The Snuts Are Embracing Authenticity

Millennials has arrived: 10 tracks of songs to dance to that has The Snuts all over it.  February’s new release marks a big moment for the band, as they make their album debut under Happy Artist Records – via The Orchard, their very own label. “It’s been so long since we just made some music with no intention of making a record or having to send to anyone to please or hear any feedback on. We just wanted to make some music as friends like we used to do”, Jack Cochrane said. 

The making of the album was split between two parallels: a studio, isolated in Scotland’s countryside and the chaos of life on the road. “We booked a studio in Northeast Scotland – again it’s so long since we made music in Scotland. So kind of proper foot of Ben Nevis, super remote, there wasn’t like a shop or a pub or anything, just us and some sheep. So we just locked ourselves in there for a couple of weeks and made some tunes and were like, this feels pretty good – that could be the start of a project. We made you know quite a lot, maybe like 50% of the record and then had to go on the road”. This being their first album away from a ‘major label’, Jack said they had gotten used to “having a hell of a privilege in terms of producers and studios and all this equipment and vintage gear and stuff like that. But this time it was proper like laptop, couple of guitars, drum kit. We knew we could take that on the road, so we ended up just like at the back of a tour bus, and those horrible seating areas in hotels and airports. Just recording everywhere we went, in every country and every city we’d just book a studio or set up in the hotel room.” 

Those moments of songwriting ‘chaos’ on the road and the ‘tempo that comes with that kind of lifestyle’ are palatable in the frenzied euphoria of the album, made completely away from outside influence. “It was kind of wicked this one, much more enjoyable”, he said, when asked about how the making of this record felt in comparison to their previous two albums produced in the haze of lockdown. “I think the first two records were proper lament with worry and pressure, there was a lot of noise and a lot of expectation kind of on every song.” With Millennials, there was ‘no pressure, we just had to trust ourselves that we’re proud of what we’re doing here; There was no external noise saying you need to be like this kind of band, look at this band and this band or this artist… they’re doing it like this, could you do something like this?.” 

That confidence needed to make their own way was reinstilled by their fan’s reaction to Gloria, their first song released under Happy Artist Records, and now their most played song of all time. “I think it was that song that birthed the confidence that we’ve had over the last year to actually pursue producing it and putting it out on our own. I think if it wasn’t for that song, we would probably still be shitting it right now.” Jack continues, “I think nowadays artists across the board are really struggling, having confidence and certainly that was great for us to be able to find that.” 

It was a songwriting session in Japan that saved a few of the tracks on Millennials that Jack found himself “hating and trying to take off the record.” He says that “two weeks before or one week before it comes out it’s an absolute all time high for me, like I can’t hear these anymore,” he says, laughing. “I think I’ve been like this with all the records but it just becomes brutal especially when you start playing them so you’re adding the hours on that way as well.” Being able to close the door on a track is “probably one of the only things I quite like about streaming platforms and stuff like that. I think when something becomes final and goes on there, you kind of make peace with the things that maybe bothered you about the track before stop bothering you. So it’s nice just to put that out in the world and say right, this is as good as it can get.” 

The title Millennials was birthed from the idea of revisiting “a lot of emotions and stuff like that we’d glossed over. As a band, when it came to writing songs previously we’d been pretty focused on the present and keeping our feet moving forward. I think those are topics that we probably thought weren’t too cool at some point to write about so these songs started to appear that way.” The band realised that the album documented ‘“the highlights and lowlights and the important steps” of navigating their lives that previous albums may have brushed over. “Young people as a whole don’t actually know where they’re at, there’s that real confusing point to try and put your finger on, like, Am I happy where I’m at? How did I get here? Am I moving in a good direction? So Millennials for us was this idea of everything that’s built you up to get to where you are.” 

For The Snuts, their focus has always been on the fans, from putting up demos in their early days because “people that know the songs are going to have a better show” to now, having gone independent, staying engaged with their fans through their “really active Discord server, which is like the most no-frills version of social media that exists. But it’s a super amazing way for people to even meet each other and stuff like that. I think on the Discord server it’s great because people are talking about loads of things man, we don’t say This is just a place to come and talk about our band. That way we can be much more direct with the way we want to come across, much more honest.” 

As the record revolves around those pivotal moments of growing up, Jack, when asked about advice that he would give to the band when they were just starting out in school, said that they should “definitely stop trying to be so cool” and that even though some bands “just wake up in the morning and don’t have to wash and they just look really cool by doing that”, it’s all about “the music and the connection” at the end of the day. “There’s not a version of yourself that people are going to like more than the one that you actually are I think.”

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Photographer: Garry Williamson

Words: Megan Bowles