AudioInferno caught up with the Botswana Heavy Metal band Skinflint and had a chat with band lead vocalist/guitarist Giuseppe Sbrana…
AudioInferno: What genre of rock do you jam?
Skinflint: Heavy Metal
AI: please give us a brief history about your career/ band
Skinflint: Skinflint is a three piece Heavy Metal band from Gaborone, Botswana founded by Giuseppe Sbrana in 2006. Recruiting Kebonye Nkoloso on Bass and Alessandra Sbrana on Drums. They have incorporated elements from African culture with Heavy Metal music, attracting the attention of international media such as CNN, Dutch TV, Swedish National Television, and many more. Their releases Iklwa, Gauna, Dipoko and Nyemba pay homage to ancestral beliefs and African spirituality, while still playing in the vein of Traditional Heavy Metal, this has been seen as a pioneering example of African Metal. The band has played shows in Southern Africa, Kenya and enjoyed successful tours as far as Sweden.
AI: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Skinflint: Musically it is Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. We are also influenced by our experiences living in Botswana, and since story telling is a great aspect of our culture, I have incorporated elements of African folklore in the lyrics.
AI: What are your dreams, aims and goals?
Skinflint: Considering the feedback we have received from abroad, we are hoping to tour South America, The US and a possible return to Europe in the near future.
AI: Who writes the songs, what are they about?
Skinflint: I do the bands lyrics, they usually focus on African folklore, occultism, and spiritual wickedness. As for the music, we all do it.
AI: How many songs/albums have been released and what does the future hold?
Skinflint: We have currently four albums and a 7″, three of which (Iklwa, Dipoko and Nyemba) are distributed via Pure Steel Records. I hope to release a fifth album by 2016.
AI: How do you promote your bands and shows and songs?
Skinflint: Pure Steel Records takes care of most of the album promotions, as for shows it’s the usual posters,mailing list, articles etc.
AI: What instrument do you play?
AI: When and why did you start playing?
Skinflint: I’ve always been passionate about music, my uncle Renato Sbrana (RIP) introduced me to Jimi Hendrix when I was 12 and gave me invaluable advice. Later in my late teens I discovered Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” and knew it was right for me. Metal reflected my personality, in that it is a music that encourages a strong sense of individuality.
AI: How do you balance your music with your other obligations?
Skinflint: I’ve made sacrifices, music takes priority over everything.
AI: Any advice to the beginners who might be nervous?
Skinflint: Don’t be discouraged, follow your dreams. No life is worth living without passion.
AI: I would love to know do you get nervous before a public performance?
Skinflint: Sometimes, but you know what? The shows where I was nervous, turned out to be my best performances. When you channel that nervous energy into motivation, it pushes you beyond your limits.
AI: How is the Rock music scene faring and what can you say may be the future in Africa?
Skinflint: Botswana has a small but dedicated Metal following, which I believe will continue to grow as long as bands remain persistent. As for the whole of Africa, I see a lot of potential. Africa has a rich history in which much of it has not been explored by the media. If bands take advantage of this, and hone their own unique sound and theme, then Africa will have a bright future in Metal.
AI: Meaning behind the band name?
Skinflint: To be honest, there was never intended to be any meaning. It just sounded right.
Stay tuned to AudioInferno for more details on the band.