Interview-Acid Snot:”Violence and fear have to be fought against with peace, tolerance, and respect and willing to understand.”

Acid Snot became one of my favorite European melodic punk hardcore bands. When I first heard their music it became love at first note. So, I was more than happy to do an interview with them for my zine. Enjoy reading!

Hello and welcome to my webzine! For start, how would you describe Acid Snot to the readers of this zine that didnt hear your band yet.

Hi! First things first, thanks for having us here. We haven’t got used to being contacted for people from countries far away from where we live. It means a lot to us.

Acid Snot is a 4-piece band from Barcelona. Although we do not believe in tags, it is true that we have been labeled as a Fast Melodic Punk band. And of course we cannot deny that most of our influences come from bands that are also labeled into this genre, such as Propagandhi, This is a Standoff, Mute, The Human Project, Strung Out, Adrenalized, Darko, Lagwagon, A Wilhelm Scream or Ignite.

How did you get in touch with the underground music scene? Why is this diy underground scene and ethics so beautiful?

Well, we started to go to local punk rock shows when we were around 16 years old and we haven’t stopped doing that since then. We had friends that played in bands, and then we discovered more and more small underground bands. Due to that, we eventually met a lot of people that were involved in this kind of small universe called ‘Hardcore/Punk Underground’.
One of the most beautiful things of this small scene is that we all know each other to a certain extent. Therefore, you can go to a gig anywhere in the world and there will be people to whom you are connected with, and that is fucking amazing. A part from that, the respect, tolerance and empathy of this scene are something to be really proud of. Most of the people that are somehow attached to hardcore/punk defend –or at least are aware of- really progressive values and movements such as Feminism, Environmentalism, Anti-Colonialism, Social Rights, Civil Rights, Human Rights or Animal Rights. Consequently, whenever you meet with people with these values, only a relationship based on mutual respect, equality and Positive Mental Attitude can be built.

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photograph taken from Acid Snot Facebook page

What is more important in your music, the lyrics or the riffs, what comes first when you are making a song?

We usually start writing songs out of some guitar parts that we may have come up with. From our experience, it is way easier to create a solid structure out of music first, and this eventually helps us to write a melody that fits in the structure. Lyrics are often one of the last parts we create when we write songs. Since English is not our first language, we have to be really careful with it. Moreover, we have always thought that Punk Rock should have a message. Then, we always take our time to write our lyrics, to create some rhetorical figures and to take a look at the syllables and the beat of each verse and stanza to create a good, consistent metric in some of our songs.

You guys did some touring this year. How did it go? You also played Punk Rock Holiday, how was it for you?

Our last tour was amazing. One of our best ones so far hands down. We had the chance to play in a lot of European countries, in really cool venues and festivals, and with amazing bands. And the support we received in every single city was unbelievable. Honestly, it is safe to say that none of us thought it would go that well. Touring is always something you never regret doing. Adventures and anecdotes happen every single day. Of course there are ups and downs, better shows, worse shows, but at the end of the day, you are traveling with your friends, doing what you enjoy the most and every single thing that happens, whether it is “good” or “bad”, makes the experience unique and worth explaining it to your future grandchildren (if we ever have any haha!).
Punk Rock Holiday 1.7 was gnarly as fuck. We had a blast there. It was the first major festival we were playing with incredibly massive bands such as The Offspring, Propagandhi, Anti Flag, Less Than Jake, Ignite, The Toy Dolls… But again, the best part of it was to meet with all our friends from all over the world and have a one-week holiday together in the punk rock paradise. Definitely, a MUST GO if you are into open air festivals. Not too crowded, amazing vibes, mouth-watering food and a paradise-like location that will make you drop your jaws, take the best pics for your abandoned Instagram account, and upload your Tinder ones, haha. Just joking, but do yourselves a favor and get some tickets from the beach stage bands for PRH 1.8!

How big is the scene in your hometown? Are there venues and clubs and fanzines, bands?

