Snayx: “People think we’re wasters just dossing about…”

Brighton's finest on politics, Gorillaz and sushi

Snayx: “People think we’re wasters just dossing about…”

By Katherine Allvey

Mar 13, 2024 11:00

Snayx have Better Days ahead in 2024, or so the title of their new EP promises. As one of the UK’s most electrifying new bands, usually mentioned in the same breath as Nova Twins and Kid Kapichi, the Brighton-based trio mash together styles like there’s no tomorrow, but somehow they’re surprised by their own meteoric rise. “To have a record actually physical and in store is just a really surreal moment for me,” says vocalist Charlie Herridge. “My mate works at Rough Trade…,” bassist Ollie Horner chimes in. He’s softer spoken and more serious than the exuberant Herridge, but equally as impressed with the release of ‘Better Days’, “…and she sent me a video of her holding our record, and I was like…” His eyes widen in mock surprise. “That’s a moment, a real moment,” laughs Herridge.

Snayx’s music is difficult to define with specific genre labels, though there’s a definite influence from one of Britpop’s heroes in there. Herridge turns to Horner with a broad grin when he’s asked about it. “Are we massive fans of Damon Albarn and the Gorillaz, Ollie?” “Hell yeah,” Horner responds instantly. “As if ‘King’ didn’t give it away,” Herridge continues, referring to the third track on ‘Better Days’. Albarn’s been a long term influence on the members of Snayx, as Horner elaborates. “I first came across him Gorillaz when I was a kid. That was my introduction to Damon. I didn’t know it was Damon, it was a cartoon character but yeah, those tunes just stuck with me forever and influenced me from the beginning.” Herridge agrees. “When I was a kid, and hearing ‘Dirty Harry’ and that, I was thinking [they were] bangers all the time. There’s a lot of crossover as well, a lot of electronic influences, but you can still have melody and more traditional song structures. Its just a little bit experimental but not too out there.”  

By Snayx’s standards, the Albarn-influenced ‘King’ a very slow and thoughtful song, but one that the band fell in love with quickly. “I remember when we went to this studio to do some pre-production with Jamie [Hall] from Tigercub,” Herridge shares, “and we were like ‘we’ve got this idea, it’s a little bit different, we’ve never tried a slower song before but it’s still got attitude, it’s still got a bit of swagger to it’, and it was just the bass and vocals at the time. Jamie recorded it quickly, threw a mic in the practice room so he take it and sort of live with it to see what production ideas came to mind. I think he sent us over something that same night. It was a mini demo of the tune, and he’d taken the vocal melody I’d been singing in the room  and transposed it to the synth. I’d been banging on about these electronic elements to him. I just remember me and Ollie going ‘this is amazing, this is one of our favourite things we’ve ever worked on’. It was just this excitement! I remember you running over to play it on your phone at Green Door Store…”

The legendary Brighton venue is Snayx’s second home, and Horner loved what he heard. “I ran over to our mates outside the pub like ‘this is the best thing we’ve ever done’. That synth on the demo, we used that on the final song.” Herridge remembers their attempts to edit and improve the song. “We tried redoing it in the studio different ways, but the quick one done on the laptop was the best, and we literally just copied and pasted it over to the final version. It’s just a song with so much passion in the way it evolves, and I love how when we reach the climax in the last chorus where it just gets a bit heavier. It just says so much in this raw way. I’m so connected to it”. Drummer Laney Loops heard ‘King’ a little later but was equally as impressed. “I remember when they first showed it to me, I was singing it in my head for days after,” she recalls, “it was so catchy. I was really excited to play drums on it as well. It’s got quite a slow tempo, and I don’t usually do that, and I thought ‘ah, this could be fun’. I think that’s probably my favourite [on the EP].”

Snayx: “People think we’re wasters just dossing about…”

‘King’ fits perfectly into Snayx’s musical trajectory, according to Herridge. “I think [Better Days] is an evolution. We really wanted to experiment with those sort of electronic things that we were really in love with, and we really wanted to play with what Snayx could be. We could have fun with this record! All of the songs on this record have themes and motifs and fit together, and there are parts throughout that were just sort of tying them together, but each one on its own is exploring a bit of new territory for us. That’s why we thought it would be nice to put them together on one EP. We thought it was different enough that we didn’t want to call it ‘Weaponised Youth Part Two’. It deserved to be its own thing and jumped the queue almost. We’re looking to explore those electronic sounds, with a little bit more melody in there, that’s what we’re looking for. You can do the shouty punk stuff all day long, and it works, and it’s part of our sound. It’s definitely part of where we’ve come from. But where can we take this? It’s exciting for us to try these things.”

While it’s true that chaotic punkish beats and chunky stomping baselines almost characterise the Snayx sound, there’s also a sense of honesty throughout all of their last five years of music. It’s arguably this confessional quality in their lyrics which connects them to their fans, which Herridge reveals as autobiographical. “A lot of [‘Better Days’]…there were some times last year when I felt really under it. I used that, I felt quite disillusioned with a lot of things, and I put a lot of that into it when I was still venting my frustration at these current times. There’s a lot of personal stuff in there, especially in ‘King’. There’s a lot of coping mechanisms in there, trying to move out of that stress and anxiety.” He sighs forcefully, pushing out his frustration through his breath.

