SNOWY SHAW is a name that everybody into metal should know of by now. But just in case you have missed out on him and his work here is a small interview I did. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
You have been in a lot of bands over the years so why have you decided to embark on a solo journey now?
-It was time, it was bound to happen sooner or later but I guess you can say it took me this long to finally lose my last thread of optimism with people, and to realize that I could never find full creative happiness within a group. I’m also quite dominant with a very precise, distinct vision when it comes to my music and when I write and create something like in all my former bands, and frankly I’m not so much of a teamplayer and after all these years of trying to find happiness with countless bands, in my opinion the group effort thingy is more like a myth or an illusion that doesn’t really exist.
What can we expect from this solo adventure? How does it reflect musically who SNOWY SHAW is?
It’s safe to say that, White Is The New Black reflects every side of me musically, as it is in a way a collection of songs, two each representing 6 individual albums. Each with their special theme and concept both style-wise, musically, lyrically and so on that I will be putting out yearly from now on. You could say it’s, The Essential Snowy Shaw,.. only in reverse.
Why have you decided to do a six-album journey? And why have you decided to start with a compilation of songs from these six albums called “White Is The New Black”
-I can assure you this is not some bold or equally lame attempt to be different, weird or neither is it some PR stunt or me trying to please a broader market, fanbase or anything. It’s just me trying to please the different sides of myself really. I mean, it’s no coincidence that I ’ve been involved working wiith such a rich and diverse group of bands, ranging from symphonic black metal to 70s style glam/glitter rock and everything in between. I just need a certain musical diversity and I dare say I’m not so hung up on genre catagorization and such. To me good music is good music, simple as that. And having said that, once I decided to fly under my own flag, I eventually came to the conclusion that I was also gonna allow myself that artistic freedom and to whatever the fuck I wanted, basically.
I want to talk a bit about NOTRE DAME too. What happened to this band?
-You could say that after having butted heads with my then record label for several years I finally had enough and decided to nail the vampyric coffin shut. And to move on in life unless I’d kill someone,.. or myself.
You released a VHS called “Thrillogy”. What was the idea behind that and will we ever see it rereleased on dvd/bluray?
-That aforementioned label insisted on putting it out on VHS alone, despite the fact that it came out in 2001, if I’m not mistaken and by that time DVD was the format of choice and VHS was obsolete and dead. The making of it was my worst nightmare ever, it took me years on a next to nothing budget and then when it was finnally out they couldn’t promote or push it in the least and it was universally ignored. That, as well as other things like poor distribution other that in their own territory of France made me furious but I was stuck in the contract and therefore I killed the band in the end.
To me you have always been a musician that has gone his way and done his own thing. Do you feel like an outsider that don’t want to conform to the norm or is it just a restless soul syndrome that manifests itself in a never-ending search for the next big thing?
-I’m all about the creative process, and building those small worlds. I see every album as its own entity and once I’m done with something where I’ve done in in my power to make it as good as I possibly can, then I move on to the next adventurous project and never look back. And yeah, I definitely feel like an outsider. I thought it would get better and I would find my place in life the older I’d get, but it actually gets worse. But it’s ok and I ’ve come to terms with it, that I will always feel different from the crowd.
How did your musical journey start? What bands was it that got you into playing drums?
-Like most people of my generation and 99% of all the metal bands of the last 25 years it’s all because of KISS. It was Peter Criss that first got me into drums. Obviously not because he was such a great drummer but because he had the biggest drumkit and looked cool. When I eventually got around to form my own band by forcing a couple of classmates when we were 12-13 years old, KISS was long gone and the main influence was then the many swedish rock/pop bands who sang in our native toungue around 1980 that got me started. None of us could play or had barely seen a real instrument in life but the swedish lyrics I saw as a window of opportunity and formed Gummiband ( translates: rubberband) by writing lyrics and for some reason I choose the drums as my instrument.
When you’ve done things on your own it has always been grander than grand and very graphic. What can expect from this new endeavor in terms of graphics and imagery and art work?
-You mean, you haven’t seen it yet? It looks marvellous I’d say, and so say everyone else too. For about a month now WHITE IS THE NEW BLACK have been available exclusively through my webshop www.snowyshaw.net/webshop where you get the deluxe limited edition double LP both numbered and autographed or if you prefer the digipak CD, but the official release is the 25th of May in Europe & Australia, and then by mid-June in Japan and USA.
Back to the artwork topic, well, like I mentioned I grew up as product of KISS Destroyer and I always thought the visual aspect like the packaging was about as essential as the content. My first love or introduction to the world of heavy rock was KISS Destroyer, and it was the logical thing for me as a diehard fan of horror and superhero comics. Hadn’t I found the larger than life world of KISS I’m sure I would have painter/ illustrator. Generally, my goal has always been to combine what you hear with what you see, so that you can’t separate the two. It’s just one homogenous entity. Sure I love AC/DC and many other bands that doesn’t put so much emphasis on the image but I like to create those little worlds, like escpism from the boredom of everyday life. My company is called Wunderwurld Music & Arts by the way,.. and that says it all I guess. Besides I open my concerts by saying Hello, and welcome to my world – The Wunderworld.
Will you be gigging to support this new project you’ve undertaken? Or do you get your gig fix playing with other bands?
-For quite some time we’ve been planning a big European co-headline tour for October and November, and I keep getting offers from here and there on a pretty constant basis so there might be a a couple of festival shows in Japan for instance and probably a string of swedish shows etc. We’ll see what happens 🙂
What does the future hold?
-Not to exaggerate but I have shitloads of superduper cool stuff up my sleeve. Stay in the loop and you’ll see 🙂