We would say that Barcelona has one of the strongest punk rock scenes in Spain. We have here three of the biggest punk rock/metal/hardcore promoters and booking agencies (HFMN, Outro Shows and B-Trade Tourbooking). We also have amazing local bands such as Blowfuse, Treehouse Kids, Kids of Rage, Bellako, Daylight, Headache, All In, Boïra, Alfenic and shit loads more. And a lot of “starting” bands are about to play their firsts shows around the country, or have done a bit of touring around Catalonia or Spain such as All Wrong, Woodchuck, Fastloud or Mal-Humorats. However, what we have seen during the last years is that, due to a generational gap, sometimes is complicated for young bands (like us and most of the bands mentioned before) to open the gates to get into a bigger scene and audience, having the chance to open for big acts or doing some touring with them. From here we claim to all the people booking shows in Spain that please, if they still want to keep punk rock alive for at least one more generation, they should start giving chances and opportunities to small, young acts. And we are not talking because we want it for ourselves. We want it because we believe in punk rock, its attitude and its message, and we have AMAZING young acts with a lot of things to say, and a lot of music to share with y’all in Barcelona.

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How is living in Spain in general? What is your opinion on the things that went down in Catalonia?

We are from the Mediterranean Coast, so we can’t complain. Especially living in a city like Barcelona, where everything is pretty close by, the weather is amazing, it is super rich in terms of art and culture, and it is an open-minded, progressive cosmopolis. Spain has a really interesting culture, cuisine and history as well and we as Catalans and Valencians cannot deny that our cultures fusion and merge with the Spanish culture in a way, even if there are some stereotypes of the Spanish culture that, of course, we do not share and we criticize, such as the cruelty acts related to bullfighting.

The issue of Catalonia is really complicated to explain and we could write pages and pages about it. But let’s face the truth: Spain suffered a major civil war in the early 20th Century, starting in the year 1936 and finishing in 1939. This war ended up with the victory of Franco and his army, who governed Spain under a fascist dictatorship from 1939 to 1975. This dictatorship repressed Catalonia, the Catalans and their culture. People were killed just because they were defending the Catalan language and culture, which were forbidden. We must say now that Catalonia has always been really different in terms of mentality, politics, culture and traditions in comparison with the rest of Spain. Same happens with the Basque Country. Then, after the dictatorship that finished in 1975, a king was chosen by the Dictator (Franco) to be the head of the state. There were no votes, no referendum. Nothing. Boom. Now we have a king. Between 1975 and the 1990’s we have this period called the Spanish Transition Period, in which the transition from a Dictatorship to a Democracy started and major advances were achieved in comparison with a reactionary, fascist dictatorship. However, the residues of the Franco Regime were still present during the period.

Then, we make it to 2006. Catalonia, being it one of the most prolific autonomous communities (aka states) of Spain, proposed to the Central Government the reformation of the “Estatut” of Catalonia. It was basically a draft to change some of the liberties and duties that Catalonia had. It included several reforms in education, health, research, and the claim of a self-governed State. The “Estatut” was reviewed by the Central Government and the Spanish Courts of that time, and in short terms, most of the proposals were revoked. It was a huge attack towards the Catalanist movement and from that day up until nowadays, the Independentist movement –a movement that has existed here since the very beginning of the Kingdom of Catalonia and Aragon back in 1200- has become bigger and bigger. Of course, this has only become worse with the constant denial of the Central Government to speak and dialogue with the Catalans. And in the last months we have seen that Pacific Revolution and resistance has been repressed with fascist attacks by the forces of the Spanish state that are, apparently, a tool to defend the whole of the Spanish people. These forces were sent to Barcelona by the central Government, which is governed by the PP (People’s Party), a right wing party and the leftover of the Franco’s Régime.
Then, who is to blame here? A Catalan President that has declared Independence; a Central Government that is applying policies that were seen for the last time in the mid-40’s; the European Union that is turning the blind eye to a major problem that can lead to bigger issues; or an undemocratically-chosen king that, instead of defending the whole of the citizens of Spain, attacks the Catalans who decided to vote in the 1-O sessions and were repressed just because they wanted to vote, no matter if they wanted to vote “YES” or “NO”, making a difference between “We Spanish” and “You Catalans”. If we are all Spanish, why do you make a semantic difference? Maybe we are not all the same and even you and all of the people that defend the unity of Spain are in fact admitting that Catalans and Spanish are different. We believe that semantics and language are really important in social conflicts and words can have a much bigger meaning encoded behind them. And we are not saying Spanish and Catalans cannot coexist. We are not taking any stand in this explanation. The bottom line is: Whether it is stated in the Constitution (a constitution from 1978 by the way, voted by people that are now either dead or in their 80’s. None of us was alive during that time and our parents were teenagers) or not, there is a social problem and a desire to solve it democratically. Would it be that complicated to change the Constitution to let the Catalan people decide if they want to belong to Spain or not? It is really funny when they change the Constitution and laws for their own benefit to get loans, permits or a bunch of things that we current working-middle class people cannot even comprehend.
It was a really short explanation of the conflict but we guess it will help you readers understand what is the issue. Barcelona and Catalonia are fine. You can still come. Life is normal as it has always been here, and we encourage you to come and visit the city and have a drink with us. And then, we will tell you what our personal points of view are, because it would not be fair to give just one. We all have very similar opinions but with different hints and shades.

