When I first stumbled across Snakadaktal I couldn’t stop listening to the track Chimera. When I found out they were still in high school and that the demos I was listening to on repeat were all written, recorded and produced all by the band themselves, I was blown away. They truly do write beautiful music with a certain kind of maturity that is well beyond their young years. Music Feeds chats with Sean Kelly and Barna Nemeth before they take to the stage at Can’t Say this weekend.
Music Feeds: How did you meet and come to play in a band together?
Snakadaktal: We all stumbled upon the same Steiner school. We made friends with each other and started playing music together. This created Snakadaktal.
MF: Do you have any career highlights so far?
SKL: Smoking spliff with Little Red. That aside, we’ve played some really great sold-out shows and have met a whole load of wonderful new people. Also, completing the recording of our EP, and listening to it for the first time, was very rewarding.
MF: Did any of you come from a musical background?
SKL: Joseph’s (guitar) uncle is in a rock band, Jarrah’s (bass) dad was a DJ, Barna’s (drums) mother is a classical cellist and Phoebe’s (vocals, synths) brother is really good at guitar and architecture. Sean’s (vocals, guitar, synth) grandpa made a dam once.
MF: How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard you before?
SKL: Reverb filled dreamy melodies and sounds, with hopefully some catchy riffs.
MF: There seems to be a few really good bands coming out of Melbourne who play music in a similar vein to Snakadaktal, bands like Love Connection, Rat Vs Possum, Alpine … Have you got any theories on why this might be?
SKL: Wow, what a great list of artists to be compared with.
I guess the type of music these acts play is becoming more popular and is being received by an ever-growing audience. Melbourne is a beautiful city to be from, producing heaps of great artists, and holds a lovely vibe in its venues. Bands might be influenced by the success of others, and by seeing live acts perform.
MF: OK, so I’ve just found that you guys are registered for Unearthed High; do you all attend the same school? What year are you guys in?
SKL: Yes, we all attend Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School. It’s a wonderful little school, with a beautiful environment and cool music coming out of it, (Northeast Party House, RedBerryPlum). Send your kids there. The boys are in year 12, and the girl is in year 11.
MF: How many of you guys are under-aged? How do you find gigging with under-aged members?
SKL: Throughout this year we have been hitting adulthood age, only a few more members to go! We have been dealing with bouncers for a while, we’ve been through fake ID’s, sweet-talking, distractions (Phoebe goes in first), sneaking through windows and hiding in toilets. It’s gotten easier lately since some of us have hit 18.
MF: Being still in high school, have you had a chance to go on any tours interstate yet?
SKL: Unfortunately we haven’t been able to venture outside Victoria so far. However, we are in the planning of a tour up the East Coast of Australia for the launch of a debut EP.
MF: The name Snakadaktal kinda sounds like a name for a dinosaur who eats a lot of snacks; is there any meaning behind the name; how did you come up with it?
SKL: We came up with a bunch of strange animals during class once. A Snakadaktal is a mystical animal; it’s a combination of an everyday snake, and the rarely seen pterodactyl. It lives in a farm along with the Night Shark and the Jelly-Fri.
MF: You’ve got a few good demos up on the interwebs floating around; tell us about those?
SKL: There should be some song of ours floating about. Air is an early demo version of the song that we recorded mid 2010. Since then, we have come a long way with our songwriting, overall sound and recording skills. We have recorded a six-track debut EP; the first single Chimera is available for listening and download.
We first recorded the EP at Phoebe’s place in a homemade studio we set up; we had purchased recording gear through money raised from gigs. This was in a basement consisting of a toilet, a kitchen, a pool outside and an incredible view of mountains. The mixing was finished at Joseph’s house, the shortest travel from school.
MF: What is the inspiration behind the songs?
SKL: Tall women, teenage love, stories and daydreams.
MF: What are your upcoming plans in terms of writing, recording, gigging?
SKL: We are in the process of writing a few new songs to keep things fresh for ourselves. We are all done with recording for the moment; it will be nice to recover our computer eyes. We will be playing our EP tracks in a number of glitter-filled live shows around Melbourne. We are playing Can’t Say at Miss Libertines on Friday the 5th of August with Sydney band, Canyons. It’s looking to be a super night. We’ll see what happens after the EP touches ground, but hopefully a tour and some more fun shows.
MF: If you could share the stage with any 3 bands, dead or alive, who would they be ?
SKL: Nick Cave, Phoenix and The Beach Boys. Just meeting these artists would be a dream, since just listening to them has been so inspirational already. Plus Phoenix are French, and we want to go to Paris.
Catch Snakadaktal at Can’t Say this Friday 5th August with Cannons.