Thursday, May 26, 2016

Interview with Snakewine members Ronny Konietzko And Sebastian Welsch

Snakewine is a FANTASTIC German hard & heavy band whose rock n' roll-infused debut album, "Serpent Kings", completely blew me away! Earlier this month I not only covered that must-have release, but one of the group's latest songs, "Brood Of Vipers". Both the album and the new single ROCK THE FUCK out of life itself and have made me a new believer in the full-tilt power that is Snakewine! You can read my coverage of these two cool releases by clicking on this link. For now though it is my extreme privilege to present an interview that I recently conducted with Snakewine members Ronny Konietzko (vox) and Sebastian Welsch (bass). I want to thank these two fine gentlemen for taking time out of their busy schedules to chat with us and I would like to encourage all of our readers to find out for themselves why I consider "Serpent Kings" to be the answer to my rock n' roll prayers! Enjoy!!

Andy-Up-front guys I would just like to say how much I love the sound of your band! It's like the perfect mixture of heavy rock, classic hard rock and dirty metal!!

Sebastian- Andy, thank you for the kind words. It means a lot to us! 

Andy-Was that you're goal all along or has your band evolved over time? I mean in regards to your stone cold killer and all!

Sebastion-On the subject of Snakewine as a band, our sound doesn’t follow any goals. And unlike everything else we do as a band, this sound kind of ‚happens‘. It is hard to find out the reasons behind, but to me, it’s because we are all die-hard musicians. It’s as simple as that. We live for every of those moments in the rehearsal room, for every mile on the road to a gig and for every scratch on a guitar and broken stick on stage. We don’t play a role when we write our songs and we don’t picture ourselves as ‚fans‘ of other great bands in rock history, but as a part of their community, their demise. It all comes back together that we are very close to have a pure and genuine development process within our songs and every note that’s played is there because it’s…meant to be. I think that our listeners feel this attitude towards our own music and value this the most. Most modern bands can’t grab their crowd on this level, the bands from the 80ies could. Why? Because they didn’t go out to sound like anyone else, but to be heard.

Andy-I couldn't agree more! So, with Snakewine how did it all come together?

Ronny-I got a quite simple answer for that: a big desperation about the today's music scene combined with a deep rooted "make it or break it" attitude. In a small region like ours it was just a matter of time that we had to cross the path of each other. The first incarnation (band) didn't work well because there was only Sebastian and me that fits together. Second incarnation fits a lot better, here you had Frank and me. And in the third and best of all you have Sebastian, Frank, Buddha & me. We all were our missing piece to complete that thing what you now know as Snakewine.

Andy-Well, I for one am glad to now know Snakewine! I mean "Serpent Kings" really blew me away!! The only thing is I can't help but feel as if I'm late to the party. How has the reaction been from fans and critics alike?

Sebastian: You aren’t. To be honest with you, ‚Serpent Kings’ is our very first step to where the spotlight is. We are right now blink behind the curtain, ready to go out. The intro is already running and the people are putting their drinks back on the table and heading to the stage, willing to listen, standing their expectantly. But it’s quite a few steps to take to get on stage, with the lights on us. When Frank will hit the first chords, you’ll get your party, I promise. But until this moment, we will have to work really, really hard, and most of this work won’t be related to the music itself. We will kick asses, but at first we have to kick our owns out of the dark.

Andy-That's a great response! I'm just going by your energetic new single here, but it sure does seem as if Snakewine is more revved-up than ever! What's the secret to your success? I mean how do you guys keep getting better and better when you were already perfect to begin with?

Sebastian-Your enthusiasm really blows me away!! The secret…eh, that's a tough one. Maybe it is a matter of self-respect. We are cocky. I always see people fail because of their mindsets. For us, there are no such questions like ‚Will we be able to do this?‘ or ‚Can we achieve it?‘ We don’t waste our time asking stupid questions so we don’t receive stupid answers that take our focus. The plan is simple: make the most of everything you do. You come out with an debut album? Make it count, don’t come up with first-try excuses. You are at a venue and there are only 2 people? Cool, they deserve it to be served the best way possible. Your sound guy fucks it up and you can’t hear yourself? Play the shit of that guitar and when it sounds off, it at least will look cool. That’s how you grow.

Andy-Nice. And since we're on the subject of new material anyway I might as well ask. Do you plan to release any other singles in the near future or is the next step something more...expanded?

Sebastian-On our road-map is our first video to ‚Mean Machine‘, which we currently focus on. In the second half of 2016 we will play a few gigs throughout Germany and begin writing (actually already did) new songs for a big release following in 2017. There is a chance you’ll see another EP released later this year, but we are not sure if it’s the right thing to do.

Andy-I hope you do! I mean release a new EP. But, let's keep moving on guys. On tape your music is simply kick ass so I would have to assume that you guys kick up a little bit of dirt when playing live. Is there such thing as a typical Snakewine show or is every gig a new excuse to cause as much mischief and mayhem as humanly possible?

Sebastian: Hahaha! Boy, we need space! In smaller locations we always put our big equipment box about 5 ft. in front of the stage to give us a little more room to play and jump around. We love to be within the crowd and go crazy with the people there, it sometimes reminds me of underground hardcore shows. Ronny screams from the top of his lungs, being on the ground, Frank jumps in the crowd and slides on his knees when the solo part of ‚Serpent Kings‘ begins and I throw this bass guitar into the drum-set when the encore fades out. This, my friend, is our approach to live music. Deeply connected with the fans, since rock’n’roll is nothing to only look at.

Andy-Fucking amen to that! Do you guys ever pull out the odd cover song or two when playing out?

Sebastian: No more. We fucked it up every time. The last cover song we played almost a year ago, called ‚Die Die my darling‘, a simple punk song but we just couldn’t rock it. Remember what I told you about we are not playing a role? We are not even able to!

Andy-I understand where your coming from with that. Has there been a favorite gig so far?

Sebastian-We once played a show on a small death metal festival. The people booed at us since the very first moment we got on stage to soundcheck, because they expected some volbeatish-rock’n’roll-thing and didn’t come to terms with this. As soon as the intro was over, we had a shitload of new fans. And I was like ‚yeah, suck it!!‘ Best moment for me on stage so far.

Andy-Awesome! New recruits are always a damn good thing! So, how about the near future? Will the band be playing a lot of upcoming shows or are you headed back to the studio?

Sebastian-More gigs, bigger gigs, better gigs. The video will hopefully open the doors of more exclusive venues and we get some more well-known bands interested in touring with us.

Andy-I really hope it works out for you guys. You guys deserve it! As we wrap things up where can our readers find out more about your group?

Sebastian: Facebook is our #1 channel. We are currently implementing a merch shop on our Facebook-page, go check it out!

Andy-Sweet! I've provide the link below. Now, I always let bands have the last word. That means the mic is all yours! Is there anything we missed that you might want to mention? Have a favorite story to tell about the band? Whatever it is now is your chance!

Sebastian-We are thinking about booking a US Tour in 2017 on our own. If there is anyone of your readers interested in working with us, we really appreciate that!

Ronny-Cheers  ;-)

Andy-That would be INSANE! Man alive, Snakewine here in the U.S.?  There is no way I would miss that!! And I would hope that our readers would jump at the chance as well. If there is any chance that you (our reader) could help the band out in that regard then by all means PLEASE drop Snakewine a line! Speaking of which, Snakewine can be found online by either heading to their Facebook page or by checking out their official website. If you haven't heard "Serpent Kings" for yourself then be sure to head here. And to the band thank you again for talking with us and for the music! Snakewine is REAL rock n' roll heavy metal for real everyday people and frankly it does not get any better than this!

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