Featured Image: Charlie Cummings
Hailing from West Lothian, indie-rock outfit The Snuts are putting Scotland’s name back on the music map, with fellow emerging bands such as Lucia & The Best Boys, Walt Disco and The Ninth Wave. The four-piece cemented their status as a band to watch, after touring last year with the ‘Scottish Beyonce’, Lewis Capaldi and continuing to gain an impressive following from the north and beyond. The band consists of frontman and guitarist Jack Cochrane, guitarist Joe McGillveray, bassist Callum Wilson and drummer Jordan MacKay.
Despite not having a debut album to their name, the Scottish rockers have recently supported The Libertines in Newcastle and released a cover of ‘Summer In the City’ for one of the nation’s favourite alcoholic beverage giants, Strongbow. Their last EP, Mixtape, also gained a number 1 position in the Scottish and Vinyl charts, as well as 14 in the UK Official Charts.
A mix of interludes and singles, the nine-track EP is an intoxicatingly eclectic mix of tracks. From ‘Fatboy Slim’ and their demo track, ‘Don’t Forget It (Punk)’ featuring hectic guitars and thumping drums, to the soulful musings of ‘Boardwalk’- there’s something for everyone. Never a band to stick to a single genre, they excel at experimentation. Their track ‘Elephants’ brilliantly captures their stomping energy.
aAh! Magazine catches up with Jack Cochrane over the phone, to find out more about filming their music video for ‘Elephants’, on expressing himself through music, and going to South Africa to film the Strongbow advert.
You’ve previously said that while growing up The Libertines were your favourite band, what was it like supporting them recently?
“It was kind of like one of those… it was really magical. Not one of those occasions with that saying, ‘don’t ever meet your heroes’. I’ve experienced that many times but it’s always a real let down. But, it was a really nice moment for us as a band. They were like, total gentlemen. Watched both of our sets and spent a bit of time just speaking with us. Stuff like that is so rare. So, we were just kind of fanboying all day. It was nice as well just to be back on stage after so long. It was lovely.”
That’s really good! Actually, have you ever met anyone where it didn’t go as well as you’d hoped?
“Many, but I try not to call anybody out too much.”
You were also chosen to have your track on the recent Strongbow advert for the ‘Summer in The City’ cover, how did that happen?
“It’s a funny one. It’s a song that we really love and I mean, somebody got in touch and said, ‘do you think you could record this song for us’. We were in the middle of doing our record at that time. We took a day out to go and went to a different studio and stuff like that, which was quite nice just to kind of take a breather from that. It’s a really difficult 60’s song, all the old ones are really difficult and you don’t want to ruin them. That’s the main thing which was in our heads, so it was nice and we’re kind of happy with how it turned out. We got to go out to South Africa and film an advert and stuff like that. So, it was good fun.”
Recently, you’ve also released a music video for ‘Elephants’, what was the inspiration behind the video?
“I think when we do a video, it always starts with a really ridiculous idea. I think I had just moved into a flat in Glasgow. I was just kind of watching old videos and having a drink, watching kind of old like Four Tops and The Temptations, all of these old videos with great dance routines. I think we’re always trying to think, ‘what can we do that people won’t expect from us?’ I think people have always got their mind made up about a band, so it’s something we’re always trying to change. So, we thought nobody would ever expect us to do, like a full dance routine and stuff like that. It was in the middle of lockdown, so it was like, ‘well we’ve got time to learn a dance’. We were kind of every day for two weeks, we were doing dance lessons over Zoom. It was just good fun and a larl thing to keep us in tune. So, I did kind of say to the guys, ‘Let’s do a video’. I want us to do a full dance routine and I want like, a mechanical bull dressed up as an elephant, and then like spotlight magic with this. I come up with these ideas and somebody makes it happen, so it’s good fun.”
You’re a band known for never being afraid to explore new genres across your discography and always do something different, is there a reasoning behind this?
“I think it’s just a lot of people have preconceptions of bands but also, I think that with indie music this decade, it sounds like it’s become very stale. I think people are kind of moving towards other genres of music, and leaving indie music behind because I think what a lot of what people like about it has been done. You kinda get to this stage where everybody with bands is kind of just reincarnations and versions of bands that people already love. So, I think for us, it’s always about kind of trying to change people’s minds about us and the genre – just challenge ourselves creatively, with everything we do right across the music and art side of it. If that makes any sense.”
Which song are you proudest of and why?
“I think… It’s a hard question because they’re all so close to me and it’s probably the one I wrote on my own. The band always brings me back to earth because all of my songs are super miserable like the song on the last EP called ‘Boardwalk’. It’s one of those songs where I’m in my bedroom, like a little boy again and ended up recording it over in L.A. I just loved how it came out. It was really natural and everything was like one take. I just really love the production on that, it sounded exactly like the type of music I wanted to make, but I think people would get pretty sick of it if that’s all we did.”
