INTERVIEW: Snowball ii

Pic by Courtney Valek

Hi Jackson, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you thank you.  I’ve been busy, but with good stuff.  Glad to finally be getting ‘Eaton Super 10’ into ears.  Many thanks for supporting its release.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Lost In Juarez”?

The title was taken from a Stephen “ESPO” Powers painting that read: “Lost in Juarez found in NYC.”  I’m not sure what he meant by it, but this song is what it means to me.  He then painted the cover art for Eaton Super 10, which he based off of the songs I wrote, and I doubt he knew what I meant by them—which I think is fun.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Is a failed relationship an event?

The single comes off your new album Eaton Super 10 – what’s the story behind the title?

Eaton Super 10 is a style of transmission on a Peterbilt truck.

How was the recording and writing process?

It all happened very fast.  Mostly alone in my home studio.  It kinda just seemed like all of a sudden it was done and that was that.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than on your own?

I work very fast when I work alone, but I’ve found that not how most people work.  So I’m learning to work at more of a walking pace when I’m collaborating.  I remind myself that communicating ideas with anyone but myself takes time.

How has Weezer and Yo La Tengo influenced your writing?

I had an early lineup of Snowball ii learn Weezer’s Pinkerton start to finish.  We rehearsed it until we knew most of it really well.  The vibe of that album was a big influence on the vibe of the last Snowball album, Flashes of Quincy.  I was once stood up at a Yo La Tengo concert and I wrote a bunch of songs about it, so I’d say they’ve had a very unique influence on my writing.

What role does LA play in your music?

It plays a pretty big one because I live there.  I think it’s not a bad place to be if you have to be somewhere.  It’s a tough town for musicians, though, because the scene is so saturated.  But that very thing has made Snowball ii much tougher and slicker than might be possible in a smaller town.

How did you approach the comedy on this material?

People are more willing to get involved with a project that they find entertaining, so I tried to make the content a little ridiculous to make sure everyone was having a good time while we worked.  Also I made sure to keep the audience in mind.  People relate more easily to simple ideas, so I tried to keep things simple and light.

How did you go on adding your twists to the shoegaze genre on this record in particular?

Shoegaze is a cool genre because it’s not very strictly defined.  Shoegaze listeners tend to be pretty accepting of a wide range of styles that hint at the thing that divinely inspired My Bloody Valentine way back when.  I like to jump styles frequently, but just as I can’t escape my roots, the shoegaze aura is always carried along for the ride.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I think it might be more fun to think about what other people find inspiring about the songs, if anything.

Any plans to hit the road?

We have a very soft plan to not hit the road for at least a little while.

What else is happening next in snowball ii’s world?

The next album is already recorded, as is another shorter album.  Once the ‘Eaton Super 10’ release is all wrapped up, I’ll begin prepping the next album for release and maybe we’ll end up chatting about that one too.

Listen here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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