A conversation with… The Skints

Currently on the nationwide Fireball Tour with Less Than Jake, East London ska/reggae quartet The Skints have risen from the UK underground to becoming one of the most recognisable acts on the British circuit. Our man north of the border Cameron Law managed to catch up with them before the Glasgow leg of the aforementioned tour…


How is the tour going so far?

Yeah the tour is good man, it’s been wicked. Soundchecks are early so it can be quiet long days but everyone is wicked on this tour.

What time do you have to start your day then?

Depends as us and Mariachi El Bronx are swapping slots every night and that’s the difference to us getting to the venue at 1 or 2.

For those seeing you on this tour who haven’t heard of The Skints before, how would you describe your sound?

Like lots of things you’ve heard before but not all at the same time.

Your last album FM’s been out for over a year now, how do you feel the album has been received amongst your fans?

Yeah really well man. I think it’s definitely done the best in the shortest amount of time out of all the albums we’ve put out. I feel the whole concept went over some people’s heads a little bit. But in the sense that we’ve not had any negative reviews with it but like I don’t know everyone got it the way we intended. But that’s just some people, I know a lot of people did get it. But the songs as far as the music goes, I think it’s been the best received Skints music to date.


It’s fair to say that your music is heavily influenced by London, especially in a lot of your lyrical content. Do you feel that makes a difference when you’re playing live far away from home?

Not really because it is what it is wherever in the world we’re playing. But I think in London sonically people might know where it is that we’re talking about or able to relate to certain aspects of our sound or the slang that we’re saying but it is what it is wherever it is.

And what about out of the country where English might not be the first language in the cities that you’re playing? Do you feel you have to maybe change your live show a bit to account for that?

Not in terms of the actual show, maybe the way I talk to the crowd though. Like if I play in France I’ll say a few French things on stage as we play there a lot and they really dig it. But not really the show is still fundamentally the same. The name Skints doesn’t translate at all though, even in America they don’t know what it means.

You came through the UK underground punk scene almost a decade ago and have outlasted many bands who you came through that scene with. What do you attribute to your longevity and without having to make any line up changes?

I think firstly its making sure people have maximum respect for each other really. It’s important the vibe as people is nice and I think we haven’t really been in a situation where we’ve signed to a label and ended up in loads of debt to someone. Staying self-sufficient financially has really helped. Everyone in the Skints has been committed to a heavy touring schedule and been fully committed. Just putting everything in it is what I would say really.


Do you have any pre-show rituals?

I think the ritual thing is dangerous, as if there’s a day where you can’t do it then it can throw you off key. But sometimes we’ll a little huddle or a warm up together backstage with acoustic guitars

What are you plans after this tour?

We’re actually going back to the US in November for an East coast tour with Sublime With Rome then working on some new stuff. We’ll be trying a few things with a couple of different producers, just starting to build some new tunes again for next year.

Are you hoping to put a record out in 2017 then?

I definitely think there’ll be a good few songs coming out next year, though I don’t know about an album but there will definitely be some new music from us

2016 has been an incredible year for new music, which have been among your favourite albums that came out this year?

I thought the Weezer record was sick. Skepta’s album as well was awesome, Kano’s album too. It’s hard to think without having your phone with you. Oh and The Frightnrs who are our mates  from New York, they put an album out called Nothing More To Say which is sick.

Thanks for speaking to us, hope the rest of the tour goes well. 

– Cameron Law (@Deadend_Friend)

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