Silver Snakes sat down to give us insight on their debut album “Pictures Of A Floating World.” You can check it out below.
New Light -
This was the first song that I had written under the name “Silver Snakes” with the intention of it becoming a real band.
It was the first thing we worked on at our first band practice and we knew that it would definitely have the be the opening song for our debut album. The lyrics were inspired by a series of events in 2009 that led me to question the people i was surrounding myself with. I made resolutions every year to cut the negative out of my life but somehow I kept ending up in a cycle of bad relationships and clashing ideals. The big riff at the end was only supposed to be a temporary thing until we came up with something bigger but somewhere along the way we decided to keep it. I’m glad we did. The 2 drum hits at the very end of the song were put there as a transition into another song which didn’t make it on the album.
Lungs And Lanters -
An old friend sent me a demo of a song I wrote, recorded (and lost) in 2005 of a song entitled “Gold Pan”. Nothing ever came of that song/demo so after showing it to the dudes we decided that the chorus was something that we could definitely write around. We wanted to give the verses some breathing room on this one to really let the bass and vocal melodies interact with each other and I’m stoked with how it turned out. The effect on the vocals was inspired by the song “The Hate I Wont Commit” by Land Of Talk. We were having a lot of trouble with finishing the song since we had this heavy part in mind but couldn’t really find a way to place my vocals in the mix. I called up Drew Wilkinson from the band Run With The Hunted and told him that I wanted him to sing on that part. He came out to my studio in LA and nailed it within a few minutes. Lyrically, The song deals with 2 friends that once had everything in common but could no longer agree on anything. They explain to each other why he/she chose the path they’re on and why they felt their choice suited them. The line “No hiding that we were all ‘hook, line and sinker’ from the start” refers to the naivety we all posses as children.
Echo Eyes -
This was another older song that i had written a few years ago. It fit in perfectly with what the band was going for on this record so we decided to mess with the arrangement and vocals a bit before hitting the studio. The riff at the end was inspired 50/50 by Cave In and Snapcase. We cut the guitars and bass from the final section and just left in the drums that were recorded from a microphone we had sitting outside the studio in Lake Arrowhead, CA. You can hear birds chirping and a few people talking out on the deck next to the mic. As far as lyrics go, This song was inspired by someone I spent most of my summer with in 2010. We had different outlooks on life but somehow got along wonderfully. Most of our conversations would take place during aimless drives while listening to one of our favorite songs, “An Echo In” by The Sea And Cake.
Rebuild us -
This was the first song that we released as a new band in late 2010 before playing our first show. We wanted to write a catchy rock song that wasn’t dumbed down or boring to play. We also wanted to make the lyrics very easy to understand in the hopes that it’s pop structure might get a message through to unsuspecting listeners. “Rebuild Us” is about the frustrations that I associate with day to day routine. We all have the ability to do great things but are often forced into a general mold. It works for some people I guess, but there is no reason why we shouldn’t question what we’re taught by our Teachers, Parents, Religious figures, Government etc.
I Am The Flood -
This was the last song we wrote for “Pictures Of A Floating World”. We came up with the basic parts at practice and I recorded a very rough demo on garage band the next day. Daniel wasn’t around for that last rehearsal so I came up with a few simple drum parts on the demo. I emailed him the track and he listened to it on repeat during his 2 hour drive to the studio a few days later. He added so many awesome fills and transitions to the boring drum parts I had played. We got the drum track done in 2 takes and then layered another drum track over the last few measures in attempt to make things super chaotic before the transition into track 6. Mike came up with an awesome bass line for this song and we had a great time watching him play it in the studio. My favorite part of the song is at 1:18 when 2 guitars feedback in harmony (with an Ebow). I had gotten this idea from the Smashing Pumpkins song “Mayonaise”. It took around 30 minutes to record and it last’s for under 1 second. This was the last song I recorded vocals for since it took me so damn long to get the lyrics and melody right. I had a lot of space to fill but luckily I had a lot to say. The song touches a bit on my perception of the music industry. A lot of bands and artists become puppets throughout their careers and it disgusts me. Money is the root of all evil and I really respect those who refuse to let it alter their values.
Act I : Sevilla The Soothsayer -
I always wanted to incorporate the chord progressions of traditional Tango music into a rock song and this was our take at it. A lot of thought went into the bass line for this one and I’m stoked with the end result. I love hearing the notes distort whenever we play this one live. I would say that the lyrics to this song are the most personal on the record. They are about a conversation between myself in 2011 and myself in the years prior. Looking back at how I functioned and how selfish I could be was a rude awakening that I really wanted to capture. The outro of the song was actually the basis of everything. I played guitar and sang that part live at my studio while tapping my foot on a wooden plank below the single microphone we had set up. I recorded that part on my own so you can hear the control room door shutting and me walking over to pick up the acoustic guitar. The final lyrics of the song are basically the end of the story. I killed off who I used to be.
Dear Midnight -
We had a bulk of the parts for this song completed after a 2 hour practice and I had a melody in mind soon after. I was reading a book called “The Club Dumas” which is where I got the inspiration for the line “Good evening eyes, go steady”. The song is about a girl who moves to a new town and doesn’t seem to fit in. As a free-thinking, “black sheep” of sorts she gradually decides to throw all convictions out the window in an attempt to blend in with her surroundings. I’d say it’s a sad yet realistic situation. This was my favorite song to record as far as guitar tracking goes. I used an awesome Fender Jazzmaster for all the verses and I love the sounds we got out of it.
Mike and I showed up to practice a bit early one day and were sitting in his car talking about the record we were preparing to make. I pulled out an acoustic guitar and played for him a few parts I had come up with earlier that day but was unhappy with. He assured me that there was potential in the parts and once i heard the bass line he had written for the verse I was sold. We worked on the chorus for a long time, even while we were tracking the drums for it in the studio. It also took a while to get the vocals right because I was trying to hold some notes out of my range for way too long. We decided to cut them in half and add a harmony beneath them to bring it all together. The guitar solo was written in the studio much to the dismay of Steve and Roger (producer/engineer) I believe Steve said “Right now the song is straddling the line between cool indie rock and cheesy 90′s alt rock”. His comment further motivated me to “Pearl Jam” the shit out of the solo. We’re 90′s kids after all.
Let Down Your Anchor -
I had demoed this song on my own in late 2010. I was worried that it was a bit too short and simple but we just rolled with it. Not much changed between the original demo and the final product except for the overall vibe on drums. You could say this is the “love song” of the record but live we tend to play it heavier than any of the other tracks. Ever ask someone you care about “what’s wrong?” only to get back a sarcastic “I’m fine” ? That pretty much sums it up.
Act II : An Evolution In Movement -
This was another song that we had written in our first month of being a band. We had a lot of fun layering each bit of it together on the verses. A simple yet driving drum part, a very straight forward bass line, and guitars that would ring out over the foundation of it all. The vocals came together pretty easily for everything aside from the chorus which Mike came up with months later. We decided on this as the last song on the album because of the lyrical content. It’s about someone who’s fed up with just sitting around, feeling helpless against a world that expects him/her to conform to it’s expectations. The line “The television’s on, It tells us where we all belong” is reality. Biased news, The latest trends, The good guys, The bad guys..etc. It’s time we all started to think for ourselves.