THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES

Seattle noisecore quartet These Arms Are Snakes has
gone from 0 to 60 like a racecar. A little more than 18
months after formation, the band is in the midst of its
second national tour and, as guitarist Ryan Frederiksen
concedes, it has been a bit of a whirlwind.

“It’s all happened ridiculously fast, that’s for sure,”
agrees the guitarist. “I’m totally surprised [how quickly
everything happened].”

With a roster that includes former members of Botch, Kill
Sadie and Nineironspitfire in its ranks, it is not that
surprising. Formed around the nucleus of Frederiksen,
bassist Brian Cook and drummer Joe Preston, the trio
originally got together with little aspirations outside of
jamming.

They soon found themselves with a handful of songs but
no singer, so vocalist Steve Snere was brought aboard.
Snere, who had moved to Seattle along with Kill Sadie
when the band transplanted from Minneapolis,“was a
perfect fit for us,” says Frederiksen. “I had spoken to him
about doing something previous to this so when this
project took shape he joined. Things have snowballed
since.”

The band recorded a four song demo which quickly made
its way through the American underground, sparking
interest around the country.

“[The label] Jade Tree knew some of us from our previous
bands and really liked the tape, but when we sent it to
them originally we never gave them a contact for us. So —
it’s kind of funny — they had to search us out through the
people they knew in Seattle to let us know they’d like to do
something with us.”

Shortly afterwards the label owner flew to Seattle to see
one of their early shows and in August, the Delaware
label released TAAS’s first release, a five song EP entitled
This Is Meant To Hurt You. Four-fifths of the tracks were
from the original demo cassette, although the band re-recorded the songs earlier this year in a proper studio
with producer Matt Bayles (Isis, Blood Brothers).

Much like their current touring partners Minus The Bear,
These Arms Are Snakes has progressed outside of the
hardcore circles that birthed them. Their sound is more
progressive and non-linear, with slithering guitar riffs
that remind one of the Jesus Lizard’s Duane Denison or
early Drive Like Jehu and sampled keys (à la Isis or
Neurosis) which broaden the sonic palette. Couple all of
that with the vocals of Snere, who uses a broad spectrum
of effects to alter his range, and this is definitely
post-hardcore.

“There wasn’t any preconceived idea about what we were
going to sound like,” explains the guitarist when asked
what led to the band’s interesting musical direction.
“Really, it just came about. We decided that if we liked it,
we were going to do it.”

Although originally a five-piece, the band lost keyboardist
Jesse Robertson shortly after their tour with the Blood
Brothers earlier this summer. “Jesse was not really a
keyboard player, he was a guitarist originally but we
didn’t have space for another one in the band so he joined
as a keyboardist and also did a light show behind us
while we played.”

The keyboards are now handled live by bassist Brian
Cook, who plays both at the same time during different
intervals of the live set. Sort of like Geddy Lee then,
switching back and forth? “Not exactly,” laughs
Frederiksen, “but he’ll be psyched to hear that
comparison for sure.”

THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES
with Minus The Bear & The Velvet Teen
Thursday, October 30 • 8pm • $10
Underground (41 Catharine N., Hamilton)
905.741.7625

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