Interview by Tub

Itís a hot Saturday afternoon at Deconstruction in London. I have just seen the magnificent Snapcase. After their awe-inspiring metallic, yet melodic, onslaught, I caught up with cold stricken singer Daryl Taberski and drummer Tim Redmond.

TUB: January heralded the release of the new album from the band, Designs for Automotion, a brilliant soaring affair with a positive message embedded in every song. I personally found the record uplifting, but what did the band think of it?

DT: "It was our first release in over 3 years so we couldnít wait to get out and start playing new songs again. We spent a lot of time working on this album and so far itís been a lot of fun".

TR: "Iím never really ever happy with anything that we do, but I think overall that itís our best release to date. I like the direction that we took but every time I listen to it I wish we had done a couple of things differently. I always think that if we had just had another 3 weeks before we went into the studio we could have done so much better. We had a month to record where with the last record we only had 2 weeks to record. We went into the studio thinking "Oh my God, weíve got twice as much time as the last record, weíve got so much time", but we were scrambling at the end to finish up. We could have used more time and done a lot more but you could go on forever. From whatís there weíre happy with it".


TUB: Have there been good reactions to the release?

DT: "Yeah, the bulk of our set now is new material and weíve never really done that before. We have really only in the past worked in 1 or 2 new songs into a set, and waited for an album to be out for a long time before we really started playing a lot of songs from a newer release. With this one weíve come out and done 4 or 5 songs from the new album. Itís kind of strange that weíre playing so many new songs, but weíre also playing in front of so many new people that donít know our material".

TR: "Itís the first time ever since í93 that we havenít played anything from "Lookinglasself", where we usually played at least 2 or 3 songs from that. Weíre not playing anything from "Steps", which is the same since that record came out. For the first couple of songs on this tour we played a song from "Steps", but we had to cut it back".


TUB: Do you have any favourite tracks from the new album? DT: "Tim and I both like "Ambition Now".

TR: "Typecast Modulator".

DT: "I like Bleeding Orange a lot, thatís my favourite track".


TUB: Bleeding Orange is an interesting song (read the lyrics and you will be enlightened). Is it about one of you?

DT: "I worked for a company called "Home Depot". Itís a home improvement store that sells plywood and hammers; basically a million items. Itís a huge store that has this worker training that you go through when you get hired. You go through a lot of interviews and questionnaires and they really work hard at getting you to be a fully devoted person to the company. In a lot of ways it takes a way part of who you are as a person and can be really controlling. If you donít like to be controlled much it can be a difficult environment to work in. To give away the song a bit, one of their mottoís is that their best employees bleed orange cause the company colour is orange".


TUB: Itís been 3 years since "Progression through Unlearning", so thereís been quite a change in the Snapcase style. I personally found "Designs for Automotion", more of a melodic album than your previous affairs. How did the change come about?

DT: "I think that with 3 years in between releases a band is destined to change and also there was more input from other people on the song writing on this album. Weíve been listening to different kinds of stuff with different influences than we have done in the past. It wasnít a deliberate change; we didnít decide to write an album that was more melodic, it was just the way it came out".

TR: "I think that on the last record we felt that we had to stick to a certain sound. At that time we had just lost Scott Dressler who was the primary songwriter before the last release. We knew the direction that we were heading with him and that weíd had in the past so we were little nervous, maybe, to stray from that too much. Then that record came out and did a lot better than any previous releases with the line-up which we had, so that gave us a lot of confidence. With the last record we would come up with stuff and dismiss it for being too soft, or not being Snapcase enough. So we would throw it out and not really work with it or play with it at all. With this record we were a lot more open to things and would try a lot more. There are some songs that didnít make this record that are even more melodic or more different sound. Maybe those will make into the next record, you never know. We never want to write the same record twice. We always want to do something different. As long as we keep the energy and the honesty that Snapcase have always had, then I think people will appreciate it".


TUB: Now for something more important for Snapcase as a band. You are recognised as a sXe band; recently I have heard about a lot of trouble in Saltlake City (major sXe town in the US) with a man having a sXe cross carved into his back after he lit a cigarette in front of some sXe kids. Do you have any major opinions on the sXe situation at the moment?

TR: "Itís kinda unfortunate cause sXe is supposed to be a positive thing and something that people turn to, to enhance their life. Itís supposed to be a positive message and movement, but I think some people take it too far. I donít think itís just sXe, I think itís in any area of life. There is a lot of anger and violence everywhere in society and sXe is obviously affected by that. Itís an aggressive kind of music that is usually associated with it so I think that it might add to it. When I was growing up and first got into sXe, there would be fights at shows every once in a while, but usually it was just a positive thing. It is just unfortunate that it happens but you have to remember that it was an isolated incident and the majority of sXe kids are really positive people trying to make the world a better place".

