|(Upcoming) Album:||Mokvání V Okovech|
|Release Date:||14th of May, 2021|
|Released via||Blood Harvest Records (Vinyl)|
Lycanthropic Chants (Cassette EU)
Headsplit Records (Cassette US)
|Cover Artwork ©||Sněť, 2021|
Interview with Sněť
Last year, a short promo tape by Czech combo Sněť caused quite a stir in the worldwide Death Metal community adjusting all eyes on those two tracks. After some time has passed, I guess a major share of this community got to know Sněť with their tape that came via Lycanthropic Chants,
Headsplit Records and Burning Coffin Records.
Řád Zdechlin: Hi, here we are a bunch of Bohemian Maniacs! Sorry but no Headsplit. They are doing it for our new album “Mokvání v okovech” which will be released in May. Open beer or do some dope, we are starting!
Ransolič: We had four songs at the time, but we did not have clue someone would care about us, so we just uploaded two songs on bandcamp so people knew about us. It turned out that people really cared about what we were up to and it felt great haha. The 2nd two songs are on the our upcoming full-length.
The first question that I want to ask you is how it all got started. We know that you guys got together only eventually adding your vocalist Rád, yet how did your band members got to know each other?
Ransolič: We are all friends from the shows and we knew what each of us likes to play at time, so it wasn’t hard for anyone from us to realize we want to play together. The idea was to form the band from people who worship old-school metal so the result is fucking true as well haha!!
Going by the fact that pretty much every band member in your band also plays or played in other bands (Mörkhimmel | Black Aspirin | Slavery | Lezok | Bahratal), how did the idea of starting a Death Metal project emerge?
Řád Zdechlin: We know each other from the local gigs and bands. Ransolič and Hnisatel had dreamed about starting a new band together and they are passionate together in death metal like Autopsy and Undergang, Morbid Angel and so on. They hang out together in rehearsal and ask Kruthor from East Bohemia to play drums with them. Kruthor is mostly known for playing bass in a bunch of bands and he is also known for his cheerful parents and his rehearsal house in a village, where we love to make a place for concentration for our new tracks. Bassplayer Leproduktor is from South Bohemia and he is grinding guitar in Kaosquad. The Leproduktor family is extremely into the metal scene, starting with their dad to older brother and Leproduktors twin. I saw some old photos of metal army family members with long hair and metal shirts. Also all male members are into bodybuilding, so we have strong arms for pub’s fight. Me as a the Řád Zdechlin was added to band after they were brainstorming who is the perfect maniac for the live shows and who has no problem to make lyrics and represent band in frontman post. I was and I’m still singing in a Prague based hc/punk band called Vole.
Everyone got their own place in the band. Me and Hnisatel are good in graphic designs and preparation of album covers, posters and promo materials. Ransolič is the mastermind of public relations, chatting with labels and searching for new opportunities. Kruthor is the driver of our “Hellbus” – old red Volkswagen LT35 with windows all around and nine seats. Leproduktor is the master corrector of the songs, haha. Making riffs and compositions is all about being together. I can say we are quite democratic band.
Ransolič: To form death metal band was my dream since high school, but I did not have skills to do so and also right people to form one. So, I just played primitive stuff like sludge and crust punk for fun and forgot about this goal for a while. After my sludge band Black Aspirin split up, only Morkhimmel remained. At that time, I thought it’s the right time to make a real band with all stuff I like about death metal. Hnisatel was natural choice for me to ask for help and I couldn’t be happier for how the things turned out and wouldn’t change single thing about our line up.
The Czech music scene is, although some listeners might not even know, quite thriving. What would your description be when being asked to describe the scene you primarily are in contact with? Can we assume that there is a specific Czech Death Metal underground scene or do you rather join the same locations as other Extreme Metal fans or subcultures?
Řád Zdechlin: Let’s say there is some types, there is that one of traditional metal head scene, which is oriented around magazine Spark, festivals like Masters of Rock which is for me the most mainstream view to the metal life here. Because I’m not a big fan of Hammerfall, which is playing this fest every second year and every second issue of the magazine included their poster I’m quite out of the part of that villager metal. But there is other stuff like Brutal Assault and more familiar Obscene Extreme Fest. So, let’s say Czech metal scene is well known for the cheap metal festivals and good beer around the world.
