Scotland has a habit of producing some of the best bands the UK has to offer – Biffy Clyro, Franz Ferdinand, Chvrches and The View to name just a few. The Scottish music scene is quite incredible, and it’s the fans that make it that way as much as it is the artists.
Now, there is a new band on the block. After selling out the iconic King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow and taking their native country by storm, West Lothian indie four-piece The Snuts are on the brink of something very special. 2017 saw the band support The View, release their debut EP and play numerous critically-acclaimed gigs.
The Matador EP followed the hit single ‘Glasgow’, and the band have managed to attract the masses to gigs through word-of-mouth rather than heavy promotion. The Snuts do their talking on stage, so could 2018 be the year the boys conquer the rest of the UK? We caught up with lead singer, Jack Cochrane, to find out more.
For anybody who hasn’t heard of The Snuts, can you explain a bit more about the band?
“Our band is made up of four best pals from school. We started playing guitar together a few years ago and it just went from there, with the old-school band set-up. I’ve always been writing songs and playing at parties but I never really took it to seriously initially.
“We started recording a few tracks in somebody’s bedroom and we thought, hang on a minute, this is good and people might like this. We played a few gigs in Scotland and it went really well so we just kept going from there really.”
You supported The View in 2017. That must have been a big moment for you, were they an influence musically?
“Yes, we supported them on two dates and it was just perfect. We could probably play their albums back to back so it was a big deal getting those support slots. The crowds were big and people were singing along to our songs, which was great.
“We were always inspired by the likes of The View, The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys – the sort of working class indie bands. All of our members are into different stuff, so we’re also big on genres like Hip Hop. We do try to use our influences but steer away from them at the same time. We want to be our own band.”
And selling out King Tut’s must have felt great?
“We supported Lewis Capaldi there in January last year and we just thought straight afterwards that we wanted to sell this place out for ourselves. We worked towards it all year but had it kept under wraps. The tickets sold out really quickly and the gig went perfectly. We had worked so hard for that moment, so with everything going to plan we couldn’t have asked for more.”
What is it about playing in Scotland that makes it so enjoyable for bands?
“It’s the passion for live music up here. It’s one of the big reasons we started a band in the first place. For us, it’s about being on the other side of that barrier, soaking up the atmospheres inside Scottish venues. We went to loads of gigs when we were younger, so it’s nice to be on the stage now.”
Obviously you are popular in Scotland, but how have you found playing gigs in other areas of the UK?
“We played Kendal Calling last year, that was our first ever festival. It was quite unexpected in a way, but it went great. We were first on stage on the Sunday and the tent was full. Off the back of that booking we played in Manchester for Off The Record. It seems to work well in the north of England and we’ve got more stuff in the calendar for this year.
“We feel like people can connect with our music. We’ve got a few more dates lined up for 2018 which we will start announcing after the tour, but we’re trying not to overplay. We want to make the gigs important rather than playing for the sake of it, week in week out.”
‘The Matador’ was released last year. Can you tell us a bit about the EP and how well it was received?
“It was something we always planned to do. A lot of our favourite artists started off with an EP. Most bands seemed to be fixed on creating singles and writing three-minute songs, pushing for radio play. The point of the EP was to let people know what we were about.
“It was self-produced and recorded in our rehearsal studio. We were there day and night until we had something we were proud of. The plan was that the EP would give us a bit more of a setlist. People would know four songs at the very least and it allows them to be more involved rather than knowing just one or two singles.
“As soon as we brought out the EP we had no bother with people reacting to the songs. We’re almost getting too used to it now in a way. People sing the songs back to us, so I hope that will be the same in other areas too. We are trying not to over-promote ourselves and let the music and hype promote itself.”
Looking back at the end of the year, what would you like to say you have achieved in 2018?
“The big thing for us this year is festivals, so we want to get a couple under our belt at least. Since we were 14 we’ve been big into the festival scene, so if we could get on the bill at some middle to big festivals it would be a dream come true. I’ve got some in mind but i don’t want to jinx it.
“Aside from that, we’re pretty keen on moving towards the north of England, playing in new cities and new venues. There is a scene in Manchester and Leeds where our music will work and stand out. That’s where we want to be, pushing the boundaries. We want to to be selling out some bigger, more ambitious gigs.
“We just need to make sure we work hard on the music, keep improving our sound and live shows, and pick up some more fans along the way. We try to make our music without gimmicks, no fancy dress code on stage, playing a style that will appeal to a mass audience.
“We don’t agree with pigeonholing and playing to a select few who feel like they deserve it more. Music is for everybody and we want to include as many people as we can at our live shows.”
2018 promises to be a big year for The Snuts. Check out the incredible ‘Glasgow’ below.