Interview Music

An interview with Skindred’s Arya Goggin

by Dylan Graham

Throughout November and December, Welsh reggae metal band Skindred are embarking on a mammoth UK tour, one of the dates being a ‘homecoming’ gig at Cardiff’s Tramshed on the 24th November. The tour is in support of the groups latest LP ‘Big Tings’, which was released in April.

Recently I spoke to Arya Goggin, the Skindred’s drummer, about their upcoming UK tour and what to expect from the Cardiff show.

So you’ve got quite an extensive UK tour coming up. Are you excited to get out and play these shows?
Yeah I can’t wait, being a musician is a dream come true. We’re very fortunate that we can do as many shows across the UK as we are doing. Most bands do maybe 9 or 10 gigs at most but I think we’re doing about 31. It’s pretty rad.

That’s great. One of your dates is at the Tramshed in Cardiff. How do the Welsh shows compare to the rest of the country?
Believe it or not we’re actually a Welsh band, so anywhere we play in Wales feels like a hometown show. We’re based in Newport, but Cardiff is just down the road. Benji (singer) always has a great time. He’s like the mayor of Newport these days, so coming to Cardiff is kinda like the royal visit.

So, what should people expect from these live shows?
It’s going to be very up close and personal; a very hot and sweaty old school punk rock gig. I think we’re just going to go out there and try and rip peoples heads off for an hour and a half. The last shows we did were big Brixton Academy sized venues with three to four thousand people a night minimum. This tour’s going to be different. Most venues are four to five hundred capacity, the Tramshed is going to be one of the biggest gigs on the tour. It’ll be good fun.

You released your 7th studio album ‘Big Tings’ back in April. How did the new material go down at the festivals you played over summer.
It’s been great, they’ve been really really good. We were playing three to four songs off the record and people already knew the words. I think ‘Big Tings’ is more of a singalong kind of album, it’s very anthemic. People are still doing circle pits and walls of death but they’re also singing all the words. I think with Skindred that was always a big barrier for us. Now we’ve got big choruses that people can sing back. They were already singing songs like ‘Nobody’ and ‘Kill the Power’, but with ‘Big Tings’ we look out into the crowd and people are singing every word. It’s really cool.

Finally, what does the future hold for Skindred?
Do you know what? I’m hoping more of the same. You can never take this job for granted. Next year we’re doing a tour in Europe in February. We’re also going to America again. We’re playing ‘Ship Rocks’ which is a rock n roll cruise, which will be weird. We don’t want to take a long time off between albums, we want to create as much material as we can at a decent pace. Next year we’ll probably start thinking about doing something new, with hopefully a new album out in 2020.

Tickets are on sale now for Skindred’s tour.