SNEW is a snotty nosed middle finger to all those fancy assed bands in the world. Answered by Curtis Don Vito – lead singer. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
What kind of vision did you have when you started and how has it changed over the years?
-We started with the basic idea that any form of rock n roll music is best served hot. By that I mean you have an instant reaction to it. It hits your entire system like a bolt of lightning, it’s visceral. You don’t think about how it hits you it just does. Whatever it means to you on a mental or intellectual level, that comes later. So what we set out to do was create music that grabs you on a primal level, music you don’t have to take any time to understand or figure out. You already get it even if you’ve never heard the song before. As fans of this kind of hard rock we also determined right from the start that we only wanted to release songs we ourselves would want to listen to again and again. No filler – ever.
This was our base mission and we’ve stuck to that goal. So in that way nothing has changed about our vision for this band.
Does location mean anything today? We used to hear about how it was all location, location, location back in the day if you wanted to make it big?
-Those days are over. The world is everyone’s neighborhood now. Wherever you are just put it out there and your audience will find you. Most of our followers are nowhere near us here in Los Angeles. Thinking locally is a great way for a new band or musical project to get it together and work it out but once you are ready for the world, the world will let you know who is interested. Then it’s time to hit the road.
What is it like to be a in a band and to get to tour all over the world? What kind of feelings does that bring about?
-Excitement, joy, anxiety, lack of sleep and truly knowing what it means to be a human being from planet Earth. You really get to experience who people are and how they’re different AND the same. They act one way here and a different way there. They love this song and give a huge reaction when you play it in these areas but it’s that song that makes em jump and shout over there. You learn to tap into the consciousness of the people around you when you travel. One big lesson I’ve learned is to stop having preconceived ideas because I always find either I was way off base or there’s way more to it than I ever could have realized without actually going there.
What kind of feedback have you had on your music, your latest album and in general? How important is feedback?
-They like it, they love it, they’re just ok with it, meh. The full range you know. The thing is to find who you connect with and focus on that. One guy sent us a tweet saying he listened to Snew every single day for a year and a half and only stopped because the CD player in his car stopped working. That’s when you know you’ve reached someone with your music. Feedback is important but it’s not the criticism that you want to focus on, there’s always gonna be haters. Pay attention to what moves people, what makes them feel something of value. Then just keep doing that.
How do you know that you have written a “hit” song? Is there a particular feeling you get when you know that this is the one, this is the big “make it song”?
-I don’t know about “hit” but I know when it’s ON. I can’t get it out of my head, my heart beats faster, there’s an electrical vibration that stays with me. It’s a hit when I love it. It’s a revelation when other people do too.
As I am no musician I never got to know the difference between analogue and digital. Can you explain the difference to me? What are the pros and cons of analogue VS digital?
-Everything in the natural world is analog. Digital is not natural at all. Digital is the way everything in music and TV, movies, the internet and so on is being transmitted anymore. It’s fast and convenient but it’s not natural. An analog signal is a constant flow of energy. When you hear a piece of music in an open environment even when the song is over it doesn’t stop. The frequencies keep moving, they transform from one vibration to another. There’s never a hard stop. In the Digital realm it’s all starts and stops. It’s called digital because the number “one” means the signal is on and the number “zero” means the signal is off. That’s it. Like turning a light switch on and off but it’s done so fast and so many times in a nanosecond that it fools your brain into thinking it’s always on. It’s not. Nothing in nature does that… NOTHING. Needless to say I’ve learned to live with digital but I am not a fan.
What is it like to have people you never met liking your music and singing along to it at gigs?
-There’s no greater thrill in my life than that. It’s validation that this is one of the things I was put here to do. What I feel in those moments is sheer gratitude.
How important are lyrics to you guys? Do you have any messages that you want to get forward?
-As the lyricist of the band it is extremely important to me. The over arching message in all Snew songs is be yourself and share that with everyone. Be in the moment, be present. No fear. If they don’t get you it’s not your fault, it’s not their fault, it just is. Don’t let it throw you. I bury a lot of messages in our songs about these types of things. I’m not being tricky or clever. I just don’t think that the words are as important as the music. Music speaks to you on a higher level. That’s where you find real meaning and connection. So I look for ways to phrase a thought or idea that matches the melody, the rhythm and the energy of that song. If I try to force and line that I think is the perfect way to say something but it doesn’t flow with the music then I’m not serving the song and it’s gotta go. Plus I always liked lyrics where you’re not exactly sure what they mean but you know what it means to you. I love that.
I love a really cool cover but I get the feeling that today with all this digital uploading/downloading people aren’t that concerned about artwork. How do you feel?
-Album art has always been a big part of the album experience for me. It gives you something to gravitate to. Helps you dive in and swim around. Great album art is the companion to a great album. On the other hand if the artwork sucks it can ruin the whole thing. I’ve bought albums just because they had great art and I’ve stayed away from an album (even if I knew it was a good one) because I didn’t like the artwork.
What does the future hold?
-Greatness. I’m not just talking about the band here. The world is about to shift up and become something amazing. If you don’t see it yet you will. This is a time of purging so when you see people acting all crazy don’t freak, it’s just them getting the crap that’s built up out of their system. If you want to talk music, you ain’t seen nothing yet. There’s about to be a musical explosion like we’ve never seen ever before. All that crap you’ve been forced to listen to… history. You’ll see.