About the bands we have some well-known treasures like Master’s Hammer, Asgard, Crux, Trollech (yeah, these one with funny video “Ve stínu starých dubů”), Krabathor, Pathologist, Torr, Debustol, Cult of Fire, Malignant Tumour with their Carcassish filth demos and many more. As I talked about festivals, I can say Czechia was also big in Grindcore/GoreGrind because of the Obscene, so almost every village got a Grind band and I can say in the last two decades it was enough.
5 years ago trending – some hardcore kids found out Black Metal is such a cool style because of the nature and all Cascadian era. Only by mistake they feel black metal. I feel emo, screamo and post-rock shit. I can say the last few years are fertile for making more real metal so we have new bands like Oči Vlka, Můra all at Caligari Rec., Somniate, Inferno got a new album. It’s pretty much blackened or black stuff around. Which I confirm with compilation “Night Dwellers: Reek of Daylight”, 250 copies were sold out in three days. From death metal I can say Brutally Deceased are pretty big and another quite new band I realized is Sectesy. Most of the fans of grindcore are also fans of death metal, so we can say that two 90’s entities are mashed together in small concerts and most of the fans are around 40-50 years old. We need new blood here!
Having played at least some gigs before this entire Corona disaster started, you also got to know bands from different places. What international bands are you interconnected with and how?
Řád Zdechlin: We played with Funebrarum, Spectral Voice, Impetuous Ritual, Ascended Dead, Galvanizer, Krypts, two Lithuanian bands Stranguliatorius and Disforia, Bastard Grave, Repulsive Feast, Cryptic Brood and many local bands. Ransolič is the main dude in communication and their promoter “company” “Kreas Promotion” which is in touch with Killtown Bookings and other book maker companies. That makes things simple, once you are doing a gig for someone, you can have good contact to reach other bands and other labels or new friends. These friends can help you with recommending people involved in sound and here we are, how we found Greg Wilkinson master of sound for example.
In how far did the fact that your promo tape received such a convincing attention change the way you usually progress with your songwriting?
Řád Zdechlin: Plan of the Promo was, just let people know we have material to distribute it by bandcamp for promoters, to not just have a sentence: “Hey buddy, we are a death metal band and we wanna play in your town!” In the end it makes people know about us and we were positively surprised how people react to it. I can say Obří kat song is one of the best songs we did so it pumps our skill well and it helps us to develop new songs better. Cliche speaking.
Ransolič: Well, we always want to make the best we can about each song. Sometimes it’s quite long process of writing, sometimes we just don’t finish songs and that’s fine. Better not finish song, then finish it in any cost. As Řád wrote above, promo songs are quite good for 1st steps in discography, I would definitely like to keep the trend of making instrumental songs for each release (Intoxikace song). But I think we naturally evolve and I really like the way we are going. Me and Hnisatel started to focus more on guitar sick harmonies and put some rotten Thin Lizzy vibes into it haha! But the attention we got after promo songs definitely put some pressure on writing process, but it was kind of enjoyable pressure haha.
Were there any releases that overwhelmed you between your promo and this album?
Řád Zdechlin: Since we started playing, I was pretty in crush with Vastum – Orfical Purge! Celebral Rot – Odious, Torture Rack – Malefic…, Witchtrial – Demo, City Hunter – Deep Blood, Excarnated Entity – Stillborn in…, Chthonic Deity – Reassembled and a few 90’s classics from Finland like Demilich, Convulse, Abhorrence.
Ransolič: Worm – Gloomlord, Morbific – Pestilent Hordes, Bastard Priest – Vengance… of the damned, Mortiferum – fucking everything, Undergang – Aldrig I livet… fuck can’t remember much at this moment.
You already mentioned a lot of bands that can be seen as influences for Sněť (Autopsy | Carcass | Undergang | Phrenelith). When writing music, are there any elements of these bands that you deliberately integrate in your music – and are there other elements you are keen on having your personal flavor in the forefront?
Hnisatel: About the bands you mentioned, we basically want to integrate putrity, filth, misery and last but not least the energy of those bands. Our music is just a mix of everybody’s impact – grindcore elements, punk elements and attitude. It’s not just “death doom stuff, or grinding death metal”, it is more diverse depending on how we feel it is right.
I think Ransolič and I fit together very well in songwriting. You can definitely hear in our music the Hnisatels passion in Thin Lizzy and their harmony doubled guitars, that’s something we are using a lot nowadays.
Do you think that there is a distinct Czech Death Metal sound? If so, which scene would you most probably connect to that sound?
