You’re likely familiar with Oli Gagnon, his is a moniker that constantly adorns the pages of our magazine and the galleries on Snowboarder.com. As SNOWBOARDER Senior Photographer, the BC-based Gagnon spends winters pointing his lens at some of the best snowboarders in the world: Gigi Rüf, Louif Paradis, Jed Anderson, Chris Grenier, Frank April…the list goes on. No matter the subject and location, Oli’s images are always stunning. When the snow melts and he’s not dangling out of helicopters in AK, Oli is at home in Squamish banging the drums alongside guitarist Dave and bassist Shane in doom metal band, Hoopsnake. Their heavy riffs have spewed out at shows during Superpark and other snowboarding events in the Northwest, and when Oli hit us up that their first-ever music video was dropping, we were hyped to check out the visuals that would accompany their venomous tunes. So, presenting the world premiere of Hoopsnake’s first music video, Curse of the White Widow. Curse of the White Widow doesn’t disappoint and is rife with raw melody and campy horror. We’ve heard this term is pretty overused in metal circles, but this shit is brutal.
- Mary Walsh
Hoopsnake has played a few times at SNOWBOARDER’s events and during the summer at Hood, but for folks who may not be familiar with the cacophony of metal that is Hoopsnake, can you tell us a little bit about the band? How long have you guys been playing and how did Hoopsnake come about originally?
Oli Gagnon: The legend of the Hoopsnake has been carried across history. A mythical creature—a folkloric manifestation of humanity’s fear of itself. Escape from the jaws of the beast is beyond the bounds of possibility. We know this and know too that we are the selfsame beast. It is doom eternal. Like thunder, lightning, darkness. But really, nobody knows.
If you had to describe Hoopsnake’s sound in three words, what would you say?
In addition to Black Sabbath, what bands influence you guys?
This is Hoopsnake’s first music video, right? How did you guys choose the concept and what was the process of filming the video like?
We’ve been talking about doing a music video for a while but the only problem is most of our songs are like 7 to 10 minutes long so it makes it very hard to make it happen. Finally, last year we wrote a song about 4 minutes long that’s a bit more rocking, so we felt like it was time to do it! Next was to find the right person to produce it, and while on our last tour we linked up with Sean Edwards (from WitchStone) in Calgary and we happened to have a day off, so we decided to do it! Sean knew an amazing makeup artist that was down to help out with all the fake horror props. She killed it! The rest of the video kind of wrote itself on the spot; we just filmed a bunch of dumb stuff and bad acting in the woods and Sean worked his magic in the editing room after!
You spend your winter dangling out of helicopters shooting photos in places like Alaska and when you come back home to BC, you’re on stage playing with Hoopsnake. How does being behind-the-scenes when shooting compare to being in front of an audience when playing shows?
I mean, it’s not like we play on huge stages in front of thousands of people; that’s not really our thing. Most of our shows are pretty small (and we like it that way)–a more intimate feel you know? I would say our best case scenario is playing on the floor of a bar with a circle of drunk people packed around us. I feel like people get more into it when they’re closer, you know? Or at least you get that feeling. But, yeah, to answer the question, I don’t really like so much the attention it brings, I think i like being behind the scene a bit better!
There’s a lot of jokes about drummers, hit us with the best/worst one you’ve heard.
Oh, I see where this is going. Everybody likes to make fun of the drummer, I get it. But hey, if your drummer sucks, your band sucks.
What’s the most metal thing you’ve seen while shooting photos of snowboarding?
Jared Hottie clipping his tail on a lipslide and smashing his frontals on a park rail at Bear and shortly after screaming, “OMG I hate snowboarding!”
Where can people go to hear more of your songs and follow the band, get news on shows, purchase songs, etc?
For sure! we have a Bandcamp profile where you can stream and download digital albums as well as order vinyl copies and we also have a regular Facebook page where we keep updating our shows and posting random stuff! We would like to thank everybody who has been buying our music since we started, this is our only way to save money and record more stuff, so thanks!
Check out Hoopsnake on Bandcamp and Facebook.
Read the full World Premiere of Hoopsnake Curse of the White Widow Music Video article on Snowboarder Magazine.