Melbourne’s punk-rock trio of Sk8er Boi’s, Snark, have released their debut EP ‘Impostor’ which features ‘Wasted’ and ‘Whatever, Nevermind’. Stefan, Pat & Mati shared all the details about the new EP incl. cryptic band/song names, the creative process behind the EP, dodging cars while filming a music video, their plot to take Slowly Slowly’s identity, and sliding into Josh Merriel’s Dm’s.
JESS (Moody Music) WHAT DOES THE NAME SNARK MEAN?
STEFAN: I mean… I ask myself that everyday haha. I would like to say that I have like a real high concept meaning like “yo, Snark is a state of mind”, and we were trying to think of a band name and I wanted something that would look cool written down. I was mad hungover in the shower once, and just like you know how you write on the glass, I just wrote Snark and was like “that’s looks cool”. And I didn’t consider the fact that we would have to explain it to people all the time, and like that would just be our name, you know. I used to give my parents a lot of sh*t for naming me Stefan, but now that I’ve had to name a band, I really appreciate how difficult it is to name things.
MATI: We also had a much more complicated name before we were Snark, so we kind of had to make something a little more simple for people.
PAT: A bit shorter and punchier.
STEFAN: We used to be a band called ‘Last Flight for Discovery’ and that was like a small essay.
Snark is an actual word to be honest.
PAT: Lewis Carrol beat us to it!
STEFAN: ‘The Hunting of the Snark’ is like a poem and it’s this mythical creature you can’t really describe properly, and we are always like that’s cool we should reference that in interviews. But yeah, we didn’t do that, we abandoned it haha
PAT: It just doesn’t organically come up haha
JESS (Moody Music) WHAT WAS THE WRITING AND RECORDING PROCESS OF THE ‘IMPOSTOR’ EP?
MATI: It was really good actually, I think that this is the first time where we feel like we’ve levelled up a little bit in terms of writing and the process for it all. First of all we kind of had some ideas laying around which we then kind of like focussed on three whole days, where we kind of just went to a place and worked on them, and then we demo-ed those songs and sent them to the producer for the songs, which is Darren Cordeaux who used to play and sing in Kisschasy. So we just sort of went back and forward with him, he sent us what he thought we needed to fix and all that, we fix it, kind of I guess, and then we just recorded those songs.
STEFAN: I think that when we were writing it, that three day lock in was so intense, it was the first time we had rented out a rehearsal studio and we pretty much lived in there for three days.
MATI: there was no windows as well! haha
JESS (Moody Music): haha no windows, no natural light.
STEFAN: No natural light, no airflow…
JESS (Moody Music): You guys were practising isolation and quarantine.
MATI: Yeah before it was a thing
STEFAN: We’re pros now!
But yeah that was cool, we went in there with a lot more ideas than what we came out of it with, which sounds kind of counter-productive, but it was like a fight to the death for the songs. We went in there with some generally horrible ideas. Looking back, some of the songs were trash, and they didn’t make it out, which is awesome cause they will forever haunt that studio that we rehearsed in.
And then, with working with Darren as well, one of the cool things that Mati didn’t mention was that Darren actually approached us, which was super rad. We had a single that did well on Unearthed. Then Darren hit us up, and we thought it was a prank at first, cause you know, like as if this guy would reach out to us, and honestly we went with it, cause we’re suckers for scams! And it turned out to be the real deal!
JESS (Moody Music): WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH DARREN FROM KISSCHASY?
PAT: Great he’s a really cool guy
STEFAN: It was like dream come true kind of stuff, cause he was in one of my favourite band’s like when I was a kid. And it was weird as well, cause he was in LA the whole time, so it would be like hitting him up on skype, this was pre-zoom, so it was with skype and emails.
JESS (Moody Music): WHY WAS THE THEME OF “IMPOSTOR SYNDROME” SO IMPORTANT TO THE BAND?
STEFAN: Man, it’s very on trend at the moment. Yeah, we named the EP… I don’t want to be like we were the first ones to do it, but I’m pretty sure we named the EP like last year sometime. And then like, every band that’s mentioned it since, we are just like ah!
