Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Skindred performing at Full Force 2023
Skindred performing at Full Force 2023
Background information
OriginNewport, Wales
Years active1998–present
Spinoff ofDub War
Past members
  • Jeff Rose
  • Martyn "Ginge" Ford
  • Dan Sturgess

Skindred is a Welsh band that fuses heavy metal with other genres, most notably reggae.[3] Formed in Newport in 1998, they 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[4] and the "Devotion Award" at the 2011 Kerrang! Awards.[5]


Dub War and beginning (1993–2001)[edit]

Dub War was formed in Newport, Wales in 1993 and eventually signed with Earache Records, releasing two full-length studio albums on the label during that decade: Pain and Wrong Side Of Beautiful (the band later released Westgate Under Fire in 2022).[6][7] Pain hit #1 in the UK Independent Album chart. Dub War’s metal crossover sound set the template for which lead vocalist Benji Webbe and his band mates in Skindred would later adopt and perfect.[8]

Originally, Webbe started his career in music with a group of friends that filmed a music video to go along with a song named "Point of No Return" that was sung on location in Newport in 1990, alongside, Que, John Friendly and Steven Draycott. Benji tried to form a band out of the people featured in the video (that was going to be called Bancall) however the name was changed to Dub War. The band thereafter disbanded in 1999 due to disputes with the label, which have since been rectified.[9]

Babylon (2002–2006)[edit]

Webbe later formed Skindred with bassist Daniel Pugsley, guitarist Mikey Demus and drummer Arya Goggin after Webbe was unable to put together a new project featuring other members of Dub War.[3] 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 14 August 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."[10]

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.[11] In 2005, the single "Pressure" peaked at No. 30 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[11] In 2006, Babylon once again charted at No. 1 on the Top Reggae Albums chart.[11]

Roots Rock Riot and Shark Bites and Dog Fights (2006–2010)[edit]

Throughout the year 2006, the band was writing material for their second album (it was initially set for a fall 2006 release).[12] The band re-entered the studio in early 2007 to record songs for the album. On 23 October 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.[13] The album Shark Bites and Dog Fights was released in September 2009.

Union Black (2011–2012)[edit]

Skindred performing in Germany, 2011

In 2011, Dan Sturgess was added to Skindred's live lineup. The band's fourth studio album, Union Black, was released 25 April 2011 exclusively to the UK and Europe. On 1 July, 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,[14] 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.

Kill the Power (2013–2014)[edit]

In March 2013, the band posted a studio walkthrough of The Chairworks Studio in Castleford, announcing their work on their fifth album.[15] In April, they officially announced the title for their new album to be Kill the Power.[16] The album was then released on 24 January 2014. It debuted on the iTunes chart at No. 37 and then climbed to No. 32 where it peaked.[17]

Volume (2015–2016)[edit]

Between their fifth and sixth albums, Skindred left their label BMG and signed with Napalm Records. On 30 October 2015, the band released the album Volume, marking the shortest amount of time between albums. Alongside the standard release, a deluxe edition of the album that contained a documentary called "Rude Boys for Life" was available for pre-order through PledgeMusic. The documentary looks at life on the road, its ups and downs, celebrations, festival appearances and headline shows, studio access, and the band's Polish Woodstock headline show where they played to over 1 million people.[18] The album debuted on the iTunes chart at No. 55 where it peaked.[19]

Big Tings (2017–2020)[edit]

Skindred at Elbriot 2018

Their seventh album, Big Tings, followed in 2018 and was released on 27 April. In between touring Big Tings, writing began on their eighth album Smile.

Smile (2021–present)[edit]

In March 2021, it was announced that Skindred had signed a new global record deal with Earache Records.[20] August 2023 saw the band fight a closely contested chart race for the UK Number 1 Album spot with their eighth album Smile.[21] With the incredible support of the rock and metal community – including messages of support from Metallica, Rage Against The Machine and Disturbed as well as Kerrang!, NME and Louder publications[22][23][24] – the band landed a career best of Number 2 in the UK Album chart,[25] leading to a feature on BBC Breakfast.[26]

Other notable chart positions for Smile include: #1 UK Rock and Metal Album, #1 UK Independent Album, #1 UK Vinyl Album, #1 UK Album Downloads, #1 US Alternative New Artist Album, #2 US Current Reggae Album, #6 US Top New Artist Album, #9 US Current Hard Music Album and #19 US Independent Current Album.[27][28]

All of this followed announcing their biggest ever headline show at Wembley Arena for March 2024[29] and selling out multiple shows for their October 2023 Smile headline tour months in advance, to winning Best UK Live Act at the Heavy Music Awards 2023[30] and being the cover stars of Kerrang! magazine for the first time.[31] The band's 00s hit “Nobody” also saw a resurgence following a viral TikTok dance trend in February 2023.[32]

Musical style[edit]

Skindred fuse heavy metal, reggae, punk, hip hop and electronica influences to create a unique style and sound. The band has previously referred to this style as "Ragga metal".[33][34] Benji Webbe has also jokingly referred to the band's musical style as "nu-reggae", in reference to the term nu metal.[35] Although Skindred has sometimes been compared to Bad Brains,[36] 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.'"[35]

Band members[edit]

Current members
  • Benji Webbe – lead vocals (1998–present), synthesiser (2011–present)
  • Daniel Pugsley – bass, programming, backing vocals (1998–present)
  • Mikey Demus – guitars, backing vocals (2002–present)
  • Arya Goggin – drums (2002–present)
Former members
  • Jeff "Death" Rose – guitars (2001–2002)
  • Martyn "Ginge" Ford – drums (2001–2002)
  • Dan "Brixton" "Sanchez" Sturgess – DJ, programming, backing vocals (2011–2017)





Skindred's bassist Daniel Pugsley played for the gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello for their appearance on Later... with Jools Holland on 16 June 2006.

