Friday, January 19, 2018

Snowchild Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

1. We are a rocknroll band from Wichita Kansas, which probably seems like a strange place to be from, and you would be correct. But it's not like we're completely alone out here on the prairie, for example, Wichita is also the home of heavy metal legends Manilla Road & has a music scene we've all been involved in for years. Last year we made a record that people on the internet seem to like & it's been picked up by Kozmik Artifactz leaving us just as confused as you.

2.So far you have released one album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
2. Years ago I had a friend describe what I was doing at the time as "retro-futuristic", I loved the term & if anything it's become a very loose road map for whatever it is we do. We knew going into the project that it would feel like a lived in classic rock record that didn't know that it wasn't, even if we did, which is easier said than done. I think in a lot of ways "Age of Change" is just a love letter to the classic, proggy, proto-metal of our youth, but I'd also like to think that it takes some unexpected turns & blatantly subverts it's obvious influences by bending R&B into sludge, warping prog rock into exploitation soundtracks & forcing kraut rock to reconcile arena rock while everybody calls it Doom Metal, cause sacred cows make the best burgers.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
3.It splits about half & half between topical political & allegorical fantasy. It's been a weird couple of years for everybody everywhere & generally speaking, I hope it's a good reflection of the anxiety & frustration about the modern life that's forced on us. On one hand I'm glad people are curious, but I've stayed purposefully ambiguous about a lot of it so people will take away what they want regardless of what I think of what I meant, cause I know me, & I wouldn't be surprised if I was wrong. 

4.What s the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Snowchild'?
4.  The name was one of Dustin's contributions & it's a reference to an old European folk story, & when I googled the name I saw there was a more recent children's book with the same name, which is where the Tyler Durden in my head said, "what a perfect way to expose children to the inevitable collapse of civilization, the corruption of the government & stories about genocide", and to parents everywhere, you're welcome.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
5.  Live shows are always a work in progress, sometimes we streamline what we do for expedience if were only given a short set & just leave the Minimoog at home, but if we know we have the time to stretch out we'll plan for a more dynamic set that can ebb & flow a little bit more & get into longer songs or include intros we would otherwise abridge, fire up the synth & set the controls for the heart of the sun. When it comes to best shows I'm probably gonna have a different perspective than Dustin or Chad, cause I get double or tipple the amount of shows in some years than they do when you factor in my other projects & it's easy to get a little burned out. So there's this local dive bar called Kirby's Beer Store, which is about as big as your living room, as long as you live in a small house. Now don't get me wrong, I've really enjoyed playing some bigger shows that we've been invited to lately, I seriously appreciate the people that have booked us & I do take them seriously, but it's always great to be completely at ease in a dingy shithole among old friends, in an environment that's pretty much just like every basement rehearsal room I've ever practiced in, but with packed house of thirty to fifty very close friends who are all drunk, so if you want the most "real" version of Snowchild, it's either Kirby's or in Dustin's basement. Of course it's also nice to be at a place where you can take side streets home in case the night gets um... weird. 

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
6.  There's always a couple of shows on the horizon & we do what we can, but as far a touring, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that's for young people that aren't married, have demanding jobs, or have kids and the harsh realities of life hanging over them. I did that when I was younger & even though I don't regret those days one bit it would take a lot to get me to do it again. I'm just happy to open the show for bands that are touring when they cross the mid west, & continue to make the best records I can. I wouldn't rule out a festival appearance if it comes up though.

7.The new album was released on 'Kozmik Artifactz', are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?
  I haven't really had too much contact with them, but they seem like they must be a great group of people. I was really worried early on cause we had to delay our release over a bad test press & I've got to give it to them, they stood behind our want to make the record the best it could be, and that really tells you everything you need to know, cause there's no shortage of bad actors in this industry & the reality of what they do, at least from my perspective, is document great art that would otherwise slip through the cracks. I know we're far from the only band on their roster that has very little interest from their home country & no real ability to connect with the greater world, so I'm truly appreciative for what they've done, cause if you can't tell by this point in the interview, on paper we are a terrible investment being as we're not young, geographically isolated, pretty tied down & not really focused on entertaining anyone beyond ourselves. I am completely aware that should be a recipe for disaster, but it is the formula that bore this record & they seem to believe it has some merit, & I hope we prove them right. 

