Five shows into its first American tour, the London reggae-dub band The Skints hasn’t had time to fully access its new fans base.
Its members still are riding the excitement of getting across the Atlantic.
“We’re just happy to be somewhere different,” says guitarist Joshua Waters Rudge, in advance of the Skints performance Sunday, May 17, at Strummer’s in Fresno. The band opens for the California reggae rockers Fortunate Youth.
Waters Rudge is talking on the band’s first off day, following a string of East Coast dates, which included a show in Baltimore last week (luckily the curfew had been lifted). The band stops in Fresno on the West Coast leg of the tour, before returning to Europe in time for summer festival season.
The Skints started playing in London’s punk and DIY scene while its members were in high school. They toured England and Europe extensively over the last eight years and grew audiences in Germany and France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Finland and Thailand.
Until recently the band didn’t feel it had the momentum to tour the US.
Also, it took some time for the four members to get their visas processed, Waters Rudge says.
The timing worked out.
The band’s third album, “FM,” got an American release on the indie-reggae label Easy Star Records in March. The album hit No. 5 on Billboard’s reggae charts (it was No. 1 on the UK’s reggae chart).
The Skints are an amalgamation of reggae music from the last 40 years, filtered through the eyes of the London youths.
“Reggae music is the thing we all agree on and freak out about,” Waters Rudge says.
He’s not talking about a specific band or album, but entire rosters of performers.
“Lucky for us, we grew up with the Internet,” he says, and had access to the collection of recordings from Jamaica’s Studio One, London’s Greensleeves Records or “the Trojan stuff you could get on import in the UK,” he says. The Skints do pull in other influences and styles — from classic American hardcore to the English electronic music known as grime — but it is careful to pay due respect to its Jamaican influences, Waters Rudge says.
“It’s very important to us, man.”
The Skints, 8 p.m. Sunday, May 17, at Strummer’s, 833 E Fern Ave. Tickets are $13-$15 and all ages. Details: Phone: (559) 485-5356, www.strummersclub.com