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Interview with Rab McGowan (bass player) of Skinny Knowledge
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I come from quite a musical family, my grandad sings a lot of classical stuff, my dad’s always played guitar and my uncle (although he doesn’t play) has always been a music lover and definitely had an influence on me as a musician. If I didn’t get into music I’d probably do something else artistic as I’ve always been quite creative.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love football and I’m a huge Celtic fan. My dad and I drive up to Glasgow just to go and watch the games. We listen to loads of different music in the car and often I’ll get inspired or come up with a little idea on the road.
How long has your band been around?
Andy (frontman/guitarist) wrote and recorded the songs for our first album in 2020 ‘Don’t Turn Out The Lights’ but we didn’t play our first show until 2021 due to Covid. We’ve had a few lineup changes since as life can get in the way of things, but fingers crossed we’ve found all the pieces of the puzzle now!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We all live in Bournemouth south coast UK. Our music comes from our own real life experiences and so our surroundings play a part in that.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Andy came up with the name one night while having a few drinks with a mate, and wrote a load of words on a piece of paper. Randomly picked two and got Skinny and Knowledge and that’s how the name came about. It doesn’t mean anything!
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Probably our 5th ever gig as a band, and we played the Bournemouth O2 Academy supporting Elvana, and it was awesome to play at such an incredible venue. We also recently played the inaugural Maid Of Stone Festival in Kent, and despite it being 11:30am, the crowd really showed up for us!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Anvil is one of our local venues in Bournemouth. It’s an absolute sweat box and is normally a great night as all our mates come! In terms of venues we would like to play, it would have to be Wembley! Maybe one day…
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket? Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Foo Fighters, Limp Bizkit, Green Day, Sum 41 and Dinosaur Pile-Up! That would be insane!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Just practice as much as possible, never give up, and as long as you enjoy what you are doing that’s all that matters!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Don’t start smoking! Haha!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
The song that means the most to me is probably one off of the new album ‘twentytwo.’ which we release October 27 called ‘Too Scared To Live’. I was going through a bit of a down patch and not really looking after myself, and writing this song helped me get out of it. It’s also the first one I wrote for the band.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
In terms of most fun to play live I would say ‘King Of Nothing’, we always play it so much faster than the recording and it just has so much energy! The one we get most requested is probably ‘Stereo’ (which we normally play anyway!)
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Normally one of us will have an idea for a song and record a demo. We then send it to the others who will give feedback and make some tweaks. Andy writes the majority of the songs but we have written a couple together as a band.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I would say the message of the new album especially, is that life can be pretty crap at times but you can always get through it. The name of the album ‘twentytwo’ is because the lyrics are pretty much a journal of Andy’s life through 2022. Real life stuff and we;re sure a lot of people will be able to relate and find something in it for themselves.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We don’t really have many disagreements. Max (guitarist), Mike (drummer) and I are all pretty laid back, so we tend to just do whatever Andy tells us…joking aside, we all work best for the best we can do together.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up? Ass said, our new album ‘twentytwo.’ is coming out October 27, a couple more gigs before the end of the year. In 2024, we have gigs and cool festivals to be announced and to play as much as possible! You can find it all, our socials and pre-order on our website: