Skinflint is one of the most prominent bands in the Botswana. Consisting of Giuseppe Sbrana (guitar/vocals), Alessandra Sbrana (drums), and Kebonye Nkoloso (bass). Their connections to the Botswana rock/metal scene are deep. Cousins Giuseppe and Alessandra are the children of Ivo and Ray Sbrana of the oldest band in Botswana Nosey Road, the first significant rock band to emerge from Botswana. Skinflint is a second generation rock band. Their music sounds heavier and darker than Nosey Road. They draw comparisons to Iron Maiden and other heavy metal bands. Unlike Iron Maiden, the band incorporates harsh vocals and African themes into their music to form their own unique sound. In light of the release of their new album Chief of The Ghosts, released December 3rd, we asked the band a few questions about the new album, as well as their music in general.
THE INTERVIEW ON CHIEF OF THE GHOSTS
Audioinferno: So, your album drops December 3. From what I’ve heard and seen, it seems like it will be a continuation of the earlier material both musically and thematically, which is great, since I’m a big fan of the first four records. Am I right, or have your tried to experiment or do anything differently on any of the tracks?
It makes me happy to hear you enjoyed our previous albums. I think it is a bit of a continuation, but I feel that this album is more of an experimental phase for the band. A new starting point after ten years, that has allowed us to grow as musicians, and see new interesting directions we can take the band. Musically we have experimented by incorporating elements of Borankana with Heavy Metal, in tracks like “Borankana Metal” and “Chief of the Ghosts.”
Audioinferno: Unlike the preceding three albums, you decided on a straightforward title in English this time. Was this intentional, or did you simply do so because you felt Chief of the Ghosts is one of the most important tracks on the album?
It was intentional, I wanted change. But despite having an English title, this album is the most strongly rooted in African mythology.
Audioinferno: Speaking of the African references in your songs, which mythology/folklore influences them? How did you acquire your knowledge of it?
Through storytelling, reading and travelling. There is no specific mythology that the lyrical themes are rooted in, as the songs cover many tales from different places in Africa.
Audioinferno: Bands such as Amon Amarth, Bathory and countless others have written about Norse mythology and Vikings. Is it fair to say you are doing the same thing with Southern African folklore?
The idea of Skinflint was to join elements from African mythology, with Heavy Metal music.
Audioinferno: The video for Ram of Fire, is set in the wilderness, and the lyrics tie into the visual narrative. What is the song about?
The band footage was shot in our backyard, and the acting scenes at a nearby riverbed. I would rather people read the lyrics, and come up with their own interpretation of the song, as there are many underlying themes in that song. From rain rituals, to rainbows and rams.
Watch Ram of Fire Video
Audioinferno: Do you plan on doing a tour in support of Chief of the Ghosts, and if so where do you plan to tour?
At the moment we do not have any tour dates confirmed, but we do have plans to tour in support of Chief of the Ghosts.
I can’t wait for their album. Skinflint is one of the most powerful bands that have emerged from the African Metal Scene a long time ago. You begin to wonder if they aren’t bands that are daring and distinctive as them.
Visit their facebook page for more information on how you can get the album. Watch out for our review too!!
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