Skindred is a British alternative band formed in Newport, South Wales in 1998. Skindred's musical style mixes metal, alternative rock, reggae and punk. The band also integrate elements of dancehall, jungle, hardcore, hip hop, drum and bass, dubstep and various other influences into their music. Skindred 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 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." Dub War disbanded in 1998, and Webbe formed Skindred with bassist Daniel Pugsley, guitarist Mikeydemus, 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 August 14, 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 October 23, 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 (it's still unconfirmed whether or not he will be a full-time member although he has appeared in almost all of Skindred's publicity shots since his addition). The band's fourth studio album, Union Black, was released April 25, 2011 exclusively to the UK & Europe. On July 1, 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 March 2013 the band posted a studio walkthrough of The Chairworks Studio in Cas Vegas, announcing their work on their 5th album.
In April 2013, the band officially announced the title for their new album to be 'Kill The Power'.
- Fuse TV 'Daily Download' (November 4, 2004)
- Late Night with Conan O'Brien (December 14, 2004)
Skindred's bassist Daniel Pugsley filled in on bass duties for the gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello for their appearance on Later... with Jools Holland on June 16, 2006.
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:
- Reading and Leeds Festival, England (2013)
- Download Festival – Donington Park, England (2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014)
- Sonisphere Festival – Knebworth House, England (2009, 2010)
- Summer Sonic Festival – Osaka & Tokyo, Japan (2008)
- Graspop Metal Meeting, Dessel, Belgium (2008)
- Hammerfest – Prestatyn, Wales (2009, 2010, 2012)
- Ozzfest UK – The O2 Arena, London, England (2010)
- Freeze Festival, London, England (2010)
- Hurricane Festival, Bremen, Germany (2010)
- Rock for People Festival, Czech Republic (2010)
- Gurten Festival, Bern, Switzerland (2010)
- Lowlands Festival, Netherlands, (2010)
- Sziget Festival, Budapest, Hungary (2010)
- Highfield Festival, Leipzig, Germany (2005, 2011, 2013)
- Woodstock Festival Poland, Kostrzyn nad Odrą, Poland (2011)
- With Full Force Festival, Germany (2010, 2011)
- Bingley Music Live, England (2011)
- Wacken Open Air Festival, Wacken, Germany (2011)
- Reload Festival, Sulingen, Germany (2011, 2013)
- Merthyr Rock Festival, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales (2011, 2012)
- South By Southwest (SXSW) Festival, Austin, Texas, USA (2012)
- Rock al Parque Festival – Bogotá, Colombia (2012)
- No Blur Circuit Festival Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan (2012)
- Hard Rock Calling Festival, Hyde Park, London, England (2012)
- Exit Festival, Vojvodina, Serbia (2012)
- Getaway Festival, Sweden (2012)
- Sonisphere Festival Madrid, Spain (2012)
- Pukkelpop Festival, Hasselt, Belgium (2010, 2012)
- Hegyalja Festival, Hungary (2012, 2013)
- NH7 Weekender, Pune, India (2013)
- Serengeti Festival, Germany (2013)
- Kubana Festival, Krasnodar, Russia (2013)
- Mighty Sounds Festival, Czech Republic (2013)
- Hellfest, Clisson, France (2013)
- Rock'n Coke Festival, Istanbul, Turkey (2013)
- Rock on the Range, Columbus, Ohio, USA (2014)
- Soundwave, Australia (2014)
- European tour with Voodoo Glow Skulls (2003)
- US tour with Nonpoint (2004)
- US tours with Sevendust (2004, 2005)
- US tour with Breaking Benjamin (2004)
- US arena tour with Korn, Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin and Instruction (2004)
- US headlining tour with Fivespeed supporting (2005)
- Warped Tour, USA & Canada (2005)
- UK tour with Reel Big Fish & The Matches 2005
- US tour with HIM and Finch (2005)
- US Tour with Papa Roach (2005)
- UK headlining tour with Dub Trio (2006)
- US tour 'The Great American Rampage Tour' with Nonpoint, Ankla & Karnivool (2007)
- US, UK & Euro tours with Gogol Bordello (2008)
- Eastpak Antidote Tour with Flogging Molly (2008)
- US, UK & Euro 'Shark Bites and Dog Fights' headline tour (2009)
- US & Canadian tours with Disturbed (2009)
- UK tour with Rob Zombie (2011)
- UK 'Union Black' headline tour with Chiodos & Me Vs Hero (2011)
- Soundwave 'Counter Revolution' tour with Hollywood Undead, Australia (2011)
- Jägermeister Music Tour (UK) with Therapy? & Black Spiders (2012)
- Redline Tour in Japan, with SiM (2013)
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.'"
- Current members
- Benji Webbe – Lead Vocals (1998–present)
- Dan Pugsley – Bassist, Programming, Backing Vocals (1998–present)
- Mikeydemus – Lead Guitarist, Backing Vocals (2002–present)
- Arya Goggin – Drums (2002–present)
- Touring members
- Dan Sturgess (a.k.a. Brixton / Sanchez) – DJ, Samples, Electronics (2011–present)
- Former members
- Martyn "Ginge" Ford – Drums (2001–2002)
- Jeff Rose – Lead Guitarist (2001–2002)
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