If you’ve been in any way involved in the buzzing music scene in Yeovil and the surrounding areas, you’ll have seen 4 piece glam rock band Snakebyte perform their high energy set of 80s and 90s rock covers.
From headlining stages at Home Farm Festival, and supporting Reef, to performing at Beer Festivals, and various performances at Westlands (just to name a few).
Snakebyte have been the leading band in the area for the previous several years, and as July 2022 drew to a close, the 4 lads announced they’d be taking a step back, and closing a metaphorical door on Snakebyte. on Saturday 27th August, the band played their final show at The Bell, Yeovil to a crowd full of rock fans, with support from the equally talented Electric Peach.
With this news, we at Antix felt we had to get to know the people behind the band; finding out the way the band started, learning about their journey, and what the future holds for 4 extraordinarily talented individuals.
Frazer; Hey lads! So firstly, I’ve got to say I was personally saddened by the news you’re separating. Over the years we’ve done a lot of gigs together, and the scene simply won’t be the same without you.
Snakebyte: It’s been the best 10 years, we are proud of everything we’ve achieved and it’s just the right time to call it a day.
Frazer: So let’s go way back; you guys have been in many different bands, including Black River Sinners, (the band I can never spell - Apherium? Plus others I’ve missed?). Who came up with the idea of a glam rock band? And when did you guys start Snakebyte?
Snakebyte: So Vice (Cal) & Hanson (Pete) love the 80s glam rock scene, and in college bonded over it and wanted to put together something. They asked Laz and Storm E. Weathers (Ash) if they wanted to get involved and they did and we started rehearsing. But never pressed it until college was done, Vice & Hanson then got the boys together and Snakebyte was born. We formed in 2012.
Frazer; I think a lot of people will be wondering where the name Snakebyte came from - it’s one of those things I feel I should know, but don’t. So, why Snakebyte?
Snakebyte: We wanted something that had a bite to it and was linked to an animal. We just all came up with it and then switched it up by adding a ‘Y’ to it.
Frazer; Did you ever think Snakebyte would take off and become the success when you first started the band?
Snakebyte; Our following and amazing gigs have been as much luck as they have been earned. We’ve been ambitious from day 1 and tried to do things no other local band has and we always committed to that.
Frazer; looking back, there must be some stand-out highlights for you, and everyone who’s been a supporter will have specific memories. I think my stand out memory of you lads was Yeovil town centre for a Christmas light switch on, which moments before you came on stage was a calm atmosphere, and the moment you started, Cal is in the crowd on the benches, the crowd is going wild, and it was just crazy scenes. Watching from a distance soaking it all in was one of those “wow” moments of my music career so far. So individually, what’s your stand out moments - only allowed one!
Snakebyte: My highlight could be any festival slot really, but if I had to pick only one it would have to be our first Lloyd Lounge. Arriving to an acoustic tent with 5 people in it and finishing our encore with people screaming as far as we could see. That’s the gig that put us on the map and made me fall in love with festival gigs.
Another has to be our set at this years Home Farm Fest. After two years without it due to Covid, I felt like there was such a feeling of anticipation and excitement and getting back on that stage in front of that crowd again was truly exhilarating.
Frazer; so to keep things real, not every gig would have been standout - there must have been at least one which didn’t quite work out, which probably brought you closer as friends and as band mates. You don’t have to name names or give too much detail, but tell us, were there low points in being in Snakebyte / or not so positive experiences?
Laz: We've played a few private events where I really don't think our vibe was expected nor appreciated! But honestly, we've always tried to enjoy ourselves despite any set backs. I wouldn't say we've ever truly had a "low point".
Frazer; You guys have been a covers band for a long time, and between you, you have everything you need to become an original band; for example, Larry, you produce and mix other’s recordings, Cal you make music videos, and you’re all very competent musicians and songwriters. Is there one last little surprise in store before you close the doors on Snakebyte? If not, could there be one?
Snakebyte; we did start writing a couple of songs but never found the time to finish them and we wasn’t to bothered about finishing them as Snakebyte wasn’t an originals band.
Well, never say never! There was once a time we began writing Snakebyte originals, but covers bands and originals bands are worlds apart. It’s a whole new commitment. We love writing together though, even if no one besides us ever heard it.
Frazer; One thing I’ve noticed with Snakebyte is that you guys have resonated with such a wide audience; you have young children in the front row, or on their parents shoulders, and you have the older generation also loving what you do. Do you guys have anything to say to the fans?
I think we are incredibly lucky to have enjoyed the success we have during our time as a band, and every one of those successes we owe to our fans who have been endlessly supportive. Without them we wouldn't have had the opportunities we have had and I don't think we could ever thank them enough.
Frazer; That pretty much sums up our interview today, but I’d like to wish all 4 of you lads the very best, and thank you so much for the wicked nights of musical entertainment. I think I speak on behalf of a huge number of music fans and say you will be massively missed in the local scene!
Snakebyte: Thank you for putting your time into letting us express our gratitude and reflect on our time as a band!
Thanks Snakebyte for the Good Times! #SnakeByteGoodTime
There’s a real sense of a rush of new music coming from the South West independent music scene, and we’re all about supporting artists in the area!
Today, we talk to ZANII, a Somerset based music producer, who in 2022 has released an 11 track album called ‘Grab Your Skin, Love Your Life’.
Frazer Mitchell; Hi ZANII, thanks a lot for agreeing to do an interview with Antix Music Network today, I hope you’re keeping well?
ZANII: All good! My life is incredibly crazy right now! I am sofa surfing and making music remotely and I am insanely grateful for those around me.
