Interview: The Skints [Leeds Festival 2012]

East London’s The Skints were welcomed with open arms on Friday at the Dance/Lock-Up Stage at Leeds. We caught up with Marcia Richards (Keys/Sax/Flute/Melodica/Vocals) and Josh Waters Rudge (guitar/vocals) straight after their ska/reggae/punk shenanigans on stage.

This [ska] scene is amazing and the people are amazing.”S] Welcome to Leeds, are you happy to be back?

Josh Waters Rudge] “Definitely, very excited and happy to be back at Leeds Festival!”

Marcia Richards] “Yeah, yeah! Before we went on stage we were all buzzing so much and we had a big cuddle because we were so happy to be back here!”

S] You’ve toured with Northern English ska bands such as Random Hand [from Keighley], how much do you agree that ska music is a nationwide genre rather than just an underground London scene?

J] “I think that when Ska first came into this country in the ‘60s and ‘70s with the Caribbean communities it went with the cities first, so like London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and places like that and then since then it’s kind of spread everywhere. So it’s been kind of a ripple effect over the last four years really [in the North of England].”

M] “All the bands as well, like Random Hand and Capdown, are from random places like Keighley and Milton Keynes, so not even main cities, these are on the outskirts. So it’s everywhere really.”

S] Your latest album ‘Part & Parcel’ was developed in a unique way. Could you tell us how that happened?

M] “Yeah. Basically at the time we had no money, and usually what bands do in this situation is to get their label to pay for the record which gives them a lot of control, not just necessarily with the music, but that they own it and you are then in debt to someone and it’s not really how we wanted to do things. So we figured we’d cut out the middle man and use this great thing called PledgeMusic which is good to do if a band has a wonderful fanbase like us, and fans can view the album before it’s even been made and we got straight in the studio!”

S] You completely rocked your set today, were you pleased with the turn out? [The Skints played the Dance/Lock-Up Stage on Friday at Leeds]?

M] “Yeah, absolutely!”

J] “Definitely. There was probably about twice as many people as there was when we did it about two years ago, so yeah we couldn’t ask for anything better.”

S] You recently played the Hackney Weekend in East London, coming from that area yourselves, how much do you agree the area is thriving?

J] “I mean, it’s kind of like everyone’s been told it is thriving! Once the whole Olympic flame, for want of a better pun, has died down, every other city that has ever had the Olympics in that area has just turned back into a squalid ghetto again. I don’t really hold too much faith. For the time being it’s been great, sure. For East London and with the Hackney Weekend and the Olympics and stuff, everyone’s had a great time. Compared to last summer and obviously what was going on, but yeah it will be interesting to see what actually happens with the area because y’know I don’t really have a lot of faith that the people in control of the situation, once the rest of the world’s gone home from the whole Olympic boom that it’s going to stay like this excellent place that it’s making it out to be.”

S] We heard about your van being stolen a few weeks ago along with much of your equipment. The punk community turned out in force to help you out to raise much needed funds, how did it make you feel to know that there is a lot of support out there for you?

M] “It’s completely inspiring to know that when something like this happens, that you’ve got this community of people just ready, ready to go, and it was quickly that people started offering us donations and Banquet Records sorted us out a fundraiser show and we’ve experienced it before when we’ve tried to fund the album and people came together and they just did it again and I honestly think if it happens to us again they’d come through for us again. This [ska] scene is amazing and the people are amazing. It’s an honour to be a part of it.”

S] And so what are you immediate plans after Leeds Festival?

J] “We’re going to Deutschland to play a reggae festival and then we’re coming back to do Reading on Sunday, so a busy weekend!”

S] Finally, if you were in a Zombie Apocalypse, what weapon would you use and why?

J] “Something sharp and light.”

M] “You need a few different categories. You need to take firearms out of the equation, that’s a big mistake. You need sharp items mainly which are light and easy to carry.”

J] “Samurai sword and an axe, if you can wield it.”

M] “Um but you also need certain things that are durable or maybe something you can prod from far away.”

J] “I’ve got a light titanium baseball bat from America. It’s in my room; it’s ready for the zombie apocalypse!”

M] “What you don’t really want to be doing is making too much noise. If we’re talking [George A.] Romero zombies you’ve got time to run through them and get somewhere safe. You’ve got to be clever and quiet! What was the question again?” [laughs]

J] “I reckon guitar strings for stealth, sneaking up behind them and around the neck like cheese string!”

For more information visit the official Skints website.

Evangeline Spachis

About Evangeline Spachis

Features Writer.