Singled Out: Super Snake's Big Seize

Super Snake

Super Snake released their new album "Leap of Love" this week and to celebrate we asked Jerry Jones to tell us the story behind the single "Big Seize". Here is the story:

This was the first song written for the "Leap of Love" album sessions. To be quite honest, I was nervous as hell about it. For several reasons. It was the first track to be written instrumentally without any influence from our original two guitar players. And not that I doubted our new guitar players' (Joe Laga and Pete August) ability to write, but it felt like a new band to me. Everything about "Big Seize" was aesthetically different from previous Super Snake tunes - there was nothing that stood out to me as overtly tongue in cheek (a defining Super Snake quality). It was written as a short little ripper but I knew this song was going to sound massive by the time we were done with it.

I went over to Pete August's apartment in Montclair, NJ to lay some vocals down on the original demo sometime in late 2014. It was cold out and I remember picking up a bunch of beer to stay warm and get me in the mood. It wasn't the first time Pete tracked my vocals, but it was the first time he was tracking me for the new stuff where I had decided I wanted to change things up a bit as far as vocal pentameter and style went. I was not confident in myself. All of Pete's roommates were home and walking in and out of his bedroom, seeing what's up, and here I am trying to experiment vocally but completely unsure if I sound like an a**hole or what (See: end vocals on "Big Seize"). Thank god for beer. After I had loosened up a bit, our good friend Pete Lang made his way over. Lang sang in one of August's earlier hardcore bands, Raw Law. He is great company and was also able to alleviate some of this bullsh*t anxiety I was feeling. Lang ended up adding these awesome Nosferatu backing vocals on the call and repeats during the choruses. Everyone in the band just smiled and silently, but totally, approved.

The lyrics were written in the course of three days as I tried to come up with this very specific "plague bringer" horror character. But I also wanted it to be a unrequited love song. Like a sad demon-type. I wanted to use a lot more reverb and delay on my vocals than I had on the previous EPs to give it this washed out haunted vibe. This ended up staging the vocal direction for the entire album. By the time we finished recording the demo that day, I had no idea what it was going to turn out like. I was still half-scared I blew it. Turns out everyone in the band flipped and loved the new direction. It was really inspiring the new risks paid off and allowed me to push even further with the following tracks we wrote. I refrained from using my usual growly vocals over everything and decided to go more relaxed; ironically, "Big Seize" is the growliest song on the record.

The album cut recording of it is an entirely different story. Down in northern Virginia, up in the mountains, in a haunted old cabin in the middle of nowhere, in a room filled with taxidermy turkeys and massive bear claws, the song just felt so natural and so psychedelic. I could feel colors pouring out of my mouth as I sang along to it. Kevin Antreassian (Super Snake producer and guitarist for The Dillinger Escape Plan) and I were just having so much fun and cracking each other up. It was such a smooth and confident process. Easily one of my favorite recording experiences of all time.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

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