The ever-ex­citable front­man waxes lyri­cal on con­tro­ver­sial lat­est al­bum Big Tings, longevity and, er, Phil Camp­bell from Motör­head’s shoes

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Contents - WORDS: DANNII LeIVeRS

How Benji Webbe lit­er­ally ended up in Phil Camp­bell’s shoes.

skin­dred have long

been hailed as one of the great­est live bands to ever come out of the UK, but they’ve re­ally turned heads with their new al­bum, Big Tings, which boasts a more pol­ished, stream­lined and, dare it be said, com­mer­cial sound. With the record smash­ing through the charts and a suc­cess­ful head­line tour in the bag, 2018 looks like it’ll go down as a vin­tage year for Benji Webbe and co. As the front­man knows all too well, how­ever, it’s been a hell of a slog to get here...

peo­ple come to skin­dred for a good time but big tings feels like it might be your de­fin­i­tive party al­bum

“Lis­ten, robins do what they do, crows do what they do and Skin­dred does what they do. We bring that en­ergy. Ev­ery­body gets given some­thing and I guess Skin­dred were just given that party vibe!”

do you feel that en­ergy is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent on this al­bum, though?

“It’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent be­cause I’m not do­ing so many vo­cal gym­nas­tics on this record. We haven’t got to stick to a lane, we’re not AC/DC. We’ve writ­ten loads of songs that sound like No­body and Kill The Power but we just thought, ‘Let’s do some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent on this one. We’re in this for the long haul.’ You’ve got to remember we’re 18 years deep in this thing, so it’s time to mix it up a lit­tle. Mu­si­cally, it’s not as er­ratic; it hasn’t got those big reg­gae in­flu­ences, dance­hall drum­beats. There’s none of that on this record. I’m still Benji Webbe do­ing what Benji Webbe does best, which is freakin’ the fuck out on the songs, but we be­lieve this is as rock’n’roll as Skin­dred gets.

Old fans might lis­ten to it and say we’ve lost the buzz. We haven’t lost any fuck­ing thing, we’re just do­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent for a minute.”

What are neW songs adding

to your live shoW?

“I re­ally think they en­hance the set. We were like a dog with two tails at the be­gin­ning of this band, we didn’t know where to wag them, we were just wag­ging tails con­stantly! A dog with two tails, that’s what Skin­dred’s first three al­bums were. Then we’ve got the stuff where we were like, ‘Oh we’ve ma­tured so much on this record.’ Then we’ve got the stuff where we’re like, ‘We’re still lit­tle kids!’ It just all helps to make the set more bouncy, more rocky.”

hoW did ma­chine end up hav­ing phil camp­bell from motör­head on it? that’s an un­ex­pected cameo…



“Ba­si­cally, Phil asked me to sing on his al­bum and I said, ‘How much are you giv­ing me?’ He said, ‘I’m not giv­ing you any money’, but I was in his stu­dio and he said, ‘Pick any­thing you want in this room.’ I saw these shoes and I said, ‘Can I have them?’ He said, ‘They’re yours, mate.’ I’ve only worn them once and they crushed the fuck out of my feet. That’s what he paid me, a pair of shoes! Sounds like a good al­bum, doesn’t it: THE SHOES THAT PHIL GAVE ME. When we got in the stu­dio we recorded Ma­chine and I said, ‘Let’s get Phil on here to do a solo’, and he did.”

What am­bi­tions have skin­dred got left to achieve?

“To make some money, that would be a good am­bi­tion! Ten years ago I was like, ‘I’m play­ing in this band and I’ve never earned a bean.’

All my friends my age have got houses and stuff, and I went to the bank and I said, ‘I’m in a rock’n’roll band, can I have some money to buy a house?’ For­tu­nately they said yes.

So I have joined the evil of so­ci­ety that is the mort­gage. Skin­dred did the whole sleep­ing on dirty floors for a long time, so for years we would say to peo­ple, ‘Hey guys, if you en­joyed the band can we sleep at your house, please?’ Now I’ll check into a Premier Inn be­fore I check onto a mat­tress again.”

big tings is your sev­enth al­bum. What’s the se­cret to skin­dred’s longevity?

“Tol­er­ance, my friend – and stu­pid­ity. Any­one else would have said, ‘Fuck this for a game of sol­diers’, but not us. When we all joined the band I didn’t think the guys would be able to tol­er­ate me for the next five years, never mind 18, but they have. As much as we want to kick each other’s heads in ev­ery other day, we love each other… I guess!”


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