Forgotten Realms (Pavlos buddelt in den 80ern)

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Re: Forgotten Realms (Pavlos buddelt in den 80ern)

Beitragvon Pavlos » 16. April 2024, 19:10

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SNOW WHITE (USA)

Snow White war vielleicht nicht die allerbeste Wahl fĂŒr einen Bandnamen, wenn das Image und die Lyrics des ersten TontrĂ€gers in Richtung Atomkrieg, Endzeitszenario, Apokalypse, Tod und Verderben neigen. Und die geografische Lage (Alaska a.k.a. am Arsch der Welt) war dann sicherlich auch nicht von Vorteil fĂŒr die motivierten und talentierten Musiker. Aber, bei den Göttern des Stahls, sie haben alles gegeben und haben es versucht, und auch wenn leider nicht viel dabei rauskam, bleiben goldene Erinnerungen (siehe das unten gefĂŒhrte Interview), ein paar coole Liveclips auf Youtube, sowie eine ĂŒberragende 12" Platte (1985), die ich jedem AnhĂ€nger des melodischen US Metals ans Metal Heart legen kann. Ich liebe solchen Stoff ja total, und deshalb wollte ich mehr ĂŒber dieses Schneewittchen wissen. Enter SĂ€nger Brian Nuss, der mir seine Antworten aus dem Hawaii Urlaub schickte. That's the spirit!!

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Let's start with the classic “How and when did you guys form Snow White“ question? Who was involved, how did you come together, what were your influences? I know that drummer Dave Jensen played in SATO from Washington before he joined Snow White.
Mark Tracy and I were involved in another band called Town Cryr that we increasingly felt was going nowhere, as there was little incentive to perform locally and they seemed content to wait for some record contract to fall out of the sky. Snow White was created with a group of individuals that were all highly motivated to make it big, and do whatever was necessary to make that happen. Our drummer Dave Jensen had access to a large office space we could make use of for rehearsals and we immediately began songwriting and preparing for studio work. We met Dave Grace about the same time and we relied heavily on his previous experience in the Southern California rock scene for what we might expect to encounter when we eventually left Alaska. Insofar as musical influences, speaking for myself, I was heavily influenced by Robert Plant, Ian Gillan, Ronnie James Dio, and Paul Rogers, to name just a few.

How was the rock and metal scene in Alaska back in the mid 80s? Which problems did Snow White face being active so far away from the “real“ metal scenes on the east and west coasts?
Well, to say that Alaska was truly the backwater of the American rock scene is an understatement. There was virtually no chance whatsoever of being seen by anyone of consequence in the recording industry, so it was assumed pretty much from the beginning that we’d have to leave the state and travel to southern California where the majority of record labels were located.

The Snow White EP was released in 1985. What can you tell about the song writing and recording sessions? Was it clear that its gonna be only a two track plus intro EP? Whose idea was it to put the three tracks from side 1 also on side 2, but this time played backwards? Was this because of the so called satanic panic or was it just a gag? Can you confirm that the EP was released with 500 copies?
The recording sessions alone were quite expensive for the band members to finance, so we only had enough capital to record two or three songs. There was also the prevailing concern that if we recorded something like a full album, a record company that signed us might be tempted to simply release that recording, which we knew would be inferior to something done by an established music producer.
At that time, there was a lot of controversy swirling around some Heavy Metal acts, and we wanted to take advantage of that, in any way we could. The flip side of the EP, which is side A in reverse, is a perfect example. Some people, the religious right in particular, were spending (some might say wasting) a lot of time trying to find hidden meanings in Heavy Metal lyrics and artwork. So we hoped the back side of the EP might spawn such controversy and give us the publicity that our otherwise unknown band badly needed.
I don’t recall the exact number of records that were pressed, it might have been as much as 1500, but I’m not sure anymore. I was intrigued to find one of them show up on eBay the other day selling for about $90. I think we were selling them for $5 back in the day, although I know many were given away as promotional material too.

