DS Interview: Oh Snap! talks influences, Spokane punk, and being awkward

Oh Snap! is a local band at heart. They can be found in bars across Spokane, WA, making noise and guzzling domestic beers to audiences of a dozen or so punks. Ten Years Too Late is their first EP and contains the kind of irreverent and wistful punk rock that a lot of us grew up on. I was lucky enough to sit down via e-mail with the band and talk about Spokane, WA, the beginnings of Oh Snap!, and their passion for perversion.

The full interview is below.

How did Oh Snap! come to be?

Steve: I was in Africa on a deployment, and found out the Air Force was moving me to Spokane, Washington. I went on Craigslist to find somebody to play music with. That was my priority before finding a place to live. I found an ad that Jared posted, looking for somebody that wanted to play 90’s punk music so I emailed him. He ignored me because I was still six months away from moving. A couple of months later, when I was back in New Mexico I emailed him again. This time he responded. He started texting me about dicks and farts and we were comparing bands we like. We started out with a different second guitarist, and he didn’t last too long. He was an awesome guy, but he wanted a different style of music than we were doing. We had our original drummer Jake, he was around for a long time when we first started. He had to leave the band due to a crazy work schedule and a planned marriage. Our current second guitarist Matt, was always around hanging out with us. He joined the band in June of 2013. We had another drummer, Sid and he has been a great friend to Oh Snap! Sid was in med school, and he was playing in a couple of different bands at the same time so we ended up going with our current drummer Silas. This guy is the best drummer any of us have ever played with. His first show with us was when we opened for Red City Radio…he was in the band for about eight days and two practices before he pulled off that show!

What kind of music did you listen to growing up? And how did the music you listen to now tweak the way you write?

Steve: I was obsessed with Blink 182 for the longest time. I grew up a little and got into alcohol and became obsessed with Alkaline Trio. Two years ago, at our second show we opened for Dear Landlord. I couldn’t believe that I never heard of them and it changed everything about the music I was into. Now I’m really into the “Midwest Punk Scene” kind of stuff. I had a huge Off With Their Heads phase in the past year. Their shit never gets old.

Jared: I grew up on Punk-o-rama comps from Hot Topic, because they had Blink 182 on them. I’m also a huge Limp Bizkit and Korn fan. I’m old, so I was into 90’s emo/hardcore bands…like The Beautiful Mistake, Thursday, Story of the Year, Thrice and all that kind of stuff. I went there before it was cool, and met a ton of dudes that I would blow in the parking lot. I like everything, and nowadays I prefer dubstep.

Matt: I listen to a ton of NOFX, Pennywise, NFG, Taking Back Sunday, Reggie and the Full Effect…I was into whatever until I finished high school.

Pop punk is usually known as the safer side of punk rock, yet when I look at Oh Snap!’s fliers and other imagery, there’s this huge sense of perversion, subversion, and even transgression. Do you believe these ideas are important to punk rock, even when playing a more melodic, emotional style of it?

Steve: It’s really about just doing what you want for shock value. We like to have fun, we like to be awkward and stick out. We’re weird guys that just want to drink beer and be as creepy as possible. I like to talk about diarrhea, putting Q-tips with Icy Hot in peoples peeholes and just talking about being drunk. We’re super supportive of the gay community, but sometimes I’m afraid that things we say will come out wrong. We’re idiots, saying what people are thinking and too afraid to say. I love to take my clothes off and bend over in front of the mirror and stare at my butthole.

Jared: A lot of people talk about anything they want when the doors are closed, but we’re open about everything. We say weird stuff and that’s what makes it fun. A while back at a show, I told the crowd that my 1 year old baby was a squirter.

Matt: I love felching on Friday nights, we almost named our EP “Friday Night Felching.”

What’s the scene like in Spokane, and what’s it like being a DIY punk band there?

Steve: The scene kind of sucks. There are hardcore bands and metal bands and radio rock. They don’t like us and it’s tough to get a decent show in this town. I try bringing bands to this town and nobody shows up. When they play in Seattle, the shows are sold out. They come here, and about 12 people show up, and even though the crowd has a blast, I lost a ton of money. The DIY part is fun though. Nobody cares about what we do, we get drunk and say all the awkward stuff we want and people seem to like it.

Jared: Have you ever taken a giant shit in a cup and stared at it?

How can punks be more involved in their scene and support the art that keeps it vital?

Oh Snap!: Just go to shows, bands you’ve never heard of are usually the best. They’re the people writing songs about the stuff that matters to them, and they’re the ones trying hard to be heard. Also, show your balls or boobs more often.

I talk a lot about how great the punk scene is, but let’s bring it down a notch. As someone who works hard in a local band, what’s shitty about punk rock?

Steve: Too many people have attitudes, and aren’t into it. It’s a really diverse type of music, and unless you like it then you aren’t into it. It’s always a tight knit group of people, and it’s hard to expand from that. Every band has the same shit to overcome, and it’s not too bad in a small town…but where I grew up, in Detroit there was no way to be noticed.

What’s on the horizon for Oh Snap!?

We have our EP coming out this month, and we’re playing with the Mad Caddies in a couple of weeks. Aside from that, just getting wasted and playing shows. Hopefully we can trick a few more awesome bands into playing Spokane.

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