INTERVIEW WITH SNAKEBITE intervista di Daniele Pietrini

MELODY LANE had a great interview with Alex Lacroix and Julian Fischer, respectively bassist and drummer of the german Hard Rock band Snakebite.
"...We are an hard rock band, plain and simple...Snakebite is not about style or fashion, it’s about music..."
Interview not to be missed!

MELODY LANE: First of all, also if it can sound a bit expected…Can you tell us where does the name SNAKEBITE come from?
ALEX: That's an easy one: As Dominik, Julian and me were looking for a proper bandname, we had made a list with several suggestions and we wanted to think about them and then choose one of 'em. But before this process was over, Dominik came up with „Snakebite“ as a bandname and we were totally like „Yeah, that's it“. So we discarded the other suggestions and went for that name.

MELODY LANE: The line-up of the band is confirmed, is it the same from the beginning of the band…or have you had changes in the last years? Can you tell us something about the roots of SNAKEBITE? And where the band was born?
ALEX: The three of us which are mentioned above had another band together before SNAKEBITE called Sexx Action. But in the end we didn't get along with the singer of that band, so we chose to quit and continue under a fresh name. At first we were looking for a new singer, but then we realised that Dominik actually has an awesome voice and should fill in for the position. At that time I started as the second guitarist and we had an ex-member who played bass. Later that ex-member quit and I got back on bass like I did in Sexx Action, 'cause it was much easier to find a new guitarist than a bassist and I had all the necessary equipment at my place. We then found Martin Gerloff on guitar, with whom we recorded the first album “Princess of Pain”. In 2016 we had another change on that position and that was the time Chris stepped in and he definitely is the perfect man for that spot, so I don't think that there will occur any changes in our line-up in the future.

MELODY LANE: Can you list us 3 songs, from SNAKEBITE discography (including new material), that can define the sound of the band … 3 songs that can help our readers to know SNAKEBITE at the best.
ALEX: Well, that's not that easy, but I'll try. To make it easier for people who never listened to our songs before, I only choose tracks you'll find as singles on youtube. Let's start with “Beyond The Rust”, a power ballad from our recent album. For the mid-tempo section I would recommend “Road To Nowhere”, the smash-hit of our first album. And the ones who are more interested in fast guitars, double-bass drumming and stuff like this should go for “Run Fast”, our most “metal” song.

MELODY LANE: Tell us something about the creative process of your music. Is there a main composer or we can talk about a team work? The songs come from ideas of a single member and then the band works on these ideas in the studio jamming together, or your songs are written in the studio and all the members compose together?
ALEX: At first I want to point out that every single member is involved in the process of songwritig, so there is no such thing as a main composer. Usually it goes like this: One member has an idea and he works on it to a certain point (e.g. recording a rough version at home). He then puts that piece of work into our band-dropbox-folder, so that every member is able to listen to it. Later on we work together on it, sharpen the edges and stuff like that, 'till the song has a shape which would fit on a new album. So none of the songs are written in the studio. In contrary: We only enter the studio, when we know how every song on a new album has to be played and arranged to fit in the concept which we have in mind for that album.

MELODY LANE: Who writes lyrics and words in SNAKEBITE? Can you tell us something about contents and messages of the lyrics of your songs?
JULIAN: Same here. If you consider writing lyrics as part of the songwriting process in general like we do, then everyone has his equal part in the band. It’s like Alex said: The band consists of four equal individuals.The lyrics don’t tackle the usual cliche stuff of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. The inspiration and message for most of the songs is love or independence and freedom. We go against standardized life plans and servile obedience and believe that you miss life if you don’t follow your own dreams and ideals. And that believe is the motor for everything in the band: We don’t change our music and style just to fit in todays music scene, we don’t wanna deal with high profile music managers that tell us what to do – it’s our way or no way.

MELODY LANE:  After time, are you totally satisfied with your choices about the sound and the writing of your old album PRINCESS IN PAIN? If you could… would you change anything?
JULIAN: Although we believe Rise of the Snake is the better album, Princess of Pain is still great to us. I know there are a few people complaining about the sound and production but those people just don’t get what Snakebite is all about. You know, some bands try to look like from the 80’s, but when it comes to the songs and production they’re all frightened of sounding not modern enough. When they discovered us, fans and positive reviewers where like that sounds like from the 80’s but I can’t tell which band it is“. That’s what we wanted to achieve. The production is big like in the 80’s but without the plastic sound and loudness war of today’s music.With Princess we aimed for the production-style of the mid 80’s, Dokken’s Under Lock and Key for example. It’s just not en vogue anymore. Rise of the Snake sounds more like 1989 and that’s the reason why it is more okay to the average listener of modern rock music. Besides, Dennis Koehne was the audio engineer for both records and he knows what he’s doing.

