Saturday morning early starts and future rockstars are two things rarely mentioned in the same sentence. But, contrary to the usual stereotype, my chat with The Skinner Brother’s frontman Zachary Skinner was scheduled for 10 am sharp. We caught up over Zoom, where Zack told me about his previous night off spent watching films. The sort of evening which is worlds away from the party lifestyle you would envisage comes with the territory of being in a band on the cusp of becoming absolutely massive.
If somehow you are still yet to listen to The Skinner Brothers, you really are missing out. These guys are undoubtedly one of the most exciting yet grounded bands around at the moment. An admirable work ethic and refreshingly versatile songwriting earned the band support slots for huge artists like Kasabian and The Streets in 2021. The Skinner Brothers are set to embark on their long-anticipated UK tour in March 2022, playing to a swathe of fans that have largely been acquired over the lockdown.
Sorry if I’ve got you out of bed, did you have a bit of a heavy night last night?
No, I was just watching a film – Insidious. It wasn’t very good though; it was a bit shit, to be honest. I find the ghost ones a little bit scarier cause’ in the night I think maybe they’re actually about. But the other ones, like the zombie ones and that, I don’t mind them. Cause’ to be fair if there was a zombie apocalypse, I wouldn’t mind, I’d quite like that. We were off yesterday you see so we did some stuff with our photographer Connor and… What else did I do? Oh, and I went to the shop.
Sounds like a pretty normal day to me.
Yeah, well we came back to London for the day off because it’s closer to where we are going today, which is Southampton. It’s nice to be home to be honest, cause’ we’ve only stayed in one hotel on this tour. Alex from Blagger’s Records has got a place in Liverpool, so on all the northern dates we’ve been staying there. So even after Glasgow, we drove back to Liverpool, but I didn’t really mind because the van is actually pretty sound. I quite like it in there, it’s got an Xbox 360 and a couple of TVs, it’s alright, yeah. It’s better than the hotel we stayed at in Newcastle to be fair.
Oh no! What happened?
I don’t even know, maybe I am a hotel snob, but it was on a different level. They said that we got a continental breakfast, right? In the morning there was nothing in the room, so we tell the woman that we should have the continental breakfast. Then she goes, “Ah, how many of you? Three?”. She goes in the back and gets three chocolate croissants in little plastic bags, like the ones you put in your lunch box or something. I was like what the fuck, so we went to the Wetherspoons down the road.
You’ve just supported Kasabian on their fully sold out or how was that?
It was cool man, it was always packed out every night when we played. I didn’t expect that to be honest, I thought it might be a bit sparse. It was good to see a fair few of our fans at the shows, cause you can see them. Then it was just a mission to win the rest over. It’s like being in a new band in some ways because you’re out there, trying to sell yourself to a new crowd. It’s quite a mixed bag the Kasabian crowd, some youngsters and some a bit older. So, some of those people aren’t properly into social media and following us online in the same way. For example, you know Stone the band? They went on tour with Yungblud and they got like loads of followers because his fans are a lot younger. They’ll be straight on Insta, sharing it and that. Whereas with Kasabian, because it is so mixed, you might get a few on Facebook, you might get a few on insta but you’ve gotta really work for it. I just find it interesting man, it’s harder to tell because they might be like “yeah that was good” but then won’t do anything after that. Like my Dad listens to Radio 6 and that and knows loads of bands, but he doesn’t even fucking have Instagram or anything like that. People like that will still come to your gigs, they’ll buy tickets but you don’t even know that they’re your fans.
Your new single ‘Put Me Down as a Maybe’ is out now, how would you describe it?
It’s got a heavy bass line on it, some heavy guitars – to me, it sounds a little bit 90’s/2000’s. It’s just a fucking cool track. Yeah, everyone seems to enjoy this tune, but when I made it I thought it was more of a B-side type thing. I wasn’t sure if the chorus was big enough. It’s one of the ones where I thought, “yeah it’s cool, but will it reach out to people?”. But everyone seems to like it. To be honest, I think we’re at a stage now with the band where we don’t have to put out stuff out that’s going to please all the fucking mainstream shit.
So how was your 2nd sold-out night at London’s Hundred Club?
It was poppin’, it was even better than the first one. It was crazier, people just knew what to expect this time. Everyone’s had this throat thing where they can’t talk, and at that point, I had the throat thing but no one even cared. I don’t think anyone could hear us anyway. We came on and played ‘Culture Non-stop’ and the room went mental. Then after the song finished, I was testing my guitar, strumming it to see if it was working, and it wasn’t even on. ‘Cause as soon as we had started, someone had staged dived and somehow unplugged everything. I didn’t realize, and no one seemed to care, cause they were still just going mental. I don’t know what everyone was hearing, it’s more about the endurance than sounding good at the Hundred’.
Is that what it’s going to be like when you do your headline tour in March next year? Have you thought about who is going to support you?
Yeah, I’m pushing to get some local bands to open up for us if we can. There are a few good venues on there, like Manchester Deaf Institute – I like that one, King Tuts in Glasgow, Islington Academy in London. That’s right at the end and about 900 capacity I think.
Is that the biggest venue on the tour?
Yeah, yeah, the biggest one, which is quite a good achievement for us to be fair, to play to nearly 1000 of our own fans.
What have The Skinner Brothers got planned for next year then?
We’ve got the tour, some new music. I’m hoping we get on a few festivals next year because this year I didn’t think we were going to get to play any festivals. We ended up getting on about 4 or 5 but I think we only did 3 because Coronavirus cancelled a few of them.
The Skinner Brother’s 2022 headline tour is on sale now, don’t miss out, it’s going to be a big one! www.theskinnerbrothers.com
PHOTOS: CONNOR HILL