Why Dub War are back after 20 years

Dub War Benji Webbe promo press photograph
Dub War circa 1995 (Image credit: Mick Hutson)

Twenty years since previous album The Wrong Side Of Beautiful was released, Benji Webbe’s reformed ragga-metal crew Dub War have returned with new material. Fun Done is released exclusively for Record Store Day on 7” single, so we spoke to Benji to get the lowdown on their return…

So Dub War are really back then?

“Yeah, and it feels great. I feel like I’m sneaking around behind my wife’s back and it’s loads of fun. I got the blessing of the Skindred boys, obviously. I always loved the musicianship in Dub War and I always wanted to do this again. People might say that it’s the same thing as Skindred but it’s not, it’s a whole different ballgame. The boys in Dub War work in hospitals and in metal health, they’re coming out of retirement to do this, and there’s no labels involved – we’re funding it all ourselves. It’s just fun man, what can I say. I’m having a blast.”

So how is this different to Skindred?

“Skindred is 247, and I love it for that, but this has got a different vibe to it. We play the odd show every six months or so, so it’s more relaxed. But the guys from Dub War are older and they’re from Newport, this shitty little town, and there’s an attitude that goes with it. You don’t have that so much with the Skindred line-up, with no disrespect, it’s a different kind of energy. It’s like going out with a girl who’s 15 years younger than you and you’re talking about Crossroads Motel and she doesn’t know what the fuck you’re on about! We just got in a room and jammed and this song came out after about six goes at it.”

So you’ve still got that old chemistry together?

“Yeah, there’s no A&R man telling us what to write or what we should be thinking about. We just went and recorded one song, did the video, pressed 500 copies of it and did a dub version for the B-side. We thought about getting it ready for Record Store Day and here we are! It’s just been really easy and really fun.”

And what does the future hold for the band?

“Well, this is my plan before I get too fucking bored of them all, I want to release one single on vinyl, one each month or whatever, until we’ve got twelve singles, every six months do one show and then see what to do when we’ve got an album’s worth of stuff. I love the passion of these guys, when we played Download festival last year in front of 5000 people Jeff was crying after the show. That, to me, is priceless when you see someone hungry like that and they get to do something special.”

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Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.