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The fabulous Bristolians, SKIN, headlined recently for Northern Exposure and took Sheffield’s Frog & Parrot by storm! Their ferocious punk poetry and cataclysmic choruses shook the chandeliers of the venue and by the end of the set, SKIN had scorched their names on the brains of our audience and secured a new band of northern fans. We caught up with OJ after their amazing performance to find out a little more.

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Could tell us a little about your music? There were some very sounds going on from you tonight throughout your set.

I think a lot of out I’m the singer and I write all of our stuff. I still I think there are a lot of different influences coming in to our band. Ethan has got a lot of punk influence that he brings in to the band and I’m massively in to my ’80s music. A lot of people describe us as a grunge band but a lot of us don’t even like grunge music particularly. I just like to think that we sound like ourselves. Our sound’s quite unique to what a lot of bands are doing at the minute – that’s what I like to think. We make our own sounds and we write songs that mean something. A lot of our lyrics, people have noticed, are quite dark and quite miserable and I think that a lot of our lyrics are about where people are coming from and they relate to when we were growing up and stuff. A lot of people here have been in bad places mentally and I think that’s important to kind of try and get that across in our music as it means a lot to me to write music that means something.

I think if you can connect with an audience through sharing your own experiences and they can feel that too …  I mean that’s huge for some people isn’t it? Especially if they’re feeling things might be difficult for them but they see someone else is going through something similar.

I want to write songs that mean something and not just for the sake of it. I feel I’ve got a gift to write songs and I want to write the kinds of songs that can help people and hopefully people can relate to our music and hopefully that will help them. When I started SKIN I wasn’t happy about the state of the kind of music I was seeing locally it was a lot of the same indie stuff that didn’t mean a lot – people were in these indie bands who did it for the sake of it. And that’s fine if you want to do that – I love playing music too. But I just wanted to take it that one step further and make music that meant something to me and hopefully would grow so it would help others. As more people listen to us they comment on our music these days, people comment and give us the reaction that I’m hoping for.

Who are your influences?

Growing up I listened to and still listen to The Pixies and Morrissey. The Smiths were a big influence on me too.

I hear those influences … The Pixies riffs and your melodies are influenced by Morrissey somewhat.

I see myself in a lot of those kind of bands from the ’80s. I’ve always loved American music but I think that’s where I come from. In Bristol there really wasn’t much of a music scene for me it was limited – and I reached out to those bands really I never had that really. Like I talk to people up n Manchester and they have all these idols they knew and I never had that. For us it’s what our parents listened to and then the music we found that really shaped us as a band. We’ve not had a lot of backing so we appreciate every single time someone has had faith in us and gives us promotion or support. We’re all still really young. We’re all still 18. So it means a lot. Not having particular support means that when someone has championed us it really means a lot. We just hope to keep progressing. When we’ve been given those opportunities we just take them.

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Where abouts have you played before?

We’ve had a lot of gigs in Birmingham as we have a good following there. We have played down a few dates in London and to kind of play everywhere is what we aim to do.

You just have to get out there. Hard working musicians who gig and travel to play – the audiences really appreciate that.

That’s why I always make a real point of saying how appreciative we are for help and support. This Feeling have done a lot for us and loads of people are catching on to us.

So what’s coming up for you guys?

We’ve got a new album coming soon but we don’t want to give too much away and we played a few songs from that tonight but we have a few things to do before we’re ready to share that. It’s on it’s way. We have some merch now which we’re selling.

Which were your favourite tracks that you played tonight and why?

Honey was for me that we played second to last is one of the new ones and one that I was really excited for people to hear. Messages in there that I wanted to get across to people. It’s about anti-depressants. Where we’re from I know a lot of people that need help for mental illness and people can relate to that. Our writing and our songs they’re not forced everything in my songs are there for a reason and hopefully when we’ve released that we’ll get a positive reaction.

What was your favourite track tonight?

Hades Snare the first one as it’s fun to play – I get down on the ground for that one

Kate: Absolutely – it was a great one to open with as the audience didn’t know what to expect and then they really bounced off that. Each song was really different.

Thank you. We’ve really enjoyed being up here.

KATE O’BRIEN & RACHEL BROWN

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