"Never Stop" - Skindred's Benji & Mikey inspire BIMM students


What better way to mark the start of a new term at BIMM London than with a visit from one of the UK’s most exciting bands?  We recently welcomed Skindred’s Benji Webbe and Mikey Demus for a highly anticipated masterclass.

If you’re not yet au fait with Skindred, it’s time to get acquainted. The band are a creative force to be reckoned with, blending elements of heavy metal, alternative rock, reggae, punk and dancehall.

The session covered a wide-range of subjects, with Benji and Mikey giving our students an insight into their songwriting style, festival highlights and the band’s meteoric rise to stardom.

Hailing from Newport, South Wales, Skindred have played to over 350,000 fans worldwide, with a music career spanning over two decades.

They’ve picked up numerous accolades along the way, including Best Live Band at the 2011 UK Metal Hammer ‘Golden Gods’ awards and Kerrang’s coveted Devotion award in 2011.

The pair mused about life outside of the band, with Benji recently releasing his debut reggae album ‘I Ain’t Been Nicking In Ages’.  Aside from his many solo projects, the in-demand frontman has provided vocals for albums by Bullet For My Valentine and Soulfly.

Fans will also know Benji as a founding member of both Dub War and Mass Mental, which he formed with Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo.

Skindred have worked hard to get to where they are today. An extensive touring schedule has seen them play shows and festivals all over the globe, but does one festival stand out in particular?

“As a band, we really enjoy playing festivals and have been lucky enough to travel all over Europe, America and Asia. I particularly enjoy playing Download as it’s a British staple festival,” explained Mikey.

Skindred later treated the crowd to a very special acoustic set with stripped-back versions of ‘Kill The Power‘, ‘Pressure‘, and ‘Saying It Now‘; a track taken from their most recent album  ‘Volume’.

The session drew to a close, but not before Benji shared some final words of wisdom with our BIMM students, telling them:

“I started a band because it’s something I’ve always done. I’ve always sung and performed. What you do in life is what you can do. You’re here for a reason so never stop!”

We caught up with a few of our BIMM undergraduates following the event to get their thoughts on the masterclass.

BIMM London student Chris Ward – BMus 3rd Year Guitarist:

“I thought the masterclass was great; you got to ask the boys a lot of questions about their songwriting. The acoustic songs sounded great; it’s really nice to hear big sounding songs stripped down like that.”

Sophie Lloyd – BMus 1st Year Guitarist:

“It was really cool; I liked how they took their heavy songs and made them acoustic. It’s great to hear them play! They were really interesting and funny!”

We also caught up with Benji himself, who was full of praise for our students and all of their questions:

“It’s great to be able to speak in this sort of setting and answer some really great questions! See you next time BIMM London.”

Much like their music, the session proved to be diverse, exciting and colourful, and did not fail to capture the imagination of all of our BIMM London students.

A special thanks to Benji and Mikey, we hope to welcome you both back very soon.

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POSTED ON: April 20, 2016
  • London, Guitar, Vocals