Posted Mar 24th, 2009 (1:32 am) by Nathan Jackson

You gotta wonder what goes on in the minds of band that names themselves These Arms Are Snakes. We, at IYS sure were curious, so a few days ago we sat down and chatted with Steve Snere, the lead singer of this Seattle-based rock ’n roll band. As it turns out, Steve was a pretty chill guy to talk to. We shot the breeze about TAAS’ winter tours, their pile of recently-released split EPs and a bit about the band’s successes of late.

InYourSpeakers: So first off how's your finger? (He cut his finger on a bottle about a week ago).

These Arms Are Snakes: Oh it's fine. It's barely there anymore even though got me pretty deep.

IYS: If I remember correctly, you recently said that you purposefully came up with a bad band name so you wouldn't take yourselves too seriously.

TAAS: Well actually, our guitar player Ryan came up with the name, and I think there was definitely an idea of what he wanted the name to sound like. On the other hand, [These Arms Are Snakes] is ridiculous and we wanted it that way so it’d stand out. You can't be like, "We're called Rampage!" and have the same effect.

IYS: When you guys are in the studio, do you tinker with each others’ parts a lot?

TAAS: Oh yeah. I mean, we definitely let everyone have there own say in their own areas of expertise, but with certain things we'll definitely make decisions as a group. Sometimes things will clash and we'll have to do a bit of re-writing, but more or less, we let everyone just kinda do their own thing.

IYS: I was asked by a friend the other day to describe TAAS’ genre, and I said post-hardcore, but I feel like you really need to listen to a few of your songs to really get a feel for your music. How would you describe your sound?

TAAS: Well, people ask us about the post-hardcore thing all the time, but that’s not the aim of the group by any means. I think we fall in the post-hardcore genre because, in some ways, we were all individually in the hardcore scene at one point. I always kinda say we're an annoying rock band because everything is rock ‘n roll these days, but we also do annoying things to fuck with the traditional structure of things. I don't really have just one term for it.

IYS: So, you guys are on a pretty small label, Suicide Squeeze Records - What's your outlook on the record industry today?

TAAS: We're working with a local label, but they’ve put out bands like Minus the Bear, so I can’t say that we feel limited in any way. Of course, the music industry is obviously in a flux at the time being, so we'll just see how everything turns out. I don’t know what is going to happen to the industry in the next few years, but the people at [Suicide Squeeze] know what they're doing and they're sticking with the times.

IYS: I know you guys have used a MicroKORG every since the beginning - has the recent electronic music craze influenced you guys at all?

TAAS: I wouldn't say that's had an influence on us. Essentially, we started using the Korg to add other sounds and layers to our music. I do listen to that stuff like modern hip-hop and pop, but I've never really applied it to this band. The synth allows us add layers to our sound. They're apart of the whole element – the sonic textures add more dynamic to the music.

IYS: How's your tour been going so far?

TAAS: It's been awesome. We haven't done a full US tour in like two-and-a-half years.

IYS: You did that Europe tour a while back though, right?

TAAS: Yeah we recently finished the Europe tour with Russian Circles. Then we did a couple west-coast tours, and now we’ve covered the rest of the country. We're winding down on this one now, but it's been an amazing time. To be honest, the whole tour was way better than we thought was going to be, and everyone's been really receptive at our shows.

IYS: Yeah, you've been doing back-to-back shows for the past month, and you just did SXSW too. Has all the touring taken a toll on you guys?

TAAS: Yeah, we just got done with SXSW, so we're still kinda dazed from it. We aren't the type to take too many days off when we're on tour. It’s hectic but enjoyable.

IYS: You've done splits with just about everyone: Russian Circles, Tropics, All the Saints, and you've got one coming up with Minus the Bear. Is there anything else you guys doing?

TAAS: The Minus the Bear split 7" is actually a collection of covers. We have our songs done, but they haven't done theirs so its kinda up to them whenever they decide to finally fucking do it. [laughs] We also have a split with Pelican coming out in the near future.

IYS: Are there any bands you’d still like to tour with or any milestones you haven’t reached yet that you want to?

TAAS: Yeah sure there are tons of bands I'd love to tour with! As far as milestones go, I just kinda take it as it comes. This is the most successful I've ever been in a group and It's not huge or anything, but people come to see us at shows and buy our records.

IYS: Care to drop names of some bands you’d like to tour with?

TAAS: We almost toured with this group, Themselves – I guess they’re on Anticon, and I have a lot of respect for the MC. A band like Liars would be pretty cool as well. Unfortunately, the kinda bands that I feel like we can identify with tend to be on a larger level than us. I don't know, but as far as larger bands Liars and shit like that... Kayne West!

IYS: Well everyone wants to tour with Kayne West!

TAAS: He's bat-shit crazy that fucking guy... T-Pain too.

IYS: Haha, T-Pain is where it's at. So, any plans for new material yet in 2009?

TAAS: Nothing yet, we just did all those 7" and right after that we hit Europe. So, we haven't had a whole lot of time to record much else. Plus, our bass player is in Russian Circles as well, so things are real hectic.

IYS: Back and forth.

TAAS: Yeah, everyone stays really busy most of the time. I think when we get home we'll start working on some new material.

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