Video game

The song Nobody was used in the games Need For Speed Underground 2 and MX vs. ATV Unleashed.

Skindred’s music has been used twice in the video game Blitz The League and its PSP counterpart Blitz: Overtime

Music festivals[edit]

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.[37]

Skindred's festival appearances have included:


  • Live at "The Roundhouse" Camden London (This will be recorded Live and released as their very 1st Live Album) (21 November 2020)
  • Awards and nominations[edit]

    Kerrang! Awards

    Year Recipient Award Result
    2010 Skindred Best Live Band[38] Nominated
    2011 Skindred Devotion Award[5] Won

    Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards

    Year Recipient Award Result
    2011 Skindred Best Live Band[4] Won

    Heavy Music Awards

    Year Recipient Award Result
    2023 Skindred Best UK Live Act[30] Won

    MOBO Awards

    Year Recipient Award Result
    2023 Skindred Best Alternative Music Act Won


    1. ^ Richards, Owain (15 November 2006). "Kerrang! Wales Free Event – Cardiff's The Point". Lucem Fero. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
    2. ^ Bye, Jon."Nu metal ain't dead – just ask Skindred". Archived from the original on 10 December 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). Virgin Music.
    3. ^ a b Loftus, Johnny. "Biography of Skindred". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
    4. ^ a b Shaw, Zach. "Metal Hammer Golden Gods 2011 Winners and Nominees". MetalInsider. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
    5. ^ a b "Kerrang Awards 2011 Winners and Nominees". Kerrang.com. Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
    6. ^ Lawson, Dom (20 July 2020). "Dub War's Pain: ragga-metal and revolution on a lost 90s classic". Louder. Retrieved 18 October 2023.
    7. ^ Carter, Emily (2 March 2022). "Benji Webbe's Dub War return with first album of all-new material in over 25 years". Kerrang!. Retrieved 18 October 2023.
    8. ^ Hill, Stephen (15 April 2016). "Why Dub War are back after 20 years". Louder.
    9. ^ "Biography of Dub War". Dub War. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
    10. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "Review of Babylon". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
    11. ^ a b c "Charts and awards for Babylon". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
    12. ^ "Interview with Skindred frontman Benji Webbe". v13.net. 15 February 2006. Retrieved 15 February 2006.
    13. ^ "Charts and awards for Roots Rock Riot". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
    14. ^ "Skindred Return to Download and add more European Festivals". Skindred.net. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2011.[permanent dead link]
    15. ^ Skindred Studio Walk Through Skindredofficial1 on YouTube. 29 March 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
    16. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Skindred Announce New Album 'Kill The Power'!". Metal Hammer. 29 April 2013. Archived from the original on 1 May 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
    17. ^ "Skindred - 'Kill the Power'British iTunes Chart Performance". iTunes Chart. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
    18. ^ "Skindred – Rude Boys For Life – Official Trailer". Skindred. 11 August 2015. Archived from the original on 26 October 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
    19. ^ "Skindred - 'Volume' British iTunes Chart Performance". iTunes Chart. 30 October 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
    20. ^ "Newport rockers Skindred's global deal with Earache Records". South Wales Argus. 16 March 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
    21. ^ "Skindred on Number 1 album race: "We're riding the crest of a wave!"". Official Charts. 8 August 2023. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
    22. ^ Carter, Emily (10 August 2023). "Skindred's chart battle sees the rock and metal scene rally around the band: "It's amazing to see"". Kerrang!. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
    23. ^ Dunworth, Liberty (11 August 2023). "Skindred say they "feel like David and Goliath" in chart battle for first-ever Number One album". NME. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
    24. ^ Doherty, Neil (8 August 2023). "Skindred are poised at #1 in the midweek album chart: these are the six songs you need to know". Louder Sound. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
    25. ^ "Skindred". Official Charts. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
    26. ^ "BBC Breakfast". BBC. 12 August 2023. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
    27. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Albums Charts". Official Charts. 18 August 2023. Retrieved 21 August 2023.
    28. ^ "Billboard Charts". Billboard. 19 August 2023. Retrieved 21 August 2023.
    29. ^ Crumlish, Callum (7 August 2023). "Skindred tickets for Wembley Arena out TODAY - here's where to get them". Express. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
    30. ^ a b Colothan, Scott (30 May 2023). "Halestorm, Download Festival and Skindred among the winners at Heavy Music Awards 2023". Planet Radio. Retrieved 21 August 2023.
    31. ^ Hickie, James (2 August 2023). "Skindred: "We're not hailed like a lot of bands, but it's supposed to be like this. We're the alternative"". Kerrang. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
    32. ^ Daly, Rhian (3 February 2023). "Skindred become unlikely TikTok stars as 'Nobody' dance trend takes over app". NME. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
    33. ^ "Last chance to catch Skindred". Express and Echo. 15 December 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2008.[permanent dead link]
    34. ^ "Skindred set to storm into action". South Wales Evening Post. 5 April 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2008.[permanent dead link]
    35. ^ a b Briggs, Newt (9 September 2004). "Dread head". Las Vegas Mercury. Archived from the original on 3 December 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
    36. ^ "Mon-Skindred". Idaho Statesman. 25 February 2005. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
    37. ^ Chris Harris (12 June 2006). "Korn's Jonathan Davis Hospitalized With Blood Ailment; Tour Canceled". MTV News. Retrieved 27 January 2007.
    38. ^ "Kerrang Awards 2010 Winners and Nominees". Kerrang.com. Retrieved 7 December 2013.

    External links[edit]