What do you think about the two songs on the record? Which one do you prefer?
First, I have to say that when I listen to the record on any normal system, it generally makes me cringe, as all the lower end is pretty much gone. We recorded in a studio in which the engineer chose to mix the tracks using these massive speakers. This resulted in a great sound, provided the listener had a similar system. Obviously most people don’t have access to such speakers. As a result, the recording has a very thin, tinny sound to it. Of the two tracks, I probably prefer the second one, 'New Messiah', just for the way it flows and the melody on it. 'Darkness Falling' arguably has a better hook, but I find it a bit repetitive.

Were the 'Prophecy' intro and the lyrics inspired by the cold war: I'm asking because Alaska was sandwiched between North America and Russia during the Cold War.
The Cold War was certainly an influence in the concept behind the band’s material, although we didn’t wish to limit it to specific conflict between the USA and the Soviet Union. Thus, you can hear parts of the intro in which we speak of vague “religious and political superpowers” that have created this apocalypse. To that, I added some fantasy elements to it, having been influenced by Lord of the Rings and other such things.

The EP had written “
from the forthcoming album New Messiah“ on its cover. What happened, why did we never hear from Snow White again? What happened to “New Messiah“, was it ever recorded or even fully written? What else can you tell us about the plans you had with the album “New Messiah“?
Yes, we definitely had a full album’s worth of material written, and that was the music that comprised our live shows. The LP "New Messiah" was intended as a concept album with a storyline of sorts, or at least a theme running through it. After leaving Alaska, we made numerous other four-track recordings, intended as demos, but nothing much was ever recorded of sufficient audio quality to release them to the public. We solicited record companies all throughout southern California but eventually, I think we got frustrated with our lack of progress which led to our eventual breaking up.

I saw an old magazine listing Snow White for a gig in the famous Troubadour in Los Angeles. The flyer said that you were opening for other bands in August 1986. Did you guys really fly over from Alaska to L.A. for this gig? And was it the only show you did so far away from Alaska or did you play more gigs?
The entire band made good on its plans to relocate to California, and we upended our lives in Alaska to make the move. From there, we played the Troubadour on several occasions and a number of other clubs on the Sunset Strip. By that time, we had become L.A. locals and were competing with a million other bands. Whereas in Alaska, we had been a big fish in a small pond, our situation was quite reversed when we relocated to L.A. where we were very much small fish in a vast ocean.

We have to talk about the “hot wicked women in leather and stockings“ from the thank you list on back cover. I'm asking for all the youg musicians out there: did it work? And what about the band cover on metal-archives.com, I've never seen a band picture with four guys looking so different in terms of styling. What can you say about that? ;)
We had created a thank you list on the back of the EP that, while mostly accurate, contained enough mysterious references to [hopefully] keep our fans guessing. I Haven’t seen the metal-archives cover you’re referring to but we did opt for a definitive look that was post-apocalyptic for the other three and a bit more glam-mainstream for me. That was intentional. Truth be told, I wasn’t comfortable with the scary looking makeup part, so we achieved this compromise with the band members.

Why and when did Snow White disband? What happened to the band members after the split?
I believe we split in late 1986 or mid ‘87, at the latest. It was a bit of a shock, coming down to L.A. and discovering the “pay to play” scene, that was prevalent at the time. This was the reverse of what we had been led to believe, which meant we were given $800 to $1200 worth of tickets and made responsible for selling them (to whoever we could). For some of the members, this proved extremely difficult and was a considerable financial burden, exacerbated by the fact we knew almost no one when we arrived. This was a factor that contributed to the tensions in the band, and eventually, seeing no proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, the band fell apart.
I think that was the end of playing in bands for Dave, our bass player, and he went on tour with larger, established bands in the capacity of a set constructor. We lost track of Dave Jensen, so I can’t speak to his fate, but Mark and I went on to put a band called China together which was moderately successful, certainly more so than was Snow White.

