Tue. Sep 17th, 2019

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Interview: Skunk Anansie

5 min read

Known for the huge nineties rock single Hedonism as well as having one of music’s most outspoken and bolshy front women, Skin, at the drivers seat, Skunk Anansie are back after a decade long hiatus. Having left the glamor of Rock’n’Roll stardom for the normality of life outside the recording studio back in 1999, the foursome are now back on the road and have this week presented us with their first studio release in 11 years Wonderlustre which features the single, My Ugly Boy.

Already proving to be a successful and welcomed comeback the band have been busy taking on the festival circuit over the summer and touring Europe promoting the release but that didn’t stop drummer Mark Richardson from taking some time out of the bands hectic schedule to have an email chat with Brendon to discuss the comeback and the new record. Here’s what Mark had to say.

Brendon Veevers: How are you all doing?

Mark Richardson: Very well thanks. Busy, so lots of early flights round Europe promoting Wonderlustre which means we’re tired but happy, humbled and grateful.

BV: You have just released your new album Wonderlustre. Can you tell us a little about the record?

MR: Wonderlustre was recorded in London at Livingstone and Matrix studios. We produced 9 tracks ourselves and brought in Jeremy Wheatley and Brio Tagliaferro to produce what we thought would be four singles and subsequently asked them to produce another track at a later date. It’s a new sound for us, more mature with the focus on the songs rather than meandering dictate and long middle 8’s.

BV: My Ugly Boy is the lead single taken from the album, what’s the track about?

MR: My Ugly Boy is about skeletons in the closet. It’s that night out we’ve all had that we hope nobody finds out about. It’s about the walk of shame. It’s not necessarily about an ugly boy but anyone that was beautiful on the outside and ugly on the inside but you go there despite knowing it’s not going to turn out well. The video where skin is smashing up the BMW is a metaphors for smashing all these memories and moving forward.

BV: Wonderlustre is your first studio record since 1999, how does it feel to be back in the studio and back on the road together after such a long time?

MR: It feels renewed and refreshed. We have a new love and understanding of each other. There is much more tolerance but the piss taking is worse than ever! You need a strong backbone to be in this band.

BV: Who instigated the reformation of the band?

MR: We all new it would happen at some point because of the greatest hits album but Cass made the boldest moves towards vocalizing things. So when the time was right for new music, so were we.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP4EKhcuBCg]

BV: How has the reception been so far?

MR: It has honestly been incredible. The old fans waited in the wings and we made lots of new fans through YouTube, which kept the legend alive while we were gone. We are truly humbled by the reception we’ve had. It’s down to us now to make sure we honor them with a great album… Oh look at that, Wonderlustre.

BV: What is the creative process for the band?

MR: Wonderlustre was the four of us in a room throwing ideas around for 6 weeks. Everyone has a say in everyone else’s business and parts so there was no room for ego on this record. It was a case of the best ideas are used and that’s it.

BV: Do you all have specific roles within the band, is there a hierarchy?

MR: There is obviously a leader but she tends to fall back into the comforting protection of her trusty band most of the time. We all have our roles Cass is responsible for the running of our rehearsal room, takes a lot of photos and does any necessary programming. Ace is coordinator and chief organizer with our manager and does a lot of essential work behind the scenes and I do all the video and internet

BV: Who are the musical influences behind Skunk Anansie?

MR: So many. Bette Davis to Led Zeppelin. Parliament to the Sex Pistols.

BV: What did everyone get up to in the time you weren’t together as a band?

MR: Cass ran a rehearsal room and taught difficult kids how to make music. Ace made 2 solo albums and taught in Brighton and Guildford, produced lots of German rock albums and has a mastering suite. Skin made two solo albums as well as a load of collaborations and movie soundtrack work. I played with feeder, had a cameo in a movie and also taught part time. We all stayed busy.

BV: You have been busy this year, touring Europe and appearing at several festivals as well as working on Wonderlustre, what part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Variety. The great part about being in Skunk is the variety of things we get to do, the traveling and meeting so many new people all the time.

BV: So what’s next for Skunk Anansie?

MR: Touring Wonderlustre starting UK in November followed by Europe in Feb and then the summer festivals will have come around again. We don’t plan to stop after that either. We’re already putting in writing sessions for the next record!

BV: Thanks Mark

Skunk Anansie’s new album Wonderlustre is out now.

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