Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Botswana has metal music to show you: Skinflint

Skinflint (Botswana) The listener can hear the bass guitar lines and what is going with the bass throughout the song; you can hear the different riffs and rhythms of the guitar, so that you can follow the guitar sound in one song and trace the paths if follows; the drums sound like a real human being rocking out.
Skinflint highlights traditional, heavy metal, mid-tempo melodies, like they are found on classic heavy metal in which rocking guitars work with melodic parts. Indeed, it is not a coincidence that their album “ILKWA” has a distinct flavor of classic heavy metal in the guitar/melodic and bass guitar lines.
The vocals for Skinflint are not high heavy metal vocals, but they are not growling, either. One way to describe it is heavy metal grit. The vocals sound raspy or street, not smooth.
Finally, it’s difficult to compare Skinflint to anything happening in metal currently because the musical values are anti-trend by a band that has found its way and knows what it wants.
Check out Skinflint, but expect something different, something more traditional heavy metal, something with a more honest sound. www.myspace.com/skinflint123 www.skinflint.ironwarlock.com skinflint@ironwarlock.com @SkinflintBand (twitter) --
Hello, I have been listening to your album “IKLWA” and your EP “Gauna.” How have metal listeners reacted in Botswana and southern Africa in general?
Metal fans in Botswana appreciate what we are trying to do, and the feedback has been mostly positive from listeners in Botswana. However, since the release of IKLWA, we have been getting more response from abroad then we get from Southern Africa and Botswana.
Your city of residence is Gaborone. What can you tell us about Skinflint rocking in the city of Gaborone?
Playing gigs in Gaborone, is always trial and error. No matter how popular your band is, sometimes the shows go terrible. This is mainly attributed to the complete lack of Rock/Metal venues and promoters in the country. It is very challenging to set up shows here, as there is no support from the community and media!
It seems that in the recent period, maybe in the last 10 years, metal in Botswana has been gaining popularity and more bands are forming and recording the music and people around the world are taking notice. Can you tell us a bit about this? You have five releases?!
Rock/Metal music has been around in Africa since the 80s, but the media never covered this and therefore most people never knew about the scene. But luckily for the internet, we now have the opportunity to expose our music to people from abroad who never thought we existed. This is why, the scene is getting recognition in the last 10 years or so! There has been some confusion on our releases, as our first two release were never official. They were promo demos compiled together to try get gigs in Southern Africa. Our official releases are: Massive Destruction, IKLWA (International Debut) and Gauna EP. We were fortunate to be part of Metal Records, who helped us record all three releases.
How long have all of three of you known each other?
Kebonye (Bass) and Mothusi (Drums) went to school together in Palapye, and have known each other since childhood, while Giuseppe (Guitar/Vocals) came from Lobatse, the South of Botswana and met with them in 2007 at a Rock gig in Lobatse.
During the guitar solos in a song like “The Fallen” from the album “Iklwa” it sounds like there is not a second guitar playing. Is this true? So, in concert, your band can definitely sound like this?
When we record, we want the sound to be raw and live in your face. We do not use any samples, pro tools, or studio tricks. IKLWA and GAUNA are as close as possible to the original source sound, so that it gives the listener a feeling of being in the studio with us. Natural and honest, with straight forward traditional recording, like the 70s.
“Profit Making Funeral” is another song with a good vibe, not too complicated; heavy but with feeling. What is the story of this song? It is like 9 minutes long, is it by accident?
Profit Making Funeral, can be looked at from many point of views. There is no direct meaning to the song, it is like an abstract of cruelty, life and death. It is what you make of it! We decided to leave the song open ended, as it encourages the listener to find their own meaning to the song... As we believe that at the end of the day, we all have our own personal demons to face.
By the way, who narrates the “Intro” in the EP “Gauna”? Do you study African history to write lyrics for your songs?
The lyrics are written by Giuseppe, and he takes a great interest in Ancestral beliefs, Tribal Warfare and Botswana Folklore. Of course, some of the events of IKLWA are real historic events, but Gauna on the other hand is more Ancestral. As Gauna is believed to be the ruler of the spirits of the dead to the bushmen of Southern Africa.
The song “Gauna” is uptempo, heavy song that contrasts well with the more midtempo, melodic “Mantis Skull.” I like how the listener can hear the instruments clearly in these songs! Do you have a method?
Honestly, we do not have any rules we follow when making songs. We believe that when making any form of art, you must be free to explore new grounds and not fear doing something different. By using specific methods and approaches, it limits an artist and therefore all novelty is lost in the process.
Where did you record the live songs on the EP “Gauna”?
The live songs were recorded live in Concert. At the Ruth Khama Community Hall in Maun, Botswana.
How much experience do you have playing live in Botswana and in other parts of southern Africa?
We have been playing live in Botswana and Southern Africa for over 5 years now. SKINFLINT is more of a live band and we prefer live sound over studio!
Do you play shows together with other bands from Botswana like Wrust and Crackdust? What are other metal bands from Botswana that you like?
We have shared the stage with Wrust and Crackdust on many occasions, as well as other local groups. We like Remuda, Dust N Fire, Disciplinary, Simple Sex, Stane, Vitrified and more.
The cover of ILKWA displays a warrior with his shield and lance in battle. This painting is the work of Alessandra Sbrana. Does Alessandra have many paintings? She also painted the cover of Gauna. Does she paint for other bands?
Alessandra has many paintings, mostly African Mythology and Fantasy. The IKLWA painting was her first painting she did for a band, and she has been doing other bands since then. She just recently finished doing artwork for a Metal band from Uganda called "Vale of Ammonition".
What do you want to say the readers of the zine?!
Skinflint is currently at work on a new studio album. We will record the album in August-September and hope to have it released this year. The album will further expand on African Ancestral beliefs, as well as follow up the events of IKLWA. After the album, we hope to tour abroad! We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the readers for supporting Metal, and all the fans out there who give us the strength to continue playing the music we love. Thanx for the questions! THE END.

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