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Interview: The Skints at One Love Festival 2012

Interview: The Skints at One Love Festival 2012

Interview: The Skints at One Love Festival 2012

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"Prince Fatty took us to reggae school"

Sampler

East London's The Skints are Marcia Richards (flute, keyboards, vocals), Joshua Rudge (guitar, vocals), Jonathan Doyle (bass) and Jamie Kyriakides (drums, vocals). Although their name suggests the ska punk scene they emerged from, this talented young four piece assimilate an accomplished blend of reggae, dub, soul and dancehall in their impressive live shows. This year they released their second album 'Part and Parcel', produced by Prince Fatty, described by United Reggae's Karl Pearson as "An album of 11 inspired, original songs that will find many supporters across Europe and even America." The band were also one of the most inspiring and uplifting stories of the London International Ska Festival 2012 triumphing over exceptional circumstances which put their immediate future in doubt. Angus Taylor caught up with Marcia, Jamie and Josh after their appearance at One Love Festival 2012 at the Hop Farm in Kent for this impromptu chat about their music and their crazy year so far...

The Skints

You lived up to your names at London International Ska Festival in May, because someone pinched your van with all your gear - leaving you with nothing...

MARCIA: The morning before the festival, just outside Josh's house we realized that the whole thing had gone! We filed a report and everything but it was obvious that it had been driven away and it had everything inside!

What did it have inside?

MARCIA: Our whole backline - all our instruments, amps, pedals, everything. It had my suitcase with all of my stage dresses and my shoes...

JOSH: Everything we owned, down to the last plectrum.

Those instruments must have had sentimental value...

BOTH: Absolutely.

So did you think of pulling out of the show?

JOSH: No, quitting was never an option.

MARCIA: We weren't going to miss a show. We didn't miss one show.

JOSH: We did more, in fact!

MARCIA: I mean, straight away our tour manager got on it so we could play the International Ska Festival which was the next day. So we borrowed a bunch of equipment and managed to get ourselves to the gig.

Music is for everyone. I don't think anybody ever made a song and said "I don't want this to be heard!"

Who gave you the equipment?

JOSH: Various people.

MARCIA: It was mainly the band Rebellation who played just before us who lent us a bunch of things.

JOSH: And then loads of our friends' bands came through and helped us rebuild until we could get our shit together!

You announced what happened on stage but anyone who didn't know about it would never have guessed from the way you played.

MARCIA: That's amazing you say that because to us it was the most prominent thing at the front of our minds! But the show was great. We loved it. The audience were wicked. Then very soon after it happened, the shop called Banquet Records in Kingston helped us put on a fundraiser. They sorted us out with a venue for free, gave us 100% of all the ticket sales.

JOSH: We sold it out, got a bunch of money from that and then Jaegermeister helped us out with some more stuff. So there are good people out there as well as the bad ones.

Did you get a new van? Is this your new van here?

JOSH: We're still hiring vans at the moment - waiting for the van insurance to come through. But we're out playing shows again.

MARCIA: We got all the instruments except for a drumkit - so we just need to get our drumkit back. But for now, our tour manager's a drummer so we use his drumkit and we're doing all right!

Jamie, you play drums and sing. Is that as hard as it looks?

The SkintsJAMIE: At the beginning it is but you kind of get used to it after years and years of doing it. It's like anything - it's like if you play bass and you sing - it just kind of grows on you after a while and becomes less difficult. It just becomes an extension of you. You're up there with your singing and you're down there with your drumming - it's a strange thing.

Are there any singing drummers out there who inspired you?

(laughter)

JOSH: Phil Collins!

JAMIE: Not Phil Collins! It's just kind of my own thing really.

You cover Sam Cooke's You Send Me live. That's a pretty brave move for any band stepping into those shoes. Did you feel the pressure?

JAMIE: I love all kinds of music and Sam Cooke is one of my favourite vocalists. To me it was an honour to cover that song and to sing it. I felt confident enough to do it. If I felt I wasn't going to do it justice I wouldn't have touched it! (laughing)

Are there any artists you would be afraid to cover?

JOSH: I think if you respect the music you're taking on... It's like anything really. Music is for everyone. I don't think anybody ever made a song and said "I don't want this to be heard!" Especially, with like, us doing reggae, so long as you respect the music, respect where it's come from and respect the song especially...

JAMIE: And know your limitations! (laughing)

JOSH: And know your limitations, then why not?

MARCIA: Absolutely!

A wide selection of music from Jamaica, played and changed and, er... scribbled on by four London kids!

How would you describe your own music?

JOSH: I would say "A wide selection of music from Jamaica, played and changed and, er... scribbled on by four London kids"!

You released your second album, this year, produced by Prince Fatty, and recorded at his Ironworks studio. What was a typical day like doing that?

JOSH: Lots of coffee! Lots of hard work. We worked really hard and Prince Fatty took us to reggae school. We did have fun making it and we're really proud of it. It's called Part and Parcel, we recorded it with the big man Prince Fatty, it's our latest offering of tunes, available in many places so please check it out. We'll be coming with new music soon.

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