Sitting by the inglenook fire with Skinhorse during The Underground Revolution’s gig at The Victory Pub & Brewery, headlined by Hereford Art College band Silverfield, felt pretty rock n roll. It was a buzzing Friday evening, and the weather was on point, making for a very relaxed and fun interview, regardless of the live grunge tunes ruling the sound waves over our voices.It was all part of the special connection to Hereford’s sudden explosion of live music, which Skinhorse have been a big part of. They are playing our April 21st show at The Booth Hall alongside Terminal Rage and The Youth Within. We were basically in our element.
As we sat together doing the interview, I no longer noticed the array of art college types streaming into the gig, Ben Davies with his long dreads, and Andy Williams’ shoulder length Eddie Vedder-esque locks, emanate an aura of “talented heavy rockers”, or shall we say “heavy space rockers”. These guys play together in a series of bands such as Black Boxes, Vision Quest, and Maniac SS. You just think,”hmmm…do they ever sleep at all?”
Andy Williams – Drums/Percussion
Ben Davies – Guitar
HCC: By any chance, did you guys name your band after the the Melvins song ‘Skin Horse’?
SH: Yes it is, we are huge fans. We had a little help. Someone suggested it, we loved it and so we went for it.
HCC: Just as I suspected, that is just cool. What year did your band form, and how did you hook up?
Andy: 2012, I was the tour driver for a tour Fetus Christ and Plane Crasher were doing. Ben was in Plane Crasher (who have reformed into Black Boxes with Andy as the drummer), the band started to form, and before we found a singer we were suddenly doing shows.
Ben: Our first show happened when Liam Doverman from Shred Perry Promotions asked us to play a skate benefit called ‘Night of the Living Shred’ at Mamma Jammas – we have been playing ever since, a singer just never happened.
HCC: Sometimes things just work out, and now you are a 2 piece with a lot of fans. Nice. So have you guys ever played a wedding? (giggles)
Ben: No (they both laugh) but we have actually been asked to play weddings many times We don’t “do” weddings…but if a really good friend asked us we would.
HCC: It could be a pretty special wedding reception though, kind of a like a metal ho down with a mosh pit…(lol) love it! How Rock n Roll IS your lifestyle? Your hair speaks of debauchery.
Andy: Well we both have full-time jobs but we go to, and play as many gigs as possible.
Ben: We love to party and do shows every chance we get, but we are self-funding so we have to maintain day jobs.
HCC: I seriously get your drift, and I am always impressed by bands such as yourselves who juggle reality and a musical career. There are some really delusional bands out there.
What is your opinion about bands putting out cassette tapes these days? What is your preference: cassette, CD, Vinyl?
SH: Cassettes are a great thing, why not.
Andy: I enjoy all three, I love music in all of its forms and consider myself a collector.
Ben: I am going to say vinyl.
HCC: Go-to album of choice?
Andy: So many choices really but at the moment I am going to say Hawkwind.
Ben: High on fire is definitely my go-to album right now.
HCC: How many albums/songs/EP’s do you guys have out?
Ben: We have a EP that is self-titled Skinhorse. Andy painted the cover, which is pretty special. When you purchase the 7″ vinyl, we also give you a CD (each cover is hand painted) and a code for a digital download. There are some still available on our BANDCAMP Here.
HCC: I love that! We are putting you guys on soon, we like to mix up the bands, the message is about pushing boundaries musically in Hereford and not adhering to a particular template. How do you guys feel about venues opening up now for the more obscure and hardcore bands, is it enough? What do you think Hereford should be put on the map for musically?
Andy: Diversity. It just isn’t big enough in Hereford to have one particular scene so the great thing is that all the different bands can play shows together.
Ben: There are no conflicting nights, like Andy said all the bands play together which keeps things fresh each time. We all support each other.
HCC: So how do you guys manage to keep going and fund yourselves?
Ben: Well it is all based on DIY…we do as much as we can ourselves. Our tours fund our albums and hopefully our fans will buy our albums on bandcamp as well. We also support as many bands as we can by going to their shows because we know what it is like to work hard, and they support us in return usually. If we are somewhere outside of Hereford we also do CD swaps with other bands.
HCC: Great idea! It puts Hereford and Skinhorse on the map outside of the county. It really is all about fans keeping their favourite local bands going though, it is tough out there. Music makes the world go round. What are your views on love and sex in today’s world?
SH: Free Love (oookay …that was unanimous!)
HCC: What is the sexiest venue in Hereford
Ben: Definitely The Booth Hall (Hear that Arran & Willow)
HCC: Band to look out for in the Hereford music scene?
Andy: Fetus Christ and our other bands Black Boxes, Maniac SS, and Vision Quest (a little cheeky smile ensued after he said that..who can blame him).
So it was a rap and off they went to enjoy the rest of the bands that night such as Drown, Sad Blood, Silo 18 and Silverfield. Of course, supporting bands as they do..I really do hope other bands follow this mantra because it is one that reaches deep into the roots of the brotherhood philosophy.
You can download one of their Live sets Here
Photography by Brendan Stephens
Follow SKINHORSE on Facebook Buy their vinyl on Bandcamp
Be sure to come down to their Underground Revolution gig at The Booth Hall on April 21st and give them your support. Support the live music scene!