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Interview with SnakeyeS

Hi! Tell me about your band and what kind of previous experience do you have as musicians?

Hi there. SnakeyeS is all about writing, recording and playing traditional heavy metal music, with up-to-date sound and production. The Spanish “branch” of the band: Jose Pineda (bass), Justi Bala (guitars) and Carlos Delgado (drums) have been playing together for a very long time in the band Sphinx. As for myself (Cosmin Aionita, vocals), 2018 marks my 10 year anniversary with 9.7 RICHTER, my band from my home country, Romania.

Why did you pick your band name? How did you form? Why did you decide to play the genre or genres you do?

I honestly don’t remember exactly how we picked “SnakeyeS” as our band’s name. I do remember when we received a mockup logo from our artist and we decided  “Yes, this will be the band’s name!”. SnakeyeS was born back in 2013, when Jose was looking for singers to perform on a tentative solo album of his. We recorded a few demos and we liked them so much he decided to drop the solo album and form this band instead. We all love heavy metal, I don’t really see us playing any other kind of music.

What can you tell us about your latest record?

Metal Monster is our latest release and the second full length album from SnakeyeS. Compared to our previous album (Ultimate Sin, 2015), I really think Metal Monster is a bit heavier, more complex and more mature. If you’re into bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio or Accept, give Metal Monster a spin, I personally think you’ll absolutely love it.

What the kind of album feedbacks are you waiting for?

Well, I think all artists are expecting positive feedback when it comes to their work. We’ve been fortunate enough to receive only great reviews for Metal Monster, and we’re very happy about that.

Are you gonna to make some world tour in the future? Do you think this is available for everybody option to tour around the globe? What do you think band have to do to get such opportunity?

I don’t think we can talk about a world tour… yet. Such an option would require a logistic and financial effort we simply can’t afford at this moment. But we will do a full Spanish tour this upcoming Spring and our management is looking into booking some concerts in Europe too. I think the band already did the most important thing: release a couple of awesome albums (Ultimate Sin and Metal Monster), now it’s just a matter of spreading the word around and getting the music to as many people as possible.

Do you believe in heavy music scene without money?

Just to be clear: there is no scene of any kind without money. If you want to record a demo, you require the instruments and equipment to do it, and that costs money. If you want to record an album, that’s even more expensive. Maybe you want to do a few gigs or a tour, that requires a serious financial effort. But, if you’re smart and you plan ahead, I think even a smaller, underground band such as ours can turn a small profit from releasing an album and touring, or at least don’t lose the initial investment. It’s all about how you manage the cards you’ve been dealt, and maybe invent a few new ones, if that’s what it takes.

What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free? Why?

Like it or not, online music is part of the present we’re all living in right now. As hard as you may try, you cannot stop people from uploading and sharing their favorite music. And that’s ok, we’re not stuck in the 20th century anymore. As I said before, you should try to use it to your own advantage. For example, we released a few free tracks during these five hears, a couple of covers and a single – Mask of Reality. It always helped with sales of our albums or our merchandise, so we’ll probably continue to share “presents” like these with our fans. Real fans will continue supporting you (by buying the music or the merch) no matter what.

Who are your musical influences? Have you ever think your band could be so famous as your favorites?

My absolute favorite band is Iron Maiden. From the very first time I’ve listened to “The Number of The Beast” and to Bruce Dickinson’s amazing vocals, I knew THIS is what I wanted to do when I grow up.  I don’t know if any new metal band can get as famous as Steve Harris & co. nowadays, but I am happy and thankful for being able, in the last years, to share the same stage with childhood heroes such as Judas Priest, Accept, Helloween, RAGE, Testament, Scorpions or Tim “Ripper” Owens.

Do you have a formal music education? Do you think it’s a Kind of important thing?

Personally, I don’t. But in the band we have trained musicians, such as our guitar player Justi Bala, who recently got his international guitar teacher degree. He can play whatever he wants on the guitar, from classic music to flamenco and to heavy rock, and he’s awesome at it. It also helps a lot when it comes to producing our own albums and coming up with fresh and interesting ways to “spice up” the music.

How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, job?

As I said before, it’s all about careful management and planning. Put a schedule together 6-12 months in advance and you’ll be able to balance all aspects of your life with no major problems.

How do you handle mistakes during a performance? Or you can assure there are no any mistakes during your gigs? Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?

A live performance is very similar to life itself. You make a mistake, no problem, just continue and be careful not to repeat it. When making an album, you should try your best to record a flawless performance and come up with the absolute best for your fans. On the other hand, there’s a certain charm to all the flaws and mistakes in a live performance. It’s what gives the performance its own flavor and personality. Otherwise it would just be mathematics, “perfect” music played by robots. Ten years ago, I was getting very nervous before every gig… Nowadays, not so much, I have 100% confidence in my band mates.

What’s next? Thank you!

The first leg of our Metal Monstour 2018 will begin in Spring and we’re all looking forward to taking the new songs on the road! Thank you and keep the metal flame alight!

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