Ann Arbor, Michigan is home to The Ark – the venerable folk and roots music club and centre of the Ann Arbor Folk Festival. It’s also home to the University of Michigan and has a reputation for its counter-culture, left-wing politics. So of course it makes sense that it also gave birth to Blue Snaggletooth – a spaced-out, heavy psychedelic stoner-rock band whose lyrics bring to life long-haired, muscle-bound warriors, fighting reptilian aliens to save a scantily clad princess.
Blue Snaggletooth’s latest record – Beyond Thule (their first Dimension Thule was released in 2011 – with an entirely different lineup), is a slab of Sabbath-flavoured heaviness that’s just hooky enough to cut through the sludge. Just try to get the lead track – Reptiles – out of your head. BST are not just your run of the mill stoner-rock band either – there’s some early Seattle happening here with the pound of Melvins and the muscle of early Soundgarden, and a hint of classic NWOBHM like Witchfinder General, over lyrics ripped right out of the pages of an Edgar Rice Burroughs space opera.
It’s simple, turn on the lava lamp and crank this up.
People say we sound like….
Chris – Black Sabbath, Clutch, The Sword, Thin Lizzy, 1970’s proto-metal
Members: Chris Taylor – Guitar, Vocals, Casey O’Ryan – Guitar, Joe Kupiec – Bass, Mike Popovich – Drums
We are originally from…..
50third: How did you become Blue Snaggletooth and what is the story behind the name?
Chris – The band was formed in 2009 by Chris Taylor . The group went through several line up changes after the release of the first album and evolved into the current line up in 2013. The band name comes from the name of the most rare Kenner Star Wars action figure that was released in 1979.
(Note – it’s worth about $500 – why didn’t I keep my Star Wars figures!?!).
50third: What music has had an influence on your sound?
Chris – Michigan music like the MC5, and the Stooges. 1960’s/70’s photo metal bands like Blue Cheer, Jimi Hendrix, Hawkwind, and of course Black Sabbath.
Casey – Black Sabbath, UFO, Budgie, Witch
50third: Tell us about the scene in Ann Arbor…
Chris – It’s small. There are lots of cool bands, and lots of different sounds going on. Lot’s of house shows.
50third: How does the city, or landscape influence your sound?
Chris – Michigan gets really cold weather in the winter so we end up spending a lot of time inside writing and playing music.
Casey – agree with Chris, plenty of time indoors when its cold to write new tunes
50third: Tell us about your live show…
Chris – We put on the best show that we can and keep the energy level at 100%. We have fun on stage together and keep the atmosphere light and positive. We tend to blast through our set going from one song to the next without a lot of stage banter. We usually bring a light show that includes video projections and liquid light projections.
Casey – we try and put on the best live show possible.
50third: What influences the band lyrically?
Chris – Fantasy writers like Robert E Howard, and Lovecraft. The lyrics also reflect things that effect everyone in their day to day lives like questions about the nature of reality and the future of humanity.
Casey – Science fiction/fantasy, HP Lovecraft, Frank Frazetta paintings…
50third: Our most memorable gig ever was….
Playing the KADAVAR afterparty at the Magicstick in Detroit.
50third: If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….
Chris – 1970 southeast Michigan. The rock scene at that time was incredible.
Casey – The early 70s… To share the stage with early Black Sabbath, Scorpions, UFO…
50third: Growing up, at home we listened to…..
Chris – Lots of Led Zeppelin, Motown sounds, and whatever was on the radio or what our parents were listening to.
Casey – tons of AC/DC, Sabbath, Rolling Stones..
50third: What tunes are on heavy rotation for you…
Chris – Sin’s a Good Man’s Brother by Grand Funk Railroad. Lot’s of Grand Funk’s first 3 albums.
Casey – I’ve been listening to a lot of old, heavy stuff, like Iron Claw, Jerusalem, Truth and Janey, Budgie, UFO. In terms of newer stuff, Graveyard, Kadavar, Witch, The Shrine…
50third: If you could open for any band right now who would that be and why?
Chris – Would love to tour with The Sword. That group really inspired me to get back into playing heavier music.
Casey – Black Sabbath
50third: When you’re not playing and have some time off, where could we find you…
Chris – At the bar, cleaning the house, writing music, taking care of our personal lives, lame day jobs.
Casey – practicing, enjoying a nice stout, watching old horror movies…
50third: The one thing we want you to remember while you’re listening to us….
Keep your ears open. Keep your mind open.
50third: What’s up for 2015?
Chris – We’re working on having several new releases for 2015.
Casey – New tunes! New music video! New shows!