MELODY LANE:  Apart from the date you’re doing around Europe already scheduled, any chance for us to see SNAKEBITE  playing live here in Italy in the next months/year? Maybe summer festivals? Have you ever played here in Italy? If yes could you talk about it…
JULIAN: We are in talks with some italian promoters from time to time but unfortunately there’s nothing to announce yet. The problem at this point is our decision to not have a booking agency or big label deal. Usually we enjoy our independence but this is one of the disadvantages. We are no big fans of the music industry and it’s hierarchies, so I guess we have to live with that. Maybe we just have to make so much noise that promoters from your country can‘t ignore us anymore.

MELODY LANE: Could you tell us two bands, from the actual international scene, you’d like SNAKEBITE to tour with?... Two bands that would represent a perfect line-up for SNAKEBITE to play with. And why these bands?
JULIAN: I don’t know … we supported bands like Crazy Lixx, Primal Fear, Thundermother or WASP in the past. Supporting bigger bands is always a good thing to reach for a wider audience. And it was fun most of the time. But on the other side… You don’t get any money from such gigs so it’s always hard to finance it, the travel costs and all that. And in the end, what really counts is our headliner shows, when people come for us only. So we stopped to think about what might be a good support slot. We just keep on going and see what happens.

MELODY LANE: We know that ‘to define is to limit’… but how do you define SNAKEBITE sound? Are you an hard rock band…a Glam metal band… A sleaze band Or…?
JULIAN: We are a hard rock band, plain and simple. If you want it more precise maybe hard n‘ heavy. There’s a variety of songs, from the melodic Beyond the Rust and All Your Loving to heavier tunes like Run Fast or Fields of Glory. The problem with the term hair-metal is obvious: Snakebite is not about style or fashion, it’s about music. Plus we don’t want to get associated with comedy acts like Steel Panther. And also sleaze-rock doesn’t fit because for me, those bands have a more modern approach.

MELODY LANE: Which musicians are/have been your main musical inspirations? And which are your favorite bands nowadays?
ALEX:It's kinda hard for me to pick a musical inspiration, because I can't single them out. Of course a lot of bands I heard over the last two decades had an impact on me, but as a songwriter I naturally want to create something new and original. Maybe you can't reinvent the wheel, but you can put your own spin on it.And talking about my favorite bands, I gotta say that my taste in music is a diverse one and I like a lot of bands from different styles. But I will narrow it down to 5 bands which really have not much in common: Sisters Of Mercy, VAST, While She Sleeps, Danger Danger and Threshold.
JULIAN: Hard to tell which bands or musicians led to the Snakebite sound. We all have different inspirations like you can see with Alex’ choices. There’s not just one or two big favorites and I think that is a good thing. I think maybe if you focus on just one or two musical inspirations, you tend to copy instead of create. What keeps the sound together is the love for 80’s hard rock and metal in general. Also I can’t think of one modern band we all like, that could be representative for all of us.

MELODY LANE: As a musician, what has been your biggest achievement to date and what do you want to achieve in the near future? 
ALEX: I would go for the release of both of our albums as the biggest achievements to date, because that opened many doors for us and set the stage. For the near future we got some pretty awesome festival gigs planned across Europe and recently we've begun writing songs for the next album.
JULIAN: The biggest achievement for me this year is that we haven’t organized one gig by ourselves but got booked, with overall good conditions. Last year the bulk of our record release tour was booked by ourselves. So the interest in Snakebite seems to be growing, not only by music fans, but also from the organizer‘s side. Managing tours by ourselves is tough and takes a lot of time so I’m happy to focus on other things this year, for example the writing of our next record. This will be my next achievement too – another good record and growing naturally with it, step by step.

MELODY LANE: In the end…A message from you to all MELODY LANE readers.
ALEX: Hey MELODY LANE readers, thanks for checking out this interview. If you don't know us, please take a look at our stuff on youtube or spotify. You won't be dissapointed.