PAT: Yeah it hurts haha
STEFAN: the reason I was really keen on naming it that, and how it kind of related to me, is that we had our first real experience of songs doing well and like that feeling of like oh hey maybe we are like a band that people would actually listen to and has something to say, and I don’t know, but just cause like naturally I think the kinds of people who make music and do all that kind of stuff are real up in their heads and insecure.
What happened to me was that I had that bit of impostor syndrome, like f*ck did we fluke that, am I ever gonna be able to write another good song in my life, I’m not actually just some dude who plays in a band, I’m just some guy who works a job and does whatever.
In the process of writing and recording, and putting this EP together, its been like a ‘coming of age’, like shedding your skin and shedding that imposter syndrome and being like you know what I generally think we are a band that people are going to want to listen to, and I’m super proud and excited of what we’ve made.
JESS (Moody Music): WITH THE EP IT STARTS OFF REALLY HAPPY, REALLY HIGH ENERGY WITH WHATEVER, NEVERMIND, AND THEN AS IT GOES ON IT GETS DEEPER AND SLOWER AND IT ENDS WITH ‘SENTIMENTAL’, WHICH IS KIND OF LIKE A PUNK-ROCK BALLAD, WHY DID YOU GUYS DECIDE TO DO THAT?
MATI: It just kind of happened to be honest, we didn’t really plan it. It was kind of like that when we went to write the new batch of songs, we chose the ones we thought were the best out of all of them. And they turned out to be the best and it was a good sequence.
STEFAN: In terms of track-listing it definitely made sense to put them in the order they are in, cause I think it tells more of a story, you come from those heavy highs of this party kind of vibe, and even then, there’s darkness lurking in the lyrics. People are like you know it’s like a party anthem, it’s not, it’s like a cry for help you know. I think even ‘Sentimental’ is like coming to terms with accepting this kind of numbness and apathy.
That’s the kind of headspace I found myself in when I was writing a lot of that kind of stuff. Yeah, man, I was pretty sad and that gets reflected in the songs. When you write stuff that you generally mean, that’s what kind of happens.
JESS (Moody Music): WHAT DOES “THREE TWENTY-SEVEN” MEAN AS A SONG TITLE?
It’s just like a really cryptic song, just like how Snark as a name is cryptic, you guys are full of mysteries haha
STEFAN: That’s it we want to keep people guessing, you know, like a JJ Abrams movie kind of thing where nothing makes sense haha. No, but this one makes sense, I’m not going to take pod shots at JJ Abrams all day but..
MATI: Once you tell the story it makes sense
STEFAN: Basically, with that song it… wow man it’s gonna be a sad story. Pat and I were living together at the time in this place in Chelsea, so I was living there with Pat, my girlfriend and this house full of people who I love and adore, which is pretty dope. Anyway, I was going through this mad depressive episode, I guess it’s the only way to describe it. It was just a casual weeknight, I had work the next day, and for whatever reason I decided that powering my way through this bottle of vodka and watching sad music videos, you know those YouTube rabbit holes you can get into? I got into one of those bad boys and got progressively sadder as the night wore on. You know everyone’s gone to sleep, it’s like some wild time morning, you know like between morning and night, where nothing good happens.
I started writing down these notes on my phone, when I started writing I had no idea what I was writing, it didn’t seem like a song, and didn’t know if I was saying goodbye to people, I don’t know, I was mad depressed and in a really horrible state, and you know, saved the note, passed out, went to bed. Three Twenty-Seven was when the note got finished/ saved. That note and vibe kind of became that song, that’s where the name comes from.
JESS (Moody Music): So that’s why it’s “Three Twenty-Seven”, it’s a time. I thought it might have been a credit card or phone number haha
PAT: the CVV haha
STEFAN: it’s actually, for each subsequent EP. we are going to release one more group of digits from my credit card, and at the end you’ll be able to…
MATI: Steal your identity
STEFAN: Yup that it, that’s the dream! haha
PAT: yeah that’s the end game
JESS (Moody Music): FOR THE LATEST SINGLE, ‘WHATEVER, NEVERMIND’, YOU GUYS ACTUALLY FILMED THE MUSIC VIDEO YOURSELF WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?
MATI: That was fun, we kind of just went around the streets just doing fun, weird things and just filmed it, and Stefan basically put it all together.
JESS (Moody Music): Did you nearly get run over? Haha Did people speed up when they saw you on the road? Haha
MATI: they honked at us the whole time haha. Nah, we were just in the industrial area, we checked the streets there was maybe one or two cars that went by as we filmed the whole performance part, so we were pretty safe for the most part.
