Well, firstly, I’m a solo music writer, guitarist and producer, ‘Skidders’. This comes from my surname – ‘Skidmore’ and not the state of my pants! Some friends just started calling me Skidders, so I thought rather than call myself by my full name (Steve Skidmore) which is boring, I’d use my nickname. It can cause a laugh or two when explaining though!
I was born in Smethwick, in the Black Country in the middle of England. Tolkien created Mordor based on the Black Country (so named because of the smoke, steelworks and furnaces).
Because I cannot sing (serious songs anyway), 95% of my compositions are electric or acoustic guitar instrumentals. But they are mostly not “pretty pretty” instrumental tracks – rather an eclectic mix, ranging from heavy rock instrumentals, to reggae and even Celtic.
How did you all meet?
Although this question is not applicable to me, let me please say, I started gigging when I was 14 in a club band on drums. I taught myself guitar from the theory I learned in piano lessons and by the age of 15, I was playing lead guitar in the band.
From then on, I have played in many bands and later in my career, had many projects both as solo and in collaboration with other musicians.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
Looking at my influencers, the track “Ronnie Two Sheds” (on my latest album) was The Shadows, although I didn’t necessarily intend it to be pure so. Other artists that have influenced me, and is part of my brain melting pot, are: The Beatles – the best pop group that ever was for sure. In later years, I loved CCR, Led Zeppelin (best rock band ever), TYA, Black Sabbath, Hendrix, Santana, Rory Gallagher and so on. These days, I love KT Tunstall, Ella Fitzgerald, John Mayer and throughout, Clapton.
“Tom’s Bossa” definitely has traces of Carlos Santana. The bottom line is, the music I love the sound of, synthesises into my own music, to something I am satisfied with – whether I know it or not! So my new album has all these influences.
What made you want to be in a band?
I just love music and growing up, I talked my dad into buying me an electric guitar for Christmas. It was a relatively low priced second hand guitar, but never the less, looked great. I still have a photo now of me pretending to play it! After seeing Hank Marvin with his beautiful red Stratocaster and hearing The Beatles, all I wanted to do was playing music. I must have been about 8 or 9 when I had that guitar. I failed miserably learning to play it and it wasn’t until much later that I had enough maturity to apply myself and learn.
What has been your best gig?
There are two gigs. First was playing at The Cavern in Liverpool – on both stages. A couple of weeks after playing there, Paul McCartney was playing with Dave Gilmour on the very same stage. Awesome!
The other gig that was amazing, was at The Forum in Old Kentish Town, where loads of dry ice on the stage was the order of the day
and we had our own dressing room with our own fridge full of Bud. This was equally awesome.
Can you tell us a bit about your music?
My latest album was released several weeks back, 4th May. I’m still working promoting it right now. It’s called “Friends & Family Vol. 2” and all tracks are dedicated to friends and family members, past and present. All but one of the tracks are instrumental.
My debut album, “Skidderslectric” was released 2015 and had all electric guitar instrumentals, bar one song. My second album, “Friends & Family” was released last year and had only acoustic guitar instrumentals, again bar one song. “Friends & Family Vol. 2” has a mixture of electric and acoustic guitar instrumental, with the customary one song. I drafted-in the brilliant vocals of Cotswold Legend, Andrew James for that one track. All three albums are available on all streaming sites or in CD form from my website.
Describe your music in 3 words.
Electric, Eclectic, Instrumental.
What makes your band stand out from others?
The music. I know this is terribly immodest, but I am really proud of my compositions and I personally think, most people would particularly enjoy my latest album, unless they had an extremely narrow taste in music.
What are your plans for the rest of 2022?
As mentioned, I’m still busy promoting “Friends & Family Vol. 2”, but later this year, I am doing some session guitar work for a writer called Kylolus who’s putting together a new prog-rock album. It’s quite good stuff!
I will then start on my fourth album, “Feckem Hall”, which will be more geared towards playing live and will be less “produced”.
If your band had to be remembered for one thing apart from your music what would you want it to be?
The man behind my music and the love and care put into the compositions, recordings and preparation of the material and the manner of presenting it to fans. I like to think I give people that impression when they visit my website.
Any gig’s coming up?
Currently, no solo gigs, but I am gigging with my duo Bukechi, where the fantastic singer Sammi Roberts and I play our own penned material as well as covers. Please take a listen to our album “Welcome To Suburbia” on Spotify, Apple Music etc.
When “Feckem Hall” is completed, I’ll be putting together gigs to play that album.
Many thanks for the opportunity of this Q&A with That Blogger Music – and all you readers, stay safe
By Siân Parker