Interview with Skinny Knowledge
Frontman Andy L Smooth
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My Nan was a professional singer, so as a kid I would often sit at the piano with her and sing songs. My Dad always loved music, so I grew up on some great records; Meatloaf, REO Speedwagon, Eagles, Queen, Simon and Garfunkel, so music has always been a huge part of my life before I picked up a pair of drumsticks at 11 years old. When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a pilot…so if not music, maybe that?! Not that I have any skills in that area!
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
If I’m honest, 90% of what I do is music. I don’t really get a break from it (no complaints!), but I do often find I come up with ideas when I’m either walking my dog, or driving to and from gigs. I think it’s the only time my head quietens down, so it’s able to start wondering and it’s free to think of ideas - whether it’s melodies, riffs or lyrics.
How long has your band been around?
I initially formed the band during lockdown via social media connections, crazy, and what a great time to start a band! I put the band together, though I started writing the tunes for the debut album ‘Don’t Turn Out The Lights’ about a year before and really needed an outlet for them.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re based in Bournemouth UK, however I must say, it hasn’t really influenced the music that much. Most of the music is written about past experiences, not so much the area we come from. Bournemouth is a lovely seaside town, but there isn’t particularly anything exciting enough to write about!
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
It was a few years ago when I started a band at Uni in London, and the guitarist then and I had a few beers one evening, and wrote a load of words down on a piece of paper, and just started putting them together. Two of which were skinny and knowledge. We disbanded after Uni, but I always liked the name, so when I set up this new project I decided to use it again.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Our first show. It was just after all the lockdown restrictions had been lifted, and the album had been out for a few months already, so everyone had a chance to listen and knew the words. We came out and played the album back to front, and everyone sang along with us. It was quite a surreal experience.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I think our 5th show was at Bournemouth’s O2 Academy, so that was pretty spectacular. It’s an amazing venue, and it was an honour to play there, after seeing some of my favourite bands grace that stage.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I’d have to say my two favourite bands…Foo Fighters and Green Day. What a gig that would be, right?!
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 have fun. If you’re not having fun, then nothing else really matters. Don’t do it with the expectation of money, fame etc, just do it because you love it, and that’s the most important thing.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
It’s actually a new song that I’ve written, and unreleased at the moment. It’s about everything I’ve been through this year, and it sits pretty close to home, but the lyrics are great. I’m really excited to share it with everyone, when the moment is right. It might be the next single…
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
‘Keep Me Out Of It’ is always a blast to play. It’s also our most requested.Our new single ‘Class A Dummy’ is SO much fun live! We’ve been out on a few shows recently and it’s really going down well, the video is EXACTLY what you get at our shows:
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
It’s normally myself that writes the majority of the tunes. Then I’ll bring it to the band, and we work out the creases and put the finishing touches on it, but we also write as a group. Lyrically, the inspiration is normally past experiences. I find it a lot easier to write about things that have happened, rather than fictional ones. 99% of our lyrical content is normally something very relatable for all I believe.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Luckily, we’ve never really had any disagreements! (well, nothing big anyway). But if there’s ever a difference of opinion, we’ll normally just take a vote and the majority wins!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’re currently writing and about to record our second album for release in 2023 which is super exciting and you can back us on Kickstarter here: http://kck.st/3EgWxX8 with shows next year to be announced, we’d love to see you at one!