Dear readers, in this article we have the pleasure to offer you an interview with a UK trio offering Psychedelic Rock sounds with many influences and facets. We welcome Snakes Don’t Belong In Alaska.
Hi, how are you?
“Hi Jacopo, I’m Aaron (also known as Bass Snake) doing great, hope you are well.“
Your style incorporates Psychedelic Rock, Prog and Space Rock, where does your passion for these sounds come from?
“If you listen back to our very early stuff (like the rituals 1 ep) you’ll hear heavy rock with undertones of psych, this is back when we were writing music rather than improv. We all loved many aspects of psych music so we slowly experimented with different genres under the psych umbrella attempting all the different genres we enjoy.“
The band formed in 2015, how did the idea come about and what are your main sources of inspiration?
“We actually formed the band in early 2014 under the name Broken Drone. early in 2015 we changed the name to Snakes Don’t Belong In Alaska after a night of playing PS1 together (the name is a quote by the bad guy raven in metal gear solid). In December of 2015 we were set to support Laundered Syrup and we had decided we were just going to get up and jam rather than play our rehearsed set and it was at that moment the band you hear today was born. So our passion is driven from experimentation and being something different.“
Your new album “Sounds Of A Forming Planet” was released on June 30, 2023 how would you describe this new work?
“This work was actually recorded in summer of 2022 and it was our first time recording together live after covid. So we were full of pent up energy from having to wait so long. So this record is a reflection of that, which I think is why it ended up being quite heavy. I had recently had major throat surgery that changed my
voice, made it deeper and more gritty, So I used some lyrics I had written for mine and drum snakes punk side project (What Evil?) and the result is the ending of Heavy Molten Core, which is a release of all the anger and annoyance at the current state of the world. But with every snakes recording we try to push
ourselves and add new dynamics to our work.“
3 long tracks recorded live, how did the creative process come about?
“We are an improv band, so we get together and play. Our sets are a reflection of our feelings on that day. I hate to sound corny but when you hear the band you are hearing our souls in that moment. It can be a challenge playing this way but after almost a decade I think we have it down to a fine art at this point.“
Your music is very sophisticated and intense, will there be a chance to hear it live, do you have plans for this?
“Yes we try to play gigs as much as possible. Being a smaller band and still having to work normal jobs sometimes keeps us from playing as much as we would like, but we have quite a few UK dates lined up this year and we are hoping to try and do a small european tour next year.“
Since your formation to date you have released numerous albums, how has your sound evolved over the years?
“We began with a heavy rock sound in the early days and that then evolved into long form dark psych with hints of drone. In more recent years we have pushed more complexities into our sound and a bigger emphasis on crossing more genres. We actually already have the next album recorded and this one is going
to be a curveball (in a good way). I can’t say much about it yet but we explore some different genres than the usual suspects, Post-rock and Motorik to name a few.“
Music is constantly evolving, how do you see the future of your genre?
“We don’t confine ourselves to a single genre, so we are constantly evolving our sound. I like to use this metaphor. “’We just go with the wind and sail to paradise.’”
What advice would you give to young artists approaching the music scene by proposing a more sophisticated genre such as yours?
“If making experimental music is your passion and you understand that it is unlikely you’ll make a living doing this kind of music, then free yourself of the shackles that often keep you confined in specific genres. Play from the heart and record every single thing you do. You’ll often find gold in the dirt.“
Do you have any other activities or artistic passions outside music?
“Yes I do a lot of artwork and for a long time I actually worked as a tattoo artist. Drum snake is absolutely nuts about cycling (He even has the lycra to match). Guitar snake is a mysterious creature and no-one, not even us, knows what he does outside of the snake pit.“
Are you planning any new studio albums in the near future?
“Yes we have already recorded our next one and we are currently working on another project that will hopefully come to fruition very soon.“
I thank the band for the interview and wish them all the best for the continuation of their artistic career.
“Thank you Jacopo, it has been a pleasure.“
Read our Review of their new album here: [Review] Snakes Don’t Belong In Alaska – Sounds Of A Forming Planet
Purchase the album on Bandcamp: https://sdbiapsych.co.uk/album/sounds-of-a-forming-planet
Aaron Bertram / Bass, Vocals, Synth, Organ
Jarrid Kolodnicki / Guitars, Electric Kazoo
Alex Johnston – Drums and Various Percussion