SKAM

I don’t know what it is about three piece line-ups but some of the most classic bands have been three pieces (Motörhead, Venom, Raven). SKAM might not be a classic band yet but they are a three piece. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-The name is always a hot topic in interviews. To be honest it was born out of some very simple ideas. We wanted to have something short and sharp, a simple 1 syllable name that would roll off the tongue. We also wanted a name that didn’t have any preconceptions so avoided anything too metal or similar to other bands. We decided on SKAM it looked cool. As a bonus it also means SHAME in Danish (in Swedish to/AE) which is pretty cool.

As I am sure of we are quite a few that are rather new to you guys could you give us a short introduction to the band?
-Sure SKAM are 3 dudes from Leicester in The UK.
My name is Steve Hill – guitars and lead vocal- Matt Gilmore is the bass player and backing vocals
and finishing off with Neal Hill – drummer and backing vocal extraordinaire. Yes, he is my younger but bigger brother.
We are grew up in the 90’s listening to a variety of different bands ranging from AC/DC, Nirvana, Guns n Roses and Pantera. Plus over the years other influences have affected our sound such as the Foo fFghters and bands like Therapy?.
We love to perform and play hard in-your-face Rock. High energy face melting mayhem.

We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-We don’t have any definitive influences really. We love to play music we enjoy. That sounds obvious but when we develop songs they have to have that feeling, that little bit of magic that makes you smile.
The bands we listen to play a massive part. For me personally hearing AC/DC changed my life and is the reason i play a Gibson SG through a screaming Marshall stack. The boys have more diverse influences, Matt is routed in early punk such as the Pistols and the Clash but also 90’s bands like The Wildhearts and Terrorvision. And Neal is different again bringing in the sound of Rage Against The Machine and Electric Mary. I think its the culmination of these different influences that make SKAM sound like SKAM.

What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
-Its vitally important to have a scene. I wouldn’t say Leicester has a broad Hard rock scene being a student town it can be quite Indie. But a local scene is where bands cut their teeth. Our local shows in the early days were instrumental in our development.
Getting live experience, honing the stage craft and learning how to perform and not just play in your bedroom.
In this age of YouTube and the internet bands can exist in a vacuum but I personally think you need to get out there, have a beer, look the audience in the eye and gauge how they feel about what you are playing. Otherwise how are you going to know if you cut it or not?

Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-Yes I fully agree. At the minute I like to think that SKAM are part of a clutch of bands that are pushing the UK scene. It definitely feels like we are part of something.
There is something quite satisfying about seeing a band you know in a magazine or announced for a festival. Even if its not ourselves knowing that our peers are doing well spurs you on. Its motivation, we are making ground and getting to where we want to be. I am sure other bands see it the same as me.
In a wider sense the Rock community is astounding. The people that travel and put in so much effort to see you play is genuinely moving. It feels like we are part of a British rock resurgence.

When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-The most important thing about an Album cover is that is makes people interested. It doesn’t need to be incredible but it needs to catch the eye and be interesting. We always believe that its important to not compromise on the whole package. Fans spend money they have worked hard to earn and so its important to give them something for that money. The artwork is part of that. But you are right, choosing the right imagery is important. You don’t want people to be fooled by whats on the cover. One of my favourite covers is the Wolfmother album, its gothic, interesting and suits the style of the band.

What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-I think it would be nice to think that digital isn’t having an effect but I still think physical is very important.
Fans like things to have, to keep, to get signed, to read. Although things are different these days and bands don’t shift 1 million records but digital isn’t ‘killing’ music. Digital has made music accessible for everyone, you can go online and check out a band, maybe download a track, then go to the gig and buy an album and get it signed.
The shift is mainly in the need to tour. Long gone are the days where a band can be maintained through releases alone. Surely this is a winner for the fans.

What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-Its good, you have to be clever in what you are doing. No point gigging on a Monday/Tuesday at our level. The fans work for a living, they have families so its important to give them the opportunity to support you without too much inconvenience. But the live scene is great! Lots of venues and promoters are doing a great job. Like I said before there is an emerging group of bands that can attract a good crowd. Get a show with 2 or more of those and you have great gig on your hands.

When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-A bit of both. The live show for us is the most important thing. When people turn up to see us play its vitally important they think it was worth it. They must walk away entertained and feeling happy. Part of that is the way we perform and interact with the crowd but also about talking to fans and signing stuff. But we love the party atmosphere and certainly we try to encourage people to let loose and have fun.

What would you like to see the future bring?
-We want to be huge! I would love to see SKAM become a name in Rock not just in the UK but globally. I want to see us playing bigger headline shows and supporting some bigger acts. I believe it will happen, we have the drive and talent to make it work.

It has been great talking to you. Thanks for your time and interest

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