a British band full of british history
Skin, Ace, Mark and Cass.
Skunk Anansie formed in March 1994, disbanded in 2001 and reformed in 2009. The name "Skunk Anansie" is taken from Akann folk tales of Anansi the spider-man of Ghana, with "Skunk" added to "make the name nastier".
They have released six studio albums: Anarchytecture (2016), Paranoid and Sunburnt (1995), Stoosh (1996), Post Orgasmic Chill (1999), Wonderlustre (2010), Black Traffic (2012), one compilation album Smashes and Trashes (2009) and several hit singles, including "Charity", "Hedonism", "Selling Jesus" and "Weak".
Rising from the mean streets of London in the early part of 1994, Skunk Anansie were born in time of social, political and musical change.
Skunk Anansie went on to be one of the biggest rock bands in Britain and Europe throughout the 90’s selling over 5 million records and doing 7 sellout world tours until 2000. Their LPs released are 'Anarchytecture LP"16 'Live in London'13 ‘Paranoid and Sunburnt’ 95, Stoosh’ ’96 and ‘Post Orgasmic Chill’ ’99 seeing the band headline Glastonbury festival as well performing with Pavarotti for the Dalai Lama, and Nelson Mandela for his 80th Birthday ‘Gift to the nation’ shows.
Skunk, after an 8 year hiatus reformed and have been a permanent fixture since early 2009 and have since released 4 new successful LPs: ‘Smashes and Trashes’ (2009) and ‘Wonderlustre’ (2010), ‘Black Traffic’ (2012), Acoustic Live In London (2013) as well as completing sell out European tours, and triumphant festival circuits. They still continue to tour and write new music.
“I see myself as an artist more than a musician, not only because I play guitar worse than a deaf camel, but because being in a band has always required a lot more skills than just songwriting and singing,” says Skin. “You have to dip your fingers in other art forms (like film, theatre, books) in order to create something wonderful from the clash of egos which are part of being in a great band.”
Ace has been playing guitar for over 30 years has earned a reputation as being one of the top guitarists in the rock world and also renowned for his love and creative use of FX pedals. Reared on The Sex Pistols, Black Sabbath and Motorhead as a child, playing in a dirty alternative rock n roll band was his destiny since the age of 12!
Ace has also been producing records professionally since 2001 and has worked on over 40 records with many European bands with varied musical styles. He has an Master of Arts qualification based in music education from London Middlesex University and has for the last 15 years been working with various prestigious music colleges around Europe. Now he is the creator and owner of The Ace Guitar Academy situated in various European cities. He lists among his favourite experiences so far in Skunk as headlining Glastonbury, playing for Nelson Mandela and being a part of the Dalai Lamas charity concert playing with Pavarotti. He is a self confessed gear nutcase, owning too many guitars, pedals and amps for one man...
Based in London Cass Lewis (born Richard Keith Lewis) is perhaps best known as the bassist, co songwriter and co producer of Skunk Anansie, his career in music began in 1987 with Terrance Trent D'arby on the No.1 selling, grammy award nominated album "Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby". It was during this time Cass set up his own studio producing and writing with bands as well as working on his own projects.
After two hugely successful albums with Trent D'Arby in 1994 Cass went onto Skunk Anansie with lead singer Skin. During his career with the Skunk Anansie Cass has sold over 5 million records, released several multi platinum selling albums, toured the world with acts including U2, Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz and Muse, collaborated with Bjork, performed live on stage with Luciano Pavarotti (in front of the Dalai Lama), performed live at Nelson Mandela's 80th Birthday concert and headlined the legendary Glastonbury Festival in the UK. During Skunk Anansie's hiatus in 2002 Cass joined Gary Moore's (Thin Lizzy/Skid Row) band 'Scars' co writing an album of the same name as well as playing bass both on record and on tour. In 2003 he also played bass on Skin's solo album 'Flesh Wounds'. In 2009 Skunk Anansie reformed and have since released one greatest hits record and two studio albums. Their 2010 release Wonderlustre went top ten in countries around the world including No.1 in Italy. Cass is currently on tour promoting Skunk Anansie's latest release 'Black Traffic' which has already charted top ten across Europe.
Mark lived the first seven years of his life in Leeds, Whitby and Scarborough. He grew up playing golf and rugby from the age of 5 and played rugby union for East Yorkshire.
Mark played in bands throughout his school years and after joining Polydor signed Little Angels in 1991 and then b.l.o.w. in 1993, Mark joined Skunk Anansie in August 1995 after a chance meeting with Skin at the Kerrang! Awards. Skunk Anansie were looking for a permanent replacement for Robbie France, so an audition was set up and Skunk were reborn. His first job with the band was to record some movie soundtrack music for the film Strange Days followed by the video for Charity. His first gig with the band was the Leeds Heineken festival and he was still learning the songs on the way there.
Mark promotes drums and drumming by performing drum workshops around the country for his sponsors and works with the University of Chichester on the Clem Burke Drum Project studying the physiological and psychological effects of drumming on drummers and demonstrating it at seminars across the country. Mark also owns Bam Bam Productions. A production company making music videos and filming the online content for music education facilities around the world. Mark also owns Tunerfish Lug Locks, a drum accessory used to aid the retention of drum tuning and writes freelance for drum magazines.
Mark is a passionate biker and completed Enduro Africa (a bike ride across South Africa to raise money for the charity, Riders For Health), Enduro India (from Goa to the Kerala Backwaters), Experience Africa with Riders For Health (twice, once in 2011 and 2014). Mark has also competed in the 12hr Dawn To Dusk, numerous Hare and Hound events across the country and winning 3rd place in the Desert Rose Hare and Hounds championship in 2012. In 2013 and 2014 Mark completed the HardAlpi Tour 24 hour enduro set in the Dolomite mountains in Italy but his dream is to complete the Africa Eco Rally running on the original Paris-Dakar route.
Mark makes a cameo appearance as a bouncer in the 2009 movie, Souled Out.