Sitting Down with Hoopsnake

As many readers of Kaala know, 2016 and 2017 were two years filled with darkness. We won’t go into politics here, because we’re running out of time for beer and because editor-in-chief Jim Broadly refuses to allow any member of Kaala to write, speak, or even have any opinion regarding politics. Regardless, 2016 and 2017 became this weird thing in the underground music scene as well, with all these doom metal events suddenly appearing in Tokyo. Church of Misery got back together with new members and went on a world tour of Misery. Magdala Ju-nen finally released a new album, forever to be praised by reviewers, and Canadian doom trio Hoopsnake toured Japan. For Kaala it meant a lot since Hoopsnake opened up doors for us in Canada and America via the currently ongoing Guevnna/Hoopsnake North America Tour, and when we got hold of Hoopsnake bass-player Shane just in time for their new album, we took a brief break from Pornhub and had a couple of beers together.

Kaala (drunk as fuck): First of all, congratulations on the new album Snowmanmoth, released July 30th! Can’t wait to hear it, and I’m already stocking up on beer for the occasion. Can you tell us a little bit about the album, and how it compares to the last release, The Curse of The White Widow?

Shane (Hoopsnake): Once again, it is basically everything you can expect from Hoopsnake. This is our fourth album. The last one was more an EP I guess, where this is a full length so a little more for the listener’s pleasure. Once again it is packed with bear soaked riffs and a Hoopsnake take on a classic ZZtop song. In the last album we did a take on Spoonful and we had so much fun with it that we wanted to try another cover of one of favourite non doom metal bands.

Kaala: I had the pleasure of seeing you guys play in Tokyo in November 2016, which was the last gig you did while touring here (and the best doom metal gig I’ve been to in a really, really long time). How did you come up with the idea of arranging a tour in Japan, and how did it go? I’m sure there was a lot of hassle, but also some decent fun to be had (and how drunk did you manage to get?).

Shane: We got really drunk. The japanese laws and availability of high class beer are very accommodating for beer worshippers like ourselves. We came up with the idea of touring Japan when we met Guevnna at the Heavy Days in Doomtown Festival in Copenhagen. Our merch booth was next to Guevnna’s. Their band ruled and they seemed like such awesome dudes. We asked them if we could come party all over Japan with them, and they accepted. It was such an amazing time and we can’t wait to come back, people in Japan are just so inviting.

Kaala: For those of our readers that haven’t yet had the pleasure of listening to your music, how would you describe it?

Shane: I would describe it as evil booze soaked sludge, with a great flavour of doom metal, and classic rock and roll thrown into the mix. With a couple swamp monsters on vocals yelling in your face.

Kaala: And who would you say inspired you the most to create the music that you do?

Shane: Thats a tough question. I couldn’t narrow that down to one person or band but if I had to it would be Black Sabbath. I guess all heavy metal music is really just inspired by Black Sabbath, if it wasn't for them we wouldn't be doing this the way we do, that’s for sure.

Kaala: You hail from Squamish, a small town south of Vancouver, Canada. How is the music scene over there? I hail from a small town in Norway myself, and apart from me and a couple of friends doing a Darkthrone cover band (we were 16-17 and hadn’t discovered doom metal yet), there was no music scene happening.

Shane: It was definitely tough growing up to discover new heavy music. it was before the days of the internet so you could only get hardcopies of music. But now with the internet it’s really up to the individual what he or she wants to listen to, no matter where you reside. For a small town, Squamish has a good music scene, mostly grind and power violence bands. But, the gigs are always fun and full of energy.

Kaala: Does the beautiful nature and scenery in Squamish give any influence to your music, or is it mostly beer that we can thank for these amazingly heavy riffs?

Shane: The outdoors is most definitely a part of what makes us inspired. I love taking Mother Nature’s creations with a soundtrack of heavy soothing music. One track off of our first LP titled “Mosstreeman” is actually a legend we wrote. It’s about the ocean surrounding Squamish coming to life in the form of a mossy tree, and slowly cruising threw the valley in search of a more peaceful resting spot than the hard conditions of the ocean.

Kaala: And finally, any plans for a new tour in Japan again? I know a lot of people over here that would really enjoy seeing you play again! Thanks for the interview Shane, looking forward to the new album.

Shane: Another tour in Japan is in the works. Guevnna is coming to tour Canada with us in September. I am sure on that tour we will nail down some future japan date.