by Kelly La Croix
How does evolution work, exactly? I mean, I understand the concept of natural selection and I made it through high school biology (with a D (presumably for “did good!”)), so I get that evolution is a natural process… but uh… I’m gonna have to go with ICP on this one and look at science as if it were some confusing mystical occurrence beyond the grasp of human comprehension, ‘cause I’m just not fully understanding how a band goes from simple, innocent surf rock to throwing anxiety-infused freakout tantrums like Snow Bored has.
Late last year, they released their newest offering, Freaks, and as a guy who was around for their beginnings, I was surprised by the content. The surf influence is still present, but the band has seemingly matured into something more than your standard surfpunk group. Psychedelic flourishes have been dispersed throughout their songs, there’s a lot more yelling, and the more “dreamy” angle the band once took is not as up-front as it was. Even the songs that have been re-recorded sound less “cute” than their earlier incarnations. Maybe it’s the recording quality, maybe it’s the increase in screaming and hollering, or the addition of a quiet indie song as a closer, I just know that Snow Bored’s newest stuff sounds less like the musings of daydreaming schoolboys and more like the reflections of young men who are handling the turmoil of adulthood.
A look at their social media photos reveals growth as well. Typically, as groups gain more experience they tend to become more confident in their own skin, but also become less exuberant, but Snow Bored’s live shows seem more energetic now than they were when they first formed. To my eyes and ears, they’ve grown self-assured but still have some of that excitability that most bands naturally lose. Check Snow Bored out and witness…uh…science?
Post-script: I sent this introduction to my ex-writing teacher for some feedback. They gave me an “F” (presumably for “fucking awesome!”).
Snow Bored! To anyone unfamiliar, who are you, what do you do in the band, and what would you like for Christmas?
Jared plays the guitar, sings and whoops and we think he would like a thing of patchouli oil for his hair, damn hippy.
Hayden plays drums. He doesn’t get to choose what he wants for Christmas because what he NEEDS is a new drum set (shoutout to Henry Goodridge, thanks for still letting us use your set haha)
Rase is our new bass player and he wants world peace, or maybe just for his student debts to be paid.
What has the last year been like for you guys?
Jared: Well in July and August of 2017, we recorded an album with Jasper Heins and Ryan Clayton Porter of Three Fates Collective. After having an incredibly rewarding recording experience and producing an album, Carsten (ex-bassist) and myself moved to Missoula to study music composition and wildlife biology so we didn't play any shows until our album release party in early January 2018. We have since played a slew of shows in the Missoula, Billings, and Spokane areas and have gained our newest addition on bass guitar, Rase Kurth. It's been very strange for us as Hayden doesn't yet live in Missoula and Rase won't either until this Fall. I keep telling everyone we're from Missoula, MT now since I live here, but we are very scattered in location as a band. But I think that's what makes this band so special. Despite all the things that have kept us apart or have made us go on a hiatus, we still manage to get together and play a great rock and roll show to really kind and inspiring people in supportive spaces across Montana.
Favorite musical discovery lately.
Jared: In the last year I discovered the music of the Taiwanese-Canadian born composer and indie musician Alex Zhang Hungtai. I first heard his music when I stumbled upon an album he made called Badlands under the moniker of Dirty Beaches. From start to finish, the album is a collection of vintage 50s and 60s doo-wop and psychedelic grooves sampled across driving lo-fi beats and noisy guitar solos ridden with fuzz, delay, and atmosphere. With his reverb soaked whoops and hollers that echo across the album's entirety, Hungtai's voice feels as if it’s that of an Elvis Presley who might have taken too many shrooms. The contrast and build up of each track on this album is truly chills inducing and I highly recommend Badlands to anyone who is a fan of psych, hip-hop, or rock and roll. I also recommend his ventures into contemporary music as a symphonic composer well as his other project Last Lizard. His music just resonates so well across so many different genres.
Rase: By far, John Dwyer's oldest project OCS or Orinoka Crash Sweet. Pre-Thee Oh Sees, Dwyer experiments with psychedelic folk and minimalistic songwriting.
Preferred mode of travel that is not snowboarding:
Crowd surfing, we use the bodies of the audience to get around town to our dates.
If I was a carpenter and you were a lady would you marry me anyway? Would you have my baby?Rase would marry you I think and Hayden can have your baby. I'll be carrying your pots right behind yooouuuuuu...
You guys have been around a while now; you might be in the position to where other, younger Billings bands look up to you a little. What advice would you have for them?
Never stop. Never stop writing, jamming, gigging, recording. Billings unfortunately does not cater to artists and musicians in a productive way so it is up to us to cultivate something lasting that upholds nonconformist ideals about artistic expression and creativity. Keep rock and roll alive in whatever way possible, it is the only remaining true act of rebellion against this fucked up system and world we live in today. If you work hard and put dedication into your music, art or whatever, you can achieve many great things. We never thought Snow Bored would be where we are now and it still amazes us to think about.
Something you'd like to not hit you in the head.
Jared's guitar in a mosh
Something you wouldn't mind hitting you on the head.
Pretty much anything but Jared's guitar in a mosh
Just so we're clear, I'm trying to get people to bring stuff to your shows and throw it at your heads. ...Anyway: Favorite Julia Louis-Dreyfus moment:
Jared: Great, we very much welcome rowdiness at our shows and invite everyone to freak out with us! Just be safe and respect the other people around you who are smaller in stature or don't want to be pushed into a mosh. In the end everyone's just trying to have a fun and safe time without getting a broken rib or sprained ankle.
I have always loved Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the blind lawyer Maggie Lizer in Arrested Development but I think she definitely had some of her best moments in television on Seinfeld. Her whole rhetoric in the 9th season with Patrick Warburton as David Puddy and the Car Dealership is just so good, it ended the series so well. To quote Elaine, "Its the best Jerry, the best!"