Musicscan: Please state your name and what you do in the band at first and tell us,
what These Arms Are Snakes has currently been up to?
These Arms Are Snakes: my name is brian. i play bass. we've been spending the summer at home
working our shitty day jobs and gearing up for touring all fall.
Musicscan: How does your band feel about the viability of having post-hardcore become
the 'new' thing in music? What makes These Arms Are Snakes stand out from
your artistic point of view?
These Arms Are Snakes: i'm not sure i even know what post-hardcore is. is that a sound? or is
that when hardcore bands decide to stop playing hardcore? either way,
i don't really have a take on it either way. i don't really pay much
attention to any particular "scene". i like music that i think is
interesting and well-crafted. the act of categorizing bands and
putting them in genres tends to burden innovative bands by attaching
shitty bands to their reputation, and it allows third rate imitators
to achieve a level of popularity they don't deserve.
Musicscan: It seems that your sound is continually changing, while other bands are
stagnant. "Easter" just seems to prove that. Is it just me, or is there any
truth to this?
These Arms Are Snakes: i hope so. we're still figuring out how to be a band. and as a result,
we're still figuring out how to write songs. i like that mystery. it's
more fun to write music when you don't know where it comes from or how
to do it properly.
Musicscan: Was it different writing this album, now that you are more skilled with your
instruments and have been toured a lot?
These Arms Are Snakes: not really. once we learn something we move on to something else. once
i started understanding the bass, i tried to add some keyboards to the
mix. now i'm playing guitar, bass, and keyboards in the band. i also
played a little accordion on the record. it's good to always push
oneself. we tend to push ourselves a little past our actual abilities.
keeps it interesting...
Musicscan: Where do you see the line drawn between progressiong on what you do well,
and completely offering a new direction or sound?
These Arms Are Snakes: there isn't a tangible line there. there are bands like ween or beck
that sound different on every record, and that's part of their
identity. i think bands should always evolve, and they should always
play whatever they feel like. if a band wants to start making pop
records, or dance records, or metal records, they should do it. but
only if it's because they're actually passionate about it.
Musicscan: What do you feel you accomplished after finishing your work on "Easter"? Do
you feel that the record is a pretty good representation of These Arms Are
Snakes s sounding as of right now?
These Arms Are Snakes: we spent 6 weeks on the record. our drummer chris recorded it. that's
a long time to work on a record without having any inside input. when
we finished it, i really couldn't tell if i loved it or hated it. i
kept listening to it to try and figure it out. i was listening to it
multiple times a day for weeks. i finally decided that if i could
listen to it that much and not get sick of it, it must be pretty
Musicscan: And do you feel that These Arms Are Snakes has found its "own" sound, or is
it still evolving? Your debut was way differenet to the songs being featured
on "Easter" that's why i am asking...
These Arms Are Snakes: we're still figuring things out. we've never gone into the writing
process with a specific vision of what we want to sound like. if
anything, we tend to find our sound by negating other styles. we don't
want to be a pop band, we don't want to be a mosh band, we don't want
to use power-chords, we don't want to use mesa boogie dual rectifiers,
we don't want to have china cymbals, we don't want screamy vocals with
melodic breakdowns. we eventually whittle away our options and
whatever we have left is our music.
Musicscan: Every band has a vision of how their album should sound like after the
recording it. Listening to the new material right now. Would you say that
this was a successful mission or would you even say that the band was able
to surprise itself? If this is the case in how far?
These Arms Are Snakes: i think every song has multiple identities. a live song will always be
different than it's live counterpart, or at least it always will be in
this band. so while i can evaluate our music during the writing
process based on how i'm hearing the live version of it, i don't feel
like i'll really know what the recorded version sounds like until the
song is done. there isn't really a vision involved. during the writing
process i hear the song as a bass line with a bunch of instruments
playing off of it. in the recorded version, i hear the bass as merely
one piece in the puzzle.
Musicscan: Is it a challenge to you to continually write and record new songs and
These Arms Are Snakes: yep. but we're all big music nerds. we're always looking for new stuff
to get excited about, and it's very rare that we listen to anything
that sounds even remotely similar to our band. we're always listening
to stuff and wondering "how do you write something like that...". that
keeps it interesting, and keeps us motivated.
Musicscan: What did you guys do differently on "Easter" that you hadn't done previously
to keep things progressing? It s kind of a more diverse and experimental
release compared to your first two releases...
These Arms Are Snakes: we went into the studio with the idea that we would allow the songs to
evolve a little bit. we've been way more prepared in the past, and i
think it made the recording process more about documenting a bunch of
songs instead of crafting a full record. i really wanted oxeneers to
be a record that one would sit down and listen to from beginning to
end. it didn't really turn out that way for me. i feel like we're a
lot closer to achieving that this time around.
Musicscan: Were all songs for "Easter" already written and ready for recording when
entering the studio or did you rearrange or improvise some parts? As it's
very experimental and progressive for some parts I have to ask this.
These Arms Are Snakes: we had the bulk of it written, but we also wanted to craft some
segways and interludes to tie some of the songs together. those were
not written. there was also some material that we pieced together in
Musicscan: When you strip These Arms Are Snakes down to its core, what would you say is
the message of your band?
These Arms Are Snakes: there isn't a message. it's just a big question mark.
Musicscan: Would you agree to say These Arms Are Snakes is still an underrated band in
Europe? Any plans to change this situation maybe with some longer support
tour on the new record? How much attention you put on Europe in general?
These Arms Are Snakes: we do really well in some areas and miserably in others. of course,
i'd love to do well everywhere, but i just try to appreciate any of
the positive feedback we get. we hope to make it to europe early next
year. we'll see what happens.