Salt The Snail are an alternative punk rock trio from Widnes, a small town in England near Liverpool. 2017 so far has seen them release debut single ‘Coffee’ and play shows across the UK. Epic Earworm’s Helen Weston caught up with the band via email for a chat on independent music, where the band’s going and not taking yourself too seriously.
Epic Earworm: Hey guys how’s it going, can you introduce yourselves and tell us what you play in the band?
We are Mike, Tom and Krystian, Mike plays guitar and provides the playlists for our trips to shows. Tom plays drums and and brings crisps and coffee. Krystian sings and sources the best price beers so we can get drunk for cheap before we play
Epic Earworm: Give us the history on how Salt The Snail began?
Salt the Snail is a long and drawn out story, so I’ll cut out the boring bits. It started from the ashes of a band called Dirty Vagrants, as that fell apart a Krystian and Mike got hold of Tom, he was the ferocious drummer of Springbok and we’d known him for a while. We started messing about writing some daft songs and called ourselves Whoredogs. It didn’t go much further than that.
Sometime later, we got a couple more lads involved and decided we’d go at it as a 5-piece, we called ourselves Salt the Snail. After a few practices it wasn’t quite working out as a 5 piece for various reasons, so we were 3 again, Mike, Tom and Krystian, Salt the Snail was a better name than Whoredogs so we went with that, written 2 more songs in one practice and since then we’ve just been on a constant high.
Epic Earworm: Did you go into this with any idea for what kind of music you wanted to create?
None whatsoever. We have all sorts of influences but we all seem to cross over on the noisy, energetic style we play. It all came from Mike’s riffs and went from there. The shortness of each song comes from the fact that none of us have a formal music education and just want to have fun making music the easiest and most stress free way we can.
Epic Earworm: You released your debut single COFFEE earlier this year. The accompanying music video was comedic chaos – What was it like to down that much coffee?
Awful, like serious heartburn, shakey legs, an overbearing desire to go and get some pizza. It was a Tuesday when we recorded it, we went the pub afterwards and it ended up being a lock in. We got pizza and stayed over at Krystians house. There were serious heavy heads the next day.
It was also the 2nd take, we’d done another version weeks earlier which we couldn’t use because the camera angle was off. Imagine drinking that much coffee then finding out the video wasn’t even useable. Nightmare
Epic Earworm: Do you wish you’d written a single titled after an alcoholic drink instead?
No, we wish we’d called it ‘Sugar Free Vimto’, because it’s delicious and easy to drink.
Epic Earworm: Who in the band would win a drinking contest?
Well, on the way to our show in Newcastle a few weeks ago, we took 60 beers with us on the National Express. We were pretty delirious when we got off the coach, Tom left his iPhone outside a bar and had to go back halfway across Newcastle City Centre to get it back, Krystian headbutted a cymbal and cut his nose and Mike who looked like he was handling it, went for a glass of water in the middle of the night, tripped over and went headlong into a kitchen cabinet.
Nobody won the drinking contest.
Epic Earworm: StS are signed to independent label Society of Losers records. Does being signed still make a difference in this DIY music age?
For us it makes a huge difference. Krystian has a big part to do with Society of Losers, he founded it with Craig (from Forever in Debt) and it has really helped us gain recognition amongst the independent music scene in the UK. It is a label that has kept itself small and tight knit and really cares about the bands they work with.
We’re speaking to Michael from Loner Noise about one of our future releases too, he is another golden egg who can work wonders for the artists he signs.
If you get the right label then it can make a massive difference.
Epic Earworm: You went on a regional tour in North West England last spring, what was your favourite show to play?
Well that was an great time as much as it was a tough time for us. We had just released COFFEE and played Threshold Festival the next day followed by our first ever London show, so we were on a massive high. We had some amazing shows coming up in the following days and weeks but due to some really shit, unexpected circumstances we had to cancel a number of shows including our performances at WRONG Festival and Smithdown Road Festival. It was a really hard time because we seemed to have momentum on our side right then.
It did only serve to galvanise us however and once we got back on the horse with a show at Maguires, it was like being let loose again. Have to say, that Threshold show was a massive highlight for us because so many people came over to see us. We really went for it, it was amazing.
Epic Earworm: You guys recently headlined The Studio Widnes, what were some of the highlights of the gig for you guys?
Well Widnes is our hometown so the whole thing was going to be incredible regardless. It started off as a real mess because we were all too excited but after a couple of songs we pulled it together. Ste Cole (from A.P.p.A.T.t) who organised it did an incredible job, he set up 3 stages in the one big room so we decided we could play across all 3 with the drumkit in the middle of the room. The crowd ended all round us, it was great.
Epic Earworm: There seems to be something in water in Widnes right now. Tell us more about what’s happening on the music scene over there?
It’s crazy. there has always been good music coming from here or talented individuals who will take their talents to the big cities, but recently it seems like the culmination of years worth of development and a ton of new projects have all come together at once.
The show we played at The Studio had 10 acts on and every single one was great. Mums, Chinsniffer, Cartwheels on Glass, Liam Blackburn, Greg Oldfield, Finn Harbor. On top of that you have so many bands around with Widnes influence like Jazzhands, Yarbo, Bisch Nadar, The Racket, Forever in Debt, Carcer City, Gold Jacks, Bear Trap and then you have the likes of Spilt and Uncle Jane over in the next town too. We just need the regular gigs and something to tie it all together and it could become something really special.
Epic Earworm: What’s next for Salt The Snail?
We have just been in Kent to play a show for Motherboy in Medway then to record with Gregg Webster from Punching Swans/ Exoskeletons in Gillingham. He’s super talented and has worked with tons of bands who have the kinda sound we want so we’d be hoping to record with him since we became a band.
We recorded 3 tracks and the 1st mixes already sound like the best thing we’ve ever recorded in any of our previous bands. We can’t wait to bring them out. We’re hoping to put Junkyard Cat out via Loner Noise in early 2018.
We have also recorded with the exceptional gentleman that is Peter Harrison, we’re back and to to the SPQR/COLOUR studio whenever we get chance to finish our next single ‘Lazer Quest’, we’re hoping to put it out with a video in October/November time.
We’ve got a few shows in the offing too:
September 9th supporting Wife at Dumbulls
October 5th supporting Strange Bones at The Ferret in Preston
Then a massive all-dayer for Loner Noise at Invisible Wind Factory’s basement on October 14th.
We can’t wait for the rest of the year. It’s going to be ace.
Epic Earworm has more information on Salt The Snail’s upcoming gigs. Their debut single ‘Coffee‘ is available now via Society of Losers.