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The Spanish outfit Snakeyes has released a killer heavy metal album with 'Metal Monster'. The album is full of classic heavy metal of the better kind clearly, influenced by bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Since we at Lords Of Metal like to give good bands a chance to present themselves, we contacted the sympathetic singer Cosmin Aionita who was happy to talk about his band.

By: Henk | Archive under heavy / power metal

Hey guys, just received your latest CD 'Metal Monster'. Your previous albums unfortunately didn't reach our website. Can you tell us in short what Snakeyes is all about?
SnakeyeS is all about writing, recording and playing traditional heavy metal music, with up-to-date sound and production. Sorry about not receiving our previous album – ‘Ultimate Sin’. Your readers can either order it from our website or stream it / download it from all the major digital platforms.

The album is an absolute great heavy metal album. Still you self-release it. What is the reason for that?
Thanks for your great words, they're really appreciated. Although we got a few offers from several labels interested in publishing ‘Metal Monster’, we decided to self-release it. Why? Let's just say we weren't happy with the offered terms so we decided to keep complete control of our music, both artistically and financially.

Quite a few songs, not to say all, feature double guitar parts. Since you have one guitarist in the band how do you guys handle that live?
The same could be said about the first album and we handled it just fine when it came to playing it live. But this album is even more complex and one of the songs ('Sign of Death') even features an orchestral part. But don't worry, live performances won't suffer because of this. The guys are working everything out in rehearsals and, probably, they'll include some parts of certain songs on a backing track (such as the orchestral part I've mentioned before). The release gig for ‘Metal Monster’ already proved the songs sound awesome live.

All songs were written by Jose (bass) and Cosmin (vocals). Only on two songs Justi (guitar) was also credited as songwriter. Can you explain how you work on the songs? What is the contribution of Justi and Carlos(drums) on the songwriting?
Songs from our very first release the 'Welcome To The Snake Pit' EP, were initially written for a solo release of Jose's. He scrapped that idea when he heard the demos with my vocals and we decided to put together a proper band instead. But we kept the "writing team", with 'Ultimate Sin' being a natural evolution of 'Welcome To The Snake Pit'. The thing is Jose never insisted about being the only song writer in the band, all the guys were welcome to submit ideas. And out of over 20 concepts for this album, we ended up with eleven great songs, two of those being Justi's.

Since we don't live in the same place (or even country), we can't afford the luxury to write songs during rehearsals, like other bands do. So, both Jose and Justi come up with ideas, riffs and concepts in their homes, record them, send them over and, if we like them, I go on and record some "test vocals" on them. If we enjoy these demos, they're later transformed into complete songs. If not, maybe we change a thing or two or keep them for later use... For example, the initial idea for the bonus track 'The Hunt' (from the 'Mask of Reality' single) is a lot older than you think, but the actual song you hear on the CD has been recorded just before 'Metal Monster' was released.

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Can you tell what the lyrics are all about and where the inspiration comes from?
The lyrics you can hear on all Snakeyes releases are 100% mine. I draw inspiration from several topics such as social and political issues as there are in 'Rise Up: The Red Plague', 'Circus Of Fools' or 'Blood Of The Damned' from the 'Ultimate Sin' record, personal beliefs as 'The Cross Is A Lie' from the first album, or video games which is actually one of my favorite themes. 'Shadow Warriors' and 'Rise Of The Triad' from 'Ultimate Sin' and 'Edge of The World' from 'Metal Monster' are deeply inspired by certain games. Sometimes it is just simply traditional, and sometimes totally cheesy, heavy metal concepts with the song 'Metal Monster' being a prime example.

Your music reminded me of Primal Fear and Judas Priest and in 'Rise Up' one can hear some Iron Maiden influences? Would you say that these bands are the most important influences on Snakeyes? What other bands or music do you listen to?
Thanks, we're humbled by these comparisons. Of course you'll hear some Iron Maiden and Judas Priest elements in our music, because I think these are Jose's and my favorite bands of all time. Justi is a big Guns N' Roses fan and Carlos is more into older, classic rock. Jose is very passionate about all traditional heavy metal music and I'm also open to newer stuff, depending of my mood. Sometimes I enjoy listening to something a bit more extreme such as Arch Enemy or Vader. I prefer also industrial metal with Samael being one of my favorites and even pop-metal such as Amaranthe. But my all time favorite band is always going to be Iron Maiden.

How is the current metal scene in Spain? Are there enough places to play or is there any airplay for metal these days?
Honestly, I can't offer a complete answer, since I don't live in Spain, I only visit it for gigs and tours. But, from what I saw these past few years, I can tell you there's a huge difference between Spain and my home country (Romania). Spain has more GOOD rock and metal bands, and A LOT more clubs, festivals and places to play this kind of music. And people don't treat you like you're a devil worshipper when you tell them you're in a metal band. They actually appreciate the artistic act, even if maybe they don't fully understand it.

What are the future plans for Snakeyes? Any touring plans also outside of Spain?
We're currently getting ready to go on the first leg of our Spanish Metal Monstour 2018 this Spring. Our management is also looking into bringing the tour to other European countries, but I can't confirm anything else at this time, unfortunately.

Well thanks for taking the time for the interview. I hope we see you guys in the Netherlands sometime. Is there anything that you would like to mention to our readers? Here is your chance!
Thank you for your interest in our band. We also hope to see all you at a Dutch gig (let's hope this will happen sooner rather than later). But, until then, make sure you keep the metal flame burning and don't take shit from anyone! Horns up!

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