Snew You 2008
Highway Star (single) with Allan Holdsworth 2009
We Do What We Want 2010
Hi Curtis, how are you?
I feel like rockin’, let’s do this.
How long has the current band line up been together?
We came together as a complete band in June of 2006.
Andy and I met in October of 2005. Cat joined us in March of 2006 and Mark in June of the same year.
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you?
You may have read this before but here goes: Snew are the illegitimate stepchildren of Alice Cooper and The Ramones, home schooled by Motorhead. Other than that I would suggest jumping out of an airplane and waiting until the very last second before opening your parashoot. It’s kinda like that.
What have you been up to recently?
Writing songs for our next album, playing shows around town and looking forward to our upcoming dates in New York, I mean SNEW York. This will be the first time we get to play out there. We are also working very hard to find a European booking agent so we can go over there next.
What can your fans look forward to in the next 12 months?
A new album and lots of touring.
How did you meet each other?
Andy and I met through a friend of his, Andy knew Cat and I knew Mark.
What’s the word? Kismet.
Did you always want to be in a band?
When I was a kid I used to draw a lot and my whole life was about that. I imagined growing up to be a cartoonist or an animator like Walt Disney. When I hit my teens I discovered Rock N Roll and I was never the same. I went to every concert I could, got my hands on every rock album I could find. I was obsessed. I daydreamed about what it would be like to be on stage in a band. Then one day a friend’s band was looking for a new singer and even though I had never sung a note in my life I asked if I could try out for them. I didn’t get the gig because I was just a punk kid who never sang before but something went off inside of me like a bolt of lightening. After a while I did find a band and I’ve never looked back. I’ve been a Rock n Roll animal ever since.
What music did you listen to while growing up?
Growing up I heard lots of Jazz music because my parents are musicians and that’s what they played and listened to. When I was about age twelve I used to hang out with lots of older kids and some of their parents too who turned my on to music I had never heard before. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Kiss, all this amazing music that just blew my mind. I was hooked. From there I went out and found Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, AC/DC all the killer Metal stuff. But I was always interested in the origins of this music so I would read about all the influences of my favourite artists and listened anyone they talked about. Lots of Blues artists like Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Buddy Guy, R&B by Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown and early Rock N Roll by Chuck Berry, Little Richard… all that stuff. I just had to know how all this kick ass Hard Rock and Metal came to be invented.
I’m glad I did because it really helped give me a solid foundation for becoming a singer and a songwriter.
What were your first music making experiences?
When I got into my very first band they played me a song I had never heard before. I liked it so I asked them “what song is that?” They said it was one they had written and they wanted me to write lyrics for it. I was like “WHAT?” You mean I get to actually WRITE MUSIC! I had never even considered it before. Like I said before as a kid I was into drawing and loved to create art. Creating music was waaaay better than drawing. Writing songs and performing them on stage in front of a crowd is the most awesome experience. Since that first time I’ve been writing and playing in bands ever since and I’ll never stop. It’s what I live for.
Are you self-taught or did you have lessons?
Mostly I’m self taught but after a few years I figured if I really wanted to do this and take it seriously it might be a good idea to take a few lessons. For about a year I trained with Ron Anderson. Ron worked with ‘em all. He used to tell me stories about going on the road with Guns N Roses and coaching Axl in-between songs while they we on stage in concert. I used to run into Scott Weiland every once in a while over at Ron’s. He’d be coming out of his lesson as I was going in for mine. Ron taught me how to sing correctly so I wouldn’t trash my voice. I owe him big time for that. The way I sing I’d be in big trouble by now if I didn’t learn how to do it the right way.
What is your current equipment?
Lungs, vocal chords and a mouth.
Do you have a set routine when writing and recording or does it depend on each track and the inspiration?
Every song is independent of the last. It’s all about what it feels like, does it rock and is it worthy of Snew. Some songs kick ass right away and we all know it. Others never see the light of day.
Would you sign with a major record company?
Only if they really loved us the way our fans do.
Do you have any new recordings planned?
Right now we are still writing. Hopefully by the end of the year we’ll have enough new songs to plan where and when we will start recording the next album.
How much involvement do you have with the arranging and production of the songs when recording?
100%. This is a total band effort. Our producer Bobby Owsinski does get involved but he doesn’t want to change us in any way at all. He listens to what we are doing what’s strong and what’s weak within a song and that’s great. It’s good to have someone we trust in there pointing these things out. If we do come across a part that needs a little something he expects us to find a way to make it better. All the heavy lifting is up to us.
Do you find the process of recording enjoyable?
I love recording. It’s a creative process like no other. I love playing live but there are some many things you can do in the recording studio that you just can’t do in concert. For example, I can try singing the songs different ways and listen back to it to see if something else works better, I can sing harmony parts along with myself to make a part sound fuller, that’s something I can’t do on stage. There are so many things we can experiment with when recording. It’s awesome.
Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans?
We always approach it the way we do live. The basic tracks are always “live”. Then we find ways to make it sound better than live. In the studio you can get just the sound you want, live you never know what your gonna get.
Do you any favourite tracks from your album?
All of them.
Who are the main songwriters for the band?
All of us but I do write the lyrics.
Do you have a method for writing songs? (lyrics first, music first, etc)
It depends on the song. Sometimes I come up with a great idea for a lyric and a melody, sometimes it will start with a great guitar riff. Other times we will just be jamming and a song will come out of that. In the end all of us pitch in to make it what it becomes before the public ever hears it.
Do you find song writing easy or difficult?
Which countries have you gigged in?
So far just the USA but we hope to change that real soon. There are people all over the world begging us to come play for them. We don’t want to let anybody down. Somehow, someway, we’ll be playing a town near you at some point.
Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour?
We are getting lots of requests to play Canada, UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Australia. So those would be first on the list. Then everywhere else that will have us.
Who would you like to tour with?
How about you? You wanna tour with us?
How do you promote your music and get your music out to new fans?
Mostly the Internet but we have lots of support from indie radio and more and more magazines keep finding us to. The best promotion is word of mouth. People like you telling your friends. We get emails all the time from people who heard about us from their friends. We love that.
Which music promotion websites do you use and do you have a favourite?
We’re on all of ‘em. Damn near anyway. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, message boards all over the place, chats. We try to find all the latest ones that pop up and be there. Of course my favourite is our site snewyou.com. We have a section called Snew Space and our fans can put up profile pages for themselves and chat live. Very cool. We also have the Snew World Order where you can get tons of downloads to spread the Snew around on your own. Check it out sometime snewworldorder.com
Do you think such sites and the internet are good tools for independent and unsigned artists?
It’s the greatest thing that ever happened for bands big and small. We all get to connect and hang out just like we were in the same room no matter where in the world you are.
It’s changed everything. Truly brilliant.
With all the various websites out there for independent and unsigned artists, is there still something that is missing from them that you think would benefit the lesser-known artists?
If anyone thinks there is anything missing it’s because you haven’t found it yet. Get out there.
How do you relax?
Relax? What’s that?
Do you get nervous before a gig? How do you calm down?
It’s pure adrenalin baby. It’s a high like no drug could ever possibly give me.
After a show I’m usually up for the next 24 hours. Who needs sleep when there’s Rock N Roll.
Has your music been used on any film soundtracks?
I can’t talk about that right now. Stay tuned.
Is it something you’d like to get involved in if the opportunity came along?
I’m open to just about anything except politics.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
Send me an email. Talk to me, I want to hear from all of you. I promise I’ll email you back.