An Interview with Cosmos Modisaemang of Skinflint
By Andrew Daly
If you’re a fan of heavy metal band Skinflint, you’ve surely learned to expect the unexpected.
As natives of Botswana, Skinflint delivers the goods through an eclectic mix of hedonism, perched along elements drawing from all areas of the genre. To be sure, Skinflint is eclectic, that much we know. But beyond the sonic journeys the band embarks upon, a very real camaraderie appears to exist amongst the members.
Sure, Skinflint has seen a few members drift through its ranks over the years. Another swing of the proverbial lineup pendulum led to a drumming vacancy in 2020, which led the members of Skinflint to call upon old friend Cosmos Modisaemang. With one phone call, a successful audition, and an agreement to enter the told later, Modisaemang was Skinflint’s new skin-thrasher, adding an element of uber-heavy yet simplistically rhythmic experience, which was precisely what the doctor ordered.
It didn’t take long for the new lineup to mesh, leading to songs being written, studio time being booked, and Hate Spell ultimately manifesting as Skinflint’s next LP. To say that Hate Spell is simply a “progression” would be an understatement. Nevertheless, it most certainly is. For a band dead set on improving year over year, Hate Spell is an example of the mad scientist nature behind the band’s songwriting, instrumentation, and musical intent.
As he prepares to support the most important record of Skinflint’s career, drummer Cosmos Modisaemang beamed in with ClassicRockHistory.com to talk about his entry point into Skinflint, songwriting, drum preferences, and more.
How did you enter the Skinflint fold?
This is my first record with Skinflint, but I’ve been in other bands before this. It was something where when we first got together, it just felt right from the start, and we went from there. We started playing and playing and playing. My old band had been doing some shows with Skinflint, and so I knew these guys. And sometime later, for reasons that I don’t want to go into, I had to quit that band. I was out of it for a bit, and then, as fate would have it, seven years later, Skinflint needed a drummer. They called me in for an audition and the rest is history.
Tell me about the origins of Hate Spell. How do you feel Skinflint has progressed from its last record?
Our latest record was mostly inspired by the old Skinflint. However, this one has a fresh taste, new energy, and raw power. We wanted to breathe new life into the old sound while still retaining the raw energy of Skinflint. It sounds newer and more aggressive. I would say now Skinflint is making waves across the globe; everyone wants to have a piece of Skinflint. We are expecting a positive response once the full album is released.
What is your compositional process like? Do the lyrics come first and then the instrumentals?
There is no formula to it. I would say our compositions feel magical, like something out of this world; once we hit the studio, songs just come up, and we put this together nicely as individuals. The lyrics follow later and fit well on the already existing skeleton.
Which songs on the new record are your favorites, and what themes are you exploring?
“Sasabonsam,” obviously, and “Juju King.” I like the aggressiveness behind the songs. They give me life. The lyrics and themes are inspired by African Mythology.
Describe your approach to the drums. Are you one to play from the heart or the head?
You know… when everything comes from the heart, it will be solid, raw, and aggressive. It’s all from the heart, man. I feel the music. That’s why I have an aggressive style of drumming with a lot of power.
Are you one for vintage drums or new?
I would say both, as I started a long time back. But when I met Skinflint, there was that new energy and new life in me to try different approaches too…felt fresh again and started pounding with great energy.
What about today’s metal scene excited you most, and what concerns you most?
We are not fans of overproduced records; many modern albums are overproduced and lack heart. On the positive, metal is bigger than ever, coming from all corners of the world. Thank you for the interview.
What’s next for Skinflint in all lanes?
With Hate Spell coming out, we know that we need to push this record hard. And we plan to. We want this to be the best-selling Skinflint album yet. We’ve got a lot of work to do to make that happen. We plan to get out, tour, and deliver our music to our fans. If we don’t do that, this album won’t go anywhere, and we know that.
An Interview With Cosmos Modisaemang Of Skinflint article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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