I was really debating how honest I should be about any of this before I started writing this interview because it's probably the first chance Kozmik or The Company, which is our American label has ever really heard anything from my mouth, or fingers as it may be & I really don't wanna scare either of them off, but the honest answers are gonna be a lot more interesting to your audience even if they are little bit fatalistic & problematic to a record company that wants to be in business with you. I'm just not gonna pretend we're this big bad band that's gonna take the world by storm, I'm more focused on going to work tomorrow just to keep the train on the tracks, but that doesn't mean we are anywhere near the end, if anything the dichotomy of having to live in two worlds just makes me more compulsive about taking artistic escapes. I hope both labels know what they are doing is in all actuality heavy metal wildlife preservation, & I feel like I've been tagged and released to go make another record. 

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of stoner and doom metal?
8.  Everything I've seen has been great, but I try not to get too caught up into what people think about what we do, though I'm glad there's interest in it. I am actually way more entertained by the bad reviews though, I'm just seriously honored that I made something worth wasting the time to express frustration about, so I guess I must be doing something right. 

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
9.  Yogi Berra said it best, "It's hard to make predictions, especially about the future". We've been writing & I think we'll probably start building up the framework of a new record later this year. I'd kinda like the next one to be a little bit more reductionist & focused on the songs & the core of the band, which would either make it a lot more immediately engaging, or it could just be the perfect launchpad to go back to the proggy marshlands of the inner mind. The studio is it's own powerful instrument that I love getting lost in, especially with Glenn and Paul who round out the production team. Besides we've gone through some major studio upgrades since the last record so the future is up for grabs. I know it's a terrible answer, but it could either lean toward our Exile on Main Street or our Sgt Pepper, but not really sound any thing like either of them. I just wanna avoid making the same record again. 

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
10.  Everything. That's such an open ended question it's hard to answer. Now I know this is a stoner/doom blog, but I think fans of this kind of music are usually just fanatical music fans, so forgive me for being honest again & not mentioning anything even remotely related to the genre, & completely give in to the nerdy fanaticism of just being in love with music so I'll just throw these completely objective opinions that you would expect from a music nerd. Big Star was in my mind, the greatest band of all time, and a perfect example of what not to do with your life, but it is the dominant melodic influence of everything I've ever done regardless of genre. Neil Young has been such a sonic luminary for me that sometimes I really regret we didn't make our first record more like a Crazy Horse album & just wallow in feedback & harmonies cause it's gonna be an abrupt gear shift for people when we do, cause it's probably inevitable. The Betty Davis reissues that came out a couple of years ago blew my fucking mind so much I'm still preaching her gospel & it's the perfect example that as long as you give everything to the one of the measure, it will sound heavvvvvy even if it's funk, or especially heavy, as the case may be with her. In a just and fair world John Carpenter will be remembered as a musical fucking genius who made some decent movies too. Depending on the time of day, your opinion on which one of the Stooges records is the greatest record ever recorded may change, but you would still be correct. Lastly "Born Under a Bad Sign" by Cream was the first song I learned when I was 12 & started taking bass lessons. I remember thinking it just wasn't really that hard, but I didn't realize I'd still be hearing new things in that simple riff 30 years later & constantly realizing I never really knew that song at all, and that to me is the difference between good and great. 
As far as what we've been listening to, all of us are all over the map. There's a few modern jams like Kadavar, Greenleaf or Dead Meadow, but the lions share is probably old stuff like Budgie, Funkadelic or King Crimson, but all of us could go on about records and bands we love for days. 

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
11. Dustin's been collecting & restoring pinball machines, Chad's been dabbling with photography, but I'm gonna throw record collecting out there & I know what you're thinking, you said "non musical", but I don't think the need to own a vinyl copy of Dada by Alice Cooper really comes from a musical place as much as it does an OCD place. I just realized I'm gonna get so much shit from the 5 weirdo's who are completely fanatical about that record, but to be honest aside from playing video games, being a news junkie and being obsessed with my pets, which is all pretty fucking lame to proclaim in an interview by any account, most of my interests are music related weather it's collecting instruments or records. 

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
12. Well, that was probably a lot more than you wanted to know about us, but hopefully you can take something useful away from this even though we may or may not know what our own songs are about, probably aren't gonna come to your home town, willingly admit we're a bad investment, don't really care what anyone thinks either way, and probably aren't even very influenced by stoner and or doom metal. But I do look like some kind of gnarly old wizard so at least I've got that going for me. 
P.S. I went back & listened to Dada by Alice Cooper & those 5 weirdos were right.

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