There's a YouTube channel with live clips from Snow White playing the two songs from the EP but also other songs like 'The Battle' (KILLER TUNE!!), 'In My Eyes' and 'Coming Thru'. Was this stuff from the promised “New Messiah“ album?
Yes it was and I believe the song you’re referring to as 'Coming Thru' was actually 'Night of Darkness', a song I still hold a particular fondness for. I channeled my "Heaven and Hell" Black Sabbath roots when we wrote that.

Speaking about unreleased songs, were you ever approached by a record label for a proper reissue of the Snow White stuff, probably featuring also further songs like the ones you did in the live clips I mentioned.
Yes, it has happened many times over the years, mostly geared towards a release of the EP (since there is little public awareness of our other material). Alas, like so many ex-bands, arriving at a consensus between members has proved impossible. Personally, I’ve always been in favor of such an endeavor, if for no other reason, just to make the music available to more people and expose it to a new audience.

Thanx for doing this interview. Anything you want to add?
I’m proud of the music Snow White made and I’m flattered by the many people who continue to reach out to me from all over the world about the band. I think it speaks to the remarkable legacy of what we did, in the brief existence of the band.

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Pavlos
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Re: Forgotten Realms (Pavlos buddelt in den 80ern)

Beitragvon Angelus_Mortiis » 18. April 2024, 15:22

Danke dafĂŒr!
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Re: Forgotten Realms (Pavlos buddelt in den 80ern)

Beitragvon Acurus-Heiko » 24. April 2024, 20:13

Ich danke Dir auch, lieber Pavlos. Auch wenn hier nicht mehr so wild diskutiert wird, so wird es doch verdammt oft gelesen.
Metal is "orchestrated technological Nihilism" (Lester Bangs) and "heroical Realism" (me)

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Re: Forgotten Realms (Pavlos buddelt in den 80ern)

Beitragvon Pavlos » 24. April 2024, 21:51



Aber gerne doch....und wenn der Gitarrist jetzt endlich mal sein OK geben wĂŒrde, dann stĂŒnde einem Re-Release nichts mehr im Wege. Ein Label hat nĂ€mlich starkes Interesse an der Sache. Mir liegen ein paar Demotracks vor (siehe Clip, da allerdings in einer Liveversion - aber auch geil!!), und die finde ich tatsĂ€chlich noch stĂ€rker als die Songs von der EP. Daumen drĂŒcken!!

:yeah:
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Re: Forgotten Realms (Pavlos buddelt in den 80ern)

Beitragvon Angelus_Mortiis » 28. April 2024, 21:54

Pavlos hat geschrieben:

Aber gerne doch....und wenn der Gitarrist jetzt endlich mal sein OK geben wĂŒrde, dann stĂŒnde einem Re-Release nichts mehr im Wege. Ein Label hat nĂ€mlich starkes Interesse an der Sache. Mir liegen ein paar Demotracks vor (siehe Clip, da allerdings in einer Liveversion - aber auch geil!!), und die finde ich tatsĂ€chlich noch stĂ€rker als die Songs von der EP. Daumen drĂŒcken!!

:yeah:


Da drĂŒcke ich doch gerne die Daumen.
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Re: Forgotten Realms (Pavlos buddelt in den 80ern)

Beitragvon Evilmastant » 29. April 2024, 14:55

Angelus_Mortiis hat geschrieben:
Pavlos hat geschrieben:

Aber gerne doch....und wenn der Gitarrist jetzt endlich mal sein OK geben wĂŒrde, dann stĂŒnde einem Re-Release nichts mehr im Wege. Ein Label hat nĂ€mlich starkes Interesse an der Sache. Mir liegen ein paar Demotracks vor (siehe Clip, da allerdings in einer Liveversion - aber auch geil!!), und die finde ich tatsĂ€chlich noch stĂ€rker als die Songs von der EP. Daumen drĂŒcken!!

:yeah:


Da drĂŒcke ich doch gerne die Daumen.

Ich drĂŒcke krĂ€ftig mit!
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Meine CDs: http://cloud.collectorz.com/200912/music
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