"Snap It Off..." started life as a song my co-writer Gavin and I wrote once under the guise of Pesky. When I say song it should be understood that I mean a conglomeration of sounds and samples, loosely within the electronica genre, calculated and constructed to provoke the maximum of aural offence. Don't ask me why people who write otherwise perfectly listenable-to music do this from time to time, perhaps it's just to shake out the cobwebs but there it is. One of these days it'll be available for download and you'll be able to hear what I mean.
It's full title, "Snap It Off In My Ass" was bestowed upon it by Ian Watson, an artist we were taking it in turns to share a house with (long story), who's sense of humour was beyond disgusting at the best of times. His reason for coming up with it was that having that unfortunate action occur would be about the worst thing that could happen to you...
Amusingly, I used as its intro a sample of a hapless friend leaving a message on my answering service, ("Arthur, are you there mate? What're you up to..?") without his prior knowledge. The first time we played it out live, well, I truly wish I'd had a camera to have recorded his facial expression for posterity.
The tune became a live staple, if only to empty the venue at the end of the set. I once saw someone dancing to it at a college gig, a testament to the extreme use of ecstasy amongst Britain's student community.
It also became an often used phrase among our little social group; if you had a really bad day it had been "snapped right off, right in the ass", perhaps one's boss would spend the day "snapping it in my ass". Who said English isn't the language of poetry?
Eventually Pesky got itself a website on some free space, after all, you can't be an electronic "band" and not have some online presence. It was slow and sticky and crap so I decided to buy a domain and hosting plan so we could have a "proper" site. To our horror, if not surprise, pesky.co.uk, .com, .net, .org and .anything-else had all gone. So we started hunting around for something else that was fitting.
We must have gone through every song title in our catalogue before we remembered "Snap It Off..." and nothing quite summed us up as well as those three words did. We decided that, since I'd left the UK and was now doing "solo" work, we'd hash it up to look like we were a record label (SnapItOff Recordings) with Pesky and AaaPha as it's two main artists. The idea looked good so off I went and arranged to buy snapitoff.co.uk for a year.
The next thing we knew, we had artists from all over the world mailing us with, "can you listen to my music on mp3.com/getoutthere.bt.com/iuma.com" messages. Some of it was, and is, very good indeed. So we added an excellent artist called Anboi who already had a website. The hits rose. "This is good..." we thought. So we started contacting artists, only the ones that were really, really good (like us!) mind you, offering to give them webspace and to design them individual pages... We also began streaming live DJ sets with a shoddy video feed in order to become the poor man's Groovetech.com. The hits went through the roof, into the multi-thousands.
So now, we're about to become a limited company, the site's artist page is getting a total overhaul and we're digging in for several long term promotional projects. An online store is being built with things called cgi scripts which I can't bring myself to try and understand. It'll be able to accept credit cards. (!) We're also wrestling with the over-complicated copyright laws on both sides of the Atlantic so that we can license and sell (legally) CDs by us and our various artists. We were emailed the other day by an agency which organises the talent for the Brit awards in the UK, asking for a client list. Business to business contact grows daily. We get handed stuff by people who assume we're a serious organisation; so far we've spent almost no actual money.
No-one seems to realise we were only kidding. It just goes to show that, in cyber-space, you never can tell...