Snowdonnas - Interview

04 February 2004

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Snowdonnas - Interview

The amiable Texan Tim White, who is the singer and mainstay of the likable and tuneful Texan outfit the Snowdonnas gets grilled like a rump steak at a cowboy convention. The former The Transmitters frontman whose currently between records with the Snowdonnas took time out clear the mist on many topics, such as the music industry and had no objection to my use of the metal detector to delve into his musical past.

1. What made you change your name when in 2001 as The Transmitters you gained another member? Do you want to forget your days as The Transmitters?

Change in direction for my music, song-writing, attitude. We added Otto
for our bass player and shifted Bysshe to keyboards.

Music - Snowdonnas - Interview
Music - Snowdonnas - Interview

2. Your latest album 'Over Now' on BALLYHOO WITHDRAWAL RECORDS is a thoughtful, sober and contemplative offering. This is a far cry from singer and guitarist Timothy White's Metal background, was it a conscious shift away from that style or did he and the band just grow out of it?

Not necessarily grew out of it, metal is not a style we ever played as a band. My musical vision was expanded some years back when I moved to Texas and met new people. For instance... growing-up in Indiana I didn't get exposed to a variety of musical genres or lifestyles, so whatever was the most popular is all we heard. That's where the metal was and still is for me. It's not what I listen to now, except for the classics, Metallica's "...And Justice for All", "Master of Puppets" and that's really about know, the classics. To me, those two albums transcend "metal". So, I moved to Texas in 1989 and was exposed to so much music and style all at one time. It was amazing to hear all this new and interesting music that was out there. I got into punk, psychedelic, shoegazer, dream-pop, tons of stuff all at once. I didn't realize I was so hungry for music...of all kinds. I'll tell you what really got me out of metal. In 1990 my apt was burgalurized. All they stole of mine was my Metallica cassette collection leaving my Jane's Addiction, punk and other cassettes. I never got to replaced them. So there you go...someone stole my metal.

3. What are your current musical influences?

My Bloody Valentine, Alan Parsons, The Doves, Catherine Wheel, Superdrag, J. Mascis, Longwave, Sonic Youth. I don't really do throw-backs the way some people do. A lot of people say they're influenced by The Beatles and such, but who's not? I think that goes without saying because they started the lineage we all follow now in rock/pop music.

4. What are your plan for next year? More touring or are you working on another album. What will your next album be like?

Another album, or Ep, or both. Our next album should be bigger and darker in sound and scope. Snowdonnas started as a band in transition and it still is.

5. You have a very British sound similar to Elbow, The Electric Soft Parade and Doves that is very popular in the UK at the moment is it frustrating being stuck in Texas?

Yes, it can be frustrating being here while sounding like we're over there. We want so bad to be where our influences lie. I will say that it's kinda nifty being here in Texas and sounding the way we dobecause we're novelty to most, but at the same time very familiar to people that "get it". And that helps us connect with other bands and people that really appreciate what we're doing. We're motivated
by the few that think we're great...that's all it takes.

6. What is the music scene like in Texas at the moment, describe for the unitiated the Texas sound?

Very diverse. Texas is a huge state with lots of culture from all over the world...there's really no other state like it. You can find whatever you need here. The music is even more diverse due to the mixing of all the different cultures and styles and that creates these musical hybrids. If if had to say, the indigenous sound(s) is country and country rock. Texas has many singer/songwriters writing
in that style. You find a lot of people trying to live that cowboy lifestyle even in the big cities. I'm not
saying it's the wild west out here, because it's not, Texas has many metropolitan areas such as Dallas, Houston, Austin, but for the most part people predominately breed the western
mentality statewide.

7. Tim White has been quoted as still being a metal fan. Is he fed up with the growing commercialisation of metal and can he recommend a band that is going to resurrect the genre and instil some integrity back into it, or will he have to form it himself?

Mis-quote. Yes, I'm fed-up with the overall commercialization of music as a whole.I have not heard of any band ready to resurrect metal with a straight-face yet. I'm sure in the coming months there will be's about that time. All the greats have run their course and burned-out.

8. Your album is quite sorrowful in places especially the track 'Watchful Watching' containing the lyrics; " Swallowed my pride, ate me from inside. Hole in my heart, I'm so torn apart." What was the story behind the song and the lyrics?

That song is an admission of guilt. It's written to everyone in my life. Everyone from God to my friends.
It's a continuous feeling of guilt I have about not returning what is given to me. The first two lines are the truest and sharpest...summing-up the whole idea.

9. 'Rocket Cherries' on the album sees you experimenting with the electro genre is that a one off or is it a direction you see the band heading in?

Well, not really. That's just how the song got captured and recorded. The keyboards are shrill and high in the mix, there's some effects on my vocals. It is based on a My Bloody Valentine song...and we know they aren't electro. So, what you hear on the album is a bit of a mis-representation of what I
want that song to be, but that's the compromise you make sometimes when you record the way we did...quick and dirty.

10. Who or what makes you angry?


11. song, poem or book would you say sums you up, if any?

I'm too moody and scattered to be summed-up in one's sad really.Sometimes a painting by Dali, sometimes a book by William S. Burroughs, sometimes the acid-soaked ramblings of Gibby Haynes...who knows?

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