Band Interview: Snake Bite Whiskey
Snake Bite Whiskey was formed in December of 2014 and has grown into one of Australia’s top sleaze rock bands that have reached the international music market. They are some real gung-ho kick ass take name don’t give a shit about the status-quo rockers. But don’t take my word for it. Following our album review of their latest release these unapologetic rockstars gave us the courtesy of an interview.
Jay R – Vocals
David Arens – Guitar
Stacii Blake – Bass
Al “ACE” Bukva – Drums
- First things first, lets talk about “This Side of Hell” ; tell us a little bit about the message behind some of your songs off the new album.
Here’s the thing about “This Side Of Hell” we wrote it to be a high octane, unrelenting album. There are no ballads on here cause that’s not us the closest we get is “Another Day which is kinda like Johnny Cash if he had come out of the sunset strip, a dark country nearly Gothic tale that gets sleazy in the chorus and is basically a song about carrying on in the face of adversity, ya know “It’s just another day” that’s life you have to take the bad with good.
Every single song on the album, lyrically are based on our experiences and lives. Some of subjects I guess aren’t deep like “Down In The Dirt” which is about a girl who enjoys anal and Spin which is our homage to the strippers we’ve known and hung out with over the years. Then you have deeper tracks like “Ain’t Dead Yet” which is about Jay surviving a widow-maker heart attack at a young age. Then you have “New Revolution” which does have a hidden meaning in the lyrics but we won’t reveal what it is because we want to see what people get out of it. And through the rest we explore our sleaze rock lifestyle in all it’s grimy, non PC glory.
- How does this album, complete with global reach via Pavement Entertainment, set itself apart from your previous releases Dirty and Two Steps To Oblivion?
It’s like night and day. Ya know Two steps was a garage ep and on Dirty we spent more on a producer but we rushed the writing on a few of the tracks so they weren’t exactly where they should have been. When we signed to Pavement we had probably half the album songs in various stages of completion and we also changed drummers so we were like fuck it! We are gonna spend the next couple of months finishing writing the album and polishing the tracks up so we really made sure the tracks were perfect before we laid them down and it really worked cause there was very little that got added during the recordings. Then we wanted to get a producer who could get that big, loud dirty sound we were looking for because we didn’t want to sound like a lot of the bands in the scene who are overproduced. We went with Pete Rutcho because the first things he said to us about how we should sound were exactly what we wanted so we were like “Yeah, He gets it” and he did a fucking awesome job on the mix and master. We were blown away when we heard the master for the first time. Pete really captured the true essence of Snake Bite Whisky.
- Now that you are signed into the global markets are there any plans for you to come to the US on tour? US Cities you would like to play in?
Definitely! A US tour is on the cards in the next year. We are just looking at routings and dates and what works. Man! We would love to play every city if we can but there some you want to play just because it would be cool like Las Vegas, New Orleans, New York, Hollywood but honestly we want to hit as many places as we can.
- Globally are there any countries you have on your must play bucket list?
We want to play everywhere we can. We fucking love touring and meeting people at the shows but I guess there some countries that we really want to play like Sweden, Japan, Spain and South America but you name a country and we’ll go there!
- Outside of the obvious musical influences, is there anything else in your lives that inspired you to make music?
The lifestyle and attitude of Rock N’ Roll, we aren’t talking about the pussyfied, politically correct stuff that’s tried to pass itself off as Rock for the past decade or so but the real blood, sweat and tears stuff. This is who we are ya know we look the same onstage as we do of stage, there is no difference it’s not an act for us it’s a way of life.
- What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
The biggest challenge has been getting our name out there and getting credibility. Ya know, Steel Panther have done great things in keeping the whole glam metal/ sleaze thing alive but they have also made it harder for new serious bands with the whole wigs and parody thing so one of the biggest challenges has been overcoming that. We have literally had promoters tell us they wouldn’t book us because of how we look and we are like “Fuck ya then” . We are 100% a real Rock N’ Roll band we don’t care about trends or any of that shit we just wanna play and build a new scene. We are in a good place though we have fans all over the world and its growing daily.
- What songs are you guys most attached to? that you enjoyed writing or now playing live the most?
Haha! We love them all. The writing process is always a lot of fun. Taking a song from an idea or riff and building it into a song is a hugely satisfying thing. “Another Day” was a cool song to write because it was the first time we had done a more slowed down song with lots of cleaner guitar parts. We wanted to do a song that had a outlaw country/spaghetti western feel and D.A brought this riff and it was perfect so we built the song from there. Live they are all a blast to play but there are some songs which are just send the crowd nuts like B.A.M, Last Man Standing, Damnation Alley, Spin….haha! Basically all of them. We love playing live and give everything we have at every show. We give everything in blood,sweat and beers!
- When you go on tour do you guys have any must haves/ rituals that you do while on the road/ before a show?
Booze is the constant must have, we drink a lot and are basically functioning alcoholics. It never affects our performance though, we are very professional when it comes to touring and playing but after it’s carnage. Touring together is a really enclosed environment, your basically living right on top of each day and day out, sharing rooms, beds, floors etc the way we keep from killing each other is our sense of humour and every run we pick up on something that becomes the running joke for the leg of the tour.
- Touring around England and Australia what are some of your favorite towns/ venues to perform at?
We don’t wanna pick favorites because every where is cool to play but playing in Brisbane, our home town, is always special due to the fact that we don’t play there a lot anymore. Sheffield in England for Hard Rock Hell Sleaze was an awesome night and Bannermans in Edinburgh, Latchlifter in Ilkeston. We recently played the Ding Dong lounge in Auckland, New Zealand and that crowd was insane. Yeah, just too many to mention. The best thing about touring is going to new places and meeting fans and hanging out, we are always the last guys at a venue drinking with the owners or promoters.
- For fun: If the zombie apocalypse happened tomorrow, who would be the last one standing and why?
Would have to be Jay. He’s an Army vet and is the most aggressive in the band and he is the one that manages us on the road and generally so he has his shit together, but it could also be Stacii as well because after a few days on tour he smells like a corpse so the zombies would just think he was one of them!
- Is there anyone you would like to give a shout out to/ additional comments you would like to add?
Thank you for taking the time to interview us. Shout out to Mark, Tim and Barbara at the label for being legends. Most of all we want to say a huge fucking thanks to all the fans who buy the album or merch or a ticket to a show and keeping this animal alive. And seriously, if you want to see some real Rock N’ Roll the way it used to be before everyone got sensitive then catch us on tour or pick up the album, you won’t be disappointed.