EXCLUSIVE Interview: Snowden
Chuck Norton, DeadJournalist.com
What you need to know about Snowden:
- Snowden is an Atlanta-based band;
- The band is comprised of Jordan Jeffares, Corianne Lee, Dave Payne and Chandler Rentz;
- Snowden released their debut album Anti-Anti was released in 2006 by Jade Tree records;
- They are working on a new album, tenitively slated to be released in late Summer/Fall 2008;
DeadJournalist.com proudly brings you this exclusive with Jordan Jeffares of Snowden.
For Anti-Anti, you had years to write and record and re-write and re-record. Has your creative process changed while working on this album?
JJ: The process hasn't changed. Songs still come when they come. I make a lot less crap than I used to, at least I like to think so.
I'm more critical of my music than ever. I am still trying to escape from restraining or shaping my music. Moody, slow, drifting stuff makes up most of scratch pad, my pool of ideas that I draw from when fishing for songs.
I just can't let go of trying to write harder songs, even though those are the hardest for one guy alone in his room to write.
Do you feel more pressure since this is your first, next full-length album?
JJ: Absolutely. It feels like we're close to breaking, but not quite there. Maybe it will always feel that way.
Are there noticeable changes to the band’s sound? Is there a driving force that influenced this album?
JJ: I've settled into a style, I'd say. It's odd drum grooves, distorted basslines, '60's background vocals. You can hear that stuff on the first record but it will be more focused on the second
Snowden was on Myspace.com in the early days of the site. Has the band used the onslaught of similar music and social networking sites, like imeem.com, last.fm, musichawk.com, etc., to build upon your fan base? With so many options, is it difficult to even keep up with all the new sites?
JJ: It is very difficult to keep up. I stay so busy working on music that I've lost touch with what's going on with new sites. In my view, you can't simplify the efficiency and effectiveness of MySpace. They really beat everyone to the punch and now it looks like it's too late to try and top it.
One day if I have a management team they can deal with all that stuff. Dave and I spent three years straight on the computer every day. I don't miss losing my eyesight and curving my spine at all.
With the success of the band, it’s no longer a project, so what is the most challenging aspect of being a “professional” musician? What do you wish you could change most about the reality of the music industry?
JJ: The challenging part of being an artist today is that there's no map to follow anymore. Yes, information is free and you can deliver your music to anyone in the world in a few minutes, but you're screaming out from a pack of a million animals. How can you be heard? How can you survive with less and less "grass" so to speak? We're part of an evolution right now and the only answers are trial and error.
Changing subjects a bit, you’ve always had strong social and political views. So what are your feelings on the current political climate in the US?
JJ: I'm in a state of disarray, in so many ways.
Do you find yourself more connected to local, national or global causes?
JJ: I'd say global and beyond. I'm an idealist and that quickly puts you past local and national perspectives.
What are your feelings on the involvement of celebrities in a political campaign?
JJ: Anyone guided by celebrity decisions needs to take a good look at their lack of autonomy and responsibility.
Looking back, did you expect to see the success of Snowden coincide with that of other Atlanta bands like the Black Lips, Deerhunter, Manchester Orchestra, etc.?
JJ: No. I've always felt pretty isolated in Atlanta until very recently.
What is the most bizarre thing that has happened to you while on tour?
JJ: The lead singer of Kings of Leon was pissed that a girlfriend of mine wouldn't go party with him so he poured a beer down my back.
Who is the band, or artist, that you’ve discovered this year that you have emphatically told your friends to check out?
JJ: Atlas Sound
Who and where was your first concert?
Lemonheads. UGA. 1994?
What were you listening to in 1998?
Sunny Day Real Estate, HUM, Smashing Pumpkins
One Drink; One Movie; One Album:
Dirty martini rocks, Royal Tenenbaums, The Clientele - The Violet Hour
Editors note: This is the second interview Snowden has done with DeadJournalist.com. To read is previous interview from June 2006, click: here