Members of UK metal band Skindred each signed their contracts with Earache Records in different independent music venues to raise support for venues across the country affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s a national Save Our Venues fund that is accepting donations and prioritizing the venues that are most in danger of going under.
For the signing, Skindred frontman Benji Webbe visited Le Pub in Newport, bassist Dan Pugsley went to The Louisiana in Bristol, drummer Arya Goggin went to The Black Heart in London and guitarist Mikey Fry went to Green Door Store in Brighton. These are only four of the venues the UK Save Our Venues program is helping, but they’re among the hardest-hit.
While the support for independent venues is important, signing to Earache Records is a big deal as well. Earache is a historically important extreme metal label for having put out some of the first grindcore records from bands like Napalm Death and Carcass. They also released notable records for other genres of metal from acts like Morbid Angel, Godflesh, Bolt Thrower and others.
“We are so excited to announce that we are signing a worldwide deal with Earache Records,” Goggin stated. “I have been a fan of the label since I started listening to heavy music. Their independent attitude and willingness to push the boundaries are something we can identify with in Skindred. It was great to ink the deal at The Black Heart in Camden and shine a light on all the struggling independent music venues too. The Music Venue Trust is something that we feel passionately about and we want these venues to thrive and be part of the future of British Music as well as being part of its history.”
Earache founder Digby Pearson added, “We could not be more thrilled to be signing Skindred. They are such a truly unique and much-loved band. We have all been huge fans of them since Day 1 and have followed Benji’s career since the very beginning, so to have Skindred sign to Earache is something that we are all extremely excited by. We are delighted to welcome Benji back to the Earache family along with his bandmates Arya, Mikey and Dan and look forward to working with them for many albums to come.”
Webbe appeared on a couple of covers last year, one of Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder’s “Ebony and Ivory” with Dean Beddis of Bad Sam and the other of Ini Kamoze’s reggae classic “Them Thing Deh Dub.” Skindred last released an old fan-favorite track called “It’s a Crime,” which was originally only available on the Japanese version of Roots Rock Riot (2007). Their latest record was Big Tings in 2018.
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat