I am not a big wine drinker but SNAKEWINE does not sound like something I’d drink. I think I’ll stick to just listening to them. Answers byRonny Konietzko. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
As you might not be that known to most people a short introduction might be in order
-We are Snakewine from Germany, a heavy rock band heavily influenced by the good old days of true rock’n’roll music, tattoos, gasoline and cocky attitudes. We found together in early 2014 and play together in our final cast since January 2015, released a 8-Track debut in October 2015 and are about to come up with our first professional grade music video next month!
How does your latest recording compare to the previous ones?
-Serpent Kings‘ is our first record.
Was it hard for you to come up with a sound you all could agree on?
-Absolutely not! We somehow just came to terms with each other from day one. At least for the music, on a personal base we sometimes suffer from a serious testosterone overage, to be honest. Which somehow became essential for our credibility towards ourselves as a band. The first record simply appeared, and since we’re writing our second LP (to be released around early 2017) we are fitting more and more together, have the same ambitions and the same pains with some of the parts and solutions found on the first record. We are really excited about what we will be able to deliver. Ironically, we all agree on that many bands need up to 3 releases to find their sound, and to me it seems like this became our unofficial goal [laughs].
How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-Lyrics are extremely important to us, since this is the last and final barrier between real musicians and pop music sell-outs. Lyrics are our vocalists job, to me the only authentic way to demand the audience to stand behind a great rock singer. Without sounding lame, it simply is a walk through the small stories and tragedies that happen to you growing up. Some of the songs are about finding your way in life, reflecting on your starting point as a kid and what your environment made you become. Others are about loss [sings ‚I lost my ship, I lost my girl, and all of the things I knew’ from ‚Shipwrecked‘]. And we even have a song, Double Barreled, about a fictional character from a western TV show, because he just fits perfectly in our outlaw-point-of-view.
How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
-To us, a record is more than the sum of its parts, thats why you need everything to be put carefully in place. The cover art of „Serpent Kings“ had to be as straight as possible, without feeling cheap or half-assed. It thoroughly supports the critical-first-hit-approach of the record, there is nothing playful, nothing that is not needed. I personally get a feeling of Metallica’s Black album when I hold a physical copy in my hands. The gold emblem on the frontside stands it’s ground, the subtle skull graphics on the back show the heaviness of the sound and hints to the few raw and -in a positive way- unfinished elements you find in this very first record. Chances are high we follow this line with our upcoming release, but we’re not sure yet.
Where outside of your country have you had success?
-The biggest success was a short but kick-ass review in the Classic Rock Magazine 03/16, followed by many listeners on Spotify in GB, USA, Sweden and Spain. We haven’t played one fucking gig outside of germany yet, but we will!
Is it harder today to get noticed both nationally and internationally than it was 10 or 20 years ago? Is the competition tougher today?
-I can’t tell for sure, since we are far away from having a high publicity or being noticed. But my personal opinion; it’s easier now. Today, a whole lot of newcomer bands have perfectly planned social media strategies, well made graphics, expensive photoshootings…but lack the punch when it comes to their songwriting and liveshows. That is why good bands will always stand out, hands down. As if all the bullshit-wanna-be-rockstar-kids guide the observers eyes until they find something to stick with.
What is your local scene like? What status does your band have in the national scene?
-We try to avoid playing in our home area to not overstimulate people. To keep a gig something you can admire as a visitor, something you not get bored of. I like the thought of being under the radar, and then, on picked gigs, playing shows that seem bigger than the local bands. It’s about shaping the view the local scene has on you. In the past, we never wanted to be part of this scene and we told people we are not interested in local clubs or do-us-a-favor-slots. Neither we made the impression to want to be someone’s friend or favorite. We want to be seen as a band with potential, and confidence is the key.
What is the general population’s opinion on playing music? Is being a musician a respectable choice?
-No, it’s not. Not unless you reach a point of remarkable success. And to reach this, you have an expiration date which you should take very seriously. Nobody wants to see a grown-up going crazy in front of a bunch of school kids unless he’s Jack Black. But thank god- even in 2016 girls still love musicians, and most of them luckily can’t distinguish between a bass and a guitar, so for them you’re still cool even with only 4 strings [laughs].
What does the future hold for you?
-Not quite sure, but maybe we someday get a feature in Battlehelm Magazine, who knows!