DT: "I think also that the kids that are violent are violent kids anyway and sXe is something that gives them a reason to be violent maybe. Itís a shame because itís kind of like an abuse of it I think. Everyone in our band is sXe but itís always been more of a personal thing and weíve been careful not to label ourselves sXe. We donít want to be represented by other people who are sXe and violent. As Tim said, the positiveness is what first attracted me to it. It was punk rock and it was different but it wasnít bitching about things. It was talking how good things are and could be and to me thatís what itís about".

TR: "Itís unfortunate too because those incidents have got a lot of TV and news coverage in the US. All of it begins saying about sXe Ė "kids donít drink, smoke or do drugs, but they stab people and this person died. etc.". They pick up on the negative thing and thereís just one little sentence about them not drinking, smoking and doing drugs. Thereís nothing positive at all; they donít talk to people who were drug addicts who came to a HC show and their life completely changed for the best. Thatís how the media is, always focussing on the negative and some people have a real negative perception about sXe. It sucks cause itís done a lot of good for people and itís done a lot of good for me".


TUB: Another moral issue Iíll ask you about is animal rightsí. Do you think that animal rights are getting better at the moment?

DT: " It seems that there is more awareness now. If youíre a vegan or vegetarian youíre not as much as a freak as you were five years ago. People know what it is, whereas 5 or 6 years ago, 95% of people youíd meet would be, "vegan?- whatís that?". A lot more people know what it is now and you can find the food a lot more easily. Especially when it comes down to eating, there are so many more products available now. Even the major supermarkets in Buffalo where we live, there is a whole section of the store devoted to vegetarian and vegan food".

TR: " I think that there are more and more people becoming vegetarian and more people have become vegetarian, the more it is accepted by other people. Even people, who arenít completely vegetarian, get veggie burgers cause thereís less fat in them. That becomes more acceptable, as the food gets better and people arenít like "Urrgh Ė tofu, whatís that?"


TUB: Moving on to more related band topics, who is Harrison Bergeron (my pronunciation is corrected by Daryl)?

DT: " Itís actually the main character in a short story, written by Kirk Varmegat (excuse spelling!), and can be found in a collection of his short stories called, "Welcome to the Monkey House". The song doesnít really follow the story at all, but itís more of inspired by it. If you want, check out the story and see if you can make any connections".

TR: "Itís a good story, you should definitely read it".

TUB: (Thereís one to check your local libraries for!)That song from Progression through Unlearning talks about faith moving mountains. Are you a spiritual band?

DT: "Well, yes and no. There are a lot of different ways to interpret faith and soul and to me itís a real inner and personal thing. Itís something that I think that almost everybody can relate to if they want. It crosses cultures and different religions and having a positive faith that things are going to work out or that you can accomplish things. You know that you have that strength and you know that good things can happen to you. Everybody in the band has their different beliefs of faith and things like that. Having said that faith moves mountains itís like not having a fear and that youíre ready to tackle just about anything because with that faith you can".

TR: "I think that basically every person has four components; Thereís a physical part, a mental aspect, an emotional part and a spiritual part. I think when Daryl uses those words every individual has a spiritual ground. It doesnít necessarily refer to it as a specific faith or a belief system".

DT: "To me itís like the truth; The real genuine person. Thatís who you are and the spirit thatís inside. Thatís what you need to find and embrace"


TUB: Youíre from Buffalo in the New York area, whatís the scene like there?

DT: "Buffaloís cool. One thing when I think about Buffalo is that thereís an underground scene and movement. Itís actually got a lot of history and itís pretty old. Itís always been a really diverse scene. You could never label it the sXe scene, or the emo scene etc. Itís always been maybe more on the aggressive side, but softer bands and light bands do well in Buffalo as well. It seems to be a fairly open-minded scene and the kids seem to be more accepting of each other. The underground bands in the 80ís were the like the Goo Goo Dolls and Cannibal Corpse. Snapcase has opened for both bands on different occasions, but Buffalo has a neat history. It gives you hope that you can get beyond your local scene and get up there".


TUB: Whatís the scene like over there compared with Britain and Europe?

DT: "Itís different but its not. Kids all over the world are the same when it comes to wanting to jump around and have fun. That doesnít change much. Things like the way communication is these days with the Internet, the whole world is coming closer together. Kids are much more aware to what is going on in other places than they were ever before. I think that the differences are less and less all the time".

TR: "I agree!!"


TUB: Obviously youíre away from home for a lot of the year. Do you enjoy touring?

DT: "Weíre getting older and it gets more difficult, both physically and emotionally".

TR: "When we first started playing we would go away for 3 months straight and come back not even tired. Now when you get off tour it takes a little longer to recover. Weíre still all in pretty good shape and not even from just playing in the band but outside of the band as well".

