Australian hard rock band SkinInc. has released their first new music of 2023 with new single “Wicked Woman” – streaming now and available for digital download. Following a twenty-year hiatus, this is their third single to be released ahead of an anticipated forthcoming album.
SkinInc. spotlights the global issue of climate crisis in “Wicked Woman.” Singer Paul Miles explains, “When it came time to write the lyrics for this song near the end of 2021, we had experienced six catastrophic weather events in Australia to date that year, including devastating bushfires, two floods, a tornado, a tropical cyclone, and an earthquake. On top of that, I was in Melbourne’s sixth lockdown from the global pandemic at the time. It got me thinking that such natural disasters and events were perhaps Mother Nature’s way of deliberately fighting back against the negative impacts that the human race is having on the planet.”
Miles adds, “I actually wrote the lyrics as I sat on a log in the middle of Sherbrooke Forest, while looking around and appreciating the magnificent beauty of the nature that surrounded me. This juxtaposition stayed with me and can now be seen in the song’s accompanying video, where I return to that beautiful rainforest near Melbourne, while the other guys play in some beautiful natural locations around Perth.”
The single’s artwork and music video for “Wicked Woman” features the striking Jade Townsend, bar manager of Australia’s globally reknown rock’n’roll venue Cherry, as a Wicked Mother Nature. It was again produced and edited by Daniel Armstrong at Strongman Pictures, and shot by Rom Anthonis, with additional band footage shot by Caris Bingemann. The video is also top and tailed with quotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ernest Hemingway.
Formed in the winter of 1999, SkinInc. quickly hit the Perth music scene with a bang! Their fourth gig was played from the middle of a speedway to 5,000 racing fans, and their biggest performance was at Australia’s Big Day Out festival in the year 2000 with 35,000 people – not bad for the band’s twelfth gig.
Hard rock fans loved their theatrical live show that entertained crowds with triple fire-spits over the crowd by lead guitarist Stevie D., shenanigans from jocular rhythm guitarist Corey Hodgetts, and the ’Drum Rod’: picture a drumming interlude on a kit setup with mag wheels, smoke billowing through silver exhaust pipes on both sides, topped with a crash helmet on their otherwise nude drummer Matt Franklin.
Like the shock rock heroes that came before them, SkinInc. also had quality, catchy songs, which fans loved (and rival bands didn’t), to match their bombastic show. They recorded their EP “Love Me Tomorrow” just a week after their debut gig and the Limited Collectors’ Edition of the CD even came with a piece of the bands’ own skin ink leftovers for a personalised touch – yes, their tattoo scabs, in other words.
They then released their album “Rose Coloured Glasses” in the middle of 2001. Included on the disc’s multimedia goodies was the video to opening track “Diatribe,” as seen on music television across Australia. However, the release became the band’s swan song.
SkinInc. went on hiatus when front man Paul Miles relocated his baritone vocals from Perth to Melbourne, where he became an imminent rock DJ in the city’s clubs and bars (like Cherry’s halcyon days in AC/DC Lane for more than a decade.) Furthermore, as a writer, he’s authored ten rock ‘n’ roll books and was asked to contribute to Mötley Crüe’s autobiography The Dirt that’s sold more than a million copies – you’ll see that he gets “the biggest thanks of all” in the book’s Acknowledgements page.
It took a global pandemic to reignite the band in the middle of 2021. Following the sad death of SkinInc.’s original bass player Geoff Lewis five years earlier, long-time friend Shane Johnstone [Ultra Sound, Supernatural, Atmosfear] has joined them on bass, who is also an experienced singer and songwriter.
Celebrating the band’s return, SkinInc. released a retrospective compilation “The First Era” as a Japanese Limited Edition. SkinInc. has always meant business (as their abbreviated name of Skin Incorporated indicates) but they are also aware that humour is an important part of rock ‘n’ roll. When asked for further details on the release, Miles said, “It’s like we just woke from a coma after 20 years and we’re trying to figure out today’s music world. So this edition is not available as physical product; it’s limited to digital downloads and streaming only. Plus the Japanese cover is a tribute to my favourite country to visit and buy records.” Hodgetts quipped, “Yes, we’ll be big in Japan… when we stand next to the locals.”
Although Miles is still based in Melbourne, technology has come a long way in the last twenty years, making the collaborative creation of music that much easier and a reality for the rockers. Brand new SkinInc. songs have been coming together with the same ease and sounding better than ever! A string of singles commencing with “Life’s a Bitch” are being released, with the promise of much more to come in the next stage of the SkinInc. rock ‘n’ roll journey.