STEFAN: They just seemed confused haha
PAT: Yeah, they were even kind of scared even, like ‘aw this isn’t right?!’ haha
STEFAN: Cause it was right in between the gaps in lockdowns as well, so it was just like you know people were just really suspicious of seeing people around now, and we didn’t have face masks on or anything, not that it was a rule yet.
I think that the most fun was not the performance scenes, but when we were just like skating around.
PAT: It was like we were kids again, and it was re-capturing when you were a teenager just bumming around, it was great, it was so much fun.
MATI: We had been in lockdown as well, so we were so excited to see each other again.
STEFAN: Yeah! That was actually the first time we hung out after lockdown like the three of us, and we just like skated around and caused a bit of trouble.
MATI: It was a good excuse to hang out, wasn’t it?
JESS (Moody Music): So, the EP was fully studio recorded right?
MATI: Yeah, in a studio in Dandenong.
STEFAN: It was kind of a bit of a combination as well. Jack (Newlyn) from Paradise Club, recorded us, they’re a really really cool band.
And I tracked most of my vocals in his house, Pat tracked most of his vocals in my house haha. There was a lot of flexibility with all that as well, cause studio time is expensive. That guy was a wizard, you could record vocals in the middle of peak hour traffic with people hurling abuse at you, and he would make it sound angelic still, like that dude’s a wizard.
JESS (Moody Music): Is that how recording went? Just did recording while being vocally abused in public? Haha
PAT: It’s part of the process…haha
MATI: I was abusing them, if they didn’t get it right I would abuse them haha
STEFAN: Yeah! Mati is the worst man, he’d be like ‘dude you’re out of time again! What the f*ck!’ *sigh* I have nightmares about it still haha
MATI: and look at the outcome!
JESS (Moody Music): So, going back to ‘Whatever, Nevermind’, you guys managed to get that played on triple j’s Short.Fast.Loud, and I BELIEVE THAT STEFAN IN ONE OF YOUR IG STORIES YOU SAID SOMETHING LIKE ‘SLIDING INTO DM’S PAYS OFF’ (IN RELATION TO SLIDING INTO JOSH MERRIEL’S DM’S). What did you actually say him?
STEFAN: Firstly, I’m mad grateful to Josh Merriel, he’s nice guy for someone with the reputation that he has of being a “big deal”, he doesn’t need to be as nice as he is, but he’s super nice!
He put something up on his IG where he was like ‘hey I’ve hit 15 thousand followers, to celebrate, hit me up for like polite opinions on your band or industry advice’ or something like that. So, I was just like scrolling past, and was like Hell Yeah Man! I’ll dm him, I’ll be like ‘hey what do you think of my band?’ and he was kind enough to compare us to Slowly Slowly, who I adore.
JESS (Moody Music): He said you guys were like a happy Slowly Slowly haha, but as you go through the EP, it’s not happy anymore haha
MATI: Yeah like towards the end. The two singles we released were I guess upbeat, so they are kind of disguised as happy.
STEFAN: I guess it’s like one step closer to our plan of just trying to assume Slowly Slowly’s identity. You know, we’ll be happy Slowly Slowly, then we will make sad music, I’ll grow my hair long, and we will be the new Slowly Slowly.
JESS (Moody Music): You could try to support them, like hey you’re Slowly Slowly and we’re happy Slowly Slowly, so support for Melbourne gigs aye?
STEFAN: Yeah it just makes sense. I’ll slide into their dm’s at one point, cause it pays off!
PAT: it works, it just works
STEFAN: I’ve got to admit though, any time I’ve tried that in the past in any facet of my life, it’s been a disaster. So yeah, I definitely would encourage people to slide into dm’s haha
JESS (Moody Music): I thought you would have used the usual lines like ‘Hey how’s your night going, listen to my band?’ or ‘Got much on for the weekend? Listen to this’ haha
STEFAN: It’s actually funny you mention that, cause the first thing I said was just ‘U up?’ haha
MATI: With just the ‘U’ as well.
JESS (Moody Music): WHAT SONG DO YOU THINK IS THE UNDERDOG/ UNRATED SONG ON THE NEW ‘IMPOSTOR’ EP, YOU THINK FANS WILL BE SURPRISED BY?
