Skunk Anansie Biography

Skunk Anansie (or SA) are a worldwide multi-platinum selling English rock band whose members include Skin (born Deborah Dyer, 3 August 1967, Brixton), Cass (born Richard Keith Lewis, 1 September 1960, London), Ace (Martin Ivor Kent, 30 March 1967, Cheltenham) and Mark Richardson (born 28 May 1970, Leeds).

Skunk Anansie formed in March 1994, disbanded in 2001 and reformed in 2009. The name 'Skunk Anansie' is taken after the West African folk tales of Anansi the spider-man, with “Skunk” added to “make the name nastier.”They are often grouped as part of a Britrock movement, running alongside Britpop. The band in 2004, were named as one of the most-successful UK chart acts between 1952-2003 by Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums, with a total of 141 weeks on both the singles and album charts ranking them at #491. When the book first published this annual top 500 list in 2000, it only involved weeks spent on the singles chart until 2004's 17th edition, meaning the band's highest ranking has not been notified in any of the past editions. Their longest running release is 1996's Stoosh album with 55 weeks and a peak of #9.

The group played its first gig at London’s Splash club in March 1994 (now known as Monto Water Rats Theatre). In 1995 they were voted Best New British Band by the readers of Kerrang! magazine. At the award ceremony that year drummer Mark Richardson met the band who were looking for a permanent replacement for Robbie France so an audition was set up and Skunk were reborn. Soon after that two of their songs, “Feed” and “Selling Jesus,” appeared on the soundtrack to the movie Strange Days in 1995. “Selling Jesus” became Skunk Anansie’s controversial second song to receive radio play, following their first radio release “Little Baby Swastikkka.” After hearing this song, radio personality Howard Stern claimed that the band would become a huge hit. Success continued for the band and they were also voted Kerrang's Best British Live Act in 1996. In 1997 they were nominated for Best Live Act and Best Group at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

Their first two albums, Paranoid and Sunburnt and Stoosh, were released under One Little Indian Records in 1995 and 1996 respectively. After switching to the Virgin label in 1998, their third and final album, Post Orgasmic Chill, which was released in 1999.

The group has been labelled as a “political” band, but the group has emphasized that they would prefer to be labelled simply as a “rock band.”Skin herself, however, has described Skunk Anansie as a “clit-rock” group, which Allmusic clarifies as “an amalgam of heavy metal and black feminist rage.”Members Skin and Ace have mentioned the Sex Pistols, Blondie, dub music, reggae, electronica, hip-hop music and world music as significant influences.

Throughout the nineties, Skunk Anansie toured globally with such bands as U2, Aerosmith, Feeder, Lenny Kravitz, Bad Religion, Rollins Band, Therapy?, Rammstein, Killing Joke, Soulfly, Sevendust, Oomph!, Muse, Staind, Powerman 5000, Veruca Salt, Marion and A Perfect Circle.

After their split in 2001, Skin has embarked upon a solo career, still using Skin as her name. Her debut solo album Fleshwounds, was released in September 2003 and Fake Chemical State was released in March 2006. She has also provided vocals for a number of other acts songs.

Ace released a low-key album, Still Hungry under the name Ace Sounds, which featured many collaborations including Shingai Shoniwa from Noisettes and Skye from Morcheeba. Ace later joined a band called 'Inner Mantra'. Ace is also a tutor at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music

In 2002 Cass recorded the album Scars with Gary Moore, and played bass and performed backing vocals. Cass also played various instruments on Skin’s first solo album Fleshwounds. When not recorded it is thought that Cass concentrated on photography.

Mark recorded sessions for various artists including Skin before joining Feeder after the death of their original drummer Jon Lee. Mark has also been tutoring at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music with bandmate Ace.

In an interview with UK radio station "XFM", Skin announced that their 1997 single "Brazen" will be featuring in the upcoming video game "Rock Band 2".

Mark Richardson confirmed reports that the band was reforming in an interview with Drummer Magazine (2008, November Issue), and said that the band planned to release a 'Best Of' as well as new material. Ace later set up an official page for the band on MySpace.

Skin about the reformation: "Basicially we have never done a greatest hits album. We have been bugged to do it for ages and ages from various places but only now does everyone have time and want to do it. It will have new songs on it and you will start to hear some amazing remixes from rock and rave to dubstep, all very exciting."

On April 2 and 3, 2009, two shows took place at the Monto Water Rats (the former venue of the Splash Club) under the alias SCAM (Skin, Cass, Ace, Mark) and sold out in 20 minutes.

The band will begin their 'Greatest Hits' tour on Friday 9th Oct 09 at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, with other dates across Europe. It will be their first actual tour in eight years.

A greatest hits album, Smashes And Trashes, (due for release November 2nd 2009) was also announced. It is a 15-track career-embracing album and includes three brand new tracks; Because Of You, Tear The Place Up and Squander.
On the 3 July 2009, the music video for Tear The Place Up, was posted on MySpace. On August 10th 2009, a new video and song, Because Of You, was presented exclusively on It will be released September 14th 2009 in the UK and is the first single to be released from the band's forthcoming greatest hits album.
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