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October 28, 2003

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Generally speaking, as young bands progress they tend to make it a goal to try and do things on a bigger scale than they did previously. The innovative lads in These Arms Are Snakes are choosing to go a different route by scaling things back on their current tour.

Deciding that they may have gone a little overboard on their last tour, the Seattle group thought that they would go with a less-is-more approach this time around. The recent departure of keyboardist Jesse Robertson will decrease the number of musicians on stage and will reinforce their new philosophy. Guitarist Ryan Frederiksen feels that this new methodology of sorts will allow the group more freedom when performing and will help keep the momentum of the shows moving.

"We're stripping down on this tour," Frederiksen. "We think we were a little too ambitious on the last tour trying to have two keyboards and our own lights. So since we lost Jesse [Robertson], we decided to just strip down and make it more fun for us. Having all of those things with us made for extremely long set-up and break-down times and Brian [Cook] and Jesse were rarely able to rock out much since they were sharing the same side of the stage."

Currently on tour with Minus The Bear, the band is playing three concerts in Ontario this week in support of their debut EP, This Is Meant To Hurt You. Released this past summer by Jade Tree, the album documents These Arms Are Snakes' sonic creations at an early part in their career. Formed just over a year ago, Frederiksen says that the group, which features former members of Botch and Kill Sadie, relied on their past experiences to help determine what was working when trying to evaluate their still changing sound.

Although the EP was made fairly quickly, Frederiksen explains that it was not an easy album to make. Listening to the intense mix of genres presented, it becomes evident how much time was poured into the making of each musical collage.

"The EP was definitely not an easy thing to do," Frederiksen says. "Our writing process is actually kind of difficult and long. We tend to pick ourselves apart a lot and go based mostly on feel. We usually spend around a month or more on each song we do. It can be a pain but in the end it's usually worth it. It doesn't always work though. We've probably dropped about as many songs as we've kept. We seem to be perfectionists as far as the end result is concerned."

At the completion of their current tour, the band will be heading out with Hot Water Music. Afterwards they are planning to begin work on a full-length record with hopes of having something finished next summer.

Those looking to see what possible directions These Arms Are Snakes may be moving in should check out one of their upcoming shows. Frederiksen says the group makes it a priority to play each song differently every night, which should provide fans some insight into where they may be heading.

"As far as our live show goes, people can expect something different each time," he says. "We don't really seem to enjoy trying to play the same way twice, ever. It makes it more fun and interesting for us to play songs a little different each time. It breaks up the monotony of playing the same songs every night."

These Arms Are Snakes Canadian Tour Dates:

October 28 Ottawa, ON @ Bumpers (w/Minus The Bear)
October 29 Toronto, ON @ The Rivoli (w/Minus The Bear)
October 30 Hamilton, ON @ Undergound (w/Minus The Bear)

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Shawn Despres