MATI: I’d guess the ones that are most different from the singles, so like ‘Pathetic’ and ‘Sentimental’, those two songs that are not as upbeat and happy sounding I guess. I feel like if you’ve listened to us for long enough, you would have heard most of these upbeat kinds of sounds, but those two songs are pretty different from that. But still, I think they’re great, not single worthy because they are not that upbeat kind of song, but in terms of song quality I think they’re just as good as any of the songs on the EP, I love them.
PAT: Yeah, ‘Sentimental’ is great! It’s very different from our other stuff, so it will be pretty crazy to put as a single, but it’s a fantastic song, we love it.
STEFAN: I think ‘Sentimental’ for me is like the underdog song, it’s like… describing it as a ballad is an interesting one. Cause you write this song, and you have this really set idea of how people are going to interpret it or what they will compare it to, and then people say things like ballads and your like that’s crazy! I never expected anyone to call that a ballad. Or like, you know, in my head, there’s a guitar part in it and I’m like yeah this sounds like a Police riff or like The Cure or something, and then someone else the other day heard it and they were like man, it’s got like this Violent Soho part in it, and I was like that’s crazy. It’s just kind of wild how all the songs take on their own lives.
MATI: It’s cool though, I like that. That’s the fun part when you release music, you don’t know what people are going to think or how people are going to assume or assimilate with it, it’s always really interesting to hear what people will think.
STEFAN: That’s one of the songs I’m most psyched for (Sentimental) cause I think it’s, like you said it’s different and yeah it’s going to be cool. I’m curious to see if anyone “feels it”.
MATI: And also, the fact that it’s lyrically quite heavy, so I think it will be interesting to see how people will react to that.
STEFAN: It’s exactly what people need like during this lockdown, just a big heavy dose of the sads, we got ya! Haha
JESS (Moody Music): WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG OFF THE NEW EP?
MATI: I would say by far, my favourite is ‘Sentimental’, I just love that song and how different it is.
PAT: Yeah ‘Sentimental’ is pretty good. Argh it’s so hard to pick!
STEFAN: I reckon I know yours! I Bet I could guess it!
PAT: I feel like mine would be ‘Three Twenty-Seven’. I connect the most with that song, so yeah that’s my favourite. ‘Sentimental’ is very close though, it’s a very good song too.
STEFAN: It’s kind of like picking your favourite kid you know, you tell everyone it’s really hard, but you have that one clear favourite haha. ‘Pathetic’ is my fave, I feel like I’m mad defender of that song, it doesn’t get that much love within the band when we were talking about songs.
MATI: I think that the reason you are saying that is, because we’ve been trying to choose the singles for the EP and I feel like ‘Pathetic’ is not a single. But I think it’s just as good. It’s my favourite to play live.
JESS (Moody Music): DO YOU GUYS HAVE ANY FINAL WORDS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAY ABOUT THE EP AND MESSAGES YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET OUT TO YOUR FANS?
MATI: I hope people enjoy it, and that they find it relevant a little bit in their lives.
PAT: That they connect with it.
MATI: Yeah, cause I find it that when I’m not feeling great about myself or about life and stuff, and I listen to sad music, it just reflects how I’m feeling and it makes me feel a little bit better. So, I hope our music can do that to some people out there.
STEFAN: I back all of that up. I think that like if there is anyone out there who takes the time to listen to us, we’d be mad grateful for that, and anyone who the songs kind of resonate with on any level as well. If someone’s like at a party and this is going to be the soundtrack, that’s cool. If you’re having a party in the current climate, that’s wildly irresponsible, but I’m glad that we are the soundtrack haha.
MATI: and then come party with us, when we play live!
STEFAN: That’s it, I can wait to play live for people, and ruin these songs for them when I’m yelling haha.
That was our Moody Music interview with Stefan, Pat and Mati from Snark, their New EP 'Impostor' is AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW! So, go and check these Melbourne punk-rock Sk8er Boi's out!
Stefan Sepulveda VOCALS / GUITAR
(Pat) Patrick Lester BASS / BACKUP VOCALS
(Mati) Matias Cantavenera DRUMS
FFO: Violent Soho, Slowly Slowly, As It Is, Kisschasy, Blink 182