Snowden may not apply its black eye shadow as heavily as like-minded bands Interpol or The Cure, but the sonic similarities are unmistakable.
The Atlanta-based quartet, which releases its debut album, "Anti-Anti," today, has cobbled together one of the most melodic, addictive discs of 2006. Uncannily agile drumming propels its gauzy, atmospheric guitars and layered vocals to a plane where indie rock, post-punk and shoegazer co-exist.
How did a young, relatively obscure act like this come out of nowhere and sign to Jade Tree, the label of The Promise Ring, Jets to Brazil and My Morning Jacket? We spoke with Snowden leader Jordan Jeffares last week as he prepped a five-week tour that will bring Snowden
Q: How did you guys hook up with Jade Tree?
A: It was a really weird connection, one of those "ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend’s sister who knows a guy" things. That’s just what got our demo listened to, and after that it pretty much sold itself.
Q: Are all the songs on "Anti-Anti" brand new?
A: Four of the original demos became actual songs on the record ("Like Bullets," "Filler Is Wasted," etc.) Some of those tracks I did almost four years ago, but I couldn’t get the same energy when we rerecorded them in Austin with Eric Wofford (My Morning Jacket, Vauxtrot). With some things you just catch them better at one time than another.
Q: Are you concerned about how the album’s going to be received?
A: Everyone that’s heard it has had nothing bad or even mediocre to say. Let’s hope the guys at Pitchfork think the same. I didn’t want them to review it – I don’t trust them – but they have such an incredible amount of pull. They can still make a band (like the Arcade Fire or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), they just can’t destroy it. Pitchfork hits such a targeted audience and hits it so well that it’s not like Rolling Stone or something, where people expect their writing to be bad.
Q: Are you bracing for the inevitable Joy Division and Radiohead comparisons?
A; I’m not a huge Joy Division fan, and I’m not into the dark ’80s electro as much as some people, but that stuff’s all there. A lot of the bands that I love continue to defy themselves and that’s what I try to take from my influences.
Q: I’m guessing this upcoming national tour is your biggest to date?
A: Yeah. We’re not even in a full-size van but a minivan with a trailer. We’re comfortable but we’re going to be hurting after a while.
Q: How involved were you with the tour preparation?
A: I booked the tour because at the level we’re at now, it’s a pretty concentrated operation. I’m not sure what I would do if I didn’t know what was going on with (the band) all the time.
Q: Are you touring with a bigger act to show you the ropes?
A: No, since I’m putting it together without a booking agent it would have been harder with another band. I’m already booking the next tour, where we’ll be able to do something like that. We’re going to England in late October and Europe the beginning of next year.
Q: How was the hype mill at this year’s South by Southwest?
A: We played three shows that ranged from awesome to free pizza. Since then we’ve been trying to get a booking agent so we can get on the road and stay on the road.