What do you think about the rising right wing tide in Europe? Did the recent terrorist attacks only increase the hatred among people?

It ashames us and makes us feel that people have neither respect nor historical memory. It is just mind-blowing that in the 21st Century, after all what Europe and the entire world and societies have gone through, a new wave of reactionary, violent fascism is arising, not only in Spain but in the whole of Europe. Terrorist attacks are just an excuse to hate. Europe and the Church exterminated, repressed and devastated everything that was different from them in “the name of God” or for colonial matters. Now, a bunch of lunatics from Islamic sects (as repulsive as the Church fanatics) have attacked some of the major cities in Europe, including Barcelona, our city. Of course this can feed hate, but that is not the way. This is what they want. Violence and fear have to be fought against with peace, tolerance, and respect and willing to understand. Not every Muslim is a fanatic. Same as not every Christian is a member of the Inquisition or the KKK. The 21st Century has to be remembered as a century of progress, respect and understanding between communities. We’ve had enough hate throughout the human history. We do not think we need more of it.

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When are you planning to release the new material? Will it be different compared to the stuff you have done until now? How was the feedback on your last album?

As you may know, we are all University students or we have a job (or even both!), and our schedules and situations are complicated. We all have plans to study abroad, or we are actually doing so. Then, it is complicated to talk about exact dates. However, thanks to technology and the Internet, we are connected 24/7 to each other, and we are in constant contact, writing new songs, preparing new stuff and doing silly shit as always. We announced a couple of months ago that we were currently writing new stuff. It will follow the riffy, fast-as-fuck, melodic path of our latest record “Attitudes”, but we are trying to approach it in a different way. We are all really excited and we cannot wait to get back into the studio to record it because it is going to be gnarly.
We were really surprised with the good reception “Attitudes” had, especially outside of Spain. As we said at the beginning, it is amazing that people from the other side of the pond like our music. It also had a really good reception in the UK and Europe, and due to that, we could make it to a lot of different places in the last two years, including a tour around Spain and the UK, and a one-month roadtrip touring the mainland Europe. We are so proud of it and it has opened us the gates of the worldwide underground scene in a way that we didn’t expect.

English lyrics vs lyrics in Spanish?

We sing in English so we have to admit that we have a preference for English. We think it might be because most of the bands that we love sing in English and most of them come from the UK, the US (precisely all those 90’s bands from California) or Canada. Plus, having one of us studying English studies and literature, it makes it really cool as well as challenging. Nevertheless, we love a lot of bands and musicians that sing in Spanish or even in Catalan, such as Viva Belgrado, Headache, Sarabix, Los Manises, Panellet, Antipatiks, Kiko Rivera, Nino Bravo or Crim.

Thats it for the first time, thank you for your answers. For the end, tell me one thing. What do you guys know about Croatia? Maybe you heard for some Croatian band from our scene?

The only thing we know is that we want to go there so bad, haha! In fact, we tried to book some shows last summer but it was really hard to get shows in late July – first week of August there. Apart from that, we know you have AMAZING beaches (we are all sea lovers), interesting places to visit and a nightlife that can compete against the one we have here in Spain, even though it is complicated to beat our schedules.
Yeah! In fact we really like the guys in Fast Response! As we’ve mentioned before, the punk rock scene is so small that we all know, or at least, we ring a bell to each other.

Thank you for having us here. It has been a pleasure! We are always stoked to share our perspectives and ideas of some issues and to talk about our music. We cannot wait to hit the road again and visit y’all. If you want to check us out and help us a bit, you can find us in the following sites:
Merch & Music Store: https://acidsnot.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AcidSnot/
Instagram & Twitter: @acidsnotbcn
https://www.youtube.com/user/AcidSnotTV

You can listen to our music on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play as well.

Peace,

Àlex, Edu, David & Uri.