Gaborone, Botswana: whilst neighbouring South Africa is said to have the infrastructure, few African nations can lay so strong a claim to the essence of Heavy Metal spirit as Botswana. This largely impoverished landlocked country forms the heartland of Southern Africa. Whilst not particularly rich in minerals, Botswana maintains a wealth natural and human heritage; much of it’s culture as yet unspoiled by imperialistic global interests.
Ironically, the country is also rich in Heavy Metal music and culture. Yet somehow, even this “Western infection” largely escapes complete domination from global interests. In Botswana, the people are forging a derivative of the parent genre unlike anywhere else in the world. Skinflint represents but one example of this.
Skinflint, locally and abroad
Whilst perhaps not yet named among some of the longstanding legends like Metal Orizon, Skinflint nonetheless are a longstanding part of, and a staple within the Batswana Metal culture. We first watched the band live on it’s debut Cape Town visit at Whiplash in 2010. It was a modest performance in Cape Town’s tiny ROAR, only two years after the band’s establishment. Since then, Guiseppe and his band mates have traveled an extraordinary journey, locally and abroad. Ranging from five studio albums, international television coverage, visits to South Africa and other African states; the journey culminated with Skinflint supporting the legendary Tarja Turunen (former Nightwish vocalist) on her 2017 European Tour.
“This year has been a magical experience for Skinflint, most of it still feels like a dream. The response during the tour was mostly positive. People liked our raw approach to metal and the African influences. We knew that playing as support for Tarja Turunen meant we could not afford to just play well; we had to give an exceptional performance, if we were to leave a mark. It was the first time we played live with Mathoas on our ankles, performing most of the songs from our latest album ‘Chief of the Ghosts’, some of which incorporate Borankana rhythms. We wanted to represent African Metal, and I think we lit a fire in Europe. We are now coming to Cape Town and we will approach it with the same energy and intensity we had on tour with Tarja Turunen.” ~ Guiseppe Sbrana (vocals/guitar, Skinflint)
Lighting the African Fire
Skinflint keeps it’s heritage close to it’s heart. Themes within the lyrics, and more as of late within the music itself, are deeply rooted in African folklore (more detail on this here). Listening to Skinflint‘s five albums, one can follow the progression. The latest album, Chief of the Ghosts, emphasizes this point more firmly than ever.
“Story telling is a strong aspect of African culture. We wanted to incorporate that into our music. Most of the songs are inspired by African mythology, and occultism.” ~ Guiseppe Sbrana
Skinflint is primed and ready for a long overdue return, and we find ourselves delighted to welcome them to the www.metal4africa.com stage at WinterFest’17. Catch Skinflint on stage at 21h00 on Saturday. Visit the facebook event page for more detail. Guiseppe offered some final words in anticipation of the band’s first Cape Town show in seven years:
“We are excited to visit the ‘Mother City’ again. I think you can expect more fire this time; some tribal dance rhythms inspired by Borankana music, and traditional Heavy Metal. We are asking all metalheads in Cape Town to unite at WinterFest’17 and help us start a fire!” ~ Guiseppe Sbrana