DT: "Iíll be 30 in a year!"

TR: "Itís tough with just the repetitive motion for me. My wrists and elbows hurt now a lot. For them (the band) their shins hurt from bouncing up and down. So stuff like that accumulates over the years".

DT: "Itís a lifelong sacrifice". TR: "But you sacrifice a lot, but at the same time you see the world ten times over. Weíve met so many people and done so many things. I never thought that I would ever be in Paris or London and we donít even have to pay for it. We just go and get to play our music and itís a really great experience to go to places so far away, and see people wearing your shirt. We never really imagined that and we thought it was amazing if we went an hour away from Buffalo to play. Touring is so funny because you can never know what itís like unless youíve done it. On VH1 thereís this behind the music thing where they have rock bands talking about touring. Even though itís at a different level I can watch things about Def Leppard, for example, and totally relate and know how they feel".

DT: "We donít have the girls and the parties! It can be really challenging and thatís what makes it great. I think we all like living a challenging lifestyle otherwise it gets boring. You need to challenge yourselves".


TUB: Which bands to you get on best with, and who would you really like to share a bus with?

DT: "Weíve been really lucky. Weíve toured with so many bands over such a wide range. From the earliest tours with Strife and Earth Crisis and touring with 108, SOIA, Turmoil, Avail".

TR: "Refused. Good Riddance is working out great".

DT: "Weíre on the road with Good Riddance now and weíre going to be sharing a bus with them for the summer on the Warped tour for 2 months. The important thing is that we tour with bands that are sincere and have touring experience. Itís because of that we know how to make things best for the benefit of everyone. The best thing is that you learn so much from each band that you tour with. You learn a different element of everything and other bands learn from you".


TUB: What do you think has been the most exciting moment from touring the new album?

DT: "Itís all exciting. To me this tourís exciting; playing London in front of 10,000 people with NOFX. We did a tour in the fall before the album to let people know that we have an album coming out by headlining at small clubs. That was fun too; some of my favourite shows were on that tour. Itís all experiences".

TR: "Iím looking forward to playing Buffalo on the Warped tour. I always like playing home and I think itíll be a good show. The last time we played Buffalo on the warped tour it was amazing, so hopefully it can live up to that. Itís always nice playing in front of your family and friends so Iím looking forward to that".


TUB: Technology is advancing so quickly at the moment. Are you a technological band or do you prefer not to get caught up in the computer music ideals?

DT: "Weíre the least tech. members of the band. Frank, our guitar player, spends the most time with computers and modern technical gadgets".

TR: "Do you want our opinion on MP3ís?"

(I chuckle as Tim beats me to my next question!)

TR: "Iím not very educated on the topic, but as far as I think I would say no. I think that a song or two is fine, but I know that the deftones album is coming out soon in the US, but Iíve already met so many people that have that record. We all have it and we all downloaded it, but..."

DT: "MP3ís are bad, but we all use it!!"

TR: "From a band standpoint it sucks, but from a consumer standpoint itís great. I know that before our record came out itís the labels job to

send out promoís to radio stations and people doing zines. The problem is that these kids are turning it around and putting it on the internet. Then everyone is getting it and when the record comes out everyone has it and no one goes and buys the record. This sucks for the artist because they donít see any money out of return for that".

DT: "If somebody else is making money out of it like Napster, for example".

TR: "Itís great that the music gets out there and thatís the most important thing, but people do have to earn a living off doing music".

DT: "It kinda benefits, but it depends on the band. If your band has spent so much money that youíre not going to recoup your advance from your label, you want as many people listening to your music as possible, so that when you go on tour youíre gonna have huge shows. MP3 is only going to do good things for live music. There will be that many people turned onto the band cause they got the album for free, theyíre gonna check out the show".


TUB: My final question. If there were 3 pieces of advice about life that you could give someone, what would they be?

TR: "1:Laugh at everything".

DT: "Donít take anything too seriously".

TR: "2: Everything will pass. Anything that youíre going through you have to understand that in time you wonít be going through it anymore. That goes both ways. If youíre going through a hard time, it will pass. Also, when youíre experiencing something good, you have to take a step back and realise that this isnít going to last forever and you need to appreciate it. It helps you to savour the moment. 3: Really, really appreciate your family".

DT: "What you do, you should be doing because itís you. It should be something that you enjoy and something thatís meaningful".

TR: "I have two other good ones! 1: Youíre never as good as people say you are and youíre never as bad as people say you are. That helps you keep your perspective. A good quote that I always try to keep in mind is that, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% on how you react to it. Things happen to you that you could let go, or you could think about all day long. Itís all on how you react Ė itís all about attitude".


So on that point we end and where better to do so!
Photos courtesy of Victory Records.