“With ‘Concrete’, it’s about that whole ‘you’ve got to go to work nine to five’ and have that perfect little life, ‘don’t stick your head up’ and that sort of thing. With ‘Sink Or Swim’ it was that topic again, where you’re being told if you’re fitting this particular mould with what society wants you to be. One thing I was thinking about when I was writing that song was in Lockdown, with Covid, Rishi Sunak, before he was Prime Minister, was saying that people needed to ‘re-skill’ if you were creative, like there was no room for supporting the arts or creative people. You felt like this spare part, that you didn’t really belong unless you did maths and finance.” Herridge emphasises the first letter in ‘maths’ and ‘finance’, almost satirising the importance that the government placed on these subjects, “…or a ‘job that mattered’ to them. Actually, the creative arts provides a massive part of the economy…” “Fuck yeah,” interjects Horner, listening intently to his bandmate. Herridge continues. “…so it seemed very narrow minded, when you’re told that you don’t really matter. [Better Days] speaks for the whole industry, when you’re being told  what you’re doing isn’t what’s expected. It’s embracing that tagline where people think we’re wasters just dossing about, but actually we are real people trying to make a living and do things slightly differently.”

The ‘political band’ label doesn’t quite fit Snayx snugly, but there’s a strong undercurrent of social justice running though all of their songs. “I think we’re quite political in what we’re trying to say and in our messages,” explains Herridge. “But I think we’re more venting our discontent with how things are. My thing is that I want music to mean something and also be fun. When people come and see us, I want people to have a good time, I want them to have a communal release: we’re all gonna get together, we’re all in the pit, we’re all gonna bounce around, get it out your system, everyone’s feeling the same way… it’s just that moment. That’s what it’s all about for me.”

That said, they are sharing a stage with one of the UK’s more polarising political figures int he near future. “We’ve got a lovely gig with Jeremy Corbin in March,” says Horner, poker faced, “…he’s opening for us in Margate…” Herridge and Loops erupt into giggles at this image before Horner corrects himself. “Nah, we’re part of a campaign called ‘Music For The Many’ to put pressure on the government. Grassroots venues have taken quite a hit over the pandemic. They’re vital and we can’t lose them. As many as one a week are closing and Jeremy is making a bit of pressure on the government to save our venues.” Herridge nods. “It’s something we’ve been passionate about. At Great Escape in 2022 we played a special set for the Music Venue Trust and we’re big advocates for that. We really wouldn’t be in a band if it wasn’t for grassroots music venues. We only came up with being in a band through going to shows every night and supporting the scene. If I had to go to arenas and big venues to see bands every night, I would probably go to see so much less music.”

He’s absolutely correct that their start in live music came through live music. Or, more precisely, through a night out going to see Kid Kapichi perform live. “At the Green Door Store, they did a headline,” Horner explains casually. “I said ‘Charlie, let’s go check out this band’. We got chatting, they said ‘come play a gig’. And that was our very first gig in 2019.” Herridge smiles at the memory. “We’re just there at this first gig with Kid Kapichi, just trying to nervously play, and there’s Nova Twins just stood there at the side. And we’re like ‘eh?’” He cocks his head in confusion. “We were just trying to play our first gig as a two piece…”

Of course, they are now no longer a duo since Loops joined as a full time drummer, and expanding the band also came about through live gigs. “It’s something that probably should have happened sooner,” explains Herridge. “Laney’s probably been the most ideal fit. We’ve worked with other session drummers before, and we’d been looking for the right one for so long! Ollie knows how picky I can be! They’ve gotta be able to do this, they’ve gotta give this energy… I had a real particular idea of how I wanted the drummer to play and how I wanted the energy to be put out. The session drummers we worked with were all amazing, but you know when you watch a band and you know its a session drummer? I was watching videos back, and it feels weird. We saw Laney up in Sheffield one time, and you were playing with another band on the same bill.” He turns to Loops, and she nods.

“I remember watching and I was just nudging Ollie the whole time – that’s our drummer! I have to ask if she’ll do some session work! I came up to you after and was like ‘do you do any session work?’ And you were like ‘no’, and I was like ‘would you be open to trying it?’ And we got you down to Brighton for a few rehearsals and a couple of little gigs, and it was very quickly apparent that we didn’t wanna use anyone else. So last year we said ‘let’s make it official’.” “You’re a snake!” Horner interjects gleefully. “Took you to a sushi restaurant and that was it,” Herridge jokes. Loops laughs. She’s very reserved, which is surprising considering the ferocity of her drumming. “It was lovely sushi, that was what sold it! I live in Brighton now as well, my whole life has changed.” 

Snayx have a busy year ahead of them, including venturing to Poland and hitting the stage at 2000 Trees in July. Herridge is optimistic about the next steps for the band. “There’s a lot more exciting things on the horizon. We’re back in the studio, we can’t reveal anything more than that. We’re really exploring again and taking the ‘Snayx sound’ to the next level, so keep your eyes peeled for this year,” he enthuses. If their next releases are anything like ‘Better Days’, they’ll be entering new territory, and we can only look forward to more vital, electronic, genre-smashing tunes. 


Snayx’s new EP ‘Better Days’ is out now.