22 Juin 2019



Interview Benji and Dan

[Tough times, I was scheduled to tentatively interview Philip Anselmo (my all time hero), but every interview got canceled, even the confirmed ones. I realize that I’ll meet Skindred at one of the tables posted right outside the Press Area. Well, and the schedule is running late so much that I’m risking to cancel (my turn) my planned interview with Death Decline. Thanks to Skindred’s Press Assistant, she got me switched in the schedule order so that I could make both interviews. Thanks a lot. Here I am, I’m joining a table where Benji Webbe (vocals) et Dan Pugsley (bass) are already getting interviewed… But I already play (unintentionally) a role in this one. I’m holding Benji’s phone since he wants the current interview (performed by an animated rockabilly puppet) to be captured on film to show his children. Great moment, fun stuff. Then it’s my turn…]

Hello guys, I’m with Aux Portes du Metal, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard about us? We’re dealing in metal from Rainbow up to Cannibal Corpse and beyond?

Benji : Are you going to translate in French as well?

No, I’ll change everything you said.

Benji and Dan : Laughs…

Is it correct? Is this the third time you’re here at Hellfest?

Benji : I thought it was the second, but I know that I don’t know….

Dan : it’s actually the third time. We opened the first one very early in the morning on the main stage.

I noticed some people know who you are but most don’t at a festival like this.

Benji : absolutely, 75% of the people don’t know who you are. You’ve got to tell them several times otherwise you’ll never get to be known for what you do.

And it’s not as if you had a backdrop with your name on it… (their backdrop displays a cat with futuristic and artsy-fartsy accessories)

Benji : Do you like the cat? It’s cute, people love cats.

Why not teddy bears then?

Benji : Well, he draws (pointing out towards Dan) all the artwork and he doesn’t know how to draw teddy bears, that’s all…

Dan : he fucking hates cats… actually it’s our drummer who thought about this. We believed it was a good idea, so we kept it.

How about you tell us what Skindred is about?

Benji : Skindred is about bringing people together. it’s about unity. Black, white, gay, straight… I believe Skindred is an umbrella which is a protector of all people. If you love life, bring it on. If you don’t, get out. With our music, we may draw from all these influences. We draw a lot of people together.

Tell me, you released Big Tings last year, was it? It sounds like each album enables to build on the previous one and bring even more…

Benji : It is correct. And thank you. We go in a room together and I pray to the gods of reggae we bring something special. I love all my children, I don’t like’em all but I love’em all (laughs). So that’s what we do. I don’t think we got to be better than before. I just think we need to be truthful and be playing the best game with the cards we’re being dealt. Now we have seven albums out and I’m really pleased that our fans have an album for each day of the week. There’s not that many bands with seven albums. I say twenty years, seven albums, not bad.

It’s OK

Dan : it’s not Ok, it’s brilliant (trying to mess up with me)

Did I say OK?

Dan : Yes you did

Ok, it’s brilliant then (laughs). Actually it’s genius… Look at all those albums that some bands spit out. You’d rather put out great albums, right?

Benji : I love it all. I like what my guys put out. I don’t see myself as a front man, I’m much more a toaster, a DJ and a sound system.

What was special about the show this morning?

Benji : It’s great to be in France. It is easier to be understood here, you guys understand what we do. You love fusion, crossover music. You guys get it!

You were insistant on knowing who the Parisians were within the crowd.

Benji : Yes, since we’ll be touring France this next December. I actually forgot about Toulouse but we’ll be in Toulouse and Paris, tell your friends.

How do you think the newest songs get through in your live shows?

They get it! That’s my jam, people love that shit.

Anyway, you’re quite the entertainer!

My favorite act is Liberace, Nat King Cole too. Jerry Lewis the comedian. As a vocalist, I draw on a lot of those people from the 50s and 60s.

I got to tell you, you cracked me up this morning with the helicopter thingy! (Benji invited people to remove their shirt off and swing and swirl it on top of their heads)


Well, it’s actually something people would do in a different setting, either in a rural wedding kind of environment or a very laid back show. It was a bit off for a French crowd but people liked it.

Well, that’s even better, lower class entertainment. I love it, it’s even better. We are the scum of the earth. There were more people doing it than not.

Cool, I now know what you told the girls in the front row : take your top off!

Dan : that was never the intention! But that was a nice day.

Aside from being in Skindred, do you have a regular day job?

Dan : I’m a mailman.

Benji : It’s been 15-20 years since I’ve know him and asked him for a job. He’s telling me it would be too much having me on board, on top of working together in Skindred (laughing). I’ve begged him, literally! Now, you ask me, what do I do? I baby sit. You got babies, I’ll baby sit them, I’ll give you my email, I’ll come over, I’m an “au pair” with the nice dress and everything.

Do you guys warm up before a show? Do you have a routine?

Benji : I never warm up! Warm up is for pussies.

Dan : today, we wouldn’t have had the time. We got here late with our flight coming in. We got in at 11AM for a show at 11:40AM.

Benji : it was tough but we delivered the show people had been talking for a long time at Hellfest!

Last question can we expect anything new from Dub War?

Benji : No, fuck this. Thanks very much!


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