Snake & Crane
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Snake & Crane

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Alternative World




"Snake and Crane - interview"

In two (2) sentences, or less, describe your band.

Niranjan (N) - Arabic Post-Punk and Psych.

As musicians you are very conscious of the direction your music takes?

David Croft (DC) - That is the challenge, our goal, to be 100% conscious, free of distraction and be in the now, to surrender to it. As for where we’ll end up I think this quote sums it up, “Stop reviewing what happened yesterday. Stop planning for tomorrow. Have you ever experienced a perfect moment in time? When time seemed to stop, and you could almost live in that moment. Nothing more complicated than perception. We’ve discovered that a single moment in time can be a universe in itself. Full of powerful forces.”

What can people expect to hear at The Drake Underground on Friday April 29?

DC - A three piece instrumental group applying both their academic and spiritual teachings to the present moment which, really, is about an intense delicious NOW that lingers and brushes past the ears and heart like old lovers reuniting their passion with immediacy.

Who/what has inspired you as musicians?

DC - Who… Currently a lot of Turkish 60’s pysch music and Middle Eastern music

DC - What…the tao, kung fu, silence, colour, breath.

How would you describe your experiences as an independent band over the past years? Have you experienced any major challenges and/or significant moments?

DC - We’ve only just begun, but generally in other bands. Very positive, We’ve been blessed to have such positive responses both with friends and family and promoters. Everyone is always supportive and willing to lend a helping hand.

N - I’d add, that a difficulty many real musicians/bands face at some point in time (or continually) is confronting the illusion(s) created by industry and other folks versus the reality and profundity of just being a music maker/channeler, where there is no room for commerce, and even less for ‘control’. What they do in the face of it, and after that confrontation means everything - to who they are, the music they make, and what is shared with others. I think this point is rarely discussed or taught to the young or self-taught music maker, and should be afforded respect and reflection if we (as a culture/people) are going to back out of the bizarre situation we find ourselves in.

If there was one musician that you could work with, who would it be and how would they be involved?

DC - Jordan Kern of Escalate, he has been one of my favourite Guitar players for the past few years. A man that knows what to play, but most of all understands it’s not just what you play it is how much you play and how much you don’t play. He holds that balance in everything thing I’ve heard.

N - I wouldn’t mind having Brian Eno record us, or have Mark E. Smith do some vocals for us before he kicks it. Davi and I always wanted Leonard Nimoy to do some spoken word stuff with us before he kicks it too. Is Charles Bronson a musician? That said, if I had free reign to choose anyone, I’d get a tibetan monk choir to chant round one of our freaky dirges just to see what happened, or Siddhartha himself to see what some really up there would come out with.

Albums you’re listening to at the moment.
What are you currently listening to?

N - A lot of Turkish psych comps harking back from the mid 60’s onto the 70’s have come out in the past three years, and it’s some fantastic stuff. I highly recommend it as Turkey was one of the most liberal of Arab states and was able to hear (and reflect) western sounds coming out of North America and Europe at the time. Also, all winter in my car (on a well worn cassette that jams no less) it was Gang of Four’s ‘Solid Gold’, which explains our sound clash at the moment.

Favourite restaurant in Toronto. Why?

DC - Hibiscus - Soup and salad special, perfect amount of food not too much like most restaurants, fresh feeling and tasting. Good energy put into the food and into the space.

N - Nora’s, a Middle Eastern place at Spadina + Richmond. It’s one of the few places in my neighbourhood that’s defiantly not corporate—in any sense of the word. They know me, and the way I like my food. The prices are RIDICULOUSLY low, and there’s hookah to indulge in on the street in summertime to watch the humans walk by to.

Favourite independent musician/band in Toronto. Why?

DC - Escalate, amazing musicianship, a band that listens to each other and plays off one another and you can dance to it too!

N - Second that. Dare I say they were inspirational in the forming of Snake & Crane’s ethos.

Favourite card game. Why?

DC - Sometimes “Pit” a nice loud auction type game and sometimes Spoons where there is actually a risk getting some knuckles a little bruised.

N - Phabbi, a Punjabi card game about getting all your cards out of hand as quick as possible. The loser always has to do some hilariously embarrassing shit, like dancing with a chunni on your head while everyone hollers and claps, so it’s always a crowd pleaser.

Is it just me or was “Role up the Rim” a huge hoax? I won nothing.

N - Tim Horton killed the independent Donut shop and it’s culture, which was everywhere when I was growing up. My dad used to have cigarette machines and tabletop arcade machines in them and would take me round once a week to pick up the quarters from them. That world is effectively dead now. More galling is the fact that they seem hell-bent on convincing everyone that they are synonymous with our cultural heritage, which is absolute bullshit. They’re a coffee shop with a clever marketing dept. that want to sell their shit. That’s it.

What does the Summer of 2011 hold for your band? Any tours, recordings, special events?

N – My only long term goal is to play in some cultural festivals to blow minds that won’t see it coming, and to press a 7”, even if it’s just one copy for my turntable at home. - Whoa Music


Self-Titled - LP (2012)



Snake & Crane are a three piece predominantly instrumental group applying both their martial art and spiritual teachings to the present moment which, really, is about an intense delicious NOW. That it finds itself expressed as Middle Eastern/Arabic inspired Post-Punk & Psychedelia [a cross between Gang of Four's 'Solid Gold' album and 60's Turkish Psych/Beat comps.] is some sweet baklava for the ears.

2 members of Snake & Crane arise from The Vulcan Dub Squad (Ranbir Gundu - 12 String guitar, David Croft - Drums), long stalwarts of the Canadian Indie rock scene [1997-2008], and alongside new recruit Brent O'Toole on bass, have taken to create a sound to reflect their philosophical/spiritual leanings.

If you love exotic scales and sounds seen through western hippie-punk eyes, and GENUINELY enjoy seeing a group that have sounds breaking from tired and played out cliches, then these are your wild horsemen of the desert.