Artists / Bands, Dance / Electro, Interviews, Releases — September 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Interview: Zebra and Snake (FI)


If you’ve been to any awkward job interviews, practiced any Shamanic rituals or seen a therapist lately, there’s a chance that you have been asked the question:
“If you could be an animal, what would you be?”

While this may not be the most relevant starting point for a band interview, you have to keep in mind the origin of Zebra and Snake; the electric, euphoric drum-and-bass inspired Finnish duo who will be gracing the stages of the UpToTheSky Festival in December, 2011. After surviving a grey patch and reassessing their approach, Tapio and Matti have been steadily occupying the world stage with delicious aural delights, harnessing their ‘Power Animals’ as their namesake; Zebras representing individuality and balance, and Snakes symbolizing rebirth, eternity and mystery – the very qualities dripping from Zebra and Snake’s addictively venomous beats.

How were you guys discovered for the UpToTheSky Festival, and what do you think you can bring to the stage that other bands cannot?
I guess we were spotted for this gig when we played in Tokyo in October, 2011. It was a gig to remember; first of all, the view from the club was unbelievable, as it was on the 52nd floor of a skyscraper! Maybe the view inspired us to pull off such a great gig. Right after the show, there was a Halloween party at the club. It was insane. I’ll never forget those outfits…

Your music falls into a very unique genre – is it more appreciated by fans in Finland, or overseas?
I don’t really know! Hopefully our music reaches everybody someday.

Describe your genre in three words…If you can!
Healing synth pop!

Where did you two meet, and how did the band come about?
Matti and I grew up in Alajärvi, a small, nice city. But we didn’t hang out at all when were kids. After I had moved to Helsinki, Matti came to see an Antony and the Johnsons gig, and he needed a place to stay. I thought, if you like Antony’s music, you can’t be bad as a person. So, we became friends. We both are really just small town dudes. Relaxed, easygoing, and we both like good people; yet, we’re curious, we want to see the world, we want to be everywhere, we want to make an impact!

How did you get involved with Moby’s label in the lead up to your next release?
Our music was introduced to the label by Andy McClusky, the guy from this great band called OMD. He was at our gig in Oslo, at the Bylarm Festival, so it all started from there. Warm memories from that gig, I have.

Will the UpToTheSky Festival be your first major overseas festival? Where has been your favourite place to perform?
We’ve already had some larger gigs before this one; some in Europe, a few in the States and some in Asia as well. When we started this band, we promised to retire after our first gig abroad. Obviously, we didn’t. You get greedy, when you like it as much as we do! It’s hard to name a favourite place; everywhere has somewhere nice to memorise – nice loud crowd or view from a skyscraper for example.

What is one song, written by someone else, that you wish you’d written yourselves?
I wish I had written many songs.  Like Purple Rain by Prince or Amazing Grace or Blue Monday by New Order. And of course the whole back catalogue of Bruce Springsteen.

Any parting words for international fans who will see you at UpToTheSky Festival?
Come, come, come! Let us dance, let us heal!

Check out Zebra and Snake’s Myspace and Tumblr.


By Stephanie Winkler