Skindread’s ACM World Premiere

Skindred’s frontman Benji Webbe and guitarist Mikey Demus dropped into ACM (Academy Of Contemporary Music) in Guildford to talk to students about how best to survive and succeed in the music business and also to play a special acoustic set.

Formed in 1998, Skindred have gained an enviable reputation as an ultra-energetic, enthralling, and award-winning live band. Having toured relentlessly, and playing to crowds of up to 500K, their talent, hard work, and dedication has earned the band a well-deserved following and longevity, despite the challenges of an ever-changing industry.

It’s therefore no surprise that ACM students, aspiring to make their own way in the business and aiming to be the Download headliners of the future jumped at the chance to ask Benji and Mikey what their secrets were, and how they have managed to hold on to and continue to build their careers in an industry so full of change. Tenacity is what Mikey claims got him the gig with Skindred: being willing to pack your bags and move your life to wherever the band is; that and the sheer will to want to do it.

When asked by a student what advice would they give to bands just starting out writing their own songs, frontman Benji responded with “Just be true to yourself.” “Enjoyment is key,” he added, especially when it comes to touring. Benji explained how, for him, the years have flown by and how passion has kept the fire alight. What’s more, he reminded the students: once you write a song, you’re stuck with it for life.

There was a perceptive mixture of questions directed to the Skindred musicians about the business side too, and they gave valuable advice on what makes a good tour manager; also the importance of the team around you. Benji and Mikey’s replies were frank and open, and when they talked about the rest of the band and team behind Skindred, it was clear that they see it as a family, feeling a bond with everyone they work with. No separate tour buses for Skindred! (as Benji joked).

Touring can however lead to some very odd experiences: Mikey, for instance, told the group how it felt to be hit on stage by a dead fish! “What drove you to music? ” asked one student. For Mikey, it was watching Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix, and Jimmy Page that moved him to pick up the guitar. The likes of these greats gave him the fire to play. Mikey was quick to point out, though, how important it is to have your own thing “Pick your own lane!” is his advice.

An important question was raised in the discussion: “Do you think you’d still be where you are if you started out today?” “It’s a different time,” Benji replied, “We’re up against an industry that wants you to fit in a certain pocket. We don’t fit in a pocket: We do what we do.” When asked which song they’d wish they’d written – Benji answered “My Way”: a song whose lyrics Benji described as lasting forever, meaning so much to so many people.

Not only did Benji and Mikey share their insights and secrets of success with ACM’s students, they also played an exclusive acoustic gig, featuring Skindred’s “Nobody” and “Saying it Now.”

For more information on Skindred go to. https://www.facebook.com/skindredofficial/ Or Www.skindred.net

ACM – http://www.acm.ac.uk/

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August & After “Wolves”

“Wolves” by August & After is a soothing listen with a beautiful blend of folk instruments. It deserves way more than the 23,000 plays it has on soundcloud. It’s up for free download. We can’t wait to hear more. August & After is absolutely beautiful music.

Broadside – Coffee Talk

Broadside is a pop punk/rock band formed in 2010, from Richmond Virginia. The band includes six members, Andrew Dunton, Josh Glupker, Niles, Gibbs, Ollie Baxter,  Pat Diaz and Dorian Cooke.  The band is signed to Victory Records, in May of 2015 the band released their first full length album “Old Bones,” which featured their most popular single “Coffee Talk.” The music video for the single can be found on the band’s Youtube page. Since the bands album release they have gotten a lot of press reviews, and were listed in Alternative Press as one of the 100 Artists You Need To Know In 2015. Broadside will also be featured in the line-up for the 2016 Van’s Warped Tour. Hopefully these guys will stick around and we will hear more from them in the near future.

Pete Kilpatrick Sold 40,000 Records

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Pete Kilpatrick is a singer-songwriter based in Portland, Maine. At 16 years old he taught himself how to play guitar and started to write songs. Pete began his career as a full time musician right after graduating High School. He released 1 independent record and then had a brief record deal with Epic Records and released 6 more records. He sold 40,000 records. He toured with Dave Matthews Band, Jason Mraz, and Ray Lamontague. “Echo” is Pete’s latest record. He wrote this one on piano and it’s absolutely breathtaking.

“The majority of the new record was recorded entirely live with just five musicians performing each song in studio, over a short period of time, working in graceful unison.”

Listen here: