Punk Rock Tour Tales #4: Snakerattlers

Dan Gott gives his finest advice on surviving a tour, plus an excellent insight into life on the road with Snakerattlers.

Punk Rock Tour Tales is a new Shout Louder feature, where we interview bands about their tour stories. Read them all here.

Snakerattlers are a unique duo from York, playing stripped-back garage punk with an acerbic edge. Twisting memories of sun-soaked desert dirt-rock, with echoes of blues and rockabilly, they’re a refreshing listen both live and on record. Intimidating and intriguing, uniformed and chaotic in equal measure, they’ve dubbed their style ‘rattlerock’.

We spoke to guitarist and vocalist Dan Gott about their experiences out on the open road.

Of the touring you’ve done, what’s been your favourite so far?

Definitely each time we play with The Monofones from Switzerland. We’ve just completed our fifth tour with these guys and each time we have more fun than the last. We consider them to be family.

What’s the furthest you’ve ever driven to play a 30 minute set?

Not sure for a 30 minute set, but the furthest we’ve ever driven to play was all the way down to Deal near Dover. We broke up the drive with other shows, but it was still very far out of the way!

Have you ever looked around on tour and thought ‘what the fuck is happening’?

Yes.

What had happened?

We had punctured the tire of our hire car in Portugal. A warning alarm went off and the car began to sink at one side. That is when we thought “what the fuck is happening?” because for some reason the car was delivering the warning to us in French. It was only when we got out of the car that we saw what was going on. We had to wait for the car to be towed away, as the puncture was unable to be repaired with the kit provided, and the hire company didn’t put a spare in the boot. We were very late to the show and very stressed out!

When was the first / last time that you had a ‘fuck, this isn’t worth it’ moment?

First time: After we played what turned out to be the last show with our previous band.

Last time: Playing in Boston (Lincolnshire) to literally nobody. There was a pretty full room when we started, but obviously nobody liked us there. After we had played six of our songs, there was nobody left in the room. We shouted over to the guy on the bar that there was no point continuing. He agreed and we turned everything off, packed up and left. Never to return.

How did you overcome it?

It was one of 71 shows we did last year, so overcoming it was not difficult. The other 70 shows were all worth it. The show in Boston made us learn to look into offers a bit more before accepting them. It was the first time we realised that our music does not work in every scenario, so in a way it was quite useful.

What are your tips for surviving a tour?

  1. Stay in Travelodges – sleeping on the floor in some random person’s dirty house does not mean you are the physical embodiment of punk rock.
  2. When picking a Travelodge, be sure to pre-book and get one off the beaten track, rather than city centre as they are usually cheaper and quieter.
  3. No more than three shows in a row so you’re not fatigued.
  4. Eat properly – fresh vegetables or fruit wherever possible.
  5. Take many breaks when driving.
  6. Enjoy the exploring and travelling as much as playing the show – think of all the poor sods who are stuck in crap dayjobs.
  7. Skip soundcheck. Just turn up half an hour before your set.
  8. Find and buy art for your home, or get a fridge magnet from where you have been. This will bring back memories when you look at these things.
  9. Speak to loved ones regularly, or better still take them with you.
  10. Get things for breakfast the night before from a supermarket. Usually works out cheaper and means you can stay in your Travelodge room until kicking out time and get your money’s worth.

Do you have a long-serving tour vehicle? What are its quirks?

Plub The Renault Kangoo: 2013 – 2018 (RIP)
Hersey The Skoda Roomster: 2018 – present

Plub smelt a little bit like an unwashed beard and had a very limited gear range. This made it rev like crazy, which was always pretty amusing, especially when going up a hill.
Hersey has it’s name because it looks a bit like a hearse. It makes a very satisfying “clunk” sound when you close it’s doors.

What’s your soundtrack in the van?

Before shows: Rattlerock Roadtrip playlist (find it on Spotify!)
After shows: One play of Bat Out Of Hell by Meatloaf, followed by Disgraceland podcast or Red Handed podcast.

Do you have a luxury item you take with you?

Percy Pignose (yes, we assign names to everything). It’s a really cool little guitar with a built-in speaker. We take it in case we get any ideas for songs whilst travelling so we can figure out the chords.

Are there any van in-jokes that are safe to share with us?

We really love in-jokes. We’d love to be a part of one some day.

If you could choose any band alive, which band would you most like to tour with?

We already do this: THE MONOFONES.

Check out Snakerattlers over on their website, Facebook, Spotify and Bandcamp

Punk Rock Tour Tales is a new Shout Louder feature, where we quiz bands about their best and worst tour stories. Read them all here.

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