Řád Zdechlin: I can say we have part of Finland here and because of Greg Wilkinson we have a part of Necrot here, haha. He made it very clear and I can say it was for me absolutely inconceivably, now I love it!
Hnisatel: There weren’t so many death bands, which can evolve their unique sound, I think. You can hear a lot of Swedish influence in newer bands like Brutally Deceased. Pathologist and Malignant Tumour have their reeking grind sound. Krabathor evolve with every album, from clear sounding death metal, with virtuosity solos on “Our death is welcome” to furious grinding death on “Orthodox”.
One of your band members recently founded the label “Filth Junkes” that is supposed to support favorite Czech bands from all genres. Tell us some more about how this idea came up and what the future plans for this label are.
Ransolič: Yes, supporting the Czech bands was original idea and it still is, but we also repress our favorite releases of our friends. You can expect some cool announcements, but I would better not talk more about details for now, it’s really in the beginning. We are starting our distro too, so hopefully we will become interesting place to search for cool releases, zines and stuff! Me and my friend Milan were talking about making label for some time, I wasn’t really convinced that I want to do it, but shortly I discovered young guy with his one man project MACE HEAD and I was really blown away about his musical talent and approach to the music. He even doesn’t have money to make merch for him and that was impulse for me to help him with releasing it and spreading it in Czech but also worldwide, since I gained a lot of contacts during 10 years of organizing shows here in Prague. Pls make a favor and listen to Mace Head – Damalog, it’s his best stuff so far. If you like Bathory you will love this, he recorded it himself in his 19/20yo. I really believe he is the fresh blood our country needs haha!
The lyrics of your tracks probably still play a key role for you and your music, but it might be a difficulty for some people to understand Czech. Is there a theme that can be found throughout the entire album or what are the main issues you deal with on “Mokvání v okovech”?
Řád Zdechlin: “Oozing in Shackles” means for me when we were writing it, the world was and still is placed in a pandemic situation and the whole planet is captured in timeless space, which makes people think about life differently than before. It could be a good chance to change thinking about negative stuff and redistribute our power to useful projects. Songs are variations from the fantastic world to the entire look to society and human failures at all. We got a song about ghouls in your mind. Song about a new breed of humans, song about ourselves and about the universe around us.
Ransolič will says the name of the album is the “Mokvání v okovech” because the artwork was the first and we decided because of it, but I guess it was somewhere beside and I can figure it out now.
Looking back at the promotional mails that announced your album, the cover artwork also gained a lot of attention. What does it actually depict and is there a way that we can connect the artwork to the themes on the album?
Řád Zdechlin: I made the album cover, so I know best how it was. As I study Fine Art, I was always amazed by metal art and that was the high peak to make a painted cover for my band. Process was quite automatic, I knew we needed some main character which is a melted face transforming into a shapeless organism (The Thing). All surrounded by corpses and surreal landscape. I don’t know why I made it so orange, but it seems to work with Rodrigo’s idea to make orange vinyl and it helps to create own visual space for our upcoming album. If you can connect concept of the head as a main universe of every person, you can read easy our artwork and the meaning of the album.
This is probably a sad question, but – when did you play your last gig? What’s it like to promote your album while knowing that there is probably not going to be any possibility to play it live?
Hnisatel: We played our last gig at the end of summer last year. It was a benefit gig for a club 007, which is an oldest club in Europe. Also, we did a benefit stream show early this year for this club with Brutally Deceased and Rato Triste.
Well, it sucks, nobody expects that pandemic will take so long with still no end. But it’s the same for everyone I guess, we are practicing, working on new songs and hoping to get back on stage soon. Good thing about this shit was, we can more focus on song writing and also make our first music video, which was my all-life dream. Get ready for our gutter swap vision!
What are the future plans of Sněť after the release of this new album and maybe also taking into consideration that the pandemic restrictions might find at least some loosening?
Hnisatel: We are working on a material for a split record right now. We have some gigs confirmed, as Obscene Extreme and Kill Town Death Fest, which I’m worried not going to happen, but we will see. Also some local gigs are in progress and maybe we going to do a small post release show.. Well, see how it’s going to turn.
Thank you so much for your time answering all of my questions, if you want to find any last words for this interview, this is your possibility. Stay safe!
Řád Zdechlin: Enjoy the pandemic, do stuff you never did before, trust yourself. Without life there is no DEATH!
Hnisatel: Enjoy the music, try to enjoy the life, listen to WASP.
Ransolič: Praise Phil Lynott