SKINDRED SHARE SECRETS OF SURVIVAL FOR STUDENTS OF SURREY
SKINDRED’S frontman Benji Webbe and guitarist Mikey Demus dropped into Guildford’s ACM (Academy Of Contemporary Music) in Surrey to talk to the students about how best to endure and deliver in the music business. They also played a special acoustic set.
Formed in 1998, SKINDRED have gained an enviable reputation for their ultra-high-energy live shows. The Welsh rockers have toured relentlessly, and played to crowds of up to 500K.
Their natural ability, winning ethos and dedication to hard work has earned the band a well-deserved following and durable longevity in an ever-changing industry.
Aspiring students at ACM Guildford jumped at the chance to ask Benji and Mikey what their secrets were, and how they have managed to maintain and continue to build a career within an industry that is full of change.
When asked by a student what advice they would give to bands just starting to write their own songs, frontman Benji responded “Just be true to yourself.”
“Enjoyment is key” he added, especially when it comes to touring. Benji explained how, for him, the years have flown by and how “passion [has] kept the fire alight.” What’s more, he reminded the students: “Once you write a song, you’re stuck with it for life…”
Touring can lead to some very strange experiences: Mikey, for example, told the group of students how it feels to be hit on stage by a dead fish!
“What drove you to music?” Asked one student. For Mikey, it was “watching Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix, and Jimmy Page” that moved him to pick up the guitar. The likes of these greats gave him the fire to play. Mikey was also keen to point out that it is important to “Pick your own lane!”
An important question was raised during the discussion “Do you think you’d still be where you are if you started out today?” Benji admitted times were different now, “We’re up against an industry that wants you to fit in a certain pocket. We don’t fit in a pocket: We do what we do.” When asked which song they’d wish they’d written – Benji responded “My Way” a song whose lyrics Benji described as “Lasting forever, meaning so much to so many...”
Not only did Benji and Mikey share their insights and secrets of success with ACM’s students, they also played an exclusive acoustic concert, with songs from their extensive back catalog such as “Nobody” and “Saying it Now.”
Main Image: @neilmach taken at nearby Redfest, in Reigate Surrey