UTG INTERVIEW: After Nearly Two Decades, SNOT Still Bring Energy To The Stage

snot interview 2014

Unmatched and unmarred by any other act in the hardcore music scene, SNOT have reunited and returned to the touring scene in celebration of the band’s groundbreaking record, Get Some.

Although the band’s recording career was cut short due to the untimely and tragic death of frontman James Lynn Strait in 1998, because of their unique and undeniably influential fusion of punk, metal, and hardcore music, the legacy of SNOT is as strong as ever. The band has reunited for a second time since Strait’s death — this time tapping Carl Bensley to fill in on vocals for the band’s current world tour.

Guitarists Mikey Doling and Sonny Mayo both show energy and enthusiasm at the idea of playing SNOT’s prolific brand of unabashed music to a new generation of fans.

“The reason [we’re doing the reunion tour] is because we all like playing with each other,” Doling said. “We all have lives where we do other things, you know? It just so happened we had time on our hands, which is rare. We blocked out some time and decided that we would do this tour.”

The band is playing Get Some in full from front to back. For some artists, a decision to do a record in full can be cumbersome or difficult, but with Get Some being SNOT’s only studio LP, it’s simply a matter of selecting how they’d like to play the material.

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“Instead of playing the record mixed up, we can just play it in its entirety,” Doling said. “It just seems like the right way to go.”

Although playing a record in full all but fills in the fans’ idea of what the band’s setlist will be for the coming show — SNOT throws in a few surprises to keep it interesting.

“We tag a song on the end,” Mayo said. “It’s the last full song we recorded together, ‘Absent.'”

It took 10 years after the death of Strait for the band to decide to play more shows together — which happened when they played a handful of shows in 2008-09 to much surprise.

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“To me, this tour is way better,” said Doling. “Last time, we were all kind of scattered. I don’t think we were on the same page. There was some immaturity going on with some of us, including myself. We are completely on the same page now.”

Mayo admits the mood for this tour is different than the last — which was the 10-year anniversary of Strait’s passing.

“We’re lighthearted this time too, man,” Mayo explained. “Last time was a little bit heavy, emotionally. This time we’re just enjoying each other’s company and playing these songs we wrote together. It’s very smooth, this time.”

The songs off Get Some, which Mayo said the band wrote together in 1995, are a testament to the longevity of what he, Doling, and the other members of SNOT created. Tracks like “Stoopid” and “Joy Ride” still provide the same emotional reaction in fans as they did over a decade ago.

Doling said he realizes the importance of the tour for fans who have never had the chance to see SNOT in the past.

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“A lot of bands still do it [after a singer passes],” Doling said. “We waited a long, long time — we waited a decade before we even stepped on stage without him. 10 years later we we’re like, ‘Let’s do something,’ and now we have this longing to do it every once in a while.”

When not carving out time to recreate the aggressive magic SNOT captured on Get Some, the members of the band are busy with other, full-time projects. Doling plays full-time in Channel Zero and Mayo has been part of acts such as Sevendust, Amen, Hed PE, and now works for Rock To Recovery — a music therapy program that travels to drug and alcohol treatment centers and starts bands with patients, using music to help the healing process.

Doling said the group isn’t opposed to doing more music together but is unsure of how to title and release the music to the public.

“We might do some more music together but I don’t know if we’re going to call it SNOT or what. The voice of SNOT, he’s gone, man. We may write more music together but we’re not sure how we’re going to time it. It’s hard.”

2015 will bring SNOT to places the band has never played before. Doling said SNOT has never played shows out of America, which is set to change when the band goes overseas to the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Australia, Denmark, and more next year.

“It’s the timing,” Mayo said.

Doling said the band is excited because, although touring other nations with later acts, it will be their first time on foreign soil as SNOT.

“We’re going to go hit Europe and play 30 shows, go to Australia and New Zealand, and hit southeast Asia. I’m very excited.”

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Check out all the upcoming SNOT tour dates here:

Dec 19 Club Red Mesa, AZ
Dec 20 The Rock Tucson, AZ
Dec 22 The Soda Bar San Diego, CA
Dec 23 The Glass House Pomona, CA
Feb 06 De Kreun Kortrijk, Belgium
Feb 07 Podium Duycker Hoofddorp, Netherlands
Feb 08 La Maroquinerie Paris, France
Feb 10 Joiners Southampton, Uk
Feb 11 The Hub Plymouth, United Kingdom
Feb 12 The Exchange Bristol, United Kingdom
Feb 13 The Underground Stoke On Trent, United Kingdom
Feb 14 The Cluny Newcastle, Australia
Feb 15 Audio Glasgow, United Kingdom
Feb 16 The Parish Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Feb 17 Rock City Nottingham, United Kingdom
Feb 18 The Crauford Arms Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Feb 19 THE GARAGE London, United Kingdom
Feb 20 Audio Brighton, United Kingdom
Feb 21 Matrix Bochum, Germany
Feb 22 Alte Seilerei Mannheim, Germany
Feb 23 Schlachthof Kassel, Germany
Feb 24 Hansa 39 Munchen, Germany
Feb 25 Headcrash Hamburg, Germany
Feb 26 Loppen Copenhagen, Denmark
Feb 28 K17 Berlin, Germany
Mar 01 Hirsh Nurnberg, Germany
Mar 02 Le Grillen Colmar, France
Mar 03 Les Trinitaires Metz, France
Mar 04 Cité de la musique Romans, France
Mar 05 Le Molotov Marseille, France
Mar 06 LE CONNEXION LIVE Toulouse, France
Mar 07 Le Ferraileur Nantes, France
Mar 08 Coven Garden Eragny, France

Interview by Matthew Leimkuehler (@callinghomematt)
Photos shot by Colt Coan of Colt Coan Photography in Kansas City, Kansas.

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