Bangor’s very own Sith Lord, Justin Williams of Skinflick takes time out from slaying Ewoks to answer a few questions about the band’s first new recorded work in four years…
‘I’m Pissing On You But The Fire Has Long Since Gone Out’ is a hate filled 45 minutes album riddled with industrial coldwave angst…
Any reason behind all this pent up fury Justin?
Being a grumpy old bastard I would imagine. I no longer have the spunk or attitude of a man in his twenties or the easy going laid back approach of a man in his thirties. Now I have the cold creeping skeletal hand of death rubbing my shoulders feeling of a man in his forties. I need to splooge my day to day anger out somehow.
Shit, thanks for that! Would you like to lie on the couch while I take notes?
As long as the note isn’t E, I hate E, I refuse to have it in any song and would a reach around and kill you.
There was a long Skinflick hiatus – was it meant to be that, or were you ready to hang up your scythe for good, only to be coaxed back out?
Bit of both really, it was the death of playing live for me, it stopped being fun. We’d had a fairly good run at the live gigs, got to play some great shows and a couple of festivals but I always said when it wasn’t fun I knock it on the head.
Spent a few years doing remixing, producing etc but with various shite going on it got me inspired to write ‘Death Threat Recriminations’. That album is one just big shit list of situations and people from that time. They say write about what you know, luckily, I know a lot of cunts.
I rate this new album as probably your best to date? Do you?
At the moment no, it’s all way too fresh for me, can’t even listen to it. Give it six months and I’ll give it a whirl and see what I think.
I was trying to make an album which was an amalgamation of all the previous albums so it took a flavour of all of them, cap off the whole 25 years of Skinflick, which now leaves me clear to start churning out Babestation filler music.
What was your earliest release? I have lurking in the link2wales archive a 7” single by Skinflick Productions called Pretty Dead Girl from about 1994.
Earliest proper release was the ‘Dead Girl Opened’ cassette which was about 1991. Limited run of a 100 tapes (all we could afford). One of the few times I used a studio to record.
There were quite a few demo tapes previous to that recorded on a beer stained 4 track. Like most Skinflick material it’s unlistenable.
You formed Nexxus Empire a couple of years ago – what were you trying to do? And why did you walk out, leaving the band to transform into the ghetto goths that they are now?
Wasn’t me, you can’t prove that, at the end of the day I wasn’t even there.
What makes Justin tick? First record bought? What music influenced you?
First record I remember buying was Plasmatics ‘Coup D’Etat’, I had a lot of Heavy Metal hand me down records from my brothers put they didn’t really float my boat. I was listening to a Bogshed album and a mate goes you should check out Foetus, so picked up ‘Thaw’ and it was Wow, this shit is awesome which took me down the industrial path.
That album pretty much set me on the path, Cop Shoot Cop, Young Gods, Gun Club and The Cramps also played a large part in influences. Then industrial music was a large open playground, you could pretty much do anything with it musically.
Skinflick as a band has long been a fluid line up and somewhat staggered. Do you find it difficult to keep a band together? Are you really that much of a cunt to work with?
Yeah I probably am. Skinflick has never really been a band in the traditional sense of a four or five piece line up. I’m used to working on my own but like to pull different folks in to add vocals, guitars etc. While they are with me I tend to rummage through their handbags or wallets, Skinflick is just a front for my petty theft really…
Like music, the pay is shit.
Any anecdotes worth sharing from your tours etc? I recall a pirate theme story?
Most of it was all a sleep deprived alcohol induced blur, we saw a disembodied glowing Bambi, we got banned from every university building in Bangor, then banned from somewhere in Nottingham. We pretended to be pirates and sold more CDs than any other other show we ever did. We discovered 5 star hotels, had a personal driver and riders that actually contained alcohol only to have it taken away from us as we went back to playing toilets.
We lived in vans for weeks at a time which makes it hard to masturbate, but not impossible Then we had vans broken down to be at the mercy of mutant Goliath farmers who we paid in T Shirts for repairs. There were speed fuelled tour promoters, coke fuelled goths, and horned up circus performers.
All these harsh fun times will be forgotten like piss in the rain.
Best gig / worst gig?
Best gig Either playing Wave Gotik Treffen in Liepzig or supporting Young Gods in Liverpool.
Worst gig; there’s a fuck load to choose from, you can handle people giving you shit when you’re on stage as all reactions to what you do are good, but apathy, that’s the hardest one. Apathy can destroy you.
Any bands you rate on the local scene – past – present. Any bands you hate?
Just saw Maines play at the Crosville Club in Bangor, really enjoyed their set; definitely had something about it.
I don’t really do hating bands, I may not be into their music, but fair play, they’re up there and not getting paid like the rest of us.
The future of Skinflick and / or any other projects?
The new Skin of Cecile album is currently being recorded so will be working on that shortly. If you’ve not checked out Skin of Cecile, then go do it now they are fucking great. As for the future of Skinflick, fuck knows, if I get my shit together I might do a gig.
‘I’m Pissing On You But The Fire Has Long Since Gone Out’ is available now via Bandcamp
Why Bother Firing – Cass 1992 Demo
Dead Girl Opened – Cass 1993 SFPD
Nun Eat Womb – Cass 1993 SFPD
I’ve got a photo that shows you ruined a perfect day Split w/ Herb Mullin – Cass 1993
Herb Mullin Skin & Bondage Corps – Cass 1993 SFPD
Flowers of Perdition Split with Hex Minora – Cass 1993 SFPD/BV Tapes
Mutilation Street – Cass 1994 BV Tapes
Pretty Dead Girl – 7? 1994 SFPD
Cold Head – Cass 1994 SFPD
Spongebrain Penny Rev – Video/Cass 1994 SFPD
Terror Flash Compilation – CD 1995 Vuz Records
Pig Sick – 7? 1995 SFPD
Fake – Video 1995
Demo Themes for the Virgin Madonna – Cass 1995 SFPD
Harlot Eyes – CD/Cass 1996 SFPD
Prey – CD/Cass 1996 SFPD
Stitched – CD 1997 SFPD
Taint – Cass 1997 SFPD
Ill Syrup – CD 1998 SFPD
Two Ton Loser – CD 2003
Pearls Before Swine – CD 2003
Year of the Dogs – CD 2005
Halo of Flies/The Maggot Circle – CD 2005
Death Threat Recriminations – Download 2012
Crystal Meth Compendium – Download 2012
Six Stone Junkie – Download 2013
Death Threat Recriminations – Download 2016
I’m Pissing On You But The Fire Has Long Since Gone Out – Download 2016