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Fri Aug 07 @ 7:00PM - 11:00PM
(DE) Concert: VNV NATION (Strandkorb Open Air)
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(DE) Concert: VNV NATION (Strandkorb Open Air)
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(DE) Concert: HEALTH
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(DE) Concert: VNV NATION (Live-Stream Concert)
Mon Aug 31 @ 7:00PM - 11:00PM


SkunkAnansie by TomBarnes1Interview with

Mark Richardson (Drums) from Skunk Anansie

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the legendary SKUNK ANANSIE will release their new live album, ‘25LIVE@25’, via Republic Of Music on January 25, 2019. It combines the milestones of their career with the unbelievable live presence of the band. The album contains old and new live recordings, which the band’s long-time companion, Jeremy Wheatly, put together to create a new and unique concert experience. ‘25LIVE@25’ is not only the showcase of an incomparable career, but also shows the importance of SKUNK ANANSIE as a musical and cultural force. Their shows are a hurricane of energy, volume and personality. They call for becoming part of something big and impossible to resist.

Since its founding in 1994, the band has stood for individuality right from the start. SKUNK ANANSIE avoided the typical Britpop style of the white men of mid-twenties and instead mixed ethnicities, gender, sexuality, culture, and musical influences in a unique way. Regardless of trends and scenes, they formed their own wild sound and the image of the agile, courageous, politically charged “Clit-Rock” - a term coined by singer Skin. “As a black singer, it was hard to be recognized on many levels,” she says. “But when I was on stage, I did exactly what I imagined in my dreams. For the first time, I felt fully accepted in my life.“

SkunkAnansie by RobOConnor2

“London in the 1990s was a colourful mix of different people,” adds guitarist Ace. “The bands, however, always consisted of the same four types with the same haircut. We, on the other hand, were a band of people who were real. That’s why we were radical.” Their notorious live presence brought them a record deal after their second gig. Later, they toured South Africa as the first international multi-ethnic band to play three sold-out arena shows. Only one year after their founding they played at the Glastonbury Festival, and four years later they returned there as headliners.

SKUNK ANANSIE is one of the most unique Rock bands of the last three decades. Throughout their career, they have earned numerous Top 40 singles and Top 10 albums, sold millions of records worldwide, and shared the stage with David Bowie and U2. Together with Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and Michael Jackson they congratulated Nelson Mandela on his birthday with “Happy Birthday”. While musical trends came and went, SKUNK ANANSIE persisted. Despite interim solo careers, the band still exists today and has been awarded with multi-Platinum and countless awards. Twenty-five years after they hit the stage for the first time from the back rooms of London… SKUNK ANANSIE is more essential and powerful than ever before.

25 years of career and the release of ‘25Live@25’ is a good reason to talk to the band. Drummer Mark answered our questions.

skunkanansie 25live

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: ‘25Live@25’ is an extensive Best-Of album containing exclusive live recordings. How did the idea come about to release a live album for the band’s anniversary instead of a normal Best-Of?
Mark Richardson [Mark]: It’s first and foremost a live record; we just happen play a lot of our most popular songs live.

RoD: The choice of songs on ‘25Live@25’ is a balanced cross selection from your whole productive period. Why has exactly this selection been taken and by whom?
Mark: This collection is our most favourite tracks to play live.

RoD: Your music has its origin in 90s London. The music and aesthetics of the 90s seem to experience some kind of revival. What do you think about this development and where do you see your current position in the whole game?
Mark: We’re not revivalists; we’ve never participated in any trend or musical fashion so our current position is where it’s always been. We work in parallel to the popular music industry sicking our middle finger up to what’s expected, doing our own thing.

RoD: How important is playing live for the band?
Mark: It’s our lifeblood. The “Anarchytecture” European leg of the tour was one of the longest we’ve done in our history. ‘Weak’ and ‘Hedonism’ gave us the wings to fly around playing 1000’s of shows. It’s where all the pieces of the puzzle come together and make sense.

RoD: Is there also a tour planned any time soon?  
Mark: Yes, next summer. Check the website for details as they are all starting to be confirmed and go on sale.

SkunkAnansie by RobOConnor1

RoD: Are there any plans for a new studio album with new songs in the near future?
Mark: Yes. We start writing in March. We would split before turning into a regurgative act resting on our past glories.

RoD: Even though you modified your sound from album to album in all these years, you stayed true to your unmistakeable sound. Will you go on like that or are there planned any musical experiments?
Mark: We always experiment, it’s not something we’re afraid of (as you can here in ‘Ananrchytecture’) but we always based in and come back to the truth of who we are and what we do... a kick-ass rock band.

RoD: Back in the days Skin described SKUNK ANANSIE as “Clit-Rock” and made a feminist, political and social statement. How relevant is such an attitude nowadays?
Mark: Skin described us as “Clit-Rock” only to avoid being lumped in with Britpop, has always had strong political views and wrote a lot about social issues. We’re all feminists and pro underdog so nothing has really changed. It’s equally as relevant now than as it ever was, possibly more so.

RoD: From the beginning on you are famous for your socio-political lyrics. What are your opinions on current politics?
Mark: Trump? Brexit? May? The Middle East? Climate change? We live in a world choking on its own vomit. I’m disgusted at how we seem to be regressing. There are so many clever people in the world that could move us forward in really positive ways but they can’t get through due to the current state of bullshit the world finds itself in.

RoD: How important is it for you as a band to combine politics and music? Is it your most important topic to write about?
Mark: No it’s just a part of it. It is social commentary more than politics but Skin writes about love and loss, love and hate, black and white, left and right, up and down. It’s all in there you just have to listen.

SkunkAnansie by TomBarnes2

RoD: Since your founding you still play almost in your original line-up. After all these years, how do you manage to still work this productive together?
Mark: We have a willingness to move forward, create and we have an incredible manager. Trust me, when this runs out we will stop.

RoD: SKUNK ANANSIE as a band exists since 25 years. How do you reflect your career and what do you wish for the next couple of years?
Mark: I look a tour career as an incredible journey. I consider myself very fortunate to have worked with such talented friends, travelled so much and met so many incredible people and I am forever grateful for all the experiences we continue to have.

RoD: Have you recognised any changes concerning the way your music is received by audiences, like, are there still the same fans?
Mark: We have so many new fans at the front all the time and with every album we reach new people. 25 years on they come with their parents! 

Pictures by Rob O’Connor and Tom Barnes
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