Band of the Day: Skinny Knowledge

I live in Glasgow so for me “weather” means “grey and wet”. This lucky bunch sound bouncy and enthusiastic which isn’t surprising given that they’re constantly bathed in sunshine. I’d hate them if their music wasn’t so good…

Simple things first – where are you from?

We’re from the sunny South Coast, Bournemouth!

How did you meet?

As boring as it is, we met through adverts on Facebook! I was looking for band members, so I posted a couple of ads, both Ben and Fenge responded through there. We have loads of mutual friends from the local music scene, but never actually met in person. Bournemouth’s music scene isn’t that big, so it’s crazy we never bumped into each other!

How long have you been playing as a band?

We’re brand new! We formed during the midst of these lockdowns, and have only been able to rehearse a handful of times so far, due to restrictions!

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

Initially this band name was created about 6 years ago whilst I was studying at BIMM in London, as I was setting up a project up there. My friend and I got drunk one night, and started jotting down random words and sticking them together. Eventually, we stumbled across the phrase ‘Skinny Knowledge’. It didn’t mean anything, but I thought it sounded like a cool punk rock band. We had recorded an EP under the name, but I left Uni and we disbanded. The name always stuck with me; I’ve always thought it’s quirky, and there’s no other name out there the same, so when I decided to release an album now, I decided to go with it.

What are your influences?

My two main influences are Foo Fighters and Green Day, and that definitely comes through in the music. However, I have a vast selection of favourites… Eagles are right up there, along with Guns N’ Roses, Queen (who doesn’t love Queen?), and also Royal Republic.

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Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Good question! I believe that there aren’t many bands out there that are ‘real’ anymore. What I mean by that, is everything that we hear and see nowadays is too perfect. Whether it be people’s lives on social medias, or the music we hear day in and day out… Our perception of perfect has become distorted. We expect too much, rather than loving the imperfections. These imperfections are what make people unique, and that’s something I think a lot of bands and artists have lost in more recent times. Everything is quantised, every guitar riff is chopped into time, every drum hit is beat detected, every vocal line auto-tuned… It’s become un-human. It’s not real. But we’ve become so accustomed to it that we think it’s real, so god forbid anyone who doesn’t conform to this regime.

Well, that’s where I step in, and finally get to my point and answer the question… This album is as real as I could be. It’s not fixed, it’s not auto-tuned, because to me, that’s what makes it perfect. It’s just drums, bass, guitars, and singing about real life.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Following on from the last question, the songs on the album are all based around the experiences of young adult life. Money, relationships, partying, love, family, hope, despair… It’s a whirlwind of emotions, but it just reflects what was going on in my head whilst I was writing. Like I’ve previously said, it’s all real. It’s not made up drivel to make a catchy number. Every song you hear on the album, every lyric, is a story from my life. A life that isn’t perfect, and I think it’s important to share that with people. The whole album is a big middle finger to a society that makes people feel like it’s not okay to not be okay. A society that creates a tormenting image of false pretence that kicks us when we’re down, rather than helping us back up. In a world full of tainted phone screens and technology, I believe there’s a place inside of all of us that’s searching for some form of realism, and that’s what I’ve tried to portray.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

As previously stated, as a band, we’re so new that we’ve never done a show! But as a person, I feed off a live audience. I love to be energetic, and get people involved. There’s no better feeling than seeing a band you love and feeling included, like you belong, and I want to give people that same feeling.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

I was actually going to answer with Tommy Lee’s drum solo with Motley Crue at Wembley Arena, that was pretty ridiculous. He had this huge circular rollercoaster looking thing that he’d spin around on whilst playing drum n’ bass. Weird, but kinda cool… But then that led me to think of later in the show, when I think Mick Mars kept playing out of time, and the whole band went to shit. They decided to storm off stage, whilst the backing track carried on… That was pretty embarrassing…

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

I play Gibson’s, I have a Les Paul Smartwood which I bought in the States back in 2005. It’s my dearly beloved, and it’ll stay with me for life. It absolutely screams (it’s fitted with a Seymour Duncan SH2 and SH4), and it plays amazing. I used it for about 80% of the record. I also have a sunburst Billie Joe Les Paul Junior, because it’s the closest thing to a 50’s Jr without spending megabucks (and also the case is insanely cool), and then my newest recruit, a black Midtown Custom. Beautiful guitar!

Ben plays PRS, his main guitar is a McCarty 594, as well as a gold John Mayer Silver Sky. He recently acquired a CE22 Goldtop as well. Fenge plays an old 70’s Fender P bass, as well as a Jazz bass. Recording the album, I used big and old 70’s blue and olive badge Ludwig, Bonham-style. Incredible sounding kit, paired up with a Gretsch Bell Brass snare. Killer combination!

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What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

We have a brand new single out, “Keep Me Out Of It”, which has been blasted around loads of radio stations so far, including Kerrang! We also have our debut album Don’t Turn Out The Lights coming out on 5th March, which we’re super excited to share with everyone!

What are your plans for the next 12 months?

If we’re allowed, GIG! We have an album launch show planned for April, but it may be postponed yet, we’ll have to wait and see. Being that we’re brand new, we just want to get out and get some shows under our belt. Venues, if you’re reading this, SAY HI! We’d love to travel around and see some of the great venues the country has to offer.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

This is a tough one… There are so many! I mentioned them earlier, I would absolutely love to support Royal Republic, they’re such a fun band, I think it would be one hell of an evening… Or Sum 41, I also think that’d be a great night. In terms of supporting us? I’ll go with the local option. Black Tree Vultures are a great hard-rock band, also from our hometown, Bournemouth. They’ve actually agreed to open for us on our album launch, so it’s kind of true! Maybe Sum 41 or Royal Republic will show up too…

Check out this month’s BotD Playlist on Spotify and YouTube

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