Skunk Anansie's Skin: Our story was being whitewashed by Britpop

10 October 2020, 20:00

Skin of Skunk Anansie in 2019
Skin of Skunk Anansie in 2019. Picture: Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Skunk Anansie singer told John Kennedy what finally motivated her to release a memoir and tell the band's story.

Skin has revealed she released her autobiography to tell an "alternative story" of 90s music.

The Skunk Anansie rocker caught up with Radio X's John Kennedy to discuss her memoir It Takes Blood and Guts and what pushed her to finally co-write the book.

Asked how the idea first came about, the Weak singer revealed: “It sort of came out of LIVE@25 - celebrating 25 years of Skunk Anansie - and I guess that was the first time in our career we collectively looked backwards because we’re quite a forward thinking band. My co-writer Lucy O’Brien said ‘why don’t you write a book?’

“My first reaction was, ‘about what? I haven’t done anything. I’ve just been in a band for years. And then the more I thought about it the more I put it in the context of, you know there seem to be a lot of bands coming out about Britpop in the 90s. And in some ways I thought our story and the stories of people like us was kinda getting whitewashed and trampled over with people talking about Britpop on and on and on. 

“So after a few months I thought ‘yeah there is an alternative story to tell’. There was a massive rock scene, there was a massive drum and base scene. You can draw a line from Goldie to Stormzy I think personally and I just thought it was good to have an alternative story from someone who was very different... but also my band was very successful at the same time as Britpop.”

READ MORE: Stomzy apologises to Skunk Anansie's Skin after Glasto gaffe

Praising the UK music scene and what makes it so special, she gushed: "That’s what Britain is really good at. Britain is really good at smashing lots of things together to produce something absolutely brand new and that's why I think we're the leaders when it comes to new music. We have a lot of diversity and I think that diversity goes right into our musical styles."

She added: “You’ve got to think about The Prodigy. That was when The Prodigy were at their biggest. They played Glastonbury two years before did and that band influenced all of us. Skunk Anansie were influenced by a lot of American bands like rage Against The Machine and Nirvana and a lot stuff like that but there was a massive massive rock scene as well.”

Skin also revealed that growing up in a predominantly Caribbean community, the first real rock song she heard was Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love thanks to being allowed to watch Top of The Pops.

"For me that was my first introduction to guitar," she recalled. "And my ears really pricked up and I heard that every single week!"

READ MORE: The most influencial female-fronted bands of the 90s

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