Skindred have revealed a brand new lyric video for ‘It’s A Crime’, a rare cut from the Japanese version of Roots Rock Riot. Thirteen years after its release, Skindred are re-releasing the record, making the track available outside of Japan for the first time. The album will be available on April 23rd and can be pre-ordered here.
“‘It’s a Crime’ was written in 2006 in our basement studio below St Joseph’s Boxing club in Newport,” recalls drummer Arya Goggin. “It’s where all the writing for Roots Rock Riot took place. The only reason it didn’t make the album was because of how the album tracklisting flowed.
“We were so happy with how the album progressed from the opening of chaos of ‘Roots Rock Riot’ to the epic ending of ‘Choices And Decisions’ we didn’t want to crowbar another song in needlessly. It was a hard decision to leave it out but we are so happy it’s being included in the re-release. It was always a band and producer favourite.”
Speaking on the inspiration behind the track, vocalist Benji Webbe explains, “I live in a neighbourhood (Newport, Wales) were back in the day, a lot of people were working hard and getting ripped off in life and then there are others who are just hustling and selling this and selling that. It’s just a crime that hardworking people don’t get what the thieves/criminals get.”
Crafted in a boxing club, recorded in America and laying the groundwork for everything that followed it, Roots Rock Riot is an important piece of Skindred’s history – a piece that this re-release celebrates.
The first record of their discography to feature what would become the permanent line-up of Benji, Arya, bassist Daniel Pugsley and guitarist Mikey Demus, it started its life as that difficult second album. What it became completely transcends that, bookending a difficult period of the band’s existence and boldly kicking down the door to the future of their illustrious career.
Benji remembers delivering the vocals with the same passion he employs in front of a festival crowd, and recalls, “I’m not one of those people who cheers when they’ve finished a record. But I’m always thankful to get to make my art, blending contemporary British music and Jamaican music, with my friends. On Roots Rock Riot I think we did that excellently.”
Mikey meanwhile sees this re-release as an opportunity to examine how he and his band have come on in the years since. “I’m really proud of the record,” the guitarist enthuses. “I had a hell of a lot of fun making it and it features some really important Skindred tracks.”
Producer Matt Squire (Panic At The Disco / Neck Deep) brought the whole album to life and realises its importance in cementing Skindred as one of the most important bands in the British heavy rock scene. “Longevity is all about being real,” he states. “Times were changing when the album was made, and if the band hadn’t been real in what they did they might have been passed off as a metal band with an innovative singer. Roots Rock Riot presented Skindred as a band with amazing songs. Those songs are made up of a crazy amalgamation of sounds while remaining absolutely undeniable.”
Available on vinyl for the first time as well as CD, the re-release of Roots Rock Riot features rare cuts and previously unheard music. As well as the complete tracklist of the original, the vinyl version of the record comes with an additional 7” containing two exclusive tracks: the aforementioned ‘It’s A Crime’ and ‘Struggle’, which was never released. The CD release also contains both those tracks and an acoustic version of ‘Destroy The Dance Floor’.
If that’s not enough, the re-release is also accompanied by some exclusive merchandise pre-order bundles. Available in the bundles are three 12” vinyl colour variants (Transparent Orange, Transparent Green and a special 3-colour Red, Yellow & Green), a t-shirt and a turntable slipmat, both of which feature a classic design from the original Roots Rock Riot release. Pre-orders are available here.
The re-release of Roots Rock Riot will arrive ahead of their full UK Showtime Tour in September, joined by very special guests Royal Republic.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 SHOWTIME TOUR DATES
Thu 23rd – Cambridge, Junction
Fri 24th – Oxford, Academy
Sat 25th – Northampton, Roadmenders
Thu 30th – Leeds, Academy
Fri 1st – Birmingham, Institute
Sat 2nd – London, Roundhouse
Thu 7th – Cardiff, Tramshed
Fri 8th – Bristol, Academy
Sat 9th – Nottingham, Rock City
Sun 10th – Glasgow, SWG3
Fri 15th – Southampton, Guildhall
Fri 22nd – Sheffield, Corporation
Sat 23rd – Newcastle, Uni Students’ Union
Fri 29th – Bexhill, De La Warr Pavilion
Sat 30th – Manchester, Academy
Sun 31st – Norwich, UEA