November 29, 2004
THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES ARE A REALLY GOOD BAND AND THIS INTERVIEW REALLY GIVES YOU A GOOD IDEA OF HOW MUCH IT HURTS WHEN YOUR APPENDIX NEEDS TO BE REMOVED.
PL: Introduce yourselves.
B: I'm Brian and I play bass and keyboards.
R: I'm Ryan and I play guitar and sometimes keyboards.
PL: Do you think bands need to have a message in order to be successful?
B: I don't think they need one in order to be successful. If you listen to most commercial radio, they don't say a lot.
R: I don't know. I think most successful bands don't have a message. If you listen to Top 40 radio, there's not much being said.
PL: Do you guys consider yourself "screamo"?
B: I guess there's a whole lot worse things to be called.
R: I don't know. They can call us whatever they want, I guess. It doesn't really affect us all that much. We just keep doing what we're doing.
PL: Almost every review or article I've read about you has mentioned past bands. Is that something that bothers you or do you not care?
B: Its another thing that we discussed when our EP came out. We considered not putting the "featuring X members of" thing on there, just to try and get away from that. But, if it helps get our name out there, then its a nice little jumping point.
R: Yeah, its been over two years now since we've been a band.
B: Me and Steve, our singer, were talking, and its funny because no one ever wrote about Botch and Kill Sadie while they were around. Its weird that people think its worth talking about. People didn't care four years ago, so why do they care now?
PL: Reading through your press kit, it says that you guys don't take yourselves seriously. How does a band not take itself seriously?
R: We take what we do seriously, but not ourselves. When you start taking yourself too seriously, it starts losing all fun involved in it. It takes all the fun out of it.
B: A band being serious enough that they love what they do and want to share it with people and want them to respect it, then thats one thing. Then there's other people that are like: "I'm in a band. This band is fucking awesome. We're gonna do this and this and this. Anything that fucks with my vision of what this band is supposed to be, they're an asshole and fuck them." Thats what being too serious is. Hopefully we're not that way.
PL: Do you think that taking yourself too seriously could mean trying too hard?
PL: Has mainstream music taken a step in the right direction lately?
R: I don't know if it ever takes a step in the right direction. I think it gets close, but then a million bands follow that same direction, so they're doing all that same stuff. There are 30 or 40 bands that sound similar. There's one band that leads the pack and then a bunch of clones that sound just like them. I don't think it ever goes in the right direction. There's always one band that is doing its own thing and is given a chance and they either get lucky or they don't.
B: I mean, I guess we both got kind of stoked when Nirvana got big. We thought that they were a good band and we thought that other good bands would get signed, but instead its Candlebox and Silverchair and stuff. The same thing happened when Green Day got big and we thought that all of these Lookout bands were gonna get huge now, but instead, its Unwritten Law and New Found Glory. At the Drive In getting big didn't help anything because now there's a million mediocre bands trying to be At the Drive In. At the Drive In was cool because they were At the Drive In. Thats why Nirvana was good; thats why James Brown was good.
PL: How many people are in the band and did you guys go through a member shuffle?
B: There's four people in the band. We used to be a five piece. We had a keyboard player, drummer, guitar player, bass player and a singer. Keyboard player left and that was kind of fine. He didn't really add too much musically anyway.
R: He didn't want to play keyboards in the first place. He wanted to be in the band and then move on to play guitar. And I think he just kind of lost interest in it and decided to go his own way. Then Joe, our drummer, had some personal stuff that he was taking care of and Aaron came in and helped us write the full length. Its been Brian, Steve and I pretty much the whole time.
PL: Ryan, did you mean to signify anything with the nudity in the album artwork?
R: It follows the storyline of the lyrics. Each song reflects whats going on in the artwork. It was Steve's idea thinking about everyday life and just reflecting off of that. It was meant to be a look at a person's life and how they view that life on a daily basis.
B: Its sort of voyeuristic, like you're looking in on these things that you shouldn't be looking in on.
R: Its like your looking in on this uncomfortable side of someone's life and the lyrics are sort of doing the same thing from a different perspective. We wanted to get a cohesive thought on our record from the music to the layout and artwork. Its meant to be one big thought, but not a concept record.
PL: Ryan, you got your appendix taken out and you were playing the next day?
R: Not the next day, the following day.
PL: Did it burst?
R: No, it didn't burst. Thank God.
PL: Oh, mine burst and I couldn't do anything for a month.
R: It didn't burst, but it hurt like hell. I got lucky, I guess. I felt it hurting at the top of my stomach and it felt like I had indigestion or some shit. It never hurt there before and I couldn't figure out why it was hurting there. Then my doc thought that I had to go to the hospital, so I called my dad and he came and got me to take me there. We were gonna go see his doctor, but on the way to his doctor, it started getting worse so we went straight to the hospital. The doctor came in and took a look at it and looked at me and said "Whats the problem? Whats the symptoms?" I told him and he said "Oh, I've got to take your appendix out. I'll do a call to set up the appendectomy and we'll take that out."
PL: Did he touch your stomach?
R: Yeah, hurt like a motherfucker. He asked if it hurt right here and if it was moving down and I said yes. He said, what happens is it starts at the top of your stomach, moves down and then over. Your appendix doesn't have nerve endings and your body doesn't know what to do, so it forces you to have a stomach ache.
PL: Mine just hurt at the bottom.
R: Yeah, yeah. He said that I got lucky because it started hurting because it burst.
PL: When I went to the emergency room, they told me to drink Peptol Bismol, and that night, I was just laying on the living room floor and my parents walked out and my dad took me to the hospital. (NOTE:I had back surgery two weeks after this interview. Surgery sucks.)
PL: Are there any bands, known or unknown, from Washington that we should know about?
B: There's a lot going on in Seattle. Its all over the place. I think everyone is Seattle is in a band.
R: Its more uncommon to find people who aren't in bands. All of our friends and people we don't even know are all in bands, and its actually a really good time for Seattle, as far as I'm concerned.
B: Minus the Bear is good, but I think everybody's heard of them. Then there's Blood Brothers and Pretty Girls Make Graves.
R: Playing Enemy.
B: Playing Enemy is good. Big Business. There's a lot of good stuff.
PL: Are you gonna vote in this upcoming election? (Sorry this is after the fact)
B: Yeah. Why wouldn't you vote?
PL: Do you guys have any final comments?
R: You should vote. And you shouldn't vote for Bush.
B: There you go.
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