Frazer; First of all, I’ve got to say, we get a lot of emails with a lot of music attached, and it’s all very varied, however, not many albums we get sent start with something that sounds like an advert, and that go in many different directions in regards to music. Who are your influences for this album?
ZANII: I deleted all my social media and killed my public image for 2 years. I had no intentions of ever doing music again after constant obsessions with figuring out who I am and worrying about being a bad person and stuff, I was basically just in no place to create. Throughout these years I was obsessed with this artwork that Hien Anh Nguyen sent me and was constantly saying “grab your skin, love your life” while looking at it and it got me back into thinking creatively. So it got me really thinking about my worries and who we all are and the masks we wear or even deeper and the skins we wear. That it where it all came from.
Frazer; So what made you decide to do an album? An album of 11 tracks is no easy project; where did you do most of your recording? Is it all self produced?
ZANII; At the beginning of lockdown before I decided to give up everything I went into panic mode with what to do and just made loads of music which I recorded in my bedroom (I make all my music this way) and then when I came back to thinking creatively I had made a few pieces and after sitting down and gathering idea I lost and forgot about I had realised there was good stuff there (some of it I forgot how I made it) and it all actually fit the narrative of the album so I finished it up. The entire album is produced by Snibbles and myself. He does the main production and I help guide it to where I want, He is my instrument.
Frazer; So what does the future hold for you as an artist? Is this something you can see yourself performing to crowds at festivals?
ZANII; I released an album in the year the world was catching up with 3 years of booked gigs so coming in late is an understatement however I would love to perform some more festivals next year. I have a number of shows for the end of this year already booked and some cool stuff happening beyond that.
Frazer; Is there another album in the pipeline? Or perhaps an EP or a couple of singles? What’s next for you?
ZANII; I have hundreds of songs I just don’t know when they will get used. I do not write a song then record it I just listen to bits of music and throw paint at the wall. All my stuff is in the moment and never planned so I often have a million pieces of music I can work with at one time however I am planning on being consistent and putting out stuff at some point however I will first be taking this album around and only with the arts being my number 1 priority
Frazer; Thanks a lot for sending in your album ‘Grab Your Skin, Love Your Life’ and best of luck with it, and your future in music!
#GetInvolved and listen here.
In 2021, Jack Saunders came to the Antix Recording Studio in Weymouth and recorded his second single “My Mistake”, which went on to receive over 40,000 streams on Spotify.
In between times, Jack Saunders has spent the summer of 2022 performing around the South West, notably Flashback Festival, and supporting Dave Woan at his album launch party in The Emporium.
Today, we’re promoting his third single, also recorded with Antix Music Network, called “Next To You”.
Frazer; Hey Jack, seems weird doing an interview like this as we chat a lot on messenger! How excited are you to release Next To You?
Jack Saunders; Hey Frazer, yeah right It feels weird talking so formally now! But obviously very excited to be back talking to you! I can’t begin to describe how excited I am for people to hear “Next To You”; I think when you’re promoting a song that’s 30 days from release, you don’t really feel that much excitement. But now that it’s out, it feels like Christmas!
Frazer; From a production side of things, this felt quite similar to My Mistake, in terms of structure, and instruments. Did you draw influence from your second single with this one, or where there more influences thrown in? How did this song come about?
Jack; Yeah definitely, I think it was very similar to the second single in the sense of going into the studio with not many ideas for the song apart from the odd bit here and there; and then once you start to get into the swing of things, you get this big wave of creativity and soon it’s all about just putting the pieces of the jigsaw together! “My Mistake” was kind of like a display of what type of songs you can expect to hear from me, and “Next To You” was just a continuation of that.
It was also a chance to show my evolution as a songwriter in a way. “My Mistake” was written when I was 18/19 where as “Next To You” was written this year at age 23. I usually write songs in the notes section of my phone; however I downloaded this app called demo, which helped me structure the song a bit more and to be honest it probably played a part in the song being written in 20 minutes! I drew some inspiration towards the end, from a song called “Dani California”. There’s a guitar harmony in there that I’ve always wanted to replicate in my own way, and that’s what I did in the last chorus of “Next To You”, and I think it does a good job of building up that chorus and ending it with a bang!!
Frazer; So let’s take a step back to your second single My Mistake. 40,000 views. That’s an incredible achievement. Are you feeling the pressure with your third single?
Jack; Absolutely, and I’m so so proud of what the song has achieved! I recall saying to you that it was going to be big, but I don’t think any of us could have predicted it would be quite that big! In regard to “Next To You”; I would love it to be bigger than my previous release, however I’m proud of what I’ve created and I personally feel like it’s a step forward for me regardless if it gets 10 views or 10,000. Obviously I would LOVE for it to be the latter, but as long as people enjoy the song then that’s all what matters to me.
Frazer; So what’s the future for you as an artist - 3 singles in, and we’re drawing to towards the end of the festival gigging season. What does 2023 hold for you?
Jack; The plan is to FINALLY release this long awaited album that I’ve been teasing! The original plan was an E.P, but I’ve got so many songs in my catalogue that I think It would be more fun to release them all at once! So definitely an album, hopefully ticking off more venues on my musical bucket list and mainly just making sure all of my shows in 2023 are bigger and better than any of my shows from 2022.
Frazer; Best of luck Jack, I hope your next single is as much of a success, and hope to see you in the studio again soon!
Jack; You can expect to see me again in the near future! Thank you for all your amazing hard work again Frazer, and thank you to everyone who continues to support me! See you all soon! 💙
Frazer Mitchell - Producer, DJ, and Events Coordinator at Antix Music Network