Hailing from Melbourne's south east, Snark are a band combining angst-ridden punk rock and shiny pop hooks to create an immediately recognisable sound. Their vibe is clearly drawing inspiration from the harsher lo-fi chaos of bands like FIDLAR and Wavves, the distinctly Australian sounds of Violent Soho, Slowly Slowly and classic pop rock like Kisschasy and Blink 182.
I recently caught up with the band to discuss life in quarantine, their latest single 'Wasted', their upcoming debut EP and their upcoming brand new single 'Whatever, Nevermind' which is releasing on the 12th of August.
"We've been writing songs since we were angsty school kids and we probably won't ever stop, we'll be angsty pensioners writing punk songs about whatever it is pensioners do!"
Firstly, I have to ask this at the moment, how have you guys been coping in the lock-down, what kind of things have you been up to since the lock-down came into effect?
Yeah, it's definitely a strange time at the moment. We've really just been trying to be as productive as possible with lock-down to keep ourselves sane - we've been putting together a new music video, started writing some new songs and also found time to indulge in a cheeky bit of day drinking.
How did you get into writing and creating music? Was there a decisive moment or event that you remember that made you stop and think, wow, THIS is what I want to do with my life?
There was no one definitive moment for any of us, music has always just been something that has been there that's really inspired us. We've been writing songs since we were angsty school kids and we probably won't ever stop, we'll be angsty pensioners writing punk songs about whatever it is pensioners do!
Let’s be honest 2020 has been a weird year so far and things will probably be weird for a while. As an artist, especially an artist with an EP releasing soon. How has this affected your rhythm? This is the time you would gearing up for the release!
For sure, it has been such a weird year so far. This whole release had been in the works for quite a while before the whole global pandemic hit so our rhythm was definitely shaken a little, particularly with live shows being off the table for the foreseeable future. That sucks a little because one of the best things about being in a band and releasing new music is the shows that you play to support the release and we felt like they were gonna be some crazy ones! But on the other hand, it feels like people need music more than ever and we're so stoked to finally be sharing these songs with everyone.
"'Wasted' is the most well thought out song we've ever released! At one point there were about four or five different versions of the song and what kind of ended up happening is that we took the best bits out of those different versions and combined them into what the song is now."
Your latest release, ‘Wasted’ was released on June 23rd. Can you go into the creation process of this track a little more? How did this track come about?
'Wasted' is the most well thought out song we've ever released! At one point there were about four or five different versions of the song and what kind of ended up happening is that we took the best bits out of those different versions and combined them into what the song is now. We were also incredibly lucky to have Darren Cordeaux of Kisschasy, who we absolutely idolised growing up, producing the single (and the EP) and guiding us throughout the process. It was the first time we'd ever really gone in depth with the whole pre-production process but we loved working that way and it's something we'll keep doing moving forward.
On the surface ‘Wasted’ is an upbeat party rock anthem, but when you dig a little deeper the track is hiding some surprisingly dark lyrics. How did you fit these lyrics into the track and still keep it such an upbeat track?
It's really cool that you picked up on that! One of the things we've learned from some of our favourite bands is that sad songs don't always have to be slow or really heavy sonically, you look at bands like PUP or FIDLAR and they are the masters of upbeat tracks that deliver an emotional suckerpunch. Something about that really resonates with us and with this song in particular, it felt right do that. Sometimes the wildest, funniest people are the ones who are hurting the most - we really wanted this song to capture that and give people an outlet to party the darkness away.
Your debut EP is due for release on the 2nd of September. How did you find the process of creating your debut EP?
Putting together this EP has been the best process we've ever been a part of and it was such a different experience to when we had recorded singles in the past. We were lucky to be working with some incredible people in Darren Cordeaux (Kisschasy) and Jack Newlyn (Paradise Club) and having them working on the project with us really brought out the best in us. Even the writing process for this EP was wild, we rented out a studio for about five days and the three of us went and locked ourselves in with all the ideas we had, wrote a whole bunch of songs and tried to honed them down into the EP. It was survival of the fittest, only the strongest ones made it out of there and onto the EP. We're super proud of them!
"the EP was written during a bit of a turbulent time and that manifested in a lot of the lyrics throughout. Lyrically, we really focused on writing from a place that was genuine and heartfelt, so as a result those personal struggles were always going to be reflected in the themes of the EP."
Do the dark lyrical themes that appear in ‘Wasted’ run through the debut EP?
Yeah, the EP was written during a bit of a turbulent time and that manifested in a lot of the lyrics throughout. Lyrically, we really focused on writing from a place that was genuine and heartfelt, so as a result those personal struggles were always going to be reflected in the themes of the EP. Those have always been the kind of songs that have hit us the hardest because they feel the most real. It was actually kind of therapeutic getting a lot of these things out and we hope the songs can be an outlet for others too.
‘Wasted’ is an absolute beast of a track and shows just how hard you guys can hit! Is it always the ambition of the band to always push the limits of what the definitive Snark sound can be?
Thank you! Absolutely, something that really drives us is that we want each release to be better than the last. We're always trying to push ourselves as songwriters and bring more and more of our influences into what Snark does. We think the EP will really show off a new side of the band and our sound.
With everything still up in the air, what do you think the rest of 2020 will look like for you as a band?
We've got the EP to release in September and another single coming before that. Honestly, we've got our fingers crossed for some shows before the end of the year, we can't wait to get back on a stage. We'll also look to use the downtime to continue writing more new songs and try to figure out new ways of connecting with people.
"'Whatever, Nevermind' Is the next single from the EP and has all our favourite things about the band in one three minute package: it hits hard, it's catchy, has an anthemic feel to it and is bursting at the seams with energy. Whatever, Nevermind is out on the 12th of August."
If you could choose any one person to do a guest spot on one of your tracks who would you choose and why?
This question caused a bit of debate in the band so we could only narrow it down to two of our favourite artists: Oli Sykes and Hayley Williams. Oli could bring some real ferocity onto a track which could result in some really cool dynamics. On the other hand, Hayley has a beautiful voice and could bring some real finesse to a Snark song. If you speak to them at all definitely let them know we're keen.
If you had to choose one song from the Snark catalogue that you feel encompasses the bands signature sound, which song would you choose and why?
It'd have to be 'Whatever, Nevermind'. It's the next single from the EP and has all our favourite things about the band in one three minute package: it hits hard, it's catchy, has an anthemic feel to it and is bursting at the seams with energy. Whatever, Nevermind is out on the 12th of August.
Finally, as we are called Not A Phase, were you a scene kid when you were growing up? If not, what kind of music were you rocking out back in your formative teenage years?
Stefan and Pat were both scene kids growing up, side fringes and all - it definitely was not a phase for us. We were (and still are) really into the likes of My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, blink 182. Matias on the other hand was obsessed with hardstyles and electronic music. We converted him into a scene kid a bit later on in life thanks to bands like blink and MCR so we got him in the end!
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