Guiseppe, tell us a little bit about Skinflint and the band's philosophy!
Skinflint is a three piece African Metal band founded by guitarist/Vocalist Giuseppe Sbrana back in 2006. The idea was to mix traditional music, and local culture with heavy Metal!
How did you get in contact with Heavy Metal?
My Uncle "Ray" introduced me to rock music and had a collection of Jimi Hendrix tapes which we would listen to together. I then went on to discover bands such as Black sabbath and Iron Maiden, and that is where my love for Metal begun.
And when came the time you said: Alright, let’s start playing Metal in a band?
By 2007 Metal had become more then a music to us, it was a way of life. We saw it as a music that encourages a strong sense of individuality and power. This reflected our personalities well and so we decided Metal was the best way to express ourselves!
How difficult is it to set up a band in Botswana?
Compared to other African countries, Botswana is very free and we haven't had much problems with any stigma or prejudice. There are of course, the few minority who think we are witches, or some kind of satanic cult...but this is very rare and does not concern us!
How is your contact among other bands from Botswana like Crackdust, Wrust or Metal Orizon?
We have a good working relationship with the other bands, and take good care of each other!
How would you describe the fans in your local scene?
Botswana has a strong following of leather clad Metalheads. There is a bit of a difference in the way the fans dress here, as they combined the cowboy look (farmer) with the rocker biker look.
How would you describe the typical Botswanian Metalhead?
Most Botswana Metal fans are kind, passionate about Metal and friendly. Most of them look extremely agressive, but if you approach them.. You will be surprised at how nice they are!
What are you impressions of your gigs in Sweden?
We were invited to tour Sweden through Selam, and it was our first time playing in Europe. The tour was a great success, and we were very happy to finally get the opportunity to play to fans from abroad. We hope to return to Europe again next year!
I hope so, too!. Some of your tracks have “exotic” names, like “Gauna”, “Gboyo”, “Olitiau” oder “Mbube the Great”. What can you tell us about the meaning?
GAUNA: is the ruler of the spirits of the dead, to the bushmen of Southern Africa.
GBOYO: Is the heartmen ritual. A cult in Africa who use rituals to take the hearts of mortals and sacrifice them to their Gods.
OLITIAU: Is the God of Bats, he is half man, half bat!
Mbube the Great: Is the Lion of War!
So the African culture or African spirituality is very important for your music.
Most of the songs are about African spirituality and our experiences growing up in Africa. Also, where we come from in Botswana, storytelling and chanting is a very strong aspect of local culture and we tried to implement this into the music as much as possible. We also tried some traditional riffs. I would describe the music as a combination of African Traditional music and Heavy Metal. Some people have coined the term African Metal for us!
A part of this term implements -at least for me- as very raw sound. “Dipoko”has a very raw sound. Was it you intention or is it a result of the equipments you have in Botswana?
It was our intention, as we wanted the listener to feel as if they are in the same room as the band. We didnt use any cut n paste trickery or any software. What you hear is real people playing, not plastic garbage.
You received a lot of positive reviews in german webzines! Did you really expect that?
Not really, because I was not sure whether people would understand what we were trying to do. But I am glad to see such positive feedback, and hope to further expand on the genre!
Will your Album “Live in Botswana” be published in Europe?
We definitely have plans to publish "Live in Botswana" in Europe!
What are your plans for the next regular album? Did you already hit the “writing spree”?
Yes, we have just recently completed a new single called "OKOVE" which fans can download from our website. So far the writing has been flowing naturally, and we hope to have the album out by Dec-Jan.
I am looking forward to it. So far I wish all the best for you. And the final words are for you of course !
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Metalglory for including Skinflint, and all the fans out there for their support!