It’s always received really well live too.
Also, you did a one-off lockdown live set at The Tall Ship in Glasgow, what was it like and what do you miss most about touring?
“It was quite nice and we put a lot into the live scene. It was designed in the hope that people would kind of come together. People that you wouldn’t normally spend time with at live gigs and they could kind of sit together, with their partner or their family or friends, and just enjoy live music in that kind of different format. So, it was just all kind of detailed and tailored with that in mind, so it was nice just getting there having no crowd, you know once we got the energy up and when the adrenaline started flowing, we seemed to forget about that for a second, it was nice being able to get that connection as a band- even with each other is really important. A lot of people talk about that connection with a crowd but I think when a band are locked down together, it was really nice just to do that again. So, I think definitely that kind of cliché adrenaline kind of magic, live music is certainly something which we’re missing most. Again, I’m just rambling.”
Also, how has your childhood shaped the artist which you have become today?
“Well… I grew up kinda like my dad, as like a writer. He writes poems and stuff like that, just amateur but I love all of his stuff. And, like growing up together and the band right now, we’ve been mates for a long, long time. Since, we were toddlers. We kind of grew up together just playing music in the forests and like underage drinking, stuff like that. Just making music all of the time. So, it’s something that we’ve just been obsessed with all our life. It’s something kinda we’re never willing to give up on, so we’ve found ourselves in this place. But, I think it certainly has. I think playing music with people is so important if you actually do want to become an artist or whatever. I think sometimes if you kind of isolate yourself from music, it can become quite a lonely place which it shouldn’t be. I think it should be something you can share.
You’ve also hinted at some new releases, can you tell us anything more about them?
“Yeah, we’ve got… so, we’re putting out… I don’t even know what month it is, I never know what month it is of the year. So, I mean, I think it’s going to be this month but we’ve got a lot of music coming out for a record which we’re going to be putting out. Some stuff that people haven’t heard before, which is nice. So, we’ve got a record coming. It’s going to be this month, next month I think. I don’t know any dates but it’s coming soon, maybe a couple. But, a few physical releases which we haven’t done and didn’t on the last single, so it’ll be nice to be able to do that.
Have you got any new inspirations for these new releases?
“I think… well it’s been quite good that where we get our inspirations from, all of the band listens to a different type of music. We never feel like we’re listening to the same genre together, so I think everybody brings that different flavour of music. Also, who we’re working with thinks differently to music and we’re working with a guy called Tony Hoffer, a guy from L.A. We just picked up so much stuff from him, he brought so much new and he’s always pushing us to do new and interesting things. So, I think definitely just the people you surround yourself by and who they’re listening to, always inspires us. But, I think what’s nice, this next song we’re going to release is probably more like some of the classic stuff, that I think people will enjoy. It’s a little less contemporary and modern and stuff like that. It still has that kind of pace somewhere, but it’s similar to more classic vibes, I think. But, we’ll see.
Currently, what future goals are you aiming to achieve?
“I think for us, we’re so keen to just get out to as many people as we can. I think we’re always keen to book a European tour, that’s something we’re really looking forward to. When we first started up, we never wanted to be one of these bands that could never get out of Scotland. We focused all of touring on England and stuff like that, as much as we love coming home- it’s a real treat to come home and play here but we’ve always focused on getting further afield in England and now we feel like we’re kind of doing what we wanted to do or close to that. It’s just a bit trying to take that across oceans as much as possible, which is not great in a pandemic but we’ll see how it works.
Is there anything you haven’t ever been asked but wish you had?
“I don’t think so actually. I think with some interviews you get awful questions but I like the people that just ask about the music and stuff like that, so I don’t think so. I feel like I’ve heard them all.”
Do you have any last words to share with your fans?
“I don’t know, I’m pretty antisocial in that sense, I just try and do the talking with my music.”
Actually, what are your favourite lyrics that you’ve written?
“It’s a funny one as every time I write, I’m like, ‘That’s f***ing great’. But, then when I put it out, people put the lyrics on the internet and they’re always f***ing wrong, like so wrong. The ‘Elephants’ lyrics hurt my feelings so much, so aye it’s difficult to say as people just get them wrong anyway. I’ll just keep them to myself.”
Rescheduled Live Headline Dates March 2021
Tuesday 9th – Leeds University Stylus, LEEDS
Wednesday 10th – Manchester Academy 2, MANCHESTER
Thursday 11th – The Globe, CARDIFF
Saturday 13th – O2 Forum Kentish Town, LONDON
Tuesday 16th – Button Factory, Dublin
Friday 19th – Corn Exchange, EDINBURGH
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