May 27, 2006
THE NEW NEW WAVE?
ATLANTA'S SNOWDEN DELIVERS THE DRAMA
Atlanta band Snowden has done some serious work in its three years. Drawing comparisons to bands like New Order, The Cure and Ride, Snowden's not your typical Atlanta act. The band concocts a swirl of heady, reverberating guitars, lacing them with keys and dark vocals, coming together with a tight rhythm section to create a sound that is heavily laden with influences yet stands on its own.
Snowden most recently signed with Jade Tree Records, home to acts like My Morning Jacket and the Promise Ring. In good company. Snowden will tour throughout the coming summer, building support for an August release of the full-length album, Anti-Anti.
Flagpole caught up with band founder/vocalist Jordan Jeffares and guitarist David Payne for a quick Q&A. Until August, you can head over to www.snowden.info to check out some tracks or catch the full lineup, including Corinne Lee (bass, keys) and Chandler Rent (drums), with local act Boulevard at the 40 Watt this weekend.
How did you end up with Jade Tree?
We signed to Jade Tree in March ?°»06 after a pretty long dance that started in August ’05 when one of the owners came down to see us. We had reportedly won him over, but he still had to sell us to his colleagues. [Jade Tree] were moving to a new way of business with new distribution as well, so they were in the process of rethinking how they wanted to move forward with the label at the same time they were talking to us.
I was a little freaked out by all of this but at that point we were reaching a critical point as a band. We had not released a record in almost two-and-a-half years, and we needed to do something. In the end, the one co-owner that loved us at Jade Tree turned into the whole label being excited, so that was good to hear.
There was definitely a great feeling after the deal was done, though. We’ve worked really hard to get to this point, Jordan especially, and knowing that we landed on a label we know is going to really get behind our record is something we’re very grateful to have.
Was it difficult to reach your status in Atlanta, or were locals supportive from the start?
We didn’t have any crowd to speak of when we started, but with a lot of networking and promoting we’ve been able to build enough of a following in Atlanta to pack rooms out consistently.
Atlanta is a very hard scene. All people seem to say in unison is that it's hard to get people out to shows in Atlanta. Luckily, we’ve always done well, but never without a lot of work.
Receiving comparisons to acts like The Cure and New Order, you're uniquely non-derivative in comparison to a lot of the post-punk acts appearing these days.
The reason I don’t think that applies to us is because I’ve never written the music using a lot of those conventions. If I heard something that I thought was derivative, I changed it.
Yeah, it’s really hard when we get that inevitable question, “Who do you sound like?” I feel stupid no matter how I answer that. I think we sound unique, but have a lot of moments that draw from different styles, without being overly derivative about it.
How has the road treated you so far?
I still have a wound on my hand that is healing from the last bout on the road. I just bought a van and trailer, which makes everything much easier than the pickup truck we used to travel in. We learned on our last time out that we can play the same bloody, sweaty show for seven people in Indianapolis as we can play for 150 in Philadelphia. We didn’t know what playing like that for 11 days straight was like.
Despite everything, though, we’re very fortunate to able to get out and play shows in other cities. You start to miss your bed a little, but you also get used to the routine of playing a show, driving to another city the next day and doing it all over again. Our record is going to be available in the UK, and I’m hoping people latch on to it over there as well. I would love to go over there and play some shows.
DIRECT LINK TO ARTICLE