Hi there. Congratulations to your great new album. Please describe the reactions to the CD so far.
Mark: The reaction has been amazing. It really has been surprising…we get a lot of feedback from people on myspace; when they hear us or buy the album they add us as friends and let me know what they think of it. Frankly some of the comments have been rather grandiose, but that is much appreciated and very encouraging.
What was the motivation for your new start in making music?
Matt: I think for me, it was the chance for me personally to hear the old material the way it should be played and recorded. After listening to a cassette 4-track demo for 15 years with its limitations, you always want to hear it fully realized. I felt the material would stand up because even with those limitations I liked listening to the cassette to this day and I was very excited to be in the position to produce it, since I was not into recording when we were active the first time around. Once we got up and going again, the creative juices started flowing for Mark and he wrote the new tunes on the record fairly quickly (Mental Models and Underwater). Eric was then inspired by Mental Models and wrote Via/Penny Dreadful in response.
Back to the new CD. How would you describe the music on "Blood"?
Matt: I'd say it's varied, which to me is a positive thing. I think many bands focus their "sound" too much and it ends up sounding too similar. That said, You could say that we threw Black Sabbath, Melvins, Pink Floyd, My Bloody Valentine and Velvet Underground in a blender and this is the juice that came out.
Which one is your favorite song from the album and why?
Matt: Man, its' really hard to narrow it down. There are songs I really like from a recording and playing perspective (Relief) and songs that I just like listening to because I wasn't as involved in them from an arrangement and playing point of view and can still listen objectively, like Mental Models. If I had to pick one though, I'd say Committed. It's always been one of my favorites that Mark wrote, a perfect fuzzy, fucked up, heavy pop song. If you don't bob your head to that riff, you need to go listen to Celine Dion or something, because you are not into rocking out.
Are there some lyrics that are special to you? Tell us something about them.
Matt: I think I've told Mark this before, but there's a line in Relief: "Let's conjure up some thunderheads and watch the numbers change". I always thought that was the most eloquent way of saying "let's go get stoned and waste some time" that I've ever heard. He really has some great lines in that tune.
What are your musical influences in your opinion?
Matt: As they relate to the band, I think we've already mentioned some, but also early Monster Magnet, QOTSA, Black Flag, The Cream, Zepplin... As a bass player and producer John Paul Jones is a huge hero of mine, that guy is just amazing on all levels.
Is there anything you would do in a different way if you could start your career all over again?
Matt: start earlier and tour when we were young somehow! Buy a tube amp from the very beginning instead of the crap that you always buy when you're young. Get quality stuff from the start and you'll sound better and not have any excuses. Buy vintage gear in 1990 and keep it until now- I'd be a millionaire.
What about the American Stoner and Doom Metal Scene in general? Do you know some bands, and if so, is there friendship, rivalry or more or less nothing special?
Matt: We were out of the scene so long that we're just now meeting people through myspace and such. Stoner and Doom didn't exist as genres when we were playing the first time, but there were the bands that you know about now. Fu Manchu and Nebula have been really cool to us since the old days. I worked quite a bit on the new Nebula record "Heavy Psych" at my studio. I know Mark's made some really great friends through Myspace. The internet is just a wonderful thing in that regard. We didn't know anyone the first time around because we were based in Fresno and just removed from any kind of scene, and we didn't get out much, but now people are coming out of the woodwork though the internet, it's great!
How important is it for you to play live on stage?
Matt: God, I miss it tremendously. We're trying to get some shows now and do some short tours. It's harder once you have a family and you're older and have responsibilities. But the kind of music we play, we are just dying to get out there and feel the sheer power and volume of a live performance. Nothing beats getting your pantlegs moving in the breeze of your cabinets!
If you could choose freely: Where would be the venue for the next Snail concert and who would be on the running order?
Matt: Oh God, the cream in your pants gig?! Hmmm. For me, it would be a long concert! OK, I'll shoot for the stars here... Fu Manchu with the In Search Of lineup, playing that record front to back. Then...QOTSA with Nick and Dave Grohl on drums. Followed by us and and then Black Sabbath would close the show. At the Fillmore in San Francisco. OK, beat that Mark!
Please tell us something about further Live activities.
Mark: Back in the day we were known for the audience mayhem when we played somewhere. By mayhem I mean everyone would be so drunk and fucked up they would often miss seeing us because they were passed out before we went onstage! After show parties ended up at our friend’s parent’s house where we would get naked and go swimming. I’m looking forward to seeing what sort of spectacle we can create this time around.
We are looking forward seeing you in Germany. Best whishes to you all. Any finishing words?
Matt: Thank you to the fans for all the encouragement! We want to play for all of you, we hope we get the opportunity.