Taking a breather from his busy indie rocker schedule, the charming Chay Snowdon has a sit-down with The Other Side Reviews’ writer Jess Zaccaria. Talking music, filming and 3rd-century rulers, here is what he has to say:
OSR: Why did you want to become musicians?
CS: I remember growing up in Spain listening to Elvis, then when we came back to England I saw highlights of Glastonbury on TV and thought it was pretty damn cool! So, I decided to pick up a guitar and learn from YouTube tutorials, and as my taste in music started to broaden and grow, my desire to be a musician grew with it.
OSR: How did you develop your musical style?
CS: I fell in love with Elvis Presley’s music, and as a result, I started delving deeper into the genre of rock ‘n’ roll. At first, I was making music that I would say was very authentic to original rock ‘n’ roll of the 50’s, but I was never quite satisfied with it. So, I endeavoured to bring it more up to date taking influences from modern bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon, The Hunna, Catfish and the Bottlemen. I feel this helped create the indie pop/indie rock ‘n’ roll sound that we are all about now. Don’t get me wrong though; I’m still a HUGE Elvis fan!
OSR: How did you all meet?
CS: I met the bass player George and lead guitarist Liam when we were in college in Plymouth studying music. I asked the lads if they wanted to have a jam because I was performing acoustically at the time and really wanted to get a band behind me. Upon heading to Uni at BIMM Bristol, we found the newest addition to our four-piece outfit, our drummer Ed.
OSR: How do you deal with problems within the group?
CS: I know it sounds a bit cheesy, but because we are all such good mates we tend to know what annoys someone else in the band and we try just not to do it. If there ever is a problem though, we just have a chat about it. None of us is the type of people who would start a screaming match or anything, we all have a lot of respect for each other.
OSR: What has been your favourite performance so far?
CS: That’s a tricky one! I’d have to say the Plymouth show we played on our last tour. It was a complete sell-out, and we had people singing the words back. It was absolutely crazy, and we are so grateful that we got to experience that. We can’t wait for the next one!
OSR: Could you briefly describe your music making process?
CS: Of course! I tend to write the tunes on my acoustic guitar on my own. I’ll live with them for a week or so before I take them to the lads so that I know that I’m really feeling it. I’ll then play it to them once or twice, and they’ll think of their parts in their heads. We then try to run through the song, section by section, until we can run through it in its entirety. That’s when we can begin fine-tuning sections, and eventually play it live!
OSR: With your four singles out, what are plans in regards to an album?
CS: At the minute there are no immediate plans for an album. We love going into the studio and sinking our teeth into one track and getting it to the point that we can’t wait to show everyone. So, at the moment, we are just really enjoying releasing singles, but one day in the future who knows!
OSR: Your new release ‘Zenobia’ is a title taken from a 3rd-century Syrian Empress, what made you name the song after her?
CS: I remember paying half attention to a show that was on TV and hearing her name, which I thought was really cool. So I did some Googling about her and her life and decided to use her as a metaphor running the whole way through the song. I hope she doesn’t mind.
OSR: Is there a ‘Zenobia’ in any of your lives?
CS: There is definitely no Zenobia in my life, and as far as I know, there isn’t one in the rest of the lad’s lives either. Thankfully!
OSR: What was the songwriting process for Zenobia?
CS: It was a really quick process actually. Upon hearing her name (I know it sounds a bit cliché) but the song just wrote itself. I had the basis for the main rhythm guitar part for a while, but I developed it further, and the structure of the song really started taking shape. When I put pen to paper, it was really late at night, so I couldn’t sing it out loud the way I usually would; but the tell-tale sign that I was really into the song, was how I woke up with it in my head, just wanting to play it again.
OSR: What was the process of filming the music video for this single like?
CS: The music video was shot in two parts. The first part was on a beach just outside of Plymouth, being in only jeans and a shirt in the middle of February was, well, FREEZING! Especially when I had to run and jump into the sea.
The second part was the full band scenes filmed in Bristol at a friend of the band’s mansion. The scenes were actually shot in the chapel on the grounds of the huge house, but we got a little carried away with the smoke machines, so you can’t really tell!
OSR: Where would you like to be, as a band, in the next five years?
CS: In five years’ time, we would love to be selling out bigger venues, with maybe an album or two under our belts, but we’ll see!
OSR: If you could perform with any artist living or dead who would it be?
CS: I mean it’s got to be the King, Mr Elvis Presley! I’ve idolised him for as long as I can remember, the band are big fans too so there’d be no complaints.
OSR: If you won $10 million what would you do with it?
CS: I’d make sure we were all settled with a house and comfortable, then have a huge push on the music and see where the remainder of the money could get us! Oh, and maybe a couple of holidays too.
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