Talking to Denim Snakes


Denim Snakes got in touch with us as we were gearing up for our New Band Month feature. We were contacted by many many bands recently all with potential for features, but this group from Wales quickly rose to the top for me.

Can you introduce Denim Snakes?

We’re a four piece rock and roll outfit from South Wales. Jake Ellis Scott, on guitar and backing vocals. Mattise Olsohn Clarke, bass and backing vocals, Tom Hall, drummer and backing vocals, and Russell Toomey, guitar and lead vocals.

How long have you been together?

We’ve been together for about 6 months now but we’ve known each other for a while before we combined forces. We’ve seen each other in bands before.

We’ve heard ’21’ and ‘Party Hard’ on Soundcloud, what’s your recording process?

We show each other ideas and riffs we come up with and if everyone agrees that they sound promising, we turn them into a song. Once the song is complete we demo it at Jake’s place, he’s great with mixing and getting decent sounds. When we’re happy with the track we then go into the studio with Todd Campbell (SkwadHQ studio’s) and complete the song.

Are these tracks the beginning of an EP or an album?

The tracks we’ve recorded so far are two songs which will be part of the album. We’re going into to Todd’s place soon to get started on completing it which we’re really excited about.

Do you have a standard process when you are writing a song?

Russell: Personally I do it a few different ways. I could be playing guitar and hear something I like or I could be just whistling a melody whilst in the shower.  Once I get a decent hook I build the rest of the song around it. Jake: Usually a catchy lyric will pop into my head or a song title, so I’ll just work around them and see where it takes me, it’s so much harder to write a song when you plan to do it, the best ones come to you when you least expect it.

How would you describe your sound to our readers who have not yet heard you?

We’re massive music fans so we don’t seem to stick to one type of genre because its far more fun for us to play different styles. There are a few things though that tie our sound together. We love melody, hooks and the dynamics of loud and quiet, we find silence can help a song if it’s put in the right place. A simpler answer would be its only rock & roll (but we like it!)

What is the one stand out track everyone should hear?

’21’ is the only track we’ve made available from the album so far so we’re gonna say that one for now.

The video for ‘21’ made us laugh; it looks like you’d a bit of fun making it (particularly the forward rolls through the van). Tell us how you went about filming the video.

Jake bought a camera and he’s been taking to gigs and out and about with him. He filmed our summer last year, playing our first gigs, hanging out at the beach, partying and the Halloween gig we put on at our local pub. We’ve had loads of fun playing together and Jake put together the video to show that.

What is the best gig you’ve played so far?

We played a gig in Barfly, Camden for a club night called Jubilee. It’s a late gig, we went on about 12.30am. The room was full with people dancing at the front, it felt really good to see people enjoying themselves. Plus Tamwar from Eastenders was in the crowd which we thought was really funny.

What can fans expect from the live show?

When we play live we tend to kick out the jams, a lot of energy, sweat and high kicks. It feels so much better playing that way, it’s a total release from what we do on a day to day basis.

If you could land a dream support slot, who would it be with, and why?

There are loads of bands that we’d like to support! we’d love to support bands that have been big influences of ours, to name a couple.. AC/DC and Fidlar, they’d be great shows!

What’s in store for Denim Snakes in 2014?

We will be releasing our debut album, two more singles and videos, a lot of sweaty gigs and hopefully some festivals.

Where can people keep in touch and follow your movements?

The usual places. Facebook, and Twitter. You can also hear and see our music on Soundcloud and YouTube.

Gareth Fraser
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