With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to SNAKE TONGUE. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
Fredrik P: There are numerous ways of looking at that question. As I wasn’t a part of this band when it was named. It hasn’t really been a question before. But I absolutely believe that a band name will benefit from standing out. That it says something or, makes the receiving end think twice about the name. If it has great meaning to the group is also something that will shine through. And in the day and age to be the first i line when you google gives it another dimension. Unique is good. To give your question a conclusion. I would say that it’s fairly important.
Patrik: The name Snake Tongue came from one of my lyrics for the early stage of the band and we simply needed a name for our first show. After some discussion we came to the conclusion that Snake Tongue kind of summed up our lyrical themes and somewhat our view of the world, so it felt kind of natural and I still think it does. We are surrounded by liars and we are all in some ways apart of the lie.
I wanted to start a band in the 80s but couldn’t find the right people to do so with. What was it that made you want to do the band?
Fredrik P: Can only speak for myself here, because I wasn’t with the band from the beginning. But I had done a bunch of genres before and wasn’t really satisfied. Hardcore, emo, reggae. Didn’t satisfy my desire to play fast with a great deal of thought put into it. I wanted something that challenged me on both guitar skills and in being creative, thinking in different and new patterns. I found that in Snake Tongue and even more now as we are evolving in our writing all the time
Fredrik D: Well, back in 2016 I got involved in the band, hearing from a friend that Snake Tongue was searching for a stand in drummer for a tour in Europe! I was stoked, and we booked a try out session! They had no one else, so they had to pick me, lucky for me, bad for them haha. But somehow they liked me, and chemistry felt great and I’m still here. And the reason I even tried was that I loved the music they made for the Raptors breath LP, so I didn’t know the guys from before, and I still love what we create together.
Patrik: Finding the right people to start a band with is always tricky. With Snake Tongue we started out with one group of people and then had several changes in the line up, but along the way I think Snake Tongue evolved into an entity of itself. The atmosphere and creativity of the current line up is by far the best and we all strive towards the same goals.
With so many genres and sub-genres of metal today what is your definition of the music you play?
Fredrik D: Yeah there’s plenty of sub-genres, and it’s tricky to define what we do sometimes, because we create and get inspired from so many different kinds of music. Hardcore metal, maybe? Instead of metal hardcore.
Patrik: Genres and labels are a tricky field. You as a band kind of need a specific genre to be a part of to find your audience and belonging. But, at the same time you want to mix it up and find your own way. Along the way Snake Tongue have had some troubles fitting in, but at the same time we are building something for ourselves. And in the end I’m not sure that it’s up to us. Personally I think I see us as a hardcore-band, but at the same time we take influences from punk, crust-punk, grindcore and metal so at the end of the day the listener could label us anyway they want.
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
Fredrik D: We actually voted for the EP! It all depends on the feeling you get when you listen to the finished tracks, I guess we pretty much agreed on what song coming where on the EP.
Patrik: As Fredrik D says, when it comes to placing songs in an order for a release we go fully democratic. I interpreted the question more about how we arrange the tracks and that is an interesting question. I guess we take what ever riffs comes up, add a few and then start to question. As mentioned before, we strive to create something new (who doesn’t) so I think we often looks at the track-skeleton and then move parts around. Then when the lyrics and vocals are added we might realize “this needs a double-chorus” or “could we shorten the bridge” etc. I think this is the hardest part and sometimes it feels like a good idea to let someone else come in and have an opinion. I think Seth “Angus” Norder had some good ideas for the EP, so the plan for upcoming recordings is to let someone else come in and give us second opinions.
I am fascinated by how people can still come up with things that hasn’t been done before, chord structures that hasn’t been written, sentences that hasn’t been constructed before. Where do you find your inspiration to create?
Fredrik D: Personally I find my inspiration from all kinds of music, I can get stoked by hearing a Mars Volta tune or a nice jazz big band arrangement. I always try to push myself beyond my comfort zone and keep my ears to all kinds of music. My motto is trying to create interesting and for myself challenging music, for example an old way to play a crust riff can be spiced up with an odd time signature. Being a better musician is important for me, so I love challenges.
Patrik: I’m not sure that we do deliver so much that hasn’t been done before. But I guess it all comes down to wanting to create something that is a part of yourself. I mean, lyric wise I take influences, inspiration from everywhere. Sometimes I steals words and sentences, but arrange them into something that expresses what I feel. I guess we, “creative people” are pretty much all the same. What I would be really interested in is rather people who see no need to create, who see no need to express themselves. How do they survive? I have no clue, but would love to know.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
Fredrik P: It’s really important, even though record sales might not be what they used to. You still get a first impression of a band from their album cover if you never heard them before. Or a nice looking band logo. I think we have succeeded in both. Our logo is made by Niklas in the band, he has real talent for that sort of stuff. And our covers has been done by Mattias Frisk who have done a bunch of cool stuff. Early Ghost covers, and Trap Them (one of my favorites, RIP) to name a few. We have a real good communication with him and he understands us. So that works like a charm. And by working with the same guy we also get a sort of pattern throughout our artwork that can be recognized through time.
I get the feeling that more and more metalheads too are just downloading single. Are we killing our beloved metal scene by supporting digital downloading or can anything positive come from supporting single tracks and not albums? Will the fan as we know him/her be gone soon?
Fredrik D: I think we can fit in with metal, punk, hardcore bands. But I don’t think there’s any scene for us, and we challenge everyone with our crossover music. We are that weird brother in black clothes, everyone are curious about but no one dares to speak with. But I’ll guess it gets easier the longer we put out records and do live shows, to get people to accept our weird music.
Patrik: I’m not sure that there is a big problem here. Times change, some people go along some don’t. We as a band (and as persons) just need to adjust to the times that are. If “metalheads” wants “single download tracks” and you want to give them that, then do it. If your band wants to make albums, do that. I think in this time there is room for everything and everyone, but the “scene” or the “music business” need to know that times are not like before.
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
Patrik: For Snake Tongue we do have a scene locally at least. People are getting more open and are welcoming a broader spectrum of music. But, as we were into before the problem and/or the strength for us I that we sometimes fit into the hardcore/punk-scene and sometimes the metal scene. Who really cares? As long as there is a sense of community, support and a good atmosphere.
What does the future hold?
Fredrik P: First of all we’re playing a bunch of shows. First out is a release party in our homefield. Then a few more shows in sweden. Later on this spring we are playing Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Plans are also to do another tour in Europe and go back to Mexico. We are writing for a new album as we speak as well, and have a bunch of new material that needs sorting out and to be put in its right place. We won’t satisfy easily, we want it to be the best we can bring at that given time. And we will work hard for it. Have fun writing and your music will interesting to others I believe.
Patrik: For 2019 we are trying to play as many shows we can, in any place where we are welcome. At the same time we are working on our sophomore album, and hopefully recordings will begin shortly.