If you like your rock old school and riff heavy then Swiss band Snakedeath are going to be just the ticket with a sound dripping in filthy guitar goodness.
The quintet of Daniel Schlunegger (guitar, vocals), Eric Stauffer (vocals), Jan Gribi (Bass) and Mauro Stotzer (drums) describe their sound as “natural organic heavy metal straight from the junkyard.” And their riffy, gruff vocalled brand of hard rock couldn’t have been described more aptly.
The band sent us The Reverend, from their 2018 debut EP Tales From The Junkyard Pt. 1, to get a taste for their sound. The track opens up with a big guitar riff then chugging guitars feed into an opening verse led by Daniel’s edgy vocals supported by funky riffs.
More guitar goodness continues under a chorus of vocals answered by heavy riffs, and is soon supported by a huge guitar solo. That drops into a moment of calm, then a darting riff picks up and feeds into a heavy jam session to bring the track to a close. Check it out in the video below:
We had a chat with frontman Daniel Schlunneger to find out more about the band. Read on below…
GR: Who are Snakedeath?
DS: “We are from Switzerland, Canton of Bern. Eric, Jan and me basically know each other prenatal, since Eric and me are cousins and Jan’s mother is my mother’s best friend. We grew up together, went to school together and all that stuff.
“Eric and me started playing acoustic guitar when we were about 17 and soon later got our first electric ones. Then in 2010 we decided to start jamming together. Mauro went to school with our younger brothers and we knew he played drums. So we contacted him and started out jamming in the old office containers on my parents junkyard. Which is still our rehearsal room to this day. Mauro knew already how to play and Eric and me were still starting out.
“Soon after that we told Jan to grab a bass and persuaded him to join us. So we started playing and it took us quite a while to play our first cover song from start to finish which was Ace of Spades by Motörhead.”
GR: You just released The Reverend. What should people be expecting from the song? What inspired you to write it?
DS: “I remember that at the time I wrote this song I listened to a lot of Black Sabbath and also the tracks Tony Iommi recorded with Phil Anselmo. So these sort of riffs inspired me a lot for this one. So I had the riff and we started jamming. I just screamed some random shit (about smoking weed and getting high and stuff like that) into the microphone in order to figure out how the lyrics/melody should sound like.
“Once we got that, Eric and me sat together and wrote a song about weed. I like the arrangement here because it differs from the classical verse – chorus – verse – chorus – solo – verse – chorus sort of shit. I’m not saying that we don’t do that in other songs, but still. The outro was influenced by Karma to Burn which I was also listening at the time.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
DS: “All natural organic heavy metal straight from the junkyard.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
DS: “Writing music, playing together and performing songs just makes us fucking happy. We’re not restricted to key themes or topics. Just whatever comes out. But sure, topics are rather about life itself and not political.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
DS: “We like old school metal and just heavy music in general. The most important bands are Motörhead, Pantera, Slayer, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, early Metallica, early Sepultura, Coroner, Celtic Frost, Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, White Zombie, Anthrax, Crowbar, Down, Exhorder, Black Label Society, Type O Negative, any many more. But also 60’s stuff that I consider heavy music like Mountain, Grand Funk Railroad, Jefferson Airplane, Doors, Hendrix, etc.
“So we have a lot of influences and maybe this is why it is hard for us to describe exactly what kind of music we are doing. I don’t like to put everything in sub-sub-sub genres. As far as I’m concerned, I just want to do music that’s heavy, drives you, high energy, and so on…”
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020?
DS: “We’re going to hit the studio again in late spring / early summer this year.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
DS: “We’re all about the live feel, playing music live is what drives us most.”