You want some garage, but nothing too garage (you still know all the lyrics to 'Spice Up Your Life'). You want something pop, but you bought that Velvet Underground t-shirt from H&M and you don't want people to think you're frontin'. Entré Snøffeltøffs: Berlin's pop-meets-garage sonic brawl of jangling, danceable indie tunes. They talk to us about terrible tour luck, pasta with ketchup, and they teach us an important lesson about proof-reading questions before sending them.
THE LO DOWN
BangOn Team: Tell us a little about your band/project. What’s your sound?
We’re Snøffeltøffs from Berlin. A project started by Florian and Julian about 5 years ago. We’ve known each other for fifteen years now and decided to work together after we played in several other more-or-less successful bands. It’s a project and not a band because it involves more people than just the band members. In 2016 Meghan from Cape Town joined to play drums. We used to describe our sound as ‘Hi-Fi, Lo-Fi, Shit-Fi’ when we were a two piece. Now it’s ‘Lo-Fi Garage for Pop Lovers. Lo-Fi Pop for Garage Lovers.’
BOT: How do you go about songwriting?
Julian: It’s a pretty spontaneous process.
Florian: Usually, someone comes up with a great idea and then we try to completely destroy it in the rehearsal room. People have called us unapproachable before, but critics said the same about The Velvet Underground, so I guess that’s okay. It’s the only way we can work really.
Meghan: The guys connect musically automatically and it takes them like five seconds to come up with a new song idea. Then I ‘beautiful mind’ it and make tons of diagrams and notes to work out a structure for myself, then they make me throw away the papers, and then I have a meltdown, then we have beers and talk about turtles and seagulls, usually, and then the song is born. I had a lot of fun learning the songs from their first album, Hokus Pokus (which I think is great) and the songs we worked on together for the new album coming out later this year.
J: We’re not meeting up and say, ‘Okay, we gotta come up with a song now, any ideas?’
BOT: Who are your biggest influences?
J: Everyday life.
M: Ringo Starr and Phil Rudd when it comes to drummers.
F: Weird people we randomly meet.
BOT: What’s been your lowest and highest point as a band/project?
F: Coming back from an ill-fated Europe tour completely broke, owing the bank €2000
and having to live off about a Euro a day for the next couple of months– not being able to buy even remotely appropriate christmas presents for the parents. Yeah, that was pretty bad. Or opening for Eagles Of Death Metal and having to get off stage fifteen minutes into the show because of technical problems. That was pretty bad too. At least we got good money for the EODM show, which was kind of a high point… Oh no, wait, we lost all that money two weeks later because of a car crash in Prague. Or spending a lot of money on an album that was never released (great songs, though!). I guess the highest point was when we realized that, despite having had so much bad luck, we’re still doing this when other bands probably would have broken up a long time ago. That’s something we’re really proud of. Proves that friendship is stronger than band politics.
J: Yes! Florian just summed up the highs of all low points in the past five years. Another low point we just talked about last week is an interview we did right in the beginning where we got quoted completely wrong, then sounded like rich arrogant musicians and had to explain ourselves for two years because people kept on asking what we meant.
But even this all sounds pretty bad to others, we never ever even thought about splitting up. Friendship and music is stronger than cancelled bank accounts and pasta with ketchup.
BOT: What’s your ultimate aim?
J: Make more albums, go on tour and make music great again.
F: Not having to play Squier guitars anymore.
M: To be able to continue playing more shows and always become a better player.
BOT: You have the chance to play one song for a legend of your choice. What do you play?
M: I’d like to play ‘Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe’ by Kendrick Lamar for Ginger Spice.
F: I’d like to play ‘Safety Dance’ by Men Without Hats for Stefani Germanotta, because I read she likes it too and I think she’s pretty kewl.
J: ‘Linus & Lucy (Snoopy Theme)’ to Elton John.
BOT: What does Berlin do for you musically? What do we have to look forward to in the coming months from you?
F: You get the chance to see and meet a different band at a different venue basically every single day of the week, which is more than any musician could ever ask for.
J: Which can also be pretty tiring to be honest because it’s just too much. It’s like the best town to make music; you just gotta find the right people or have to grow up with them. Apart from that we’re about to finish our second album which took some time and we want to extend the band with more members.
M: For me Berlin has always been very inspiring. I come from Cape Town: a beautiful city, but it’s also very laid back and super chill. I love the way it feels like anything is possible here, that sounds really lame, but i really do feel that way.
Choose one random question of your choice. (Editor's note: We never expected such a direct and Snøffeltøffsish interpretation of this question! And as you'll see from the [sic] below, even a typo of ours was Snøffeltøffsilised!)
J: What’s your favourite cheese?
M: What is the Human Caterpillar?
F: How was dating Bruce Jenner?
BOT: Which member of your band would you put in the Human Caterpillar [sic]?
M: Do you mean the movie where the scientist kidnaps three tourists, keeps them in cages and then and joins them surgically mouth to a** ? Okay... Wait that’s the Human Centipede. I don’t know what a human caterpillar is but I’m gonna say... Julian because he is a turtle.
F: No one, that’s just mean.
J: Yes, why?
BOT: Which muppet would you take in a fist fight?
M: Florian the Muppet Sloth
F: I couldn’t. They’re all my friends.
BOT: Donald Trump has invited you to play a private party for him. He’ll pay you $1,000,000. Nobody ever has to know. Do you play?
M: I would take any opportunity I could get to get close enough to Donald Trump to give him a massive wedgie.
F: Sure, and then I would donate the money to organisations he opposes.
Catch Snøffeltøffs on April 7th at Bang On's (iron) maiden show, Clash Symbols #1 with Voodoo Beach and Paper Spook