Snakehips are innovators of the commercial realm. The British duo boast a number of platinum singles including ‘All My Friends’ with Tinashe and Chance The Rapper, ‘Don’t Leave’ with MØ, and ‘Cruel’ with Zayn which has elevated them into a household name. With a chaotic run of international festival performances including Coachella, Glastonbury, and Lollapalooza under their belt, Snakehips are now set to showcase their innovative pop records on a string of headline shows in Australia. Self-professed ‘cheeky boy’ and friend of the pair Joyride had a chat to Ollie of Snakehips in advance of their Australian tour, who revealed that life on the road is not always about jet setting glamour and high-profile partying.
Joyride: What you up to, man?
Ollie: Just chilling, it’s really early. We just got back off tour a couple days ago so I’m jet-lagged as shit but you know—we out here.
What time is it there?
It’s like 10:30am now which isn’t too bad, but I don’t really get up in the morning ever. So 10:30am is still a real shock to the system.
Heavy, man. So when you’re touring around, do you adjust quickly to the timezones?
No, it’s a constant struggle. James and I are the most fragile. We get tired and pissed off the whole time but that’s life on the road.
I like that excuse as well—“I’m pissed off and tired because I’m touring”. People started accepting that as an excuse and not realising that you’re actually just an asshole.
[Laughs] So true mate.
What’s the most recent whinge you can think of?
This whole tour they didn’t get any of the Baileys we had on the rider which was pretty upsetting.
That’s gotta hurt. Why Baileys?
Baileys is just a really nice drink. It warms you up when you’re feeling sad [laughs].
I get rolling papers on my rider. The cheeky buggers in Adelaide on a tour I just finished did pretty well with my rider, but then they put the rolling papers into the ice tub, so they were fucking ruined.
Why would they do that?
Probably because they were upset they had to buy rolling papers for some support act. I guess it’s a bit of a faceless crime. Given the setting you guys play in, club and festival land, the kick-ons would be pretty interesting, right?
Yeah, sometimes it gets you in a whole load of trouble. The other day we were in Edmonton in Canada and there were these girls, one was a friend I’d met a couple years ago who invited me and my tour manager to their place. It turned out one of the girls was married and one of the other girls was engaged, so we went around to their place and there were three really gross dudes playing drinking games. You know that game where you have a deck of cards and you pour your drink into a cup? So they had these really aggressive dogs there but said to us “Don’t look at my dog in the eye”. So we sat around this table and played the drinking game whilst avoiding eye contact with the dog. I ended up getting in a fight with one of the guys and making a scene and getting escorted off the premises. We keep an open attitude but sometimes it can slap you in the face, man.
I would have brought that mentality to the dog and said, “Nope. I’m looking at it in the eye. I’m going to alpha this dog”
Maybe you would have scared it, but I wouldn’t have scared it. It was a big ass dog and it was rowdy, man. I was terrified.
That’s kinda fucked. So you played on Jimmy Kimmel last night? The closest experience I have to that is singing on a show we have here in Australia called The Footy Show. I was singing backups for this guy called Illy.
I didn’t know you could sing, man—like R&B shit?
I guess, R&B mixed with like 20 cigarettes a day. TV is a different world, they put makeup on you and there’s like 40-year-old men with headphones on yelling at you constantly. That’s my experience. What was it like for you?
We didn’t get any makeup this time. It’s the most nerve-racking experience just waiting around to do it, then in two minutes it’s over.
Are you playing instruments or triggering tracks? What’s the vibe?
We did a bit of both. I played organ and James triggered the samples and drums.
You guys are coming to Australia real soon. What are your fondest memories of this place?
So many. Doing Splendour in the Grass, sharing a stage with Joyride—that was a big day man, I had a good time. Doing Beyond The Valley last year. We just played some really sick festivals and had a lot of fun.
The festival environment out here is conducive to fun, I’ve found as well.
That night at Splendour was funny as hell. I don’t really remember what happened.
That was fun. I remember being chased around by a lot of people who thought I was some kind of Shaman who would just give them drugs.
That was probably me.
We were on the same page, maybe you were following me around but you didn’t think I was a Shaman. Are you doing Splendour this year?
Not this year, we’re doing Groovin’ The Moo.
That’s actually the best touring festival you can do. Man, with Groovin’ The Moo though, you have a day off in Townsville and go to Magnetic Island. It’s this beautiful island, colloquially known on the touring circuit as ‘International jet ski and acid day’.
You basically take a bunch of acid and ride around on jet skis.
It sounds exciting and dangerous. I’m into it.
It’s perfect. Ralph from The Meeting Tree lost his $600 Tom Ford sunnies off the jet ski because he was just staring at the sunset and he hit a bump and they flew off his face.
I thought you were gonna say he lost his arm or something. That’s just as bad man, that’s an expensive pair of glasses.
There’s plenty more Tom Ford where that came from.
We are presenting the Snakehips Australia tour with Astral People and Handsome Tours. Get all the details here.
‘Link Up’ is a space for artists to interview one another about things that only artists would understand. You can follow the series here.