Myke Gray from Skin interview

Download 2009 interview

published: Wed 17th Jun 2009


Friday 12th to Sunday 14th June 2009
Donington Park, Leics, England MAP
£135 weekend, £65 any day, camping is an extra £25
last updated: Thu 11th Jun 2009

Skin played on the main stage at Download Festival on Sunday afternoon, it's been a long time coming, 15 years to be exact since they last stepped out into the Donington sunshine, so shortly after their set I caught up with Myke Gray, guitarist from the band.

You've had a very busy week, how have your Download warm up shows gone?
Well literally we hadn't seen each other for 11 years, so Dickie flew in from Los Angeles last Thursday, Andy flew in from Ireland on Friday, we did 3 days of rehearsals, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 2 warm up shows in London which were amazing then we did a show in Wolverhampton, that was amazing as well, the 2 London shows were fairly small, the Wolverhampton one was a little bit bigger, getting us ready for this, then today was obviously just unbelievable, just a magical day.

Is it great to be back at Donington?
It is, it's great to be here it was a festival I grew up with, going to as a fan and saw a lot of my heroes over the years and to play here is a dream, especially second time round.

It was 15 years ago you were here last time, which is a long time, how did the initial contact of getting Skin back together happen?
It all came from Andy Copping who is the promoter for Live Nation, he was putting together a classic rock day and he'd worked with Skin in the past, he was like our promoter back on the first album and he basically called me up and said would you be interested in reforming and playing at download this year, my initial reaction was yes, but then it involved a lot of other people saying yes as well, so it took about 3 weeks for all of us to agree and make the total commitment that had to be made in doing something like this, so that's how it all came about, from Mr.Copping at Live Nation.

I did have the pleasure of seeing you here in 1994 and seeing you again it's like you’d never been away, how was it for all of you?
It's been a very emotional week, you know the band split up 11 years ago, we hadn't spoken to each other, we hadn't seen each other, so what was remarkable was as soon as we got back together it was like 2 weeks ago, it just all clicked in, we nailed the rehearsals pretty quick, live shows are always very different to rehearsals and that's the real test, when all your pedals are going wrong and you can't hear the drummer and all the stuff that goes with live performances and the ability to overcome that, but it was great very very good.

Reading your by-line from Monsters of Rock 1994, it says 'From nowhere to Donington in 6 months', so now we're back at Donington where do Skin go from here?
It's a very good question, lots of people have been asking us what we are going to do and we have literally made no commitments to anything until we did today’s show, the warm up shows we were playing to our hard core fans, so that was amazing and it was great to see them, but to play today was really to see if we were still relevant at the moment, whether we still got the warmth, whether people still enjoyed us, so today was like the real test to see if we still had something so I think after this we're going to have to sit down and have a chat and see what everyone thought about it, did they enjoy it and everything that went with it, from my part it was fantastic and I would very happily play again.

You spoke about your hardcore fans and crowd reaction today, there were people singing along who were in nappies last time you played here, so does that make you feel good that there is a new generation of Skin fans out there?

Yeah the first time we came across that was in Wolverhampton and there was a few people there that hadn't even been born when we split up so to see them singing the words back, it's an unbelievable feeling, so we had an amazing reception today, better than we could have ever dreamed of so we’ll have a chat with the guys and we'll see what lies in store.

So you're not definitely saying no to maybe a tour and some new material coming out then?
It's been such a pleasurable experience seeing the guys again, playing the songs again and interacting with crowds so why would you say no to this.

Then one last question Myke, It is very hot here this weekend, is that why the hair has gone?
(Laughs) I wish ( more laughter) I shaved it especially.
interview by: Julie Weston

Friday 12th to Sunday 14th June 2009
Donington Park, Leics, England MAP
£135 weekend, £65 any day, camping is an extra £25
last updated: Thu 11th Jun 2009

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