An Interview With The New Jersey Quintet SUPER SNAKE All About Their Recently Released Album, Leap Of Love!
Posted On 23 Feb 2017
Last week on Valentines Day, the New Jersey quintet, Super Snake released their album, “Leap Of Love.”
Before putting out the collection, the group released the single, “Big Seize.” Written from the perspective of a Nosferatu-esque character who is consumed by a dark desire for affection, the song informed the album’s overarching theme and lyrical concepts. Taking cues from B horror slasher flicks and pulp-comic elements, “Big Seize” rumbles along like a funeral dirge or a snapshot from the ‘The Devils Rejects’.
Lead singer Jerry Jones, who also fronts the band Trophy Scars (currently on hiatus), shared a few thoughts on the new Super Snake single: There is this oscillating psychedelia that can melt you in there—it was one of our favorite moments writing together. It was the first song completed so it made sense to be the first single with our new guitarists who totally just shredded and really inspired the hell out of us with the rest of the EP.
Produced by Kevin Antreassian from the Dillinger Escape Plan, Leap Of Love has all the notable hallmarks that one might expect from a veteran hardcore musician/producer, but there are a lot of sonic surprises on the album that will catch you off guard and have you going back for a second listen. The album was recorded while the band was onsite at a hunters lodge in Virginia’s Smokey Mountains for a week during summer 2015. Located within the Appalachian Mountains, the setting inspired layers of detail within the record.
Super Snake is a mouthful of psychedelics washed down with ten beers while listening to Black Sabbath and the dirtier parts of Sonic Youth. It wasn’t always like this, but the New Jersey quintet has recently discovered their true wheel house after dropping two independently released, warmly received, EPs. The band embarked on a special journey to ensure the recording of their recent full length was as spellbinding and unpredictable as the journey itself.
Learn more about Super Snake in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What are some words you would use to describe 2016? What were some of the highlights for the band? What are you all most excited about for 2017?
Words for 2016: Short, intense, expensive, fun as fuck.
Among the highlights were mixing our record “Leap of Love” and developing an actual plan to release the record. We lost a drummer (Vinnie Fiore) but gained a drummer (Nick Del Virginia) and Nick immediately jived. It was a beautiful transition. We started writing songs for the proceeding record after “Leap of Love” which are turning out to be rippers. We played a bunch of awesome shows with some really incredible bands. Will Wood and the Tapeworms’ record release in Teaneck was an awesome time.
I think we’re most excited to release “Leap of Love” finally and get on with writing the next one. We really have to out do ourselves on this next recording which is going to be tough considering “Leap” was recorded on a 150-acre property, completely isolated up in the mountains of North Virginia. We had guns, fire, and chaos coming from everywhere and it really added to that “danger” on the record. The next one is going to be fun to plot out… maybe an island somewhere… or desert. Not sure but I think there should be sand. Also excited for the new “Alien” movie.
How did Super Snake first form? How did you come up with your band name? What other names were you considering?
The band started from an older hardcore incarnation (Chambers) with all the same members except for the singer. I was doing my thing in another band, Trophy Scars, and Gregg Kautz (former Super Snake guitarist) asked me if I wanted to try and sing on some songs they were working on. He was explaining they didn’t want to play hardcore anymore and wanted to do something more rock ‘n roll. So I wasn’t there when the band developed the name. And the funny thing is now, the dudes that came up with the name aren’t in the band anymore. In fact, the only two original members are Jesse Mariani and me. When Pete August and Joe Laga took over guitar duties, Jesse and I were aiming for a more psychedelic vibe. It turned out to be a very natural progression as it was pretty much Pete and Joe’s untapped wheelhouse. Not sure if there were any other names to consider… I mean “Soup-or-Snake”… Super Snake; it just rules.
Someone (maybe Mike our publicist?) described us as “Psychedelic doom pop” – I think that seems pretty accurate. If you like Sabbath, early 90s shoegaze, and pop sensible rock; we’re here for you.
Next month, you will release your album, “Leap Of Love” on Valentines Day. How was that specific date chosen? What was it like putting this collection together?
The release date was a no brainer for us. We’ve had that date in mind forever. “Leap of Love” is a romantic record so it has to be released on the most romantic day of the year. It also works if you’re lonely; you get to have a personal date with the new Super Snake record. Putting the whole collection of songs together was long and weird. From Virgina to New Jersey, nothing was easy and everything was paid attention to. We are very detail oriented and this beast took about two years from start to finish.
What was the inspiration for your current single, “Big Seize”? How does Super Snake go about writing a song from start to finish?
As far as the lyrics go, “Big Seize” was really B-horror movie inspired. The band pretty much fired this song out in a day and I just loved the twisty dark vibe so I curated the vocals and lyrics to melt into the thing naturally. It reminded me of some late 70s horror stuff so I framed everything around that idea. Super Snake songs tend to take a long time to write only because we are very particular. We usually start with a single riff and establish a tone for the song, then start building around the riff. Sometimes we have a couple of loose riffs established or recorded and they occasionally just pop right into the song with the new riff. The lyrics are usually developed over the course of writing an entire collection of songs. Since writing with my other band Trophy Scars, I’ve been more conceptually inclined. I like to come up with a strong melody first and then mold my words into that melody. Most times the melody has a strong influence on the lyrics.
Do you have any upcoming tour dates scheduled?
No current tour dates yet. We have a few one-off dates confirmed in the next few months. March 25 at the River Grille in Chatham, NJ; April at Monty Hall in Jersey City, NJ; May at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn, NY. I’m sure there will be a bunch more in between as well. We are planning to do a wider US tour in the late summer/fall, Canada in the winter, and hopefully Europe/UK in spring next year.
Who are you all listening to these days? What artists have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Currently: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Nicolas Jaar, Aesop Rock, Uncle Acid, Tame Impala, Thee Oh Sees, Travis Scott, Earth… Continuous inspiration: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Black Sabbath, the Doors, Sonic Youth, Can, The Ventures, Goblin, Kimbra, Tom Waits, Animal Collective, Swans, Type O Negative… really too many to list!
I would love to work with King Gizz, Black Angels, John Congelton, Josh Homme (and anything), The Shrine, Uncle Acid, Ty Segall. Those guys all seem to really be into the same stuff we’re into.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music? What do you hope is the message of your songs?
I hope they just have a lot of fun listening. There are lots of layers on “Leap of Love” – hidden textures and minute details that will definitely reward multiple listens. But really I just hope they dig it and want to play it loud. Our message is their message. People listen to music and make what they want out of it. The message is whatever you make in your mind.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourselves and your music?
Thank you guys for the interview! Take it easy and jam that “Leap of Love” record loud!