, Kill The Power we tried to do a bunch of different stuff and make a varied record; we wanted to turn that on its head this time. We didn't obsess with any of the songs, we were writing music for ourselves and trying to please each other and write music that the band could play live and really get behind. Volume is a really riffy focused record; I think that because we put so little time into recording it we didn't hang around with any of the tunes, we got them down and that's how they were. We're really happy with the result.

PG: WHAT PROMPTED THIS SHIFT, WAS IT SOMETHING YOU CONSCIOUSLY SET OUT TO DO?

MD: There was no agenda really, not in the world domination sense.(Laughs) I feel like in the past we introduced certain ideas where if you write something, this will happen, we've been let down by that before. I guess we were sick and tired of trying to cross over to any kind of wider mainstream sound in any of the songs we were writing. On Volume I guess we didn't want to fall into any of those traps where we were trying to write radio singles or fulfill some kind of criteria. We just wanted to write really strong, jumpy, riffy, bouncy songs that we could play live and not be thinking we want to get this song on the radio; we thought fuck that, we just want to write rocking stuff! Our hardcore fans will appreciate that.

PG: YOUR DOCUMENTARY FILM RUDE BOYS FOR LIFE, WAS 10 YEARS IN THE MAKING, DID YOU IMAGINE THAT IT WOULD BE THAT TIME SCALE WHEN YOU FIRST WANTED TO MAKE A FILM?

MD: A long time ago we though if we ever wanted to see anything like that we were going to have to start filming all the time! We went through various different phases of camcorders back in the day and watched all kinds of formats change. Most of the time it was me being responsible for looking after some kind of video camera. We amassed hours and hours of footage, It was really weird because you'd whip the camera out when you were in the middle of nowhere in America and go 'do something amazing this is for the film.' It wasn't until the last five or six years that we had more people following us around with the video cameras and making that stuff work and we could relax a little bit and let other people document what was going on with the recording and so forth. Watching the film back, you are really conscious of watching all of us change and go from boys into men.

PG: IT MUST HAVE BEEN A REALLY INTERESTING PROJECT TO BE PART OF.

MD: It was really enjoyable to watch all of it unfold. I guess we always wanted to amass footage with the idea of putting it on some kind of film. We all digged those Pantera home movies and things like that. When I was a kid I'd watch Korn's Who Then Now? video over and over again. You really felt that you were getting an understanding of who these people were, where they came from and what their life was like and what got them doing what they were doing. We really wanted to get that sort of thing across. We're not the wildest, partying band on the road, we're fairly tame by other people's standards. There's always been a bit of debauchery over the years, but it was really difficult to compile 15 years of being together into an hour.