F the Snykes

Surf-punk trio on self-promotion and the vans Battle of the Bands

Surf-punk trio the Snykes aren’t shy about self-promotion or afraid of haters — that propaganda doesn’t work on them.
  • Surf-punk trio the Snykes aren’t shy about self-promotion or afraid of haters — that propaganda doesn’t work on them.

The winner of Friday night’s Battle of the Bands at Soma wins a slot in this year’s San Diego Warped Tour show, August 5, in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot. The pop-punk Snykes are one of six area bands that will be battling for that slot.

Past Event

Vans Warped Tour 2015

  • Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • SDCCU Stadium, 9449 Friars Road, San Diego

Half of the contest’s points come from judge Dave Shapiro, the L.A.-based agent for Pierce the Veil, Rx Bandits, Devil Wears Prada, among 50 other nationally touring bands. The other half is a numbers game: the more fans you pull into Soma, the higher your score.

Snykes drummer Austin Arthur says he has no problem with the contest rules. “Some musicians in the scene are not as focused [on promotion] as others. We’re not shy about self-promotion. But we get hate for it.”

Their assertive promotion led some of their fellow local bands to get together to play a so-called FTS show in March.

“It stood for ‘Fuck the Snykes,’” Arthur tells the Reader. “They were mad because we would promote our shows at their shows. Our very first show right after that FTS show drew 450. So I guess their propaganda didn’t work.”

The guys wonder if part of the Snyke sniping may also come from the fact that all three came from private high schools. Singer/guitarist Patrick Collins just graduated from Cathedral Catholic. Bassist Chris Olson attends Cathedral and Arthur attends Francis Parker.

“What’s funny is that a lot of the really good bands from the scene are composed of high school drop-outs...people with a little rougher upbringing,” says Arthur. “People are surprised we’re from private schools. But we’re like everyone else who has musician brains. School is not our biggest interest.”

“The religious side of [Cathedral] never got in the way,” says Collins. “We did have to go to Mass once a month but we got to play music there, so it made it more bearable.”

The Snykes are part of a thriving local surf-punk and rock scene spearheaded by the Frights’ breakout last year.

"All Hail the Queen"

...by the Snykes

...by the Snykes

The three Snykes say they would be playing the same sound no matter what, but that the local all-ages scene was morphed after the Frights rejiggered its DNA.

“I know quite a few guys in bands who are now into surf-punk who were into post-hardcore screamo a year ago,” says Arthur. “Before the Frights it was all screamo bands. Now the scene is more inviting. Kids are more involved than when I first started.”

As the Snykes see it, at this point in their career, promotion is as important as writing and recording good songs. So far they have released just two songs, “Killer Whale ” and “All Hail the Queen.” Those songs motivated 91X to name the eight-month-old Snykes as their “Local Break” band of the month in May, playing a Snykes song three times a day throughout May, a rare gift for an unsigned band.

“Our main inspiration is Cage the Elephant...how they move on stage,” says Arthur. “But we’re not at the point yet where we can jump off the stage and there will be hundreds of people there to catch us,” says Collins.

Soma

3350 Sports Arena Boulevard, Midway District

John’s Last Ghost, Lobster Party, Nuclear Sunday, Leave the Universe, and It All Starts Here will be battling the Snykes at the Soma/Warped Tour Battle of the Bands Friday night, June 26, at Soma in the Sports Arena area.

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