Blackpool trio Those Fucking Snowflakes have been bashing out political punk tunes for around a year now, describing their music as “a hard ‘Get Tae Fuck’ to all those who say political discourse has no place in music.” Who better then to pick up the baton from last month’s State of the Nation curators Sleepyboy and share their pick of the bands currently telling the story of modern Britain.
They’re giving it a pretty good crack themselves with the literally infectious new video for upcoming single ‘Stop Being Dickheads To Each Other’, which sees a rabid Theresa May turning the band into Boris zombies. The track is taken from their upcoming EP U OK Hun?, due for release in January 2020, though goodness only knows what state we’ll be in by then.
We caught up with the band to capture their thoughts on the EP and the current political climate in the UK.
It’s been a pretty horrendous time in global politics over the past few year (although I’m not sure I can remember a time when it wasn’t, come to think of it), was there a particular incident which proved the tipping point for you and spurred the creation of Those Fucking Snowflakes?
BP (vocals): I guess the whole Brexit thing, it’s a huge issue and it’s not going away. Sexism, Racism and every other ‘ism’ were there in the undertow anyway but after the vote, and Boris Johnson’s comments about Muslims in the Guardian, it seemed to give dickheads the motivation to start being arseholes in public forums. Since then everyone in this country seems to have become far more hateful – the fact that Yaxley-Lennon, and his vacant choir of zombies, is a thing shows how far we have fallen. Maybe everyone was this hateful anyway and it just seems more acceptable now for some fucking reason.
I, personally, just felt kind of frustrated with it all, I used to be in another loud band called Dinosaurs Are Shit Dragons and I wanted just to be able to shout about things that annoyed me in a room with instruments and noise again, it’s therapeutic and helps with the stress and depression.
I’d randomly seen that Cas had posted on joinmyband (he’d been in his other band for 12 years and got a bit sick of it) and we’ve both known each other for years, so I thought we may as well give the whole ‘shouting my fears’ thing a go. We had an afternoon blasting noise out and decided to rope Dan in on bass. It sounded alright so we carried on
We never even expected to get one gig, given the band name, so it’s been a surprise we’ve managed something like 18 since our first one in April.
Being based in London, surrounded by people who voted remain back in 2016, it’s pretty easy to get a skewed vision of where the country stands at the moment. What’s the mood like in Blackpool, where the vote was more than two thirds leave?
Dan (bass): As a bunch of soft lefty snowflakes, I think we are also somewhat isolated from the more conservative echo chambers of the average leave voter. But I think the mood here is generally of frustration. People who were frustrated at the lack of opportunities up north are now frustrated that Brexit is taking so long and that it is perhaps not the fairy tale that was sold to them during the 2016 referendum.
What has the reaction been to the band’s political stance, online and at live shows?
BP: Nobody knows who we are, so we’ve not really met opposition yet – most of the gigs we get, we attract like minded people. We’ve had people say they appreciate the message and agree with it, but we’ve had no real challenges so far – we’ve not played the Tory Party Conference yet, so I guess that could change. It’s not really been a struggle, maybe people are just as pissed off as we are and that’s why we have met no resistance yet.
We were told by a staff member at one gig that we should drop the political stuff, not everyone agrees with it and it’s easier to get ‘ahead’ in the music business without it, but the point of the band was to get these things off our chest – if we cared about hitting the Radio One A List we would have picked a different name and played safe sterile boring music.
Do you think that there are enough bands and artists speaking out about the current state of society and our politics? Can music really make a difference?
BP: I mean, this goes back to the previous answer. People are so afraid of alienating a potential audience that they don’t want to express an opinion either way. Just keep on singing about love and going to the pub. Maybe more people should though, I mean singing ‘the best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich’ never hurt IDLES. They are a band whose message of unity and love I really appreciate, as well as the anti-tory lyrics.
Expressing anger at the state of affairs seems to have been dropped by rock n roll and taken up by rap, hip hop – I don’t listen to that sort of stuff personally but enjoy it on the radio. People like Slowthai and Kate Tempest seem to be giving a voice to how broken Britain and the rest of the world has become, whereas the punks of yesteryear sell Butter on TV.
Music can make a difference though, if people like an artist they will listen to what they have to say and spread those words – singing them out amongst friends and letting the message ring out.
Ok, we’re going to wave our magic wand now – you’ve been installed as Prime Minister with the sort of powers to override Parliament that the current incumbent seems to think he has. You can introduce one new proposal on any topic and it will be guaranteed Royal Assent – what’s it going to be?
BP: Culpability – people like Boris Johnson (Tesco Value Donald) get away with anything. Boris stuck a blatant lie on a bus and paraded it up and down the country, probably to avoid EU Tax Avoidance laws – or some other reason that will benefit him personally. And he was allowed to get away with it.
He suggested Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was training journalists in Iran and really muddied her case. He just seems to lie and make mistakes and is never held accountable for his actions. He argued with a man in a hospital about how there was no press there whilst pointing at the camera filming them, he is just blatant about his lies now because he knows he can do what he wants – the rich, white, powerful elite.
It’s not an easy proposal to sum up in a few paragraphs and needs wiser people than I to even consider how to go about it, but people in power do need start being held accountable for gross negligence, mistakes and outright lies.
This needs to be applied to the press as well, Brexit was fuelled by lies printed in papers for their own gain and it’s perfectly legal to do so. They need to be held accountable for spreading misinformation and helping the tyrannical empire of Bojo the Bus Enamoured Bellend stay in power.
Check out Those Fucking Snowflakes’ State of the Nation playlist, featuring tracks by Mystery Jets, Eagulls, Cyanide Pills, Bats, The Menstrual Cramps, Bad Breeding, IDLES, Future of the Left, Sleaford Mods and Dead Kennedys that sum up their thoughts about the state of modern Britain.
Catch Those Fucking Snowflakes live:
22nd October: Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool w/ The Kut
16th November: Star & Garter, Manchester
20th DECEMBER at The Spinning Top, Stockport
21st DECEMBER at Bootleg Social, Blackpool
28th DECEMBER at the Bobbin, Lancaster
17th JANUARY at the Salty Dog, Northwich
Interview by Paul Maps