The Snuts have been making waves recently, with a UK tour coming up in the next few months. Their debut album, W.L., is going to be released soon, so we decided it was a good opportunity to have a chat with the band. See how we got on below…
Interview by Jane Howkins
Photo by Gaz Williamson
Your debut album, W.L., is coming out April 2nd. Are you excited? What can you tell us about the album?
Yeah for sure. We’ve been writing this album all our lives, so releasing it kinda feels like closure on one chapter of The Snuts and the way we’ve expressed ourselves through our youth to adulthood. It’s a complete commentary on the personal relationships we’ve experienced and the social issues that surround us, growing up working class in Scotland. Tales of love, despair, heartbreak and camaraderie flow throughout.
What can you tell us about the writing and recording of the album? Did the process go smoothly?
To me the record was captured in two halves – with an unorthodox vibe extraction in Brooklyn and Downtown LA with the illustrious Inflo, and then in London refining these sounds and expanding on these tracks with our main man Tony Hoffer, Rich Costey and Richard Woodcraft. The experiences were worlds apart but we learned so much from each encounter, and developed our own methods to capture our live energy on record – there’s even a self produced number on the album. It’s been an emotional roller coaster, but ultimately we’ve left the process completely proud of the record and it really feels pretty special to be finally putting it out there in the world.
You recently released a new single titled Somebody Loves You, which was received very well! What can you tell us about that?
Jack moved to Glasgow just before the world locked down, and started to see these graffiti messages of hope dotted around the city, with a striking image of a mother cradling her child and three simple words: “Somebody loves you”. The blunt honesty & positivity of the message coupled with the world tumbling into the unknown inspired him to pen the track.
For the music video for the song, you teamed up with the Scottish Refugee Council to raise awareness for the charity. How did that come about? Can you tell us more about your involvement with the Scottish Refugee Council?
In the past we had always taken the videos as far as we could, from giant microwaves to theatrical performances. Parlophone offered to give us the entire video budget to use as we pleased, and with the chaos of the pandemic in the world surrounding us, it felt right to do something that actually would make a real difference to peoples lives and circumstances. One of our friends sisters, Cara, dedicates most of her life to making a difference to new families and individuals settling here, and we got chatting to her about the incredible work the Scottish Refugee Council do. The work they do has an absolutely massive impact on people’s lives – from providing English lessons to education and help to access work. So it made sense to help in any way we could.
We spent months tracking down the artist who created the artwork, a balaclava clad graff head called MUNK. Once he heard how his artwork had inspired the song, and the work of the charity he did another piece for us down the Clyde walkway to raise further awareness for the charity and commissioned it as part of a charity post card drive. A simple message can inspire so many and it’s a project we’re all immensely proud of.
Are you quite a political band? Are there any other charities or political causes you are involved with?
I think everyone is kinda political in some way or other, whether they realise it or not.
However, Jack wrote a letter a day to the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon during the height of the lockdown. We didn’t expect full gigs back straight away and understood how important it was to stop the spread of the virus, but we just wanted the chance of a conversation on how to proceed safely with events – when cinemas and leisure centres opened.
Being in an industry that relied almost entirely on mass gatherings, the pandemic left a complete black hole for stage crews, lighting staff, venues, sound engineers and every other talented individual – who had spent years honing their craft!
Do you have any more singles planned for release anytime soon?
We always strive to be releasing new music so keep your ears to the ground…
Has the pandemic affected the workings of the band much? We imagine it must be hard to write and record music together during a pandemic!
At the start it was definitely a challenge, touring and playing shows is really the bread and butter for any band. We’ve kept very active on socials through a variety of lockdown videos & live streams. We’re never ones to be held back by global pandemics – we’ve spent a lot of time in the studio honing our live show for when things come back with a bang!
What sort of music influences you most as a band, are there any bands/artists you can recommend we check out?
We draw influences from all styles, from soul to alternative through to to hip hop. From Arctic Monkeys to Otis Redding, Kendrick Lamar to LCD Soundsystem – we think it’s essential to continue progressing as a band by keeping our ears open to whatever inspires us. Sometimes guitar music can be a bit of a drag and you have to dig much deeper to find that spark that ignites the next project, the next riff or the next melody!
There’s a lot of great music and exciting bands coming out of Scotland – we are big fans of The Ninth Wave, Lucia, MiFamilia and Mark Sharp & The Bicycle Thieves… outside of the band world there’s a DJ/Producer killing it up here at the minute – Liam Doc. He’s producing some of the most exciting techno & house beats I’ve heard.
Any last words for the fans?
When this all blows over the madness will continue, venues will re-open and live music will be back – with the same gusto we had before the